Chargers @ Chiefs (-3.5) (Thu 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: I understand the narrative that Philip Rivers regularly struggles at Arrowhead, and the narrative that the home team has been dominant in TNF this year. With all that being said, I think Rivers, along with Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon (Justin Jackson if Gordon is out, Austin Ekeler has already been ruled out) are all must start plays. I wouldn’t take a shot on any other Chargers players, including Mike and Tyrell Williams. On the Chiefs side of the ball: Mahomes, Kelce, and Hill are all must starts. With Spencer Ware not expected to play, Damien Williams becomes a must start option for most. Chris Conley is a desperation play but I’m less confident in him because of his sporadic usage.
Texans (-6.5) @ Jets (Sat 1:30 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Jets are pretty hapless right now, and that’s bad news for DeShaun Watson owners. When the Texans don’t play a competitive team, Watson usually passes the ball less and Lamar Miller usually just runs the ball a bunch. Don’t be surprised if that happens again, which is why he is a borderline starter for me. I think his rushing ability gives you a good floor though. DeAndre Hopkins is a must start, while Demaryius Thomas is a desperation FLEX, he hardly gets any targets. If Keke Coutee plays, both Thomas and Coutee are unusable. On the Jets side of the ball, only Elijah McGuire is worth playing as he should see a lot of work in the running / passing game with Isaiah Crowell expected to be out.
Browns @ Broncos (-3) (Sat 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: I don’t recommend playing Baker Mayfield on the road at Denver, but I still like David Njoku in a favorable matchup. Jarvis Landry is a fantasy starter this week, he’s been utilized more lately and the Broncos secondary is beat up. Nick Chubb is a must start, even in a tough matchup he will get a lot of work and is a good bet to score. On the Broncos side of the ball, it’s impossible to trust anyone except Philip Lindsay. Courtland Sutton has been disappointing, and DaeSean Hamilton couldn’t even crack 50 yards last week after taking over for Emmanuel Sanders against the 49ers. If you had to pick a Broncos receiver, I’d roll with Sutton. He has a good matchup this week with Denzel Ward out for the Browns, but the concern with him is a low target share and a low catch %. He oozes with big play ability though.
Cardinals @ Falcons (-9) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Anytime a defense goes up against Josh Rosen, especially Rosen on the road, they are a viable fantasy play. The Falcons defense has a chance to have a huge fantasy performance this week, but they are risky given their struggles throughout this season. I’m not high on Larry Fitzgerald in a road game, but David Johnson is a great start as he will get the ball a lot against one of the worst defenses against fantasy running backs. No other Cardinals player should be started. On the Falcons side of the ball, Matt Ryan is a starter at QB, Austin Hooper is a desperation start at TE, and Julio Jones is a must start. Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu are FLEX plays that I’m not confident in. Tevin Coleman is a so-so start but don’t be fooled, the Cardinals are only ranked badly against RBs because of the amount of touchdowns they have given up. Coleman is no guarantee to score with his low usage. Ito Smith is not a bad desperation FLEX play as he sometimes gets goal line work for the Falcons.
Buccaneers @ Ravens (-8) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: This is the week you stop starting Jameis Winston. He’s on the road against one of the best defenses in the league. The Ravens are a top defensive option as they should get plenty of sacks and turnovers. All the Bucs players are downgraded. Mike Evans is someone you have to lower expectations for as you’ll probably still have to start him. I don’t like Evans much this week. Chris Godwin should not be started this week, but Adam Humphries is a so-so FLEX. Cameron Brate is a low end TE starter, but he’s boom or bust as you’re praying for a touchdown with him. Peyton Barber belongs on your bench. On the Ravens side of the ball, Lamar Jackson will start again, and he’s a solid quarterback start for fantasy. Gus Edwards is a good play with his workload, and Kenneth Dixon is a viable FLEX because the Ravens run the ball almost 70% of the time. No other Ravens players can be started.
Lions @ Bills (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Kerryon Johnson is out for this game, but with Zach Zenner getting some work last week both he and LeGarrette Blount are unplayable. Theo Riddick is a last ditch FLEX in standard, so-so FLEX in PPR, he’ll get his usual 5 catches 50 yards. Kenny Golladay is a so-so play as well, I’m not sure how good he will be against Tre’davious White after his dud against Patrick Peterson. Play him if you don’t have anyone better though. Matthew Stafford is unplayable, he should be out on your waiver wire. Josh Allen is a good desperation QB this week. His rushing yards make him usable in fantasy. The Bills RB situation is uncertain right now with both LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory injured, I would play whoever ends up starting as a FLEX option.
Packers @ Bears (-6) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: I would play a lot of quarterbacks over Aaron Rodgers this week in a brutal matchup. He’s down there with Jameis Winston for me in the category of unplayable QBs. Jimmy Graham has shown he can’t be trusted, but he’s a last ditch TE play for me. Davante Adams is the only Packers WR I would start, and he’s a must start. Aaron Jones is in a tough spot against this defense, but unless you are stacked with RBs, you probably have to begrudgingly start him. On the Bears side of the ball, Mitchell Trubisky is another good desperation QB option, his rushing volume is intriguing. Trey Burton is in the Jimmy Graham category of untrustworthy last ditch play. Allen Robinson is a so-so FLEX at WR against a banged up secondary, I don’t trust another Bears WR because the targets are sporadically distributed to each of them. Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard should both post good games against a Packers D that isn’t good against fantasy running backs.
Raiders @ Bengals (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: There’s no use starting Derek Carr this week despite the great matchup. There are plenty of better options out there, and banking your fantasy playoffs on him is not advisable. He’s down there with Mayfield, Rodgers, and Winston for me. Joe Mixon is a must start for the Bengals, after what he did against the Chargers last week, I expect him to get almost 30 touches in this game against a bad rush defense. Tyler Boyd is a pretty good start against a weak secondary. C.J. Uzomah is an option for desperate fantasy owners, he runs a lot of routes and he gets a lot of targets: that’s all you can ask for. Jared Cook is a must start TE, he’s essentially the Raiders #1 passing option. I really like Doug Martin this week, he has gotten a consistent workload since becoming the starter, and he faces a bad rush defense. Jalen Richard has been too inconsistent lately to be trusted. Jordy Nelson is a last ditch WR, he has gotten a lot of targets in the past two games.
Cowboys @ Colts (-3) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Dak Prescott is my top streamer/desperation option this week in a game in which he will have to keep up with Andrew Luck. Unless you have an excellent core of WRs, Amari Cooper is a must start for you. He’s on fire. Ezekiel Elliott is a must start. On the Colts side of the ball, Andrew Luck, Eric Ebron, and T.Y. Hilton are all must start players. Marlon Mack is someone you can FLEX if necessary, but he has a tough matchup so his upside isn’t high. Nyheim Hines is a low end PPR-only FLEX.
Redskins @ Jaguars (-7) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: The Jaguars defense is #1 for me going against Josh Johnson, who was signed 2 weeks ago by the Redskins. Don’t start a single Redskins player. On the Jaguars side of the ball, Leonard Fournette is the only start, and in a game that the other team won’t be able to score on the Jaguars, he’ll get fed early and often making him a must start.
Dolphins @ Vikings (-7) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Kirk Cousins is a start in this game, I think he will have a solid performance against the Dolphins banged up secondary, and the Dolphins have allowed 25+ points to a fantasy QB in the last 3 games. This changes if Xavien Howard / Reshad Jones play. Don’t play Kyle Rudolph unless you’re desperate, Thielen and Diggs are must starts. I think Dalvin Cook has a good game in this matchup. On the Dolphins side of the ball, I’m not confident in anyone. Kenyan Drake is a low end FLEX, he may catch a lot of balls if the Dolphins fall behind but you’re hoping for a touchdown with him. Kenny Stills is a last ditch FLEX as Tannehill looks his way a lot, but he could be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. The Vikings defense is a great option.
Titans @ Giants (-2.5) (Sun 10:00 AM PDT):
Blurb: Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, and Dion Lewis are all in the FLEX range for the Titans. I think Derrick Henry will get the most work out of the RBs, and with this easy matchup he’s an above average FLEX play. Dion Lewis is a low end FLEX for me. Corey Davis is a so-so FLEX, it’s hard to predict when his big games will come, but he’s someone you can put in your lineup if you don’t have anyone better. Anthony Firkser is an interesting desperation TE option with every TE in front of him on the depth chart injured. Saquon Barkley is a must start for the Giants. With Odell Beckham out, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram will both see more targets. Shepard is a solid FLEX, but Engram is a low end TE still because the Titans are good against TEs. Engram has a lot of upside though!
Seahawks (-5) @ 49ers (Sun 1:05 PM PDT):
Blurb: George Kittle is a must start for the 49ers, Jeff Wilson Jr. is a must start if Matt Breida remains out, and Dante Pettis is a FLEX play. I love the workload Jeff Wilson will get if Breida is out. The Seahawks defense is a low end starting option for me. Russell Wilson is a low end starter, I think the Seahawks will just run it all over the 49ers, but Wilson has an opportunity to throw a few long TDs to Tyler Lockett against a horrible pass defense. Chris Carson is a must start, I love the volume he gets, especially because Rashaad Penny is hurt right now. I think Tyler Lockett can get free for a big play, but I’m more confident in him if Doug Baldwin is out. Baldwin is expected to play as of now.
Patriots (-2) @ Steelers (Sun 1:25 PM PDT):
Blurb: You’re most likely starting Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady is a low-end starter for me, I think he will put on a good performance, but there are a lot more options out there at QB that can/will do better than him. Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon are both good starts at WR, they’ll each get theirs. Sony Michel and James White are polarizing, I think both are good starts, but Michel has a tough matchup and White has cooled off recently with the return of Rex Burkhead eating into his snaps. On the Steelers side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger, Juju Smith Schuster, and Antonio Brown are all must starts. Vance McDonald is a low end starter at TE, and Jaylen Samuels is a good start at TE or RB with James Conner out again (he has dual eligibility on Yahoo). James Conner is a game-time decision.
Eagles @ Rams (-12.5) (Sun 5:20 PM PDT):
Blurb: With the news that Carson Wentz will not play, this makes every Eagles player unplayable, except Zach Ertz, who’s a must start TE. The Rams defense is my 2nd favorite defense of the week behind the Jaguars. On the Rams side of the ball: Goff, Woods, Cooks, and Gurley are must starts. Josh Reynolds is a sneaky FLEX with upside against this atrocious Eagles secondary.
Saints (-6.5) @ Panthers (Mon 5:15 PM PDT):
Blurb: The Saints offense should have no trouble with the Panthers in this one. Drew Brees is at the bottom of starting QBs for fantasy, but he will have a good performance. I just don’t think he’ll throw as much as other QBs will. Thomas and Kamara are must starts. Mark Ingram is a good start but very TD dependent: beware of that, especially against a good run defense. Tre’Quan Smith isn’t worth the dart throw, even with how bad the Panthers secondary is. Cam Newton has struggled lately and is dealing with a shoulder injury, so he’s only a low end starter for me. The Saints have been good against opposing QBs in their last few games. McCaffrey is a must start. Ian Thomas is a top 12 TE for me, Cam has looked his way a bunch since Olsen has been out. D.J. Moore is a solid play, while Curtis Samuel is a FLEX. Don’t play Devin Funchess. I like Moore and Samuel to catch a lot of passes as the Panthers keep up with the Saints high scoring offense.