Fantasy Football matchups - Week 5


As the NFL closes the chapter on the first quarter of its season, Fantasy Football GM’s navigate the unprecedented waters of managing a fake football roster during Pandemic times. This is going to be a long and winding road we will all have to navigate as more tests inevitably come back positive for COVID-19 and force the NFL to play gymnastics with their schedule on the fly. As the great Bruce Lee says, “Be water my friend, be water.” Although this season will be frustrating and challenging, remember to focus on the fun of fantasy football. Remember you are not alone, we here at The Fantasy Whisperers are here to help as much as possible. That includes this column where we try to give you a perspective on every fantasy relevant player in every matchup for the week 5 slate of games. For any additional start/sit advice make sure you DM us on Twitter or Instagram and for even more in depth analysis head on over to our YouTube channel where we post daily videos to prepare you to win your week.

TEAMS ON BYE: Green Bay and Detroit


LAR @ WAS

46 O/U -9 (LAR)

The Rams look to start another winning streak coming off their low-scoring slugfest last week at home against the Giants, while the Football Team is reeling from three straight losses and are hoping a change at QB can be the catalyst for their first win since week 1.

Football Team

Through the Air

Washington will look to Kyle Allen to lead them after Dwayne Haskins played himself out of the starting role through the first 4 weeks. It’s unlikely he’s worth a pickup, let alone the start on your fantasy squad. You can safely ignore him. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of rapport he has with the WR corps, as Terry McLaurin has led the team so far and is clearly the most talented receiver on the staff. Dontrelle Inman and TE Logan Thomas may show some connection with the new QB, but it’s not worth the risk until we see what we’ve got. Start McLaurin if you’ve got him, ignore the rest of this pass offense.


On the Ground

Antonio Gibson had a great game last week, extending his TD streak to 3 games and finally getting something going in the pass game, with 4 catches for 82 yards. He’s a good low-end RB2 option at this point, as he’s getting solid volume, although the TDs could be in jeopardy with Allen behind center. JD McKissic is the main receiving threat out of the backfield, and had a good game last week as well, but he’ll be hard to trust until we see how involved he is in the Kyle Allen pass game. Keep him on your bench for now. Finally, Peyton Barber isn’t worth owning at this point.

Rams

Through the Air

The Rams will be looking to Jared Goff to keep them rolling, and he should be up to the task against a Washington team that has struggled with pass defense so far this year. He’s at the bottom of the QB1 group this week. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods should lead the WR group, both coming in as high WR2 options that you should be starting. Beyond them, Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson can stay on the waiver wire. At TE, Goff has shown a great connection with Tyler Higbee, and he’s a TE1 in this matchup as well. Expect good things from this cohort of skill players.

On the Ground

It’s a lot harder to recommend any of the RBs for the Rams, mostly due to the committee nature of the position right now in LA. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson have both had good games since Cam Akers was injured, but Akers is expected back and it’s honestly hard to say what is going to happen with this group. If you’ve got any of these guys and have the bandwidth, I think we need to take a wait-and-see approach. Consider all of them a desperate Flex option.

Extra points

Start the Rams D/ST with total confidence – They’ve got a juicy matchup against a backup QB. Don’t start Washington’s D/ST. Sam Sloman is the Kicker for the Rams, and he should have a busy day and is a decent option at K, but keep in mind there may be a bit of rain which can affect kicking.


BUF @ TEN

49 O/U -6.5 (BUF)


The Titans are coming off an unscheduled bye week due to several positive coronavirus cases in their ranks, as they battle the AFC East-leading Bills in this matchup of undefeated teams. I’m not sure how many 3-0 vs 4-0 games have ever taken place, but I assume this is one of the first. It could be an AFC playoffs preview, so it should be worth tuning in.


Titans Preview

Through the Air

The Titans will be looking to Ryan Tannehill, who slots in as a QB2 this week. He’s a solid option to stream, though, as the Bills’ pass defense has been porous so far this season, allowing more yards per game than Tannehill’s 270 average. He’s also been able to find the endzone 6 times. At WR, the options are limited. Corey Davis and Adam Humphries appear to both be out due to COVID-19, so Tennessee will look to the return of AJ Brown to carry their WR group. He’s a definite start this week on his return, as a solid WR2. It looks like Khalif Raymond will be the starter alongside Brown with the absence of Davis and Humphries, but he’s tough to trust. Leave him on your bench (or the waiver wire). At TE, Jonnu Smith has shown great rapport with Tannehill, so slot him in if you’ve got him.


On the Ground

Derrick Henry continues to drive this offense, and you’re starting him without question. Even with the Bills’ above average run defense so far this season, Henry has the talent and the volume to get RB1 numbers regardless of how upside down the game script gets. The other guy in this backfield is Darrynton Evans, whose value is as a handcuff, not a starting option.


Bills Preview

Through the Air

Josh Allen continues to tear through defenses, as he’s led the Bills’ offense to over 400 yards per game, including over 300 passing. He’s the QB3 on the season, and you’re starting him with confidence even against a relatively stout Titans defense. His targets at WR include Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley. Diggs is a WR1 in this matchup, while John Brown is a borderline WR3/Flex that you can slot in if you’ve got injury issues, but I would keep him on the bench in this one. Beasley and the other wideouts may make some noise, but shouldn’t be a fantasy factor this week. TE Dawson Knox can be benched as well, there are better streaming options.


On the Ground

The best option for rushing yards this week is probably Josh Allen, but at RB Zack Moss returns to the lineup from injury to muddy the waters for Devin Singletary. Devin is still a good option at RB2, but look out for goal line TDs to go elsewhere. He should still see solid volume, though.


Extra Points

Both teams have been forcing turnovers, so even with the high total score assumption, these teams could be streaming options at D/ST. I would prefer to have Buffalo, but both have potential. The weather may damage the outlook on the kickers, and with neither of them over 75% on FGs for the season, I’d avoid this game for your K spot this week.


PHI @ PIT

44 O/U -7 (PIT)

The Pennsylvania Bowl matches up two first place teams looking to secure their half-game division leads. The Steelers come off their COVID-19 bye week and host an Eagles team that is in disarray, but fortunately the least disarray of the NFC East teams.

Steelers Preview

Through the Air

Ben Roethlisberger comes in as a low-end QB1 against an Eagles pass defense that has allowed over 250 pass yards in their past 3 games. Start him up coming off the bye. He gets his favorite target back in Diontae Johnson, the leader in targets per game, and JuJu Smith-Schuster will once again be the primary threat for big plays. Start both as low-end WR2/ high WR3 guys. Chase Claypool may see some looks, but hasn’t been a consistent target for Ben yet. He can stay on your bench this week. TE Eric Ebron is a TE2 in this matchup, an option for streamers, but you’ll be hoping for a TD as he hasn’t seen the volume you’d hope for.

On the Ground

James Conner has bounced back great from getting banged up in week 1, and should continue to get the bulk of the carries going forward. He’s a high-end RB2 with a lot of upside if the Steelers are leading. Benny Snell has been relegated to handcuff status.

Eagles Preview

Through the Air

The Eagles will look to Carson Wentz to improve, as he’s been down in the Haskins/Jones/Darnold tier so far this season. He isn’t helped by all the Eagles’ WR injuries, and he’ll need to maximize working with what he’s got. What he’s got… isn’t much. Desean Jackson is back at practice, which is a good sign for his return this week, and Greg Ward exists, but neither fills you with much confidence. Keep these WRs on your bench until they can prove themselves. At TE, you’re starting Zach Ertz as he’s basically the best receiver left playing.

On the Ground

Miles Sanders has been getting all the volume at RB since his return in week 2. Start him up, even in this tough matchup. He should be a RB2 just on volume, with upside if he can get in the endzone a time or two. Boston Scott can be safely dropped.

Extra Points

Another outdoor game, neither kicker is a great option, although Chris Boswell for Pittsburgh should get more opportunities. Start up the Steelers’ D/ST, with this juicy matchup against the banged-up Eagles. A home favorite with a low total, they’re probably the top ranked defense coming in this week, just ahead of the Rams. Don’t touch the Eagles’ D/ST for now.




AZ @NYJ

47.5 O/U -6.5 (AZ)

After slipping in back to back games the Cardinals look to get right this week against another sub par opponent the New York Jets. This should be a scenario where the Cardinals take an early lead and never look back. UPDATE: Monitor the status of this game, The Jets received a positive COVID test on Friday


Cardinals Preview:

Through the Air

Kyler Murray is just as electric as ever and his rushing ability is keeping him in your lineups but he has to improve through the air as teams will try and contain his rushing totals. Look for a more balanced game from Murray this week against the Jets who have allowed a 70% completion percentage from opposing QBs. An improved passing performance will pay dividends for this offense looking to correct their course. DeAndre Hopkins is obviously a lock in your lineups each week. Behind him Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald look for whatever targets are left. I would trust Christian Kirk this week due to his big play upside. Tight End Dan Arnold is not utilized in Kliff’s offense, look elsewhere.


On the Ground

Kenyan Drake has been very frustrating for fantasy managers this season who probably took him in the second hoping for a breakout season. The limited success could be from the apparent bad play calling or quite possibly his foot injury is still lingering. Either way this is a good matchup on paper but Drake struggled against a bottom tier Carolina run defense last week. If Drake can’t get it done this week it may be time for managers to look to unload Drake. Chase Edmonds continues to carve himself a larger role each week in this offense and has found success as a passing option for Murray. Edmonds is shaping to be a weekly flex option for fantasy managers.


Jets Preview

Through the Air

Sam Darnold is out. Joe Flacco is in. Irregardless (yes it’s a word) you are not starting the Jets QBs this week or any week. Believe it or not Flacco starting further limits the upside of the Jets receiving core. Jarmison Crowder is finally healthy and saw his usual target volume with Darnold but I have concerns for how he will fit with Flacco. He is a low end Flex option this week because of bye weeks and injuries. Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith are all fades this week. Tight end Chris Herndon continues to disappoint, stream TE elsewhere.


On the Ground

Le’Veon Bell is back this week against a good matchup. You are probably forced to start Bell this week and I don’t hate the start. He should see decent volume this week and return a RB2/3 value. Frank Gore can return to your benches and the waiver wire if you need the spot.


Extra Points

Cardinals D/ST is still a talented squad and is a good start this week against the hapless Jets. On the other hand the Jets D/ST is not a good start. Zane Gonzalez is worth a look if you need a bye week kicker.


LV @ KC

56.5 O/U -12.5 (KC)

After a big win against the New Orleans Saints week 2 the Las Vegas Raiders have lost two in a row and will try not to make it three when they travel to Kansas City to face the undefeated Chiefs. This game has the second highest O/U of the week and could turn into a shootout and the Raiders look to keep up.


Raiders Preview

Through the Air

Derek Carr is playing good football and as fantasy QB he lacks any sort of upside to trust him in your lineups. Henry Ruggs is dealing with multiple injuries (knee and hamstring) and is looking like he will be a gametime decision. Darren Waller is also dealing with a knee injury but played through the injury and posted a 10 catch 88 yard line against the Bills. Darren Waller is the only pass catcher I trust in this offense. Waller is a weekly TE1 as he is the focal point of this passing offense.


On the Ground

After exploding on the scene week 1 Josh Jacobs has fizzled out. You are still starting him if you got him but beware he offers very little in the passing game if this game gets out of hand for the Raiders.


Chiefs Preview

Through the Air

So start Patrick Mahomes, it’s as simple as that. You are also starting Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce every week as this air attack funnels through them. After these two it can be anyone's guess on who will be the third guy any given week. It has fluctuated between Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman each week and I simply can’t trust either as more than a hail mary throw.


On the Ground

Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been a solid fantasy asset so far this season, and we can expect him to produce as the Chiefs are heavy favorites. CEH could get some solid garbage time bonus in this game. Start him as an RB1 if you got him.


Extra Points

Both kickers are solid options on a weekly basis so I would roll with both Harrison Butker and Daniel Carlson.


JAX @ HOU

54 O/U -6 (HOU)

After Bill O’Brien destroyed the Houston Texans offense this offseason and going 0-4 he was finally fired as HC and GM. PRAISE BE! Lets see if the Texans can salvage this season and we can see what we expect from this squad against the struggling Jaguars.


Jaguars Preview

Through the Air

Gardner Minshew bounced back last week against the Bengals throwing for 351 yards and 2 TDs. Minshew has streamer appeal this week especially as the Bills vs Titans game is still up in the air (currently on for Tuesday). D.J Chark is back seeing 9 targets last week and not gets a less than spectacular Texans secondary who seems to be getting lit up weekly. Chark is locked as a WR2 this week. Rookie WR Laviska Shenault has also been trending in the right direction seeing his targets increase each week as the season has progressed. I’d start him as well this week and flex with upside.


On the Ground

Fantasy darling James Robinson has surprised many this year with the volume he is seeing in this offense. The coaches are making it a point to get him the ball and fantasy managers should make it a point to start him this week as a low end RB1. Chris Thompson does not belong in your lineup or on your team, set him free to the waivers.


Texans Preview

Through the Air

Deshaun Watson has been a mega bust so far this season. I put most of the blame on BoB and his terrible coaching and GMing but Watson has a plethora of talent and is simply not getting it done. Hopefully the tides will change and this team has a new sense of urgency now that BoB is gone. This matchup is good for Watson to get right and should be in your lineups this week. Will Fuller is Watson’s favorite target in this offense and you are starting him each week given his massive amount of upside each week. Brandin Cooks hasn't found his groove in this offense yet, stash him on your bench and wait and see how this offense produces without BoB.


On the Ground

The Jaguars have been shutting down the run so far this season (held Derrick Henry to 84 yard 0 TDs) and that doesn’t bode well for David Johnson this week. He should see a decent amount of volume forcing you to keep him in your lineups but I wouldn't expect more than RB2/3 productions this week. Another hit to David Johnson is Duke Johnson came back last week and will eat into David’s touches. Duke is a last ditch dart throw if injuries, Bye’s, COVID have you in a bind.


Extra Points

Neither D/ST is worth a look this week. Neither offer any sort of reliable floor or upside. John Christian Kaʻiminoeauloamekaʻikeokekumupaʻa Fairbairn a.k.a "Kaʻimi" Fairbairn is one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL and should be started.




CAR @ ATL

54.5 O/U -3 (ATL)

Given the ways we’ve seen Atlanta throw it all away, it’s hard to trust Vegas on this one. Carolina could see a great Sunday against the Falcons who are dealing with injuries in key player positions.


Carolina Panthers

Through the Air

Teddy Bridgewater is starting to hit his stride and ya love to see it! He’s put up 300+ yards just once this season and has collected 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He might be a risky fantasy start, but this is the week to risk it! Falcons haven’t been totally effective against the pass (currently ranked 15th) and his receivers Robby Anderson and DJ Moore have been providing major help. Even Curtis Samuel is providing some value, logging carries and catching passes. Given the way Bridgewater can chuck the ball down the field, Anderson is the most exciting play you can have in this pass offense.


On the Ground

Christian McCaffrey might want to start looking for a new job while he nurses his injuries because Mike Davis might be here to stay! Of course, this is more tongue in cheek than serious at the moment but given Davis’ serious yards per carry (4.4 compared to 3.8 of CMC) and his average of 9.9pts/game he has been a useful filler for this injured RB role. And against the Falcons Defense who is currently last in the league, Davis is sure to put up stats.


Atlanta Falcons

Through the Air

Matt Ryan is such a headache for fantasy purposes and I guess even for Falcons fandom purposes. Someone should remind him he is here to play an hour long game - not just 45 minutes. With this Falcons receiving corps, he should be putting up Dak-like numbers weekly! But nooooOOOoooooo. Hit or miss. And speaking of hits, that receiving corps has taken several and may be rolling out some banged up players come Sunday. Julie Jones is a situation to monitor, as is Calvin Ridley who was the invisible man last week logging absolutely nothing in the stat sheet. This bodes well for Russell Gage, TW Hayden Hurst, and even WR Olamide Zaccheaus who have increasingly been worked into this offense.


On the Ground

This backfield is bleak at the moment. We’ve seen Brian Hill and even Ito Smith spell Todd Gurley throughout the season and the committee approach has left fantasy managers wondering what value to ever expect from their running backs. Gurley did find the endzone last week, logging just 57 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Keep rolling him out for now.


Extra Points

You can likely find better defenses out there. Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo missed the last game with a groin injury but is back now and may be a good start once again.


MIA @ SF

47 O/U -8 (SF)

An injury-worn 49ers is patching itself back together while the Dolphins are still trying to take form. Both teams in this matchup are hoping for change-ups at the Quarterback situation this week and we’ll see which one gets it!


Miami Dolphins

Through the Air

Ryan Fitzpatrick has lacked consistency week to week. Devante Parker has been decent in spite of that lack of consistency, and hasn’t dipped below 80% snap share since week 1 and his stat lines continue to improve. San Francisco will be a tough matchup - stay guarded.


On the Ground

Myles Gaskin has stuck as the lead RB in this Miami backfield but will be totally challenged by a tough SF defense. If you can look elsewhere for RBs this week, do try.


San Francisco 49ers

Through the Air

Jimmy G is looking for his triumphant return but the words still out if his ankle will be ready for week 5. Nick Mullens went 14 of 19 after hitting the field late last week. With George Kittle back on the field, things should be okay for this offense. Kittle dominated in his first game back and with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk as his only pass-catching competition, this is Kittle’s field.


On the Ground

Raheem Mostert has been a good play at running back but is facing a knee sprain that may force him to handover the keys to Jerick McKinnon. From his shotgun seat thus far, McKinnon has logged 3 TDs on 34 attempts. Keep an eye on this evolving situation and hope you have the guy to start!


NYG @ DAL

54 O/U -9.5 (DAL)

I get major cringe vibes approaching this matchup. Dallas is putting up insane numbers this season but has only won 1 game and lost pretty badly to the Browns last week. Sure they fought back, but the Browns were dynamic and couldn’t be stopped and the Cowboys just had to keep up (and couldn’t). And the Giants can’t win at all. It’s clear to me the Cowboys will win it this week, but I am more interested in seeing how the Giants compete given all the Cowboys have let up to teams these first four weeks of the season.


New York Giants

Through the Air

Daniel Jones is slipping. He has three times as many interceptions this past month as he does touchdowns. For receivers Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, and TE Evan Engram - this is real bad news! Tate has picked up 13 targets over 2 weeks (a decent enough start in PPR) but Slayton is getting the red zone targets (not that it matters at the moment having logged zero touchdowns in those 5 targets), and Engram leads in target share. They could come out of this slump against Dallas who has let up plenty of yards through the air over these past 4 weeks, but maybe not.


On the Ground

It still breaks my heart that Saquon is out of this backfield. After looking at their situation (Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis - yikes!) Giants picked up free agent Devonta Freeman who now looks to lead this backfield. His numbers are still accumulating as he settles into this new role behind a weak line, but given that Dallas just let up over 300 yards to the run, this may be the week he starts to hit his stride.


Dallas Cowboys

Through the Air

Right now, Dak Prescott has more yards than Patrick Mahomes did at this time in the season during his 2018 campaign and 21 more passes under his arm than the next closest QB. All three receivers on this team are bathing in that light, Amari Cooper the most of all. He’s currently 2nd in the NFL in targets and rookie WR CeeDee Lamb is hanging close by in the top 20. Michael Gallup has nearly faded to the 3rd WR role on this team but is still a plenty good start seeing how many yards this team is throwing for. Even the tight-end, Dalton Shultz, has emerged as a top TE candidate after injury struck Jarwin. He’ll have his toughest matchup yet against a tough Browns TE defense but you can still fire them all up, with confidence.


On the Ground

It hasn’t been the explosive opening you may have hoped for, but Ezekial Elliot has yet to score below 14 points in .5 PPR formats this season. These first four weeks, Zeke has also lost the ball three times himself (Dallas as a whole team has only turnover the ball twice). I don’t buy the “Zeke is old news” storylines starting to follow this and only think that will fuel his fires more as this team starts pulling it all together.


Extra Points

Well normally the defense playing against the Giants is a must-start but this week might be different as the Cowboys kinda suck. Find options elsewhere!


IND @ CLE

47.5 O/U -2.5 (IND)

The number 1 rushing attack in the league will face down a mighty opponent this week in the Colts defense who ranks 4th against the run. This will be a good showdown where one 3-1 team will eclipse the other to go 4-1 after these first 5 weeks. After showing up big in Dallas last week, I think the Browns will win big again, this time at home against the Colts.


Indianapolis Colts

Through the Air

Philip Rivers is no starter for fantasy but has been efficient behind the ball for the Colts. As the receiving corps widdles down, it will be interesting to see how their play style shakes up. TY Hilton has been virtually muted and is borderline droppable at this point. It’s a wait and see how he does this week as Zach Pascal comes clearer into focus. He played almost the same percentage of snaps last week as TY did (90% to 93%), surely making Pascal a compelling start this week. And in stranger news, the Colts have been playing with a three-headed TE committee. I know TFW promoted Mo-Alie Cox as a waiver TE weeks ago but I’d stay away from this muddled situation at the moment.


On the Ground

The Colts are currently last for yards per carry in spite of the talent at the position and the strength in the line coming into this season. Well, injuries are starting to pile up on the line, and many wonder if Jonathan Taylor will prove that the explosiveness we saw from him in college can translate to this NFL field. The Colts are winning games - currently at 3-1 - so their lack of performance on the run hasn’t been detrimental to anything other than your fantasy roster. Sit tight with JT and trust the Colts to get it worked out.


Cleveland Browns

Through the Air

Last week featured all sorts of crazy shake ups on this offense. Baker Mayfield got the job done, putting up less than 200 yards with two touchdowns but wasn’t the only one slinging the ball. Jarvis Landry is said to be nursing a sore shoulder after hurling a 50 yard TD bomb to OBJ (he should be fine this week). And Odell Beckham Jr. even saw work out of the backfield picking up another 50+ yards and a touchdown on a stellar reverse play.


On the Ground

The Browns had one of the hottest waiver adds of the week after star running back Nick Chubb excited last week’s game after just 6 carries and was then added to IR for an MCL sprain. Kareem Hunt will now lead the work in the backfield that is 1st in the league and will do so now alongside D’Ernest Johnson. Johnson picked up 13 carries last week (worth noting Hunt only saw 11) and is a viable flex start - even against this tough Colts running defense - for teams who need the help.


Extra Points

The Colts Defense is a good start this week as they have been all season and dare I say that the Browns may be as well. As of right now, the Colts are facing a lot of issues on their line and are also struggling in the WR department. Miles Garrett has already gobbled up 5 sacks and three forced fumbles and may have his day with a Philip Rivers who saw a down week last week.




Broncos @ Patriots

48.5 O/U -8.5 (NE)

On a short week due to COVID-complications the Pats will host a skeleton crew Broncos squad that is hoping to roster enough warm bodies to be competitive each and every Sunday these days. Neither the desert nor TFW staff think this one will be close but there could be some intriguing fantasy implications in this one.


Broncos Preview

Through the Air

After an offseason of exciting draft and free agent acquisitions, the Broncos looked poised to at least make some noise via their offense led by Drew Lock. Lock has since suffered a shoulder injury in week two and the Broncos also lost their stud WR Courtland Sutton for the season in that same game. The good news for Denver and the offense is that Drew Lock has been practicing this week and looks like a 50/50 shot to suit up. Should Lock go it would automatically vault Jerry Jeudy into the WR2 radar for this week especially since Stephon Gillmore has tested positive for COVID-19 and won't be playing in this game and the Patriots are surrendering the 8th most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Should Brett Rypien get another start Jeudy should not be started with as much confidence and it would mean fading Tim Patrick completely. Note: Noah Fant is banged up with an ankle and is likely out this game so make other plans. Alsot this game may be moved to Monday night due to Gilmore’s positive test.


On the Ground

Melvin Gordon will likely be the focal point of the Broncos attempts to shock the Patriots this week and given that he has averaged 19 touches per game this year he can put in your lineup as a volume based RB2 floor play even though the Patriots are 8th best defense against the RB in fantasy football this season. Phillip Lindsay looks on track to play this week but until you can see his usage and split with Gordon and the aforementioned touches he cannot be trusted in your lineup this week.


Patriots Preview

Through the Air

With the combination of Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham last week in relief of the COVID-19 positive Cam Newton, the Patriots passing attack was depressing. No pass catcher for New England finished in the top 40. You can fade the likes of Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Damiere Byrd this week.


On the Ground

The most exciting part of the Patriots offense last week in Cam’s absence was the debut of running back Damien Harris. Harris worked as the Patriots featured back against the Chiefs racking up 100 yards on 17 carries. It is hard to trust which Patriot back will do the bulk of the work as even Harris’ great game was just one week removed from Rex Burkhead’s three touchdown performance and James White was even involved on Monday night against Kansas City. You will want to fade all the backs besides Harris who can be trusted as a FLEX play if needed during the first of the bye weeks.


Extra Points

Even though, as I mentioned, the Patriots will be without Stephon Gillmore this week, their matchup against this injury-riddled Broncos squad is one that can be exploited for fantasy football purposes.


Vikings @ Seahawks

58 O/U -7 (SEA)

Sunday Night Football will get another good game as Vegas projects this one to be the highest scoring on the docket. The Vikings travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks and their deadly passing attack led by MVP-frontrunner Rusell Wilson. Can the Vikings keep up and what will that mean for the fantasy football players involved? Let’s take a look.


Vikings Preview

Through the Air

Coming off his highest passing yard performance of the 2020 season(260 yards), Kirk Cousins is in a primetime juicy matchup. No team is giving up more passing attempts(200), completions(133), or passing yards(1,634). The Hawks are surrendering 408.5 passing yards per game on average which is a mind-boggling 54 yards more per game than second place. All of this to point out that despite his own struggles from primetime matchups in the past, Cousins is in a great spot for those looking to stream the QB position this week. If you can’t quite trust Minnesota’s signal caller, you should be all systems go for his main target Adam Thielen who has a massive 34% target market share in this offense. If you chased points last week and were rewarded by rookie WR Justin Jefferson’s second straight solid performance then I find it hard you would bench him in this matchup against a Seattle secondary that has allowed 500 more yards to wide receivers than any other team. That is not a typo.


On the Ground

Because of the aforementioned gigantic pass funnel that is the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings stud running back Dalvin Cook, will face a Hawks defense that is allowing the 5th fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Nevertheless you are starting Cook who just had 10 RZ carries last week, has 15 on the year, and has now scored 15 touchdowns in his last 18 contests.


Seahawks Preview

Insert my comment about “letting Russ cook” here. The fact of the matter is Russell Wilson now has 16 touchdowns on the year which is three more than any other QB through the air. 7 of those touchdowns have gone to his elite fantasy wide receivers Tyler Lockett(4) and D.K. Metcalf(3). You are starting all three of the Seattle studs against a Minnesota defense that has allowed the third most WR touchdowns in the league through the first quarter of NFL action. Greg Olsen could be worth a stream in this one as well as he is averaging just under 5 targets per game and the Vikings have given up the 8th most receiving yards to TEs thus far.


On the Ground

After he was presumably going to miss multiple weeks with a knee injury, Chris Carson not only suited up, but had 19 touches last week against Miami and probably would have had even more if he had not needed to be evaluated(returned to the game) for a concussion. Now Carson will face a Vikings defense allowing the 6th most yards per game on average and the 4th most rushing scores in all of football.


Extra Points

You can avoid all the Defensive madness from this game and even though it may be tempting to start one of the kickers in this projected high scoring affair neither of them ranks in the top 20 currently and you could likely find better options or you have them.


Chargers @ Saints

52 O/U -7.5 (NO)

This week’s Monday Night Football matchup will feature the rookie Justin Herbert who was recently given the starting job for the foreseeable future, pitted against the future HOF quarterback Drew Brees down in the “Bayou.”


Chargers Preview

Through the Air

After the vote of confidence from his coach, Justin Herbert will lead the Chargers passing attack which can really be summed up as Keenan Allen. No player has more targets(51) or a higher target market share(36%) than Allen who Herbert seems to only have eyes for. Ok maybe not only Allen, as Hunter Henry has also seen nearly 20% of the team’s targets as well. Both are fine plays here against a Saints defense that has given up TDs to the opposing team’s #1 WR and TE in back to back weeks.


On the Ground

The Chargers are fresh off of losing Austin Ekeler to a serious hamstring injury that is likely to cost him up to 6 weeks. This will thrust waiver wire darling Joshua Kelley into what most fantasy football GMs hope is a featured role. The veteran Justin Jackson will likely mix in as well given that Kelley is coming off fumbles in back to back weeks. Jackson cannot be trusted until we see what his post-Ekeler usage will be and Kelley is on the RB2 volume-based borderline but will face a top 10 rush defense in the Saints this week and is in danger of being game-scripted out.


Saints Preview

Through the Air

The QB20, Drew Brees has done just enough for you to not bench him or release him on waivers this season, and he will get a banged up Chargers squad fresh off of giving up 5 touchdowns to another 40+ year old quarterback, Tom Brady, last week. It is hard to be sure if Michael Thomas will play this week. He has logged about 4 limited practices in a row as of this writing but I would not be shocked if the Saints erred on the side of caution and benched MT as their BYE is next week. If Thomas sits, I would advise starting Emmanuel Sanders in favor of Tre’Quan Smith. The Box score will tell you that Smith and his two touchdowns outperformed Sanders last week but it seems as though both Brees and Sanders got on the same page last week with Manny nearly doubling Smith’s targets last week 7 to 4. Jared Cook is battling a groin issue and given that these injuries tend to linger and this game is on Monday night, if you made other plans last week you may want to keep rolling out the contingency in this one as well.


On the Ground

All the talk in that previous section was really cute, but it is no secret that the New Orleans offense starts and ends with Alvin Kamara who leads the team in targets with 38. That is 17 more than any other Saint this season. He is locked in start this week even though he will face one of his toughest tests in a Chargers defense that is allowing the 6th least amount of points per game to the RB position(14.2).


Extra Points

Wil Lutz is in your lineup this week as the Saints are heavy home favorites and he has been the #11 fantasy football kicker this year.

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