Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
Patriots -8.5; O/U 47
Bengals – Tough draw here for Cincinnati as they are the unlucky to get Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough. There are very few Bengals options I would consider playing this week. Andy Dalton has some value as he will be forced to keep up with Tom Brady all game. All that throwing will limit the already injured Jeremy Hill on the ground. This could bode well for Gio Bernard actually, as he will be in more frequently for passing downs. The Patriots do a good job of taking away your #1 option, so I would bump AJ Green down in rankings this week. That allows ex-Patriot Brandon Lafell and possibly Tyler Boyd to exploit lesser coverage.
Patriots – What’s not to love about this offense for fantasy purposes. Tom Brady will feed off the crowd and probably throw for 500 yards and a zillion scores. In all seriousness though, the Bengals looked awful against the Cowboys so imagine what Brady and company can do with that. Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan get nice bumps in their ranking as Hogan displayed some downfield chmeistry with Brady. Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett become “must starts” every week after their dominating performance in Cleveland. Running back James White could also have some value catching passes out of the backfield.
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Giants
Giants -3; O/U 44
Ravens – With Steve Smith Sr. doubtful to play Sunday, the biggest jump goes to likely new slot receiver Kamar Aiken. The Giants have performed well in defending the outside receivers (Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman) which makes Aiken an intriguing option over the middle. Aside from Aiken, I’m not very high on any other Ravens players. Terrance West only had 11 carries last week and Kenneth Dixon’s role should be increasing every week.
Giants – The Ravens defense has been relatively good thus far, limiting the ceiling I can realistically put on the Giant’s receivers. Both Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz struggled greatly against Green Bay while watching Odell Beckham Jr toe tap his way to a touchdown. I can see ODB having a nice day, but I can’t expect too much from the others. Bobby Rainey has sneakily made himself into a viable PPR option out of the Giants backfield. He’s worth an add if you are very desperate for running backs.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Eagles -2; O/U 45
Eagles – For Philly, I really like Ryan Mathews this week. Washington has been very bad against the run and with Mathews still healthy, I like him to put up some good numbers. Darren Sproles has the chance to do some work as well in the backfield. With CB Josh Norman likely to be on Jordan Matthews, I don’t like the receivers matchup this week. Instead of Matthews, I think Zach Ertz, Dorial Green-Beckham, and possibly Nelson Agholor to have better days than normal.
Redskins – Kirk Cousins always performs better at home so he’s a viable option. The Eagles have possibly the most underrated defense this year however, so I would limit my expectations from Washington’s offense. DeSean Jackson playing against his old team could be some extra motivation, while Jordan Reed has started to heat up the last few weeks. Aside from those two, I don’t feel confident in anybody else.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins
Steelers -7.5; O/U 47.5
Steelers – The Pittsburgh offense is a juggernaut and should have no problem with Miami on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger has too many weapons at his disposal to not put up big numbers against a bad defense. Le’Veon Bell has been prominent in the passing game, and with Deangelo Williams injured, he should not have to worry about any vulturing. He can tear this front seven apart no problem. Antonio Brown and Sammie Coates should do their thing per usual. The ceiling is sky high for all Steelers.
Dolphins – If the Steelers blow the doors off of Miami like I expect them to, Miami’s offense will be funneled into passing mode. This would be nice for Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker. Landry had an uncharacteristic 3 targets/catches last week, I would expect him to bounce back big from that. Reports say that Arian Foster is scheduled to return this week. I’d avoid using him as he will probably be re-injured by the 3rd quarter.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Panthers -3; O/U 53
Panthers – This is as plus a matchup as you can have for Carolina. The Saints in their own dome are the perfect recipe for fantasy goodness. Cam Newton has been a full-go at practice and could put up 50 points. Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen have massive upside with Newton’s return. Jonathan Stewart is also expected to return, he could have a solid game as well. It’s almost impossible to bench players when facing the Saints. Roll all of your Panthers out there.
Saints – It’s the same old Saints, but this Panthers defense isn’t the super scary one from a year ago. Drew Brees should be able to throw early and often, raising the ceilings of Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Michael Thomas. Mark Ingram is also another solid play, as he’s caught balls out of the backfield. The Saints are another offensive fantasy juggernaut, so feel very confident in playing them all. Especially at home against Carolina.
San Francisco 49ers @ Buffalo Bills
Bills -7.5; O/U 44.5
49ers – The team announced that Colin Kaepernick will be starting under center this week. This opens up more read option plays which benefits running back Carlos Hyde. I like Hyde this week, as he’s consistently found the endzone this year. With Blaine Gabbert out at QB, I think Jeremy Kerley takes a hit fantasy wise. The two had built a very nice chemistry which had resulted in a stat line of 14-190-2 for Kerley over their last two games.
Bills – Shady, Shady, and more Shady. LeSean McCoy has a plus matchup going against the bottom ranked 49ers run defense. Ever since Sammy Watkins went down with an injury, McCoy has been fed the ball exclusively and that’s not changing anytime soon. McCoy is in line for a HUGE day and I’m expecting big numbers. Nobody else on the offense really catches my eye. Robert Woods looked promising until he put up a dud last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Chicago Bears
Bears -2.5; O/U 47
Jaguars – Another pretty vanilla matchup here for Jacksonville. Sure the Bears aren’t very good, but there’s no advantageous matchups to capitalize on this week. Both Andrew Luck and TY Hilton found success against this defense, meaning you should feel comfortable in playing Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson. Both Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas are reasonable starts, but dont possess the ceiling as the previous two. I’m not a big believer in a Jags backfield that features Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon. Yeldon has been serviceable in PPR formats and can be used if extremely desperate.
Bears – The Jags defense and particularly the secondary has been pretty poor. Brian Hoyer again becomes a stream worthy QB if you are looking for other options. Jordan Howard has proven himself capable of being an every down back and should be locked in as a must start every week. The Bears wide receivers have drawn a plus matchup in Jacksonville so feel free to roll them out this weekend. As mentioned last week, Alshon Jeffery hasn’t shown much chemistry with Hoyer, limiting his upside. Cameron Meredith benefited the most from Hoyer’s presence. I also like Eddie Royal and Zach Miller to have nice games if healthy.
Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions
Lions -3.5; O/U 43.5
Rams – The Rams offer limited upside in fantasy production. Running back Todd Gurley finally broke through last week, and could have another nice day against the Lions. The Detroit secondary is a plus matchup for Rams receivers, so if there’s ever a week to roll out Tavon Austin or Brian Quick I guess it’s this week. That’s only if you really need help at the receiver spot. The Rams defense is usually a nice play, but I don’t like playing on the road in Detroit.
Lions – Nothing special here for Detroit fantasy options. I’d rather not start Matthew Stafford unless you really need to. The Rams defense can be sneaky good. Theo Riddick should be a good play assuming he’s healthy and fully ready to go for Sunday. He has no real competition for touches. I’m not concerned about Justin Forsett. Marvin Jones Jr is in the must start every week category. Probably our site’s most correct preseason prediction (no big deal). Golden Tate has become borderline unstartable. If he doesn’t produce here, I don’t know what to do with him.
Cleveland Browns @ Tennessee Titans
Titans -7; O/U 43.5
Browns – The dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Browns is just a sad, sad state of affairs for fantasy owners. The only options I would really feel comfortable playing are Terrell Pryor Sr and Gary Barnidge. Aside from that nobody else projects to be very useful. Isaiah Crowell has been great this year, but I don’t trust him against the Tennessee run defense. It’s just best to avoid this team at all costs.
Titans – Its hilarious how the Browns offense is basically avoid at all costs, and then their defense is a group you should target every week. Marcus Mariota is coming off a 30 point game and looks great to repeat that performance again. He’s a great streaming option. Demarco Murray should punish this defense so bad there will likely be domestic abuse reports filed. He is probably in for a monster day. Given the juicy plus matchup, this is a great spot for Delanie Walker to excel and put up another solid stat line. This could also be the game that our boy Tajae Sharpe breaks out and has a game we all saw him capable of having in the preseason.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
EVEN; O/U 47
Chiefs – This divisional game should feature a good amount of offense. If there’s ever a spot to use Alex Smith, it’s here. The Raiders have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, and if the Oakland offense keeps firing the way it is then Smith will have to keep up. Running back Jamaal Charles is supposed to “do a little more this week” according to Andy Reid so it looks like the team is bringing him back along slowly. This could be the last good chance to use Spencer Ware in a plus matchup. Both Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin are nice plays this week.
Raiders – Derek Carr has slung his way to a 4-1 record and has been a consistent 20 point scorer (minus one week). The Chiefs have a good defense so I’d be cautious of Carr’s expectations, even if he is at home. The running back situation is a mess with Latavius Murray out. Both DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard saw touches, but Richard out produced thanks to his reception totals. It’s tough to predict this backfield, but the Chiefs present a nice option for Washington to put together a nice game on the ground. As for the receivers, I would feel comfortable starting Amari Cooper but not Michael Crabtree. Crabtree has serious beef with Chiefs star corner Marcus Peters, and it looks like those two will be matched up on Sunday instead of taking Cooper. Not ideal to be starting a receiver against the corner who leads the NFL in interceptions.
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers
Packers -4.5; O/U 47.5
Cowboys – Dak Prescott has been sensational thus far for Dallas and completely deserves to keep the starting role once Tony Romo returns. Just had to get that out there. Anyways, he makes for a nice play again in Lambeau. The Packers have been the best against the run, so having Prescott throw might be in their best interest. As nice as that sounds, you simply have to get Ezekiel Elliott the ball. He’s leading the league in rushing and has looked unstoppable so far. If there’s a week for him to have a letdown, it’s pegged as this week. I still don’t know how I feel about that. Dez Bryant looks like he might return this week. If he does play, he’d be a great play against a depleted Packers seconday. Cole Beasley is another underrated option that has been consistently productive this year. He can be played as a WR3.
Packers – The Dallas Cowboys defense is pretty good, but I have confidence in Aaron Rodgers at home. It’s not like you are going to bench him anyways. The running back situation though is a little murky. Eddie Lacy injured his ankle last week and has been limited in practice. That injury, paired with a stout Cowboys rushing attack makes Lacy a very unsexy play this week. If he’s out though, James Starks could be a viable flex option as catches passes and would have no timeshare. I’m not confident in Jordy Nelson this week as Dallas has done a great job against outside receivers. Same goes for Devante Adams, so if you want a Packers receiver to play, it’s gotta be slot guy Randall Cobb. Dallas has been very susceptible to slot receivers so Cobb has a nice chance to make it two weeks in a row of solid output.
Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks -6.5; O/U 45.5
Falcons – Matt Ryan has another tough matchup with Seattle after taking on the Broncos last week. He actually wasn’t bad against the NFL’s best defense, but it’s pretty risky to start him on the road in Seattle. I’d look elsewhere one last time before rolling with him the rest of the season. Both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been productive and reliable options all season which is pretty bizarre. Freeman has been more consistent, where Coleman has his games where he blows up for tons of points. Might as well keep rolling with them while they’re hot. It’s a tough matchup for Julio Jones obviously, but you can’t bench him. Sorry, you just can’t.
Seahawks – This needs to be the game where Russell Wilson explodes and has a big day. The Falcons defense is pretty bad and playing at home gives Russ all the advantages he needs for a spectacular day. Doug Baldwin would be the biggest benefactor of a Wilson bomb and I’m expecting big numbers from Dougie Fresh. He is my DraftKings WR pick after all. Jimmy Graham could also be in line for a big game, especially in the red zone. He’s finally healthy again, and has had a great last two games. The chemistry with Wilson is finally there. Running back Christine Michael also has a great matchup and doesn’t have to worry about Thomas Rawls in his backfield. Michael should be able to run free and run for a lot of yards Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
Texans -3: O/U 46.5
Colts – Not a good spot here for the Colts facing a Texans defense on Sunday Night Football. Andrew Luck does not make for the best QB play this week and will probably do that thing where he goes down big early in the first half and then puts on his cape for a second half comeback only to come up short. Frank Gore also does not look like a good play this week, and that goes for pretty much the entire Colts offense. The Texans are legit, but if there’s one guy you can count on its TY Hilton who has been PEPPERED with targets in Donte Moncrief‘s absence. Hilton will get tons of looks Sunday night.
Texans – Offseason investment Brock Osweiler just does not look very good this year. If he can’t get it going against the Indy defense, then it’s probably time to write him off for the year. Knowing head coach Bill O’Brien, he will be heavily feeding Lamar Miller Sunday night. Miller has had a very subpar season based on his first round draft pick status, but a matchup against the Colts is just what’s needed to break out of his funk. The return of Vontae Davis doesn’t look good for Deandre Hopkins, only adding to his poor start of the season. If he’s shadowed by Davis, it will be a long day, but it looks like Davis won’t be following Hopkins around the entire game.Will Fuller and his crazy speed should be ready to pick apart the secondary assuming his injury is no issue.
New York Jets @ Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals -7.5; O/U 46.5
Jets – This is just a bad, bad matchup for all Jets players. Ryan Fitzpatrick sucks and will probably throw 4+ interceptions. I would have to imagine Brandon Marshall being matched up with elite corner Patrick Peterson which limits B-Marsh’s ceiling. The injury to Eric Decker will boost Quincy Enunwa for the rest of the year, but now is not the ideal time to play him. The Cardinals defense and secondary in particular is too good to allow a big game from either guy. Matt Forte could struggle as well. I just don’t see much productivity on the Jets end.
Cardinals – Arizona has quite the opposite matchup of the Jets. All fantasy options are great plays this week against a “funnel” defense. The Jets have a very good run defense, but a poor secondary. This is great news for Carson Palmer who just passed concussion protocol and will play Monday night. Cardinals receivers also draw a plus matchup, so Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown are excellent plays this week. Some people may limit David Johnson‘s ceiling against a great Jets run defense, but Johnson is that rare exception who can beat anybody. Le’Veon Bell recently put up 20 points against the Jets, so Johnson is very capable of doing the same thing. He’s an elite fantasy play week in and week out.