Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Start: Marcus Mariota, Jack Doyle
Mariota has gotten 8.8 YPA with five touchdowns (and 53 rushing yards) over the last two weeks. He gets a terrific setup Sunday against a Colts team that will put up points on offense at a fast pace and has struggled the most against QBs over the last five games. Fire up Corey Davis in DFS as well this week.
Eric Ebron is up to 10 touchdowns on the year, and he’ll remain a big part of the team’s red-zone plans. Doyle continues to see plenty of targets himself, as no QB loves throwing to tight ends more than Andrew Luck (who has 21 TD passes over the last six games). Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman should see the most of Malcolm Butler, putting them on the radar in really deep leagues.
Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions
Start: Greg Olsen and Kenny Golladay in DFS
Olsen’s TD streak ended at three games last week, but he saw another six targets and should be plenty active Sunday against a Lions defense that ranks 30th against tight ends in DVOA. Darrius Slay should shadow Devin Funchess, freeing up Olsen further.
Golladay saw 13 targets last week and should be in for another big workload with Golden Tate out of town and Marvin Jones dealing with a knee injury. The Panthers have held No. 1 wideouts in check this season but have ceded the ninth-most fantasy points to Golladay’s primary side over the last month, so he’s a strong target at his DFS price.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
Start: Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley in DFS
Ezekiel Elliott is my No. 2 RB in a week loaded with excellent running back options. He’s a strong DFS foundational piece and he finally has a teammate joining him in Cooper, who’s seen a huge increase in target share after joining Dallas. He gets an Atlanta defense that ranks No. 30 in DVOA against No. 1 WRs and has ceded the third-most fantasy points to Cooper’s primary side over the last eight weeks.
Ridley faces off with a Dallas secondary that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to his side over the last eight weeks, while Julio Jones has a tough matchup with Byron Jones. Ridley has six touchdowns in five home games this season.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Start: Alex Collins in DFS
Sit: Joe Mixon in DFS
I want to recommend John Brown and Willie Snead against a Bengals defense on pace to allow the most yards in NFL history. That said, with Baltimore’s QB situation up in the air, expect a ground-heavy attack Sunday featuring Collins against Cincy’s 30th ranked run defense DVOA.
Mixon was already someone to fade facing a Ravens defense fresh off their bye at home that’s yielded the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, and he’s now also dealing with a knee injury that’s limited him in practice.
Houston Texans vs. Washington Redskins
Start: Demaryius Thomas, Jordan Reed
Thomas should be busy with Josh Norman shadowing DeAndre Hopkins and Keke Coutee still battling a hamstring injury. It’s unclear just how much DT has left in the tank, but Deshaun Watson has actually gotten a higher YPA (8.4) this year than last season’s rookie campaign (when he totaled 21 TDs in seven games).
Houston brings in the top-ranked run defense in DVOA but is just 31st against tight ends, so consider benching Adrian Peterson while giving Reed another chance, who hasn’t scored since Week 1 but continues to get opportunities (he has the fourth-highest target share among tight ends this season).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants
Start: Mike Evans in DFS, Sterling Shepard
Evans is coming off two quiet weeks, so his ownership should be low despite his enticing price ($22) in a potential blowup spot. The Giants have yielded the second-most fantasy points to Evans’ primary side this season (and the least to the slot). Janoris Jenkins could be in for a long day this week.
Shepard is coming off a quiet week (although he scored) but averaged a healthy 8.0 targets over his previous five games and gets a Tampa Bay secondary that’s been gashed for the most fantasy points against the slot this season. Meanwhile, the Bucs have also ceded the fewest fantasy points over the last four weeks to Odell Beckham Jr.’s primary side. Shepard should be plenty busy in a plus matchup with a high total (52 points).
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sit: Antonio Brown in DFS
Start: Dede Westbrook
Brown had a couple of big games against Jacksonville last year, but the Jags remain the league’s toughest matchup for outside receivers, and this week it makes more sense to pay up at running back in DFS.
Westbrook runs 93 percent of his routes from the slot, where the Steelers have ceded the second-most fantasy points this season. Jacksonville figures to throw more than usual Sunday as road underdogs against a tough run defense.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Sit: Courtland Sutton, Keenan Allen in DFS
Sutton has a bright future but is slated to be shadowed by Casey Hayward, who’s allowed a minuscule 0.9 fantasy points per pass route this season.
Allen gets a Denver pass defense that ranks No. 3 in DVOA with arguably the league’s top slot corner in Chris Harris. He has just two targets in the red zone since Week 4 (none inside the 10-yard line). Meanwhile, Mike Williams should see a lot of a struggling Bradley Roby, so he’s a sleeper coming off a game in which he wasn’t targeted.
Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals
Start: Seth Roberts, Ricky Seals-Jones
The Raiders are a mess throughout the roster, with wide receiver no exception (Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant are both unlikely to play). This leaves Roberts as a sleeper in deeper formats and Jared Cook back as a top-10 TE option.
David Johnson is a strong DFS start, and Seals-Jones saw a career-high nine targets last week with Chad Williams out. He gets a Raiders secondary that ranks last in DVOA against tight ends. Oakland is allowing the most yards-per-play in the NFL this season, and things may only get worse down the stretch.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints
Start: Nelson Agholor, Tre’Quan Smith
Agholor has been bad this year (6.7 YPT), but he had one of his better games last week despite the presence of Golden Tate, who played just 29 percent of the team’s snaps. Tate will certainly play more Sunday, but Philly may elect to keep Agholor in the slot where P.J. Williams and company have allowed the most fantasy points in the league this season.
Smith is coming off a game in which he wasn’t targeted, but game script was oddly not in his favor despite the high score. He’ll likely get another chance in a high-scoring game Sunday (O/U is 56 points). The Eagles have yielded the second-most fantasy points to Smith’s primary side this season, and their secondary is currently devastated with injuries. The explosive rookie wideout has upside, and you’ll want him in your lineup when he goes off.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
Start: Kirk Cousins
Sit: Allen Robinson
Cousins has been on fire on the road this season (10:1 TD:INT ratio over four games) and is up against a sneaky funnel Chicago defense that’s allowed just two rushing scores on the year yet quietly the second-most fantasy points (above opponent’s AVG) to quarterbacks over the last five games.
Robinson looks fully healthy again and is coming off his best game in years, but he’s got a tough matchup likely shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. No team has been stingier against wide receivers than the Vikings over the last five games.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams
Start: Sammy Watkins, Josh Reynolds
Start everyone in this game with the highest over/under in NFL history, with Watkins no exception. He’s back in practice this week and is set to see a lot of Marcus Peters in coverage Monday night. Few defensive backs are struggling more right now.
With Cooper Kupp out for the season, Robert Woods should see more time in the slot, but either way Reynolds should be on the field plenty in the Rams’ 3WR-heavy system. Reynolds won’t duplicate Kupp’s production, but he scored two touchdowns during the last game in which he was featured, and the Chiefs bring in the league’s last-ranked pass defense DVOA. There was a good reason Reynolds was this week’s hottest free agent add.