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Week 2 in the National Football League was as wild as it gets. The Cowboys provided one of the greatest comebacks in history, and the injury bug hit the San Francisco 49ers. 2021 Super Bowl LV Odds
San Francisco 49ers lose Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas - The 49ers beat the New York Jets 31-13 in Week 2, but it came with a huge cost. The Niners two starting defensive-ends, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, suffered ACL injuries. Both are out from 6 to 8 weeks. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is questionable in Week 3 due to a knee injury. Running back Raheem Mostert is listed as doubtful due to an MCL sprain. The 49ers play the New York Giants in Week 3. There’s a good likelihood the Niners sit both players even if either is ready to go. San Francisco is 1-1. Their next division game is in Week 6. That’s the battle coach Kyle Shanahan should circle for Mostert’s return. Garoppolo should be ready by Week 4. When it comes to Bosa and Thomas, other defenders must step it up. The 49ers have a good defense, but they lost Richard Sherman in the first week. The Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins are there next three opponents. But, after that, the Niners play the Rams, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints all in a row. Things could get tough for the SF defense unless a couple of players step it up. Cowboys provide amazing comeback against Falcons - At halftime of Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys were down 29-10. Not only did the Cowboys come back and win, but they came back to win 40-39. The Boys got an onside kick, unheard of in today’s NFL, and then converted a field goal. What’s interesting about the onside kick is that instead of pouncing on the football, Falcon players waited for it to go out of bounds. That makes absolutely no sense and is the reason the Cowboys were able to notch their first win of the season. Atlanta’s defense is the worst in the NFL. Coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat because of it. Boneheaded plays like the one that led to the loss at home won’t help Quinn’s case to keep his job. Ravens and Chiefs on collision course in NFL Week 3 - There were other Week 2 highlights. The Las Vegas Raiders opened Allegiant Stadium with a solid 31-24 win over the New Orleans Saints while the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson beat Cam Newton and the New England Patriots 35-30. Also, both the Ravens and Chiefs won their respective games. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 33-16 while the KC Chiefs required overtime to beat the Chargers 23-20. Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert played exceptionally well. Coach Anthony Lynn said Herbert would remain the backup if Tyrod Taylor were healthy enough to play in Week 3. We’ll see how long Lynn sticks with that plan. Next Monday night, the Chiefs and Ravens battle. Baltimore looks like the team to beat in the AFC. They were the team to beat last season as well. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens’ defense handles Patrick Mahomes.
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This is gonna be a long ass post to explain away a prediction as well as my short thoughts on each matchup. So if you don’t wanna read beware. First I should say that the Buccaneers aren’t my first team to follow (hint hint Brady cough cough) so I don’t know every single thing about the Bucs but I do think I have enough knowledge about the team to give a fairly good prediction for this team. So let’s kick it off with week 1 shall we? Week 1 @ Saints: This game either goes one of two ways. Either chemistry is evidently missing with the Bucs offense at first and need more time to completely mesh and lose in a close game or the Bucs come out and make a huge statement win. I personally think 1 is more likely. I just don’t think training camp and a couple scrimmages with actual tackling is enough to overcome a super bowl favorite whose been meshed well for years. It’s a tough game because the saints have it all as a team. The Bucs just won’t have it put together yet and that’s all I think it’s gonna come down to in this game. I think a close game here. Score: 31-24. Record: 0-1 Week 2 vs Panthers: another team with a new QB and a new coach trying to find their way through this year. I think the Bucs take this one quite easily. I actually think the defense will show out in this game and the offense will just be kinda still finding their way through how to pick apart defenses early on. But the talent is so good that it has its bumps but they ultimately will score and take this game just because the panthers are still a young team with a young coach and a new QB and the Bucs are a well rounded team with an underrated defense and the defense will be the reason they win this game. Score: 17-13 Record: 1-1 Week 3 @ Broncos: Classic trap game here for me tbh. I think the broncos are a dark horse team to be a contender depending on how well Locke is playing but the weapons are there. I have the Broncos winning this game, mainly because I think Denver has a lowkey good team with a balanced offense and Brady of all the stadiums in the world struggles the most in Denver. Idk if it’s a crowd issue or if the mile high city is just too high for him so he doesn’t play as well. I think the Bucs get caught slipping here and lose another close game. Score: 24-13 Record: 1-2 Week 4 vs LA Chargers: after a 1-2 start I can already hear analyst and national media bashing the Bucs calling for them to be a possible dud. The browns of this season!! And then just on time this week the offense breaks out and they finally start to get a rhythm. The chargers have a good roster but I’m not bought in on Tyrod and their defense isn’t great. Especially with Derwin James going out and them not having any capable linebackers to cover the tight ends. The Brady picks apart their scheme and the offense goes off. Finally the team they want to be is starting to come out it just takes some time. Score: 40-13 Record: 2-2 Week 5 @ Chicago: I think this is another easy win. I’m not bought into the bears at all. They have a good defense but I actually think the Bucs offense will over match them and will score at will. This could be a big week for the running game and the running backs as receivers. Chicago has a decent secondary with good safeties and a good linebacking core so I expect Chicago to put up a fight but their offense to me just isn’t good enough to do much of anything. It’s Allen Robinson and that’s it. Tight ends are non existent (unless their rookie Cole breaks out). David Montgomery might not be healthy so their rbs are questionable (Cohen is a receiving back) and most importantly their QB either one Foles or Mitch is not enough. So I got the Bucs winning it here Score: 30-14 Record: 3-2 Week 6 vs Packers: uh oh Rodgers vs Brady. The Bucs blow out the Packers with a big statement win. The packers are a flawed team. The NFC championship showed that. They had a soft schedule last year and I think that 13-3 record was inflated. I think this year they fall back down to earth again and the Bucs to me are just a way more talented team and idt their defense can handle the Bucs who are now rolling. Score: 34-17 Record: 4-2 Week 7 & 8 @ Giants and Raiders: I’ve grouped these two together because I think both games are wins and I wanna try and limit how long this is. The raiders and giants are both to me just run of the mill mediocre teams. The raiders are a more challenging team with a better O line and a good running game but the Bucs to me will be like they were last year, one of the best run stuffing teams in the league. Suh and Vea are monsters in the middle Ik suh is more of an end now but hes still gonna be an interior rusher and I expect him and Vea to anchor that rush defense. The raiders will be carried by that running game and with it being limited I don’t think they have enough. Then there’s the giants they suck and idt they have a chance and will get rolled. Jones just isn’t ready yet and their defense still is suspect. Scores: Raiders will be 31-20 Scores: Giants will be 45 - 13 Record: 6-2 Week 9 vs Saints: The rematch everyone’s been waiting for. And this time the Bucs win this one in a close game that comes down to a game winning field goal. The Bucs have found themselves and the Saints are the saints but outdoors at home Brady is feeling good and the defense has been rolling I think they get it done here. Score: 27-24 Record: 7-2 Week 10 @ panthers: What comes after a huge win against the top contender in the division. A wild loss to another division opponent. This is the game where Mccaffrey just goes nuts and carries the panthers to a win. The Bucs maybe a little tired after playing a tough saints game that took a lot of their energy it wouldn’t shock me to see them drop one like this game and if it’s gonna happen I think the panthers will be starting to find their own chemistry with Rhule and Bridgewater starting to figure it out and get themselves a win they can feel good about. Score: 27-20 Record: 7-3 Week 11 Vs Rams: a struggling rams team that has struggled to find their identity on offense all year come into Tampa and get their faces ripped off on Monday Night football. The rams to me could very well finish last in the division with the cards making a lot of improvements. It’s just not something I’ve seen with the rams and they were a let down last year and I don’t see them picking it back up this year. The Bucs coming off a loss will be looking for another big win and dominate the rams who have been struggling. Score: 52-24 Record: 8-3 Week 12 Vs Chiefs: a week before the bye week and the Bucs start to look a little tired because the bye week is so late in the season and limp into the bye week losing to the chiefs. No shame in that Chiefs are a great team and the Bucs will put up a good fight. But no defense can matchup with this chiefs offense. Helaire is gonna be a star and that offense is gonna be unreal. Score: 34-20 Record: 8-4 Week 14 vs Vikings: The Vikings are a good team but they do rely heavily on the run and play action. Bucs are built to stop that and Cousins is good but not good enough to beat this team at home. Cousins will struggle and the Bucs coming off the bye week will be reenergized and ready to roll into the playoffs and their final playoff form will start to show. Score: 27-17 Record: 9-4 Week 15 @ Falcons: I’m torn on the falcons because I would describe them as a bad team that can beat anyone at anytime. Their record won’t be good this year but they can go out one week and stomp a team like the saints or beat the 49ers just like last year. However I think the Bucs matchup Very well with Atlanta and could easily sweep them. Even if The falcons offense hits fire one week their defense is not good and the Bucs offense can easily match them so I think the Bucs will sweep them in the series but wouldn’t be shocked if they came out of nowhere and won one of these last 2 games. Score: 30-20 Record after week 15: 10-4 Week 16 vs Lions: I just don’t trust the lions at all. Matt Patricia might flame out this year and get fired. Would not shock me at all. The Bucs are such a better run and more talented team and with Bradys record in December being almost unbeatable I think the Bucs again take this one and clinch a spot in the playoffs here. Score: 24-14 Record: 11-4 Week 17 vs Atlanta: Now again I think they sweep this series and finish the year off strong but I would not be shocked by an upset or if the Bucs just rest their guys and finish their successful season off by making the playoffs as a wild card. Score: (for now assuming starters play) 28-20 Record 12-4 (make the top wildcard spot with the Saints going 13-3) Overall thoughts: I think the Bucs offense will start slow in the start of the season but like I said after getting a few losses and getting a few games under their belts against NFL defenses playing real games they will start to roll. There’s too much talent not too. A top 3 receiving core and the best tight end group in the game. Along with a good RB core and a solid offensive line it’s gonna be almost impossible to stop this team once they get it rolling. The defense is gonna be underrated all season because of how good the offense is but I think they will be a top 5 team in scoring offense and a top 10 team in scoring defense. I’m hoping this season fully plays out and hopefully COVID doesn’t really hamper the season. But I really do think this year will pay immediate dividends for the Bucs going out and getting Brady. 7-9 last year with Jameis couldn’t get worse in my mind so adding Brady and gronk to that team. Along with that defense that’s actually pretty young can only get better and Bowles is a good defensive coordinator so I think all the pieces fit for the Bucs to have a good team. The corners on the Bucs are a little worrying but only because they are young and no one Really knows how they will play this year but the rest of the defense is so good I think it’ll be good enough to be a top 10 defense in yards and scoring next year. That’s my breakdown of the schedule guys. 12-4 but also the chance for 11-5. And they’ll get the 5 seed because I still see the saints being the top contender in the NFC and getting the 1 or 2 seed. So the Bucs will get the 5 seed and play the 4th seed who for me will be either the packers or the eagles. I’d bet on the Packers to be the 4th seed to start the playoffs. So lmk what you guys think. Just please be respectful in the comments. I think there’s a lot of hype for this team and I do think they will deliver on that unlike what the Browns did last year.
Dear Vikings fan - I bring you the spoilers for your 2020 season.
Hello Vikings fans! Disclaimer:A few years ago I made a lof of correct predictions (in fact the whole season) about the Vikings and last year i almost perfectly repeated it. So I have a (very small and unknown) reputation as someone who can predict the future if it regards the Vikings, so take this as a slightly humorous season prediction from me. Since I can see into the future as obviously proven many times before and the Vikings fanbase is the best fanbase in the NFL (although I am a Steelers fangirl myself!) I bring to to you the results of the 2020 season of the Minnesota Vikings. After this post every other prediction will be obsolete and look rather dumb to my perfect recitation of the time now still called future. Let us begin: 1 - vs. Green Bay Packers - Win - 1-0 You will open strong out of the gate with a 27-20 victory over the hated Packers and I will certainly be happy about this, too, as I hate the Packers as much as you, and I am not even a Vikings fan. The game will be won clearly but not super-dominant. But I bet (hehe, free money) you take that anyways. 2 - @ Indianapolis Colts - Win - 2-0 The Colts are weaker as expected, but this is a road game, so another 7-point win (17-10), but not utter domination as the Colts have still a solid body, but not the great head to use it properly. 3 - vs. Tennessee Titans - Win - 3-0 This game will be a bloodbath. The lead will change multiple times. In the End, the Titans will lose the game by fumbling a ball in the 4th quarter, that you turn into a field goal to put you up 22-20 to win your third game to start the season. You will have to pay a price for this one though as you will lose one of your starting corners to IR - sadly the view in my crytal bowl wasn't sharp enough to see which one. I mean I can see the future of the Vikings, but I'm not God. 4 - @Houston Texans - Loss - 3-1 Sadly every winning streak eventually ends, and I have bad news for you that this will be the game. The Vikings are known to have an absolute stinker sometimes where nobody knows why it happened and this will be such a game. You will score only 13 points yourself. 5 - @ Seattle Seahawks - Win - 4-1 Oh man, this game will be a nail biter as well. It's an interesting season for sure for you as there will be a lot of close games - but more to that later - anyways you come out with a VERY close victory and a walking-off touchdown in the last minute while a following Hail Mary from Russell Wilson will not connect. You probably didn't deserve this win and the media will continue to disrespect you, because while you are 4-1, your wins were not really impressive. And they actually have a point there, to be fair. But whatever, you will have a great season, so don't be mad at these punks, they don't know as much as I do (and now you do, too) - be the bigger man/woman and stay calm. They will eat their words. 6 - vs. Atlanta Falcons - Win - 5-1 Easy win, that will not be talked about really. It will also be your first blowout win of the season. I saw you posting 33 points vs their 17. 7 - Bye week - 5-1 I can say with 100% security, that your record will stay exactly the same here. 8 - @ Green Bay Packers - Loss - 5-2 I am sorry to disappoint you, but this game sadly will be a loss. And it will be a two-score one. Media will again fall in love with the Packers as they always do. Life will be bad after that loss until you realize that your schedule will be lighter in the coming weeks. 9 - vs. Detroit Lions - Win - 6-2 Yeah no shocker here that you will win by multiple scores. Actually I went to bed at some point here, so TECHNICALLY I haven't seen the end of this game, but I am pretty sure you can't blow a 4 score lead, so I assume this was a win. 10 - @Chicago Bears - Win - 7-2 Man this will be once again an ugly game where nobody seems to be able to score any points. The Bears will be stuck at 9 points at the end of the game and you will have 16. But a win is a win, even if the talkign heads doubt Cousins (again). 11 - vs. Dallas Cowboys - Win - 8-2 You will beat an overrated Cowboys team convincingly by two scores, but really it was one score until garbage time. This was a rather "normal" game without anything further to notice. 12 - vs. Carolina Panthers - Win - 9-2 Same thing as the week before. This is a pretty easy win for you guys. And NOW finally the media will talk about the Vikings "sneakily" being a really really good team and act like they don't know where this record suddenly came from. 13 - vs. Jacksonville Jaguars - Loss - 9-3 Let me be really honest with you - I only checked into that game right before the end, because I thought this was an easy one. Turns out Jacksonville wins by 2 scores. WHAT THE HECK MATE. I don't know what on earth you did in that game. I might have to rewatch the live version of the game to see what happened. 14 - @Tampa Buccaneers - Win - 10-3 You will be the team 2020, that will beat all of these overrated hyped teams - like the Buccaneers in week 14, but the narrative will be how the other team lost it, not how you won that. Don't let that phaze you. There will be at least one person outside of the Vikings fanbase - me - that will appreciate what you have done. 15 - vs. Chicago Bears - Win - 11-3 Another relatively easy win for you guys. Nothing more to say. Not a walk in the park, but a clear win. 16 - @ New Orleans Saints - Loss - 11-4 Sorry, to being the bringer of bad news, but the Saints seem to be a bad matchup for you. I spare you the details here, but it's NOT gonna be because of a referee f**ing it up. So there's at least that. Even if it isn't much. 17 - @ Detroit Lions - Win - 12-4 A last dominant victory by 3 scores to close out the regular season. Congratulations. That means, that you will have another good season ahead of you, Vikings. I hope you enjoyed reading this, although I apologize for the Spoilers, if you are one of the people that prefer to watch games. In love to the Vikings fanbase, Taari of Germany, fairy of wisdom and water, bringer of truth and honesty and spirit guardian of the turtles PS: This has also been a fanpost of me posted to the dailynorseman.com a few days ago.
Looking at our 2020 games what is everyone's prediction on our W/L record? I would love to see the Chargers have a winning season, but when you look at the schedule on a game by game level, coming out with a scenario that has the Chargers competing for a playoff spot is fairly difficult. We just went 0-6 in the division and KC has owned this division and I don't see that ending so we go 0-2 vs. them. I hope we split games with the Raiders/Broncos that both improved a lot in the off-season. I think the Falcons and Jets are winnable games. Carolina is clearly rebuilding, especially on defense, so that game should be winnable. Patriots don't have Brady, but they have had our number for a while so until we win, i'm calling that a L. Jags are tanking so a W. Bills is the upset game we win every year randomly like the Packers last year. Bucs have Brady and i'm not betting against him yet. Dolphins improved a lot but are still rebuilding so I'm calling this a W. The Saints are a playoff level team so I think this is an L. Bengals are rebuilding so a W. This is 9-7, which might be enough for a WC, but this might be a little hopeful. I just hope we don't get shut out in the division again. What is everyone else's prediction? Home Games Denver Broncos- W Kansas City Chiefs- L Las Vegas Raiders- W Atlanta Falcons- W New York Jets- W Carolina Panthers- W New England Patriots- L Jacksonville Jaguars-W Away Games Denver Broncos- L Kansas City Chiefs- L Las Vegas Raiders- L Buffalo Bills- W Tampa Bay Buccaneers-L Miami Dolphins- W New Orleans Saints- L Cincinnati Bengals- W
DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average): calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average. DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run. Weighted DEFENSE: is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season. ATS = Against the spread DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019
Opp (OAK) Pass DVOA: #31 Opp (OAK) Run DVOA: #27 Opp (OAK) Weighted DEF: #31 Injuries to Watch DEF (OAK): LB Marquel Lee (Q) LB Kyle Wilber (Q) CB Daryl Worley (Q) S Erik Harris (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (JAX): WR DJ Chark (OUT) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): D.J. Chark (20%) Leonard Fournette (19%) Dede Westbrook (17%) Chris Conley (14%) Seth DeValve (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Leonard Fournette (77%, 18, 6) Ryquell Armstead (23%, 2, 2)
The Jags got blasted at home against the Chargers last week, and Gardner Minshew (2QB stream) did little to instill confidence that he is an upgrade over Nick Foles. While last week was a struggle, Minshew gets an extremely vulnerable Raiders secondary this time around. Oakland has the 31st ranked pass defense by DVOA, and has given up the 2nd most FPPG to QBs on the season. While it would be unwise to trust the rookie signal caller in a 1QB league, he makes for a possible streamer in 2QB or superflex leagues, and should be considered a mid-range QB2 with some upside in Sunday’s matchup. The loss of one of his top weapons does downgrade his outlook slightly, however.. DJ Chark has been ruled out for Week 15 with an ankle injury, leaving the Jags without their most explosive offensive playmaker. That should provide Dede Westbrook (upgrade) with an opportunity to see a high volume of targets against this leaky Raiders secondary. Oakland has allowed the 13th most FPPG to WRs, but their 31st ranked pass DVOA portrays a team that is quite vulnerable through the air. Chris Conley (upgrade) should also see a bump in usage, but he has been extremely boom or bust this season, and is reliant on big plays. Consider Westbrook a borderline WR2 under the circumstances, while Conley can be viewed as risk-reward WR3/4, just know his floor is extremely low. Keelan Cole will step into 3-WR sets with Chark on the sidelines, but he isn’t a realistic fantasy option at this point. None of the Jags TEs have been able to stand out after dealing with so many injuries, but Nick O’Leary did snag a TD last week. O’Leary is a hail mary TE2, although he does have a favorable matchup against a defense ceding the 4th most FPPG to TEs. RB Breakdown The running game didn’t have any more success than the passing game against the Chargers, as Leonard Fournette (auto-start) was held to 63 total scoreless yards. The Raiders are less vulnerable to the run than the pass, but have given up the 9th most FPPG to RBs, so Fournette remains a volume based RB1. He’s especially valuable in PPR leagues, as he is consistently among the RB target leaders each week. Ryquell Armstead (stash) is the clear handcuff to Fournette, so roster him if you want to have insurance through the playoffs.
Opp (JAX) Pass DVOA: #21 Opp (JAX) Run DVOA: #31 Opp (JAX) Weighted DEF: #29 Injuries to Watch DEF (JAX): None Injuries to Watch OFF (OAK): WR Hunter Renfrow (OUT) OT Trent Brown (Q) RB Josh Jacobs (Q, expected to play) WR Marcell Ateman (Q) Key WCB matchups: Tyrell Williams vs. A.J. Bouye (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Darren Waller (19%) Hunter Renfrow (18%) Tyrell Williams (14%) Jalen Richard (11%) Zay Jones (10%) DeAndre Washington (8%) Josh Jacobs (7%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: DeAndre Washington (63%, 20, 7) Jalen Richard (38%, 9, 3) QB/WTE Breakdown A nightmare second half of the season continued for the Raiders last week in a blowout loss to the Titans, but Derek Carr (2QB only) was able to finish with a serviceable final fantasy line. Carr has gone over 21 points just once this season, so his ceiling is not something to get excited about. The Jags have given up the 11th most FPPG to QBs, so Carr has a reasonable floor, but can’t be viewed as anything more than a mid-range QB2. Leave him on the wire in most leagues. A battle with plantar fasciitis might help to explain Tyrell Williams’ (drop) extreme dropoff over the second half of the season, but it appears the wideout will continue playing through the pain this week against the Jags. He hasn’t been a worthwhile starting option in quite some time, and the Jags surrender the 13th fewest FPPG to WRs, so consider him a TD or bust WR4, and keep him on your benches outside extremely deep leagues. Darren Waller (volume upgrade) is the real WR1 on this team, and his high weekly target floor makes him an attractive TE option at a position that is so heavily TD-dependent. The Jags have given up the 11th fewest FPPG to TEs, but Waller is too involved to be anything less than a top-6 TE1. Get him fired up this week to ensure you get a stable floor from that spot on your roster. No other Raiders pass catcher has emerged as fantasy relevant, so Waller is likely the only player that should be near a starting lineup this week. RB Breakdown Stud rookie RB Josh Jacobs (upgrade if healthy) was unable to play through his shoulder injury last week, leading to a workhorse level role for DeAndre Washington (stash). Jacobs currently plans to play on Sunday, so owners should put Washington on benches, and continue to leave Jalen Richard on the waiver wire. The Jags are an exploitable matchup on the ground - 4th most FPPG to RBs - so if Jacobs is active he needs to be in all lineups as a solid RB2. Washington should remain rostered as a solid handcuff. Score Prediction: Raiders 21, Jaguars 20
Opp (ARI) Pass DVOA: #29 Opp (ARI) Run DVOA: #13 Opp (ARI) Weighted DEF: #26 Injuries to Watch DEF (ARI): CB Kevin Peterson (Q) LB Joe Walker (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (CLE): C JC Tretter (Q) OT Chris Hubbard (Q) Key WCB matchups: Odell Beckham vs. Patrick Peterson (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Jarvis Landry (30%) Odell Beckham (23%) Kareem Hunt (17%) Antonio Callaway (12%) David Njoku (12%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nick Chubb (70%, 16, 1) Kareem Hunt (62%, 11, 3) QB/WTE Breakdown Cleveland won the battle of Ohio last week, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t without drama. Baker Mayfield (upgrade) was inconsistent yet again, throwing for only 192 scoreless yards, with two interceptions. He’s sandwiched two serviceable fantasy outings with three that weren’t over the last five, so a bounce back seems likely. Arizona has proven time and again they can’t guard anyone, ranking 29th in Pass DVOA and 26th in Weighted Defense - ceding 24.5 FPPG to QBs, and 25.4 to WRs. Mayfield becomes an appealing matchup based QB1 this week, consider him a top-10 option. The Cleveland passing game has been a wasteland all season, with Jarvis Landry (upgrade PPR) being the only solid fantasy asset. Odell Beckham is having the worst season of his career, and is reportedly playing through a sports hernia. His expected shadow matchup with CB Patrick Peterson isn’t imposing, as Peterson has struggled against No. 1 WRs (Rotoworld). A viable fantasy day isn’t out of the question, yet OBJ is far from trustworthy at this point in the season, especially since we know now he’s been playing through injury. That being said, Arizona cedes explosive pass plays (20+yards) at a 12% clip, 3rd worst in the NFL (sharpfootballstats). Consider him a boom-or-bust WR2 in the great on-paper matchup. Landry on the other hand, has vacuumed up at least seven targets in every game over the last five weeks, clearing 10 targets in three out of five. He’s seeing monster usage, and there’s no reason to expect it to slow down. He’s a borderline WR1, and needs to be in all lineups. David Njoku returned last week, splitting time with fellow tight ends Stephen Carlson, and Ricky Seals-Jones. This is a smash spot for the position - ARI hemorrhages 13.1 FPPG to TEs, league worst - but with Njoku popping up on the injury report again with a knee issue, plus the timeshare at tight end, there really isn’t a viable fantasy play here. RB Breakdown Like many other backfields in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are now utilizing a committee, to the dismay of Nick Chubb (upgrade standard) owners everywhere. Fortunately, both Chubb and Kareem Hunt (upgrade PPR) are seeing solid touch counts, and having both on the field at the same time has become a regular occurrence since Hunt became available. Arizona possesses a much better Run DVOA than Pass DVOA, but game-script and scoring opportunities should work in favor of the Cleveland backfield. Arizona plays at the 3rd fastest pace in the NFL, so there should be plenty of opportunities to go around. Consider Chubb an RB1, and Hunt a borderline RB2 play in PPR settings - ARI cedes 19.5 FPPG to the position.
Opp (CLE) Pass DVOA: #13 Opp (CLE) Run DVOA: #25 Opp (CLE) Weighted DEF: #19 Injuries to Watch DEF (CLE): DE Olivier Vernon (OUT) CB Eric Murray (OUT) Injuries to Watch OFF (ARI): WR Andy Isabella (Q) OL Justin Pugh (Q) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Christian Kirk (24%) Larry Fitzgerald (19%) Kenyan Drake (16%) Pharoh Cooper (11%) KeeSean Johnson (9%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Kenyan Drake (65%, 14, 3) David Johnson (37%, 5, 2) QB/WTE Breakdown The Cardinals season has taken a downward plunge in recent weeks, and Kyler Murray and company have only managed to score 24 combined points in back-to-back matchups (Rotoworld). Murray has made some downright silly mistakes, and while some of it can be chalked up to being a rookie, some mistakes shouldn’t be seen at the NFL level. His O-line isn’t doing him any favors either, he’s the most-sacked QB of 2019 (teamrankings.com). At home against Cleveland is the easiest matchup he’s seen in recent weeks, but it’s no cakewalk - Cleveland has a sturdy secondary, ranking in the top-half for Pass DVOA - and cedes just 18.2 FPPG to QBs and 20.6 to WRs. Still, Murray has demonstrated a high-floor through multiple tough matchups, and warrants every week QB1 consideration. Just be aware that although he always has boom potential, this week projects more as a floor performance. Although he’s done little since his Week 10 explosion, Christian Kirk’s (upgrade volume) 8.8 targets per game rank 13th among wideouts this season (Rotoworld). Again, the matchup doesn’t scream boom week, but Cleveland has been inconsistent at best this season, and Kirk’s volume should keep him in the WR3 ranks. Larry Fitzgerald, after turning back the clock in the beginning of the season, has bottomed out over the second half. He shouldn’t be considered anything more than a low-end WR4, so look elsewhere. The auxiliary passing options shouldn't be considered for Arizona. RB Breakdown Like the Cleveland backfield, the Arizona backfield is devolving into a two man RBBC. Unlike Cleveland, it’s not bearing fruit in the way of fantasy points for either running back. Kenyan Drake has ceded snaps to David Johnson since the bye week, and at this point neither can be fully trusted. Drake is the preferred option, and the matchup is good on paper, but due to DJ’s involvement, he’s no more than a back-end RB2. DJ is a big-balls dart throw; it can’t be recommended. CLE cedes 18.6 FPPG to RBs. Score Prediction: Browns 24, Cardinals 21
Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2 Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #9 Opp (SF) Weighted DEF: #2 Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (OUT) DT DJ Jones (OUT) CB Richard Sherman (OUT) S Jaquiski Tartt (OUT) DT Jullian Taylor (OUT) CB K’Waun Williams (OUT) Injuries to Watch OFF (ATL): OG James Carpenter (OUT) OT Ty Sambrailo (OUT) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Julio Jones (22%) Calvin Ridley (20%) Russell Gage (16%) Austin Hooper (16%) Devonta Freeman (11%) Christian Blake (10%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Devonta Freeman (67%, 21, 4) Brian Hill (19%, 9, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown Atlanta’s second half resurgence continued against a rudderless Carolina team last week. Matt Ryan (downgrade) has returned to form of late, posting back-to-back solid fantasy performances. His ankle injury may have been the reason for the mid-season stumble, but either way, against a ferocious 49ers defense and without offensive weapon Calvin Ridley (OUT-IR), just isn’t the time to chase points. While the argument can be made that the San Francisco defense is banged up, they still possess most of the pass rushers that have carried them this season. Atlanta has struggled to keep Ryan upright, he’s been sacked the 5th most in the NFL (teamrankings). He’s no more than a back-end QB2 in a tough matchup - SF gives up just 15 FPPG to QBs and 17.9 to WRs. Ridley’s injury vacated 20% of the target share to Atlanta’s pass catchers, and Russell Gage is the best bet to assume his snaps and some of his target share. Yet, he still projects as a distant third option to Julio Jones (upgrade volume) and Austin Hooper (upgrade volume). The remaining receivers split snaps evenly last week, and aren’t realistic options in the tough draw. Julio should be peppered with targets san Ridley, and should be treated as an every-week WR1 regardless of matchup. Same goes for Hooper, both should be active in most lineups. RB Breakdown Since returning from injury, Devonta Freeman (upgrade volume) has accumulated 20+ touches in two of three games. As long as he’s operating as the clear lead back and receiving the bulk of the touches, he’ll continue to be a floor-play RB2. The matchup is imposing - SF cedes just 12.2 FPPG to RBs - but Freeman’s volume should stabilize his floor, just don’t expect a big day.
Opp (ATL) Pass DVOA: #26 Opp (ATL) Run DVOA: #16 Opp (ATL) Weighted DEF: #23 Injuries to Watch DEF (ATL): DE Allen Bailey (OUT) CB Isaiah Oliver (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): None Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): George Kittle (23%) Deebo Samuel (20%) Emmanuel Sanders (17%) Kendrick Bourne (12%) Ross Dwelley (12%) Tevin Coleman (8%) Raheem Mostert (5%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Raheem Mostert (60%, 12, 2) Matt Breida (18%, 7, 1) Tevin Coleman (16%, 3, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown The 49ers won the game of the year last week, in an exciting shootout on the road against the New Orleans Saints, 48-46. Jimmy Garoppolo (upgrade) showed critics a side of him many thought he didn’t possess, by not just managing the game, but gun slinging his way to victory when facing a deficit. He may be more than an elite game manager, rolling up 349-yards passing, with four touchdowns and an interception. On tap is an exploitable secondary that has been dissected by opposing signal callers routinely - ATL cedes 22.1 FPPG to QBs and 24.3 to WRs - Jimmy G is a very attractive QB1 streaming option in the plus matchup. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders (upgrade) and Deebo Samuel, with the emergence of Kendrick Bourne, has created an explosive receiving corps for the 49ers. The three have settled in as the fulltime wideouts, clearing up what used to be a mess of a rotation. Sanders and Samuel are both solid fantasy plays against an Atlanta team that boasts a true pass funnel; ranking much higher in Run DVOA than Pass DVOA. Adding to that, CB Desmond Trufant has been placed on IR, creating an even softer matchup. The concern is volume. Positive game-script early could erase the need for passing, so hopefully the injuries to San Francisco’s defense allow Atlanta to stay in the game. Consider Sanders a WR2, and Samuel an upside WR3. Kendrick Bourne is a no more than a DFS dart throw. George Kittle is an every week top-3 option at tight end. Fire him up - ATL cedes 7.5 FPPG to the position. RB Breakdown Two camps exist when it comes to the 49ers backfield. There are those that think Raheem Mostert has completed a hostile takeover, and is now the lead back. And there are those that think a Kyle Shanahan offense takes the hot hand approach, and that Matt Breida or Tevin Coleman could be next in-line to have the big week. Kyle Shanahan has stated that Mostert has “earned” his role as the lead ball-carrier, but we’ve seen that talk before from coaches, just look at Ronald Jones. Either way, Mostert has earned every-week RB2 consideration, but be warned, this backfield can change in an instant. Breida and Coleman are much riskier propositions, and can’t be started as more than desperation dart throws. They’ll likely still be involved in some capacity, but it’s not worth betting on. Score Prediction: 49ers 30, Falcons 17
Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #24 Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #19 Opp (DAL) Weighted DEF: #21 Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): LB Leighton Vander Esch (OUT) LB Sean Lee (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (LAR): TE Gerald Everett (OUT) OT Rob Havenstein (D) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Robert Woods (30%) Tyler Higbee (19%) Cooper Kupp (16%) Gerald Everett (15%) Josh Reynolds (10%) Todd Gurley (9%) Brandin Cooks (7%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Todd Gurley (80%, 27, 4) Malcolm Brown (20%, 5, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown After his first blow-up week in a long time, Jared Goff (streamer) returned to his mediocre 2019 levels in Week 14’s win over Seattle, at least in terms of fantasy points. The positive is that the Rams offense suddenly looks at least partially back to its old ways, scoring 28 and 34 points the last two weeks, albeit against questionable defenses. This week, Goff will take aim at the Cowboys - 24th ranked pass DVOA but allowing the 13th fewest FPPG to QBs. Dallas got lit up by Mitchell Trubisky last week, and are on a downward trend overall, so this actually sets up as a favorable matchup for Goff. Consider him on the QB1/2 borderline, and ride him if you are thin at QB as he should be able to produce a point total that lands somewhere in between his last two performances. What started as a year for the record books has turned into a disappointment in a hurry for Cooper Kupp (start). Despite the Rams being without their top TE Gerald Everett (out again this week) the past few weeks, Kupp hasn’t gone over 70-receiving yards since Week 8. He snagged a TD last week to salvage his day, and could be on the verge of a breakout day with the Rams offense starting to hum again. The Cowboys have given up the 8th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this isn’t an ideal matchup, but Kupp should still be viewed on the WR2/3 borderline and be in most lineups this week. The only consistent producer over the last month at WR for the Rams has been Robert Woods (auto-start). Woods has gone over 90-yards in 4 straight games he’s played in, and looks to be Goff’s #1 target at this point in the season. Consider him a borderline WR1 this week. Brandin Cooks (volume downgrade) just hasn’t seen much volume since returning from his multi-week concussion absence, and played about a third of the offensive snaps last week. He can break a big play at any time, but his role is too tough to trust as more than a WR3/4 at this point. If you have the depth, Cooks should likely be on your bench as only a part-time player in a difficult matchup. With Everett out again this week, Tyler Higbee (volume upgrade) will resume his role as the clear pass-catching TE for the Rams. He’s won a lot of matchups for owners the past two weeks, and should continue to thrive as long as Everett is sidelined. The Cowboys have given up the 10th most FPPG to TEs, so there’s no reason to view Higbee as less than an elite TE1 this week. RB Breakdown Perhaps part of the reason that the Rams have looked re-energized the last two weeks is the commitment to the run game with Todd Gurley (volume upgrade). The offensive line and entire team are getting healthier, and Gurley is getting the volume necessary for an RB1 valuation. The Cowboys have given up the 16th fewest FPPG to RBs and have the 19th ranked rush defense by DVOA, so the matchup is basically a wash. Consider Gurley on the RB1/2 borderline, and get him locked into your lineup for a game the Rams absolutely have to win to remain in the playoff race. Malcolm Brown makes for a worthwhile handcuff.
Opp (LAR) Pass DVOA: #9 Opp (LAR) Run DVOA: #3 Opp (LAR) Weighted DEF: #6 Injuries to Watch DEF (LAR): None Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): None Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Jalen Ramsey (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Gallup (20%) Amari Cooper (19%) Randall Cobb (15%) Jason Witten (15%) Ezekiel Elliott (10%) Blake Jarwin (8%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Ezekiel Elliott (99%, 21, 5) QB/WTE Breakdown While the Cowboys have been a huge disappointment overall, they remain firmly in the playoff race due to the antiquated NFL seeding rules, and their QB Dak Prescott (auto-start) has shown he is deserving of a huge contract extension. The Rams have given up the 12th fewest FPPG to QBs, and have the 9th ranked pass DVOA, but Prescott will be needed for a big day if Dallas is to get a win at home. Their solid projected point total, and Dak’s consistent presence as a top-5 QB in fantasy, means that Prescott should be a fixture in fantasy lineups in the second week of fantasy playoffs. He’s a solid QB1. Amari Cooper (slight downgrade) may not like the term “garbage time”, but it’s hard to argue that’s not the scenario in which he caught his TD pass and salvaged his day against the Bears. Regardless, Cooper was able to produce despite looking less than 100%, and isn’t on the injury report this week. However, he’s likely to face Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage this week, which is a concern considering just how good Ramsey has been since landing in LA. Cooper has been more effective against shadow coverage this year than in previous years, and his role in the offense combined with his individual talent make him tough to bench. View him as a high-end WR2 that is capable of breaking Ramsey’s coverage, but could also finish with a disappointing 2-30-0 type of day as well. Michael Gallup (upgrade) has been relatively productive over the last month, and he could benefit from Ramsey’s focus on Cooper. The Rams overall cede the 15th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this is a spot for Gallup to potentially come through for owners. Consider him a mid-range WR2 with upside this week in a game the Boys will likely need to throw heavily to win. Randall Cobb has benefitted from the high volume of passing in the Cowboys rough last five games, but will likely see a lot of highly-graded CB Nickell Robey-Coleman in the slot (PFF). Consider Cobb a low-end WR3 whose ceiling isn’t extremely high, but whose floor makes for a useful asset in deeper leagues. Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin have rendered each other relatively unstartable this season, and both should be viewed as low-volume TE2s. Neither is worth starting this week against a Rams squad giving up the 7th fewest FPPG to TEs. RB Breakdown The Cowboys were without Tony Pollard last week, but that didn’t serve to change their game plan much as Ezekiel Elliott (auto-start) has been a workhorse all year long. Pollard is expected to return on Sunday, but Zeke will get his 20+ touches again this week regardless. The Rams are stout on the ground - 3rd best DVOA and 10th fewest FPPG to RBs- but Zeke is an easy RB1 due to his volume and talent. Get him locked into your lineup, and keep Pollard rostered as a feel-good insurance policy. Score Prediction: Rams 21, Cowboys 17
Opp (LAC) Pass DVOA: #20 Opp (LAC) Run DVOA: #23 Opp (LAC) Weighted DEF: #18 Injuries to Watch DEF (LAC): LB Uchenna Nwosu (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (MIN): RB Alexander Mattison (Q) WR Bisi Johnson (Q) Key WCB matchups: Stefon Diggs vs. Casey Hayward (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Stefon Diggs (20%) Dalvin Cook (15%) Kyle Rudolph (13%) Irv Smith (13%) Bisi Johnson (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Dalvin Cook (47%, 20, 2) Alexander Mattison (37%, 16, 2) QB/WTE Breakdown Last week was a game that fantasy owners always fear; the home favorite Vikings so outmatched the injury riddled Lions that none of the offensive weapons were needed for a big day to capture the win. Kirk Cousins (low-end QB1) was solid as a game manager, but finished with only 242 yards and 1 TD. This week he’ll likely be in a more competitive game with the Chargers, who have given up the 5th fewest FPPG to QBs. While this should lead to higher volume for Kirk, the matchup concern is a legitimate reason to consider keeping him on the bench. Getting Adam Thielen back from injury should help to establish his floor, but his ceiling isn’t as high considering the Chargers are not often involved in shootouts. Owners can view Cousins as a low-end QB1, and throw him in lineups if they don’t have a safer and higher upside option. Cousins will have stud receiver Adam Thielen (downgrade) back on the field this week, and that means owners will have a tough decision to make with their lineups. Stefon Diggs (start) is likely to see Casey Hayward in shadow coverage this week, which would leave Thielen with more positive matchups, but Diggs is easier to trust given his body of work throughout the year. The Chargers have given up the 3rd fewest FPPG to WRs this year, giving both receivers a slight downgrade in outlook. Consider Thielen a WR3, and Diggs a WR2. Both have a solid case to be in starting lineups this week, but Diggs is the slightly preferred play. Kyle Rudolph (downgrade) gets a tough potential individual matchup with stud safety Derwin James, and needs to be pushed just outside the TE1 ranks this week. The Chargers have given up the 9th fewest FPPG to TEs, and Rudolph is quite TD-dependent, so consider your options before plugging him in. Irv Smith simply isn’t seeing the volume to be trusted at this point, so he should be viewed as a low-end TE2 in a tough matchup. RB Breakdown Fantasy superstar Dalvin Cook (auto-start, upgrade) was subject to the same issue as Cousins, as he saw an uncharacteristic 47% snap share, but still was able to save his line with a few nice runs and a short TD plunge. This week sets up much better for Cook, as the game should be competitive throughout, and the Chargers are more vulnerable to the run than the pass. They’ve given up the 13th most FPPG to RBs and have a bottom-third run DVOA, so get Cook fired up as an elite RB1 once again. Keep Alexander Mattison (stash) rostered as a top-3 handcuff, even if he ends up being ruled out. If Cook were to suffer a setback or pick up a minor injury, Mattison would be an elite RB1 for the fantasy finals assuming he’s healthy.
Opp (MIN) Pass DVOA: #11 Opp (MIN) Run DVOA: #7 Opp (MIN) Weighted DEF: #9 Injuries to Watch DEF (MIN): S Jayron Kearse (OUT) CB Xavier Rhodes (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (LAC): None Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Keenan Allen (23%) Hunter Henry (20%) Austin Ekeler (17%) Mike Williams (13%) Melvin Gordon (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Austin Ekeler (49%, 12, 5) Melvin Gordon (46%, 17, 5) QB/WTE Breakdown The Chargers came a bit out of nowhere last week to drop 45 points in their win over the Jags. Philip Rivers (slight downgrade) eclipsed 25 points for the first time this season, and was dealing all game long. He’ll face a stiffer matchup from the Vikings - Minnesota cedes the 11th fewest FPPG to QBs and has the 11th ranked pass DVOA. Consider Rivers a mid-range QB2; his ceiling isn’t extremely high but his weapons should establish his floor as a solid asset in 2QB or superflex leagues. Still not producing at levels owner are accustomed to, Keenan Allen (start) has at least returned solid value over his past 4 games with good yardage and 2 total TDs. Mike Williams (downgrade PPR) FINALLY scored his first TD of the year, after getting 10 last year, and continues to make impressive contested chunk catches week in and week out. The Vikings have given up the 8th most FPPG to WRs, and Xavier Rhodes is no longer a shutdown shadow corner, so both WRs are worth starting consideration. Consider Allen a WR2, with upside in PPR leagues, and view Williams as a WR3 with an upgrade in standard leagues. The Vikings pass rush is impressive, and the Chargers O-line has struggled to keep Rivers upright against top defensive lines, so having the time to throw downfield might make Allen more productive than Williams this week. Hunter Henry (start) found the end zone last week, and despite some low yardage totals the last month remains a solid TE1 this week. The Vikings have allowed the 14th most FPPG to TEs, so this isn’t a shy-away matchup by any means. Get Henry active unless you have a top-3 alternative, as he might benefit from additional short throws due to Rivers needing to get the ball out quick. RB Breakdown Perhaps the most important player to the Chargers this year has been the explosive and dynamic all around back, Austin Ekeler (auto-start). He put up a career-high 213 scrimmage yards in the win last week, which was buoyed by an impressive 84 yard catch and run TD. Melvin Gordon (PPR downgrade) got in on the action by rolling up 84 total yards and a TD, and should continue to handle a slight majority of the carries. Ekeler’s role is slightly more valuable, however, as his looks in the passing game often give him room to make plays in the open field, and give him a higher floor in PPR leagues. Consider Ekeler on the RB1/2 borderline, especially in PPR formats, and Gordon can be viewed as a solid RB2. Both should be in lineups this week, despite the Vikings giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to RBs, but Ekeler is a bit safer as he doesn’t require rushing lanes up the middle or goal-line opportunities to be able to rack up the points. Score Prediction: Vikings 23, Chargers 16
Opp (NO) Pass DVOA: #10 Opp (NO) Run DVOA: #10 Opp (NO) Weighted DEF: #7 Injuries to Watch DEF (NO) Friday Report: LB Kiko Alonso (DNP) S Vonn Bell (DNP) CB Patrick Robinson (DNP) DE Cameron Jordan (LP) LB AJ Klein (LP) Injuries to Watch OFF (IND) Friday Report: WR TY Hilton (LP) OL Le’Raven Clark (DNP) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): T.Y. Hilton (24%) Zach Pascal (20%) Jack Doyle (15%) Parris Campbell (15%) Nyheim Hines (12%) Deon Cain (6%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nyheim Hines (56%, 8, 5) Marlon Mack (41%, 13, 0) Jordan Wilkins (14%, 1, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown This season has gone south fast for the Colts, dropping five of their last six games, and Jacoby Brissett (downgrade) has been much less effective in the second half of the season. He was able to take advantage of the Buccaneers ridiculously bad secondary last week in a close loss, but will face a stiffer challenge this week. The Saints give up the 10th most FPPG to QBs, but have the 10th best pass DVOA, and Brissett may be without his top WR again this week. Consider him a low-upside QB2, and don’t look his way unless desperate in a 2QB or superflex league. TY Hilton (injury downgrade) is currently listed as a game time decision for MNF, making him a risky starting proposition due to the fact that most of the alternative options in your lineup will have already played by the time we get final clarity on his status. Unless there is a report stating definitively he will suit up, it’s best to avoid him this week. If you own Zach Pascal (start only if Hilton sits), you could also use him as a pivot option in case Hilton is ruled out before kickoff. If that’s the case, it would leave Pascal in position to soak up another high target total. He’s been extremely productive the past two weeks, and the Saints give up the 3rd most FPPG to WRs, so if he’s the #1 option this week he should be in your lineup. However, it’s hard to bank on this as Hilton likely won’t be declared active or inactive until just before kickoff, so it’s tough to bench more established studs for him during Sunday’s games. Consider Pascal a borderline WR2 if Hilton sits, but he’s no more than a boom-bust WR3/4 if Hilton plays. It’s likely best to avoid this situation entirely if you can, and either player could potentially see Marcus Lattimore in shadow coverage if the Saints decide to go that route as well. With Eric Ebron out for the year, Jack Doyle (upgrade) has shown flashes, but put up a 2-27 dud last week. Brissett likes throwing to his TEs, and Doyle is a great red-zone threat, so with the scarcity of quality options at the position Doyle is a mid-range TE1. The Saints are middle of the pack against TEs, so get him in your lineups this week unless you have a higher floor elite option. RB Breakdown Another tough draw is on deck for Marlon Mack (volume upgrade). He played 41% of snaps in his return from injury, receiving only 13 touches. Still, he looked healthy, and was clearly the lead back. The Colts will likely increase his workload moving forward, and he should see closer to 20 touches this week, game-script permitting. New Orleans has only ceded 14.2 FPPG to the position, but Mack’s projected volume keep him in the RB2 ranks. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are merely afterthoughts in this offense with the return of the Mack, and both can be safely dropped.
Opp (IND) Pass DVOA: #14 Opp (IND) Run DVOA: #20 Opp (IND) Weighted DEF: #15 Injuries to Watch DEF (IND) Friday Report: CB Kenny Moore (DNP) CB Pierre Desir (LP) Injuries to Watch OFF (NO) Friday Report: OT Terron Armstead (LP) OL Will Clapp (LP) OG Andrus Peat (DNP) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Thomas (30%) Alvin Kamara (22%) Jared Cook (15%) Ted Ginn (10%) Tre’Quan Smith (6%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Alvin Kamara (76%, 17, 6) Latavius Murray (33%, 9, 3) QB/WTE Breakdown Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback on Thursday Night Football this week, so it would be fitting for Primetime Drew Brees (upgrade) to break the all-time passing touchdown record on Monday Night Football in the same week. Brees is sitting at 537 career touchdown passes, just two shy of Peyton Manning. However, Tom Brady is at 536, so it’s possible that going into MNF, Brees will be chasing both Manning and Brady (NFL.com) Indianapolis has been fading of late, Jameis Winston just posted 456-yards and four touchdowns against a usually solid secondary. Monday feels like it’ll be a special moment for Brees, he’s a top-5 QB option, fire him up. Michael Thomas (upgrade) is also chasing greatness, going after Marvin Harrison’s single-season reception record of 143. Thomas is just twenty-three catches shy with three weeks left to go (NFL.com). Indy’s zone defense should provide plenty of underneath windows for the stud wideout, he’s an every-week elite WR1. The other wideouts are riskier: neither Ted Ginn or Tre’Quan Smith can be relied upon, and should be treated as boom-or-bust dart throws. Jared Cook has emerged as the No. 3 passing option since Brees returned from injury, vacuuming up a 15% target share in the last six weeks. He’s expected to suit up Monday, after a concussion knocked him out of last week's barn burner. He’s an every week TE1 - IND cedes 7.3 FPPG to the position. RB Breakdown It was extremely disappointing to watch the Saints roll up yards and points in the shootout last week, while Alvin Kamara (upgrade) busted on 17 touches. Latavius Murray was given fewer snaps and touches than Kamara, but was able to parlay his limited opportunity into a successful fantasy outing. Unfortunately, that’s just fantasy football sometimes; a plethora of variables exist and many cannot be predicted. Kamara owners that managed to survive the opening round of playoffs, despite his unfortunate bust week, need to renew their faith for this one. Indy cedes just 14.4 FPPG to RBs - but they are bottom-12 in Run DVOA. Additionally, we may be back to a reality in which the Saints score 30 a week in The Big Easy. I’m not betting against the positive game-script the home matchup should provide; Lat “Pulldown” Murray can be considered a viable, albeit slightly unpredictable, flex option as well. Score Prediction: Saints 35, Colts 20
First off, my early guess at the 2020 53-man roster. However, it's a pretty certain bet that Detroit will make an addition or two either prior to or during the preseason. They signed DT Mike Daniels last year post-draft, have traded for players like Eli Harold (2018) and Greg Robinson (2017), or adding players via waivers (OT Andrew Donnal, DB Dee Virgin, RB J.D. McKissic, DE Romeo Okwara). So expect that there's another move or two that would add a player to this list...But here we go (please keep in mind some slight changes with the new CBA...it's still a 53-man roster, with a now 12 person practice squad, but there are now 2 additional active players, up to 48 from 46, with 2 practice squad players elevated per week)
Depth Chart / 53-Man Roster
QB (2/53): Matthew Stafford / Chase Daniel RB (7/53): Kerryon Johnson / D'Andre Swift / Ty Johnson / Bo Scarbrough / FB Luke Sellers WR (12/53): Kenny Golladay / Marvin Jones Jr. / Danny Amendola / Marvin Hall / Quintez Cephus TE (16/53): T.J. Hockenson / Jesse James / Isaac Nauta / Hunter Bryant OL (25/53): Taylor Decker / Joe Dahl / Frank Ragnow / Jonah Jackson / Hal Vaitai / Tyrell Crosby / Beau Benzschawel / Kenny Wiggins / Logan Stenberg DL (32/53): Trey Flowers / Da'Shawn Hand / Danny Shelton / Nick Williams / John Penisini / Romeo Okwara / Austin Bryant LB (39/53): Jamie Collins / Jarrad Davis / Christian Jones / Jahlani Tavai / Reggie Ragland / Julian Okwara CB (45/53): Desmond Trufant / Justin Coleman / Jeff Okudah / Amani Oruwariye / Jamal Agnew / Darryl Roberts S (50/53): Tracy Walker / Duron Harmon / Will Harris / Jayron Kearse / Jeremiah Dinson ST (53/53): K Matt Prater / P Jack Fox / LS Don Muhlbach Thus some likely practice squad candidates: WR Chris Lacy or WR Travis Fulgham, S Jalen Elliott or S Bobby Price, RB Wes Hills, QB David Blough, LB Christian Sam or LB Anthony Pittman or LB Jason Cabinda, G Josh Garnett, DT Kevin Strong, DL Jashon Cornell, DE Jonathan Wynn, and some others I'm sure they'll add from other cuts.
Week 1, Sept. 13: vs. Chicago Bears - The concern here is if Nick Foles is able to find some of the magic that led him and Philly to the Super Bowl. If not, Detroit nearly beat the Bears without Stafford in both games, so fairly confident Detroit can pull this one out. Detroit 28, Chicago 17. Week 2, Sept. 20: at Green Bay Packers - Despite nearly winning both games, only to lose on last second FG attempts in both games, this one will be tough. Aaron Rodgers will likely be out for blood to start the season. Green Bay 31, Detroit 23. Week 3, Sept. 27: at Arizona Cardinals - The Lions have been bad in the back end of back-to-back road games. With the Cardinals adding key pieces to their offense like WR DeAndre Hopkins, OT Josh Jones, and a defensive piece in S Isaiah Simmons, they're going to be tougher than last year, a game that Patricia and Pasqualoni's play-calling blew. Arizona 27, Detroit 24. Week 4, Oct. 4: vs. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees is back for another season at least, and the Saints are going to be a Super Bowl contender once again. Perhaps getting them at home gives them the best shot to pull off an upset, but hard to see it at this point. New Orleans 34, Detroit 20. Week 6, Oct. 18: at Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars lost perhaps more starters than any other team, with DT Marcell Dareus, CB A.J. Bouye and plenty of others to trades, cuts, and free agency. While QB Gardner Minshew is around as the start, the Jags may be looking at a tank in 2020. Detroit 26, Jacksonville 17. Week 7, Oct. 25: at Atlanta Falcons - If Detroit is going to win the back of end of consecutive road games, it'll be this one. The Falcons added some nice pieces (DE Dante Fowler, RB Todd Gurley, CB A.J. Terrell) but overall, this team has dropped off from the one who appeared in the Super Bowl not too long ago. Detroit 33, Atlanta 28. Week 8, Nov. 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts - This is my hinge game for the season. If Detroit loses here, playoffs are a long-shot, pending a handful of upsets at the end of the season. However, QB Philip Rivers was not good in LAC last year, and I don't expect that to change. Detroit 23, Indianapolis 19. Week 9, Nov. 8: at Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings also went through a bit of a re-shaping of their roster, with like half of their defense changing place. I think Detroit will have a good chance to split with the Vikings, but the road games is definitely not the one I'm predicting. Minnesota 26, Detroit 21. Week 10, Nov. 15: vs. Washington Redskins - The Redskins were absolute brilliant this offseason. With needs at practically every position except edge rusher, their biggest add this year was....edge rusher. They'll need to hope that Chase Young can rack up 5 sacks per game, or else they really don't have a shot. Detroit 37, Washington 17. Week 11, Nov. 22: at Carolina Panthers - Former Baylor HC Matt Rhule will attempt to rebuild a strong defense, which was the sole focus of their draft. However, the Panthers offense still has plenty of question marks, including what caliber Bridgewater we're getting. Detroit 17, Carolina 14. Week 12, Nov. 26: vs. Houston Texans (Thanksgiving Day) - Former Patriot assistants clash on Thanksgiving, as Bill O'Brien made some odd moves over the last two seasons, including the aforementioned trade of Hopkins. Detroit finds a way to pull this one out. Detroit 30, Houston 27 (OT). Week 13, Dec. 6: at Chicago Bears - The Bears at this point will either in the thick of contention with their defense leading the charge, or the offense will again have imploded and they'll be turning their attention to scouting QB's like Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields. Detroit 27, Chicago 23. Week 14, Dec. 13: vs. Green Bay Packers - The Lions get the Packers in Ford Field with a chance to split. Ultimately however, I still have concerns about Detroit's depth, especially on the DL and OL. The Packers have a bit better depth there, and I think that'll give them a shot to steal a game. Green Bay 22, Detroit 21. Week 15, Dec. 20: at Tennessee Titans - Unless Detroit adds another starting caliber player on the interior DL, I am quite skeptical that Detroit will be able to pull out a win over a run heavy team like the Titans, with Derrick Henry leading the charge. Tennessee 20, Detroit 17. Week 16, Dec. 27: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tom Brady comes to Detroit shortly after Christmas. Perhaps no team had a more exciting offseason than the Bucs, who brought in future Hall of Famers in Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Tampa Bay 33, Detroit 20. Week 17, Jan. 3: vs. Minnesota Vikings - I'd be tempted to have the Vikings taking the week off, already having clinched a playoff spot, but with only 1 bye week now, that's less likely to happen, and the Vikings will want to ensure they get the better matchup. Minnesota 30, Detroit 26. Final Record: 8-8, 3rd in the NFC North Ultimately, I am not sure if this is enough to keep Patricia and Quinn. Should it befall like this, I would likely move on due to a late season collapse (I have it as a 4-game losing streak to knock them out of the playoffs). But perhaps it's just enough.
What Could Change This
Think it's also important to add a few points on what could vary the prediction in large ways... 1.) Injuries - whether to Detroit or to specifically NFC North opponents. A good example is Matt Stafford going down last season took Detroit from a pretty competitive .500 team to an absolute trainwreck. For example, should the Vikings lose Cousins or the Packers lose Rodgers, their likely shot at playoff contention vanishes. Chicago is probably the only team that wouldn't be massively impacted by a QB injury, but that speaks more so to their lack of certainty than it does to their depth. 2.) Adding another contributor or two. I specifically mention DL depth, as I think that's a big spot Detroit should look for another quality player. Even if it is an injury prone player like Mike Daniels or Marcell Dareus, it's probably worth the risk for a team who needs to win this season. Also be sure to watch 3.) Breakout performances - George Kittle went from a 40-catch, 500 yard, 2 TD rookie year to being an absolute monster in 2018 (88 catches, 1400 yards, 5 TD). Should Hockenson take a leap like that, think the offense could carry this team to more wins. Additionally, if guys like Jamie Collins can play like he did last year, or breakouts from younger guys like Tracy Walker or Da'Shawn Hand on defense, or even the rookies, you'd see some major improvements. 4.) Regression - The million dollar question is if the back injury slows Stafford at all, or if he comes back firing on all cylinders like he was. If he declines a bit, I think this team would then be closer to 6-10 or 7-9. Additionally, bringing in experienced players like Collins and Trufant is great, but if they start regressing then those are guys you were counting on now stepping back.
Last week saw big upsets around every corner. Chiefs (-5), Falcons (-2.5), Cowboys (-7), and Chargers (-7) were all popular picks last week that lost. My NE pick from last week survived the culling and we continue on with just the one loss. If you've selected different teams up to this point, make sure to check out the downloadable excel file is available at the bottom to enter your own teams and run it for yourself. I don't care about stupid math stuff, just give me the team Fine. Buffalo Bills Last week was a tough one to get through, but the schedule really opens up ahead. Using the Bills at home against a winless Miami team that just lost to winless Washington seems like the obvious choice. For those of you who don't like picking the most popular team, San Francisco, GB, and NE are all big favorites this week as well. Season so far 5-1. Had a nice bounce back this week, getting the win and avoiding the chaos of upsets on Sunday. The schedule opens up quite a bit from here with only 3 games below an 80% chance of winning. Season Long Outlook Teams in italics are changes from last week. This is simply to give some insight into why team X or Y aren't being picked this week. It's usually because they are better off being used later in the season, or it's because I've already used them.
The only change is the week 8 pick. We're now swapping out the Saints with the Steelers Both games are fairly equal currently at 86 vs 84 percent chance of victory, so this could easily change back based on this week's results. Now that we are getting a better idea of who the good and bad teams are, along with using up many of the better teams already, we can expect the future predictions to stay pretty consistent. If the Rams continue to struggle we might be in a tough spot come week 17. Nerdy Math Stuff P(Win out) = 13.1% E(Wins) = 14.16 (+0.17) -- Yup, I'm expected to lose two more games this year Methedology I get team win percentages from 538 for every game in the entire season. I update probabilities for the current week based on Vegas betting lines to better take into account current team situations that 538's computer models can't account for. With all of these values, I run something called the Hungarian Algorithm which solves the best possible choices to maximize the total win percentage values. This makes sure to use each team when it's optimal to do so. The method used for this maximizes your chance of making it through the whole season undefeated. This is ideal if you are in a very large (70+ person) league. If however, you are in a small league that is unlikely to have everyone make it to the end and the last person standing is the winner, than the above picks will be less than ideal. If you're in one of these smaller leagues, download the file below, enter your league size and get the team list specifically for your league. Download After getting a lot of "What if I picked teams A and B already?" or "What if there are only 20 people left in my league?" or "What if I can only pick teams that play on Sunday?" I got you covered. I cleaned up the sheet and added a couple of features that should work for everyone. You can download it from Mediafire. Enter what days of the week you're allowed to pick games on, enter the total remaining entries in your league, and the teams you've already picked and just click the "Calculate" button. If you don't like waiting for my post, you can also update the data from 538 and enter the point spreads yourself, but I'll continue to update and post it here every Wednesday as well.
A big project here that has been underway for a bit, with some tweaking as needed. I only made trades in the first round. Any trades you see are reflective of first round deals. There's usually a handful of them, so I tried to really push for trades, rather than a take a less realistic approach to it and be super conservative about. Additionally, I added a few 3rd round compensatory picks, based on the projections from over the cap.
1.1 - Cincinnati Bengals - QB Joe Burrow (LSU). Don't need too much explanation here. Burrow is the best QB in this draft, perhaps even the best player, given how Chase Young was a bit quiet against Michigan & Clemson. Bringing him back to Ohio is too good. 1.2 - Washington Redskins - EDGE Chase Young (Ohio State). Another very easy pick, as Young has the potential to step into the NFL as a game changer from the first snap. Explosive, smart, and incredible hands, he has franchise changing potential. 1.3 - TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers - QB Tua Tagavailoa (Alabama). Miami could perhaps outbid the Chargers, but I don't see Miami wanting to give up too much of their stockpile for one player, especially given how many needs the Dolphins have. Thus, their #6 pick, a 3rd, and a 2021 1st round pick to Detroit for LAC to get a QB who could get them back to the playoffs immediately. 1.4 - New York Giants - OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia). This feels like such a good fit. Thomas is incredibly powerful, and fits the MO of the Giants well, building a powerful run game behind Saquon Barkley. 1.5 - Miami Dolphins - QB Justin Herbert (Oregon). According to reports, the Dolphins have done the most work on Herbert, and with the Chargers jumping up for Tua, the Dolphins choose to tap Herbert as their new starting QB, and hopefully fill out the rest of their needs with their massive stockpile of picks. 1.6 TRADE: Detroit Lions - DT Derrick Brown (Auburn). The Lions move back and still have their pick of Brown or Okudah, the two most popular names here. Ultimately, I went with Brown, as Brown can solve both their struggles stopping the run, and provide an interior pass rush. 1.7 Carolina Panthers - CB Jeff Okudah (Ohio State). The Panthers are probably hoping to get Brown, as his explosiveness is unreal, but Okudah could be an excellent piece to Matt Rhule's new defense, with his lockdown coverage ability. 1.8 TRADE: New York Jets - OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa). As the Cardinals debate OL vs. WR, the Jets ensure they land a top OT by offering them their 3rd round pick and a future 6th round pick. The Cardinals accept, and the Jets get Sam Darnold some much needed protection. 1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama). A great spot for the Jaguars, as Jeudy is arguably the best player left on the board, and also fills a big need for an offensive playmaker. Whether Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew starts for the Jags next season, Jeudy will make their lives easier. 1.10 Cleveland Browns - OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama). With Cleveland a sure bet to take a tackle, the Jets hopped them to get their choice. The Browns still take Wills, who has the athleticism to play either side, but either way is a big upgrade for Cleveland, as they attempt to rebuild their offensive line. 1.11 TRADE: Arizona Cardinals - WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma). With their decision now made for them, the Cardinals take perhaps the biggest playmaker on the board. Lamb is an exceptional fit for Kingsbury's passing attack, and he should give them a replacement for Larry Fitzgerald, whenever he chooses to retire. 1.12 Las Vegas Raiders - LB/S Isaiah Simmons (Clemson). With a big need to improve the speed of their LB spot, the Raiders take Simmons, which also fits nicely with Mayhew's affinity for Clemson players. Simmons' versatility is perhaps the best among any player in this draft. 1.13 TRADE: Philadelphia Eagles - CB Kristian Fulton (LSU). With teams like Dallas, Jacksonville, and Miami ahead of them, the Eagles act promptly to get the cornerback of their choosing. Sending their 2nd round pick and a 2021 day three pick to Indy, the Eagles land an elite cover corner in Fulton. 1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina). With the top 3 quarterbacks gone, the Bucs opt to do the smart thing, and take the disruptive DT from South Carolina. If they retain Barrett, this could be quite the deadly pass rush next season. 1.15 Denver Broncos - WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama). The Broncos could use some speed to compliment Courtland Sutton at WR. Pairing the two of them should give second-year QB Drew Lock a promising group of pass catchers, as he attempts to bring the Broncos back to the playoffs. 1.16 Atlanta Falcons - EDGE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa). Almost too good to be true for the Falcons, as they get the second best pass rusher at 16 without having to move up. Thankfully the board falls well to them, and Epenesa gives them a powerful pass rushing presence to boost their DL. 1.17 Dallas Cowboys - S Grant Delpit (LSU). This pick seems almost too trendy, but that's because it's just a fantastic fit. Delpit's stock dropped a bit due to some poor tackling, but his ability to make plays all around the field is still unmatched at the safety position. A great fit in Dallas. 1.18 Miami Dolphins (via PIT) - OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville). The next tackle off the board comes to Miami, as the Dolphins need to rebuild this unit in a massive way. And what better way than to add a massive pass protector like Becton, who can keep Herbert clean for years to come. 1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI) - WR Tee Higgins. Wouldn't it be nice to grab a QB here Bears fans? Instead, the Raiders add a weapon on the outside in Higgins, whose elite body control allows him to come down with some insane catches. He gives the Raiders the outside weapon they're searching for. 1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) - CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama). The Jaguars could use a corner to play across from Bouye, and Diggs has elite size, and the ability to be a stud for them. 1.21 TRADE: Indianapolis Colts - EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State). I'd love to see the Colts target Arik Armstead in free agency to improve their pass rush, but if they don't, grabbing a high potential pass rusher like YGM would be an excellent move, especially after trading back for more picks. 1.22 Buffalo Bills - WR Laviska Shenault (Colorado). Shenault can make plays in so many different ways. He'd give OC Brian Daboll and QB Josh Allen a major boost with his play making. 1.23 New England Patriots - EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU). The Patriots would be best not using this on a tight end, as they are slow developers in their first seasons. Instead, go sign Hunter Henry, and then draft a pass rusher like Chaisson to help your defense continue to disrupt opposing offenses. 1.24 New Orleans Saints - LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma). The Saints could use some help in the middle of their defense, and Murray can make plays from sideline to sideline, a very well-rounded player. 1.25 Minnesota Vikings - CB C.J. Henderson (Florida). Death, taxes, Vikings drafting 1st round corners. Though this time, the need for one is very clear, given the potential exodus of corners they could have in free agency. Henderson has the ability to be a lockdown corner in Mike Zimmer's defense. 1.26 Miami Dolphins (via HOU) - RB D'Andre Swift (Georgia). Fans usually hate running backs in the first round, but the value of Swift here, compared to reaching on a pass rusher or guard here, is fantastic. He's a dynamic back, with play making ability both as a runner and as a pass catcher. 1.27 TRADE: Tennessee Titans - EDGE Curtis Weaver (Boise State) - The Titans hop ahead of the Ravens, landing the pass rushing OLB of their choice in Weaver. A strong pass rusher with plenty of moves, he and Harold Landry would form a scary good young duo in Tennessee. 1.28 Baltimore Ravens - WR Justin Jefferson (LSU) - Rather than reach for an edge rusher, the Ravens add Jefferson, whose electrifying season was a big part of why LSU are the national champions. He can help Lamar Jackson in a lot of ways, and is a pretty willing blocker in the run game. 1.29 TRADE: Seattle Seahawks - OT Lucas Niang (TCU) - Picking up a 2021 3rd round pick to swap with the Titans, the Seahawks use this pick to grab Niang, and give Russell Wilson some more protection, an upgrade over Ifedi in Seattle. 1.30 Green Bay Packers - WR Jalen Reagor (TCU) - Back to back Horned Frogs at the end of the first round, as the Packers add a big time weapon to their offense. Reagor's ability to take the top off of defenses would be a huge boost for Rodgers. 1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - RB Travis Etienne (Clemson) - Wanted to give the Chiefs some defensive help, but nothing stood out as a great fit. Instead, the Chiefs take the best player left on the board in Etienne, and continue to add elite weapons to an already dangerous offense. 1.32 TRADE: Carolina Panthers - QB Jordan Love (Utah State). The 49ers are low on picks in this draft, so a trade back to replenish their ammo would be great. And the Panthers land themselves Love, who can develop under Rhule and new Panthers OC Joe Brady, sending a 4th and a 7th round pick to the 49ers in return.
2.1 Cincinnati Bengals - OT Josh Jones (Houston). Now that they have their franchise QB, they need to protect their franchise QB. With Jonah Williams added in last year, the Bengals add a long, athletic pass protector in Jones. 2.2 Indianapolis Colts (via WAS) - WR K.J. Hamler (Penn State). The Colts used their first pick to add defensive help, and now this pick turns into the speedy Hamler to help the offense. 2.3 Detroit Lions - CB A.J. Terrell (Clemson). After taking a DT in the first round, the Lions land a great fit in Terrell to give them some needed cornerback help. 2.4 New York Giants - EDGE Zack Baun (Wisconsin). Continuing to build the team from the inside out, the Giants add an excellent pass rusher in Baun, who has risen immensely since last season. 2.5 Los Angeles Chargers - OT Austin Jackson (USC). Like the Bengals, the Chargers need to find protection for their new signal caller, and this comes in the local product out of USC. 2.6 TRADE: San Francisco 49ers - CB Jeff Gladney (TCU). After moving out of the first round, the 49ers add extra picks and now select a cornerback to boost their outstanding defense. 2.7 Miami Dolphins - G Soloman Kindley (Georgia). Miami needs to take multiple offensive linemen in the first two days of the draft, and they so here with a strong interior guard in Kindley. 2.8 Arizona Cardinals - DT Raekwon Davis (Alabama). After adding CeeDee Lamb in the first, the Cardinals add a long, powerful DT to give a boost to their defense, rather than reach on OL here. 2.9 Cleveland Browns - S Xavier McKinney (Alabama). The Browns should have plenty of opportunities to fill their biggest needs with elite prospects, and they do exactly that by adding McKinney here. 2.10 Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin). The theme here is continuing to add weapons to this offense, and Taylor can be a big boost either in tangent with Fournette, or as a pass catcher out of the backfield. 2.11 Chicago Bears (via LVR) - G/C Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin). Back to back Badgers, as the Bears add some much needed help on the OL in Biadasz, who can easily slide to guard alongside Daniels. 2.12 Indianapolis Colts - QB Jacob Eason (Washington). The Colts may have waited a bit, but they do add a QB with immense potential in the strong armed-Eason. A season behind Brissett could do him wonders. 2.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn). The Bucs find themselves a pass protector, and PTW may have the highest ceiling out of all these guys due to his immense athleticism. 2.14 Denver Broncos - OT Isaiah Wilson (Georgia). The Broncos too need to find some help at OT, and they get that with Wilson, another incredibly athletic SEC pass protector. 2.15 Atlanta Falcons - DT Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma). Didn't like a fit for any corners here, so the Falcons take Gallimore and provide a boost to their defensive line. 2.16 New York Jets - EDGE Terrell Lewis (Alabama). In need of pass rushers as well, the Jets take a chance on Lewis, who has immense potential, but has dealt with some injuries. 2.17 Pittsburgh Steelers - EDGE Julian Okwara (Notre Dame). The Steelers enter the draft, and they pick Notre Dame's top edge rusher, a crafty and surprisingly strong pass rusher. 2.18 Chicago Bears - TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame). The first tight end off the board is Kmet, who will provide Trubisky another weapon in hopes that he can get things figured out. 2.19 Dallas Cowboys - DT Justin Madibuike (Texas A&M). The Cowboys first two picks gives them two impact defenders to help straighten out their defense. 2.20 Los Angeles Rams - OT Trey Adams (Washington). If the Rams want another run at the Super Bowl, heck, even the playoffs, they need to upgrade their OL, and they do that with the massive product out of Washington. 2.21 TRADE: Indianapolis Colts - TE Hunter Bryant (Washington) Picking this up from the Eagles, the Colts reunite Bryant and Eason, giving them a natural replacement for Ebron as a pass catching TE. 2.22 Buffalo Bills - EDGE Jabari Zuniga (Florida). The Bills add a pass rusher here, as Zuniga's excellent play earns him a spot in the second round. 2.23 Atlanta Falcons (via NE) - CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah) - The Falcons add a corner with the pick they received in the Sanu trade. Johnson was a major asset for the tough Utah defense. 2.24 Miami Dolphins (via NO) - EDGE Jonathan Greenard (Florida). Just two picks behind a fellow Gator's pass rusher, Greenard fits Flores scheme quite well, and provides some pass rush help. 2.25 Houston Texans - RB Cam Akers (Florida State). Akers may be the most underrated back in this draft, as he managed to put up excellent footage in Tallahassee, despite playing behind that garbage OL. 2.26 Minnesota Vikings - T/G Calvin Throckmorten (Oregon). The Vikings run came to end as the 49ers obliterated their OL. They address that with the RT out of Oregon. 2.27 Seattle Seahawks - EDGE Darrell Taylor (Tennessee). The Seahawks will likely re-sign Jadeveon Clowney as a powerful SDE, but adding an edge rusher who gets after the QB a bit more would be great. 2.28 Baltimore Ravens - ILB Troy Dye (Oregon). Filling the void left by C.J. Mosley, Dye steps into to a Ravens defense, and could be a bit component for them going forward. 2.29 Tennessee Titans - RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State). This would change if the Titans re-sign Derrick Henry, however, with a very good offensive line, the Titans could likely continue rushing success without Henry. 2.30 Green Bay Packers - DT Ross Blacklock (TCU). Perhaps one of my favorite "sleepers" of the draft, Blacklock has a fantastic blend of size and quickness to him. 2.31 Kansas City Chiefs - CB Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi St.). A big, physical corner, Dantzler should step in and contribute for the Chiefs fairly quickly, given their needs at corner. 2.32 Seattle Seahawks - WR Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona St.). A big play waiting to happen every time the ball heads his direction, Aiyuk would give Russell Wilson an electric weapon.
3.1 Cincinnati Bengals - C Nick Harris (Washington) 3.2 Washington Redskins - WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan) 3.3 Detroit Lions - EDGE Bradlee Anae (Utah) 3.4 TRADE: Arizona Cardinals - G John Simpson (Clemson) - from trade w/ NYJ (via NYG). 3.5 Carolina Panthers - DT Rashard Lawrence (LSU) 3.6 Miami Dolphins - G Shane Lemiuex (Oregon) 3.7 TRADE: Detroit Lions - WR Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) - from trade w/ LAC. 3.8 Arizona Cardinals - OT Yasir Durant (Missouri) 3.9 Jacksonville Jaguars - S Ashtyn Davis (California) 3.10 Cleveland Browns - G Ben Bredeson (Michigan) 3.11 Indianapolis Colts - DL Marlon Davidson (Auburn) 3.12 Tampa Bay Bucs - CB Deommodore Lenoir (Oregon) 3.13 Denver Broncos - CB Lamar Jackson (Nebraska) 3.14 Atlanta Falcons - WR Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) 3.15 New York Jets - S Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota) 3.16 Las Vegas Raiders - CB/S Shyheim Carter (Alabama) 3.17 Las Vegas Raiders - LB Jacob Phillips (LSU) 3.18 Dallas Cowboys - WR Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) 3.19 Denver Broncos (via PIT) - OT Robert Hunt (UL-Lafayette) 3.20 Los Angeles Rams - DT Leki Fotu (Utah) 3.21 Philadelphia Eagles - S Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne) 3.22 Buffalo Bills - EDGE Anfernee Jennings (Alabama) 3.23 New England Patriots - QB Jake Fromm (Georgia) 3.24 New Orleans Saints - QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) 3.25 Minnesota Vikings - DL Nick Coe (Auburn) 3.26 Cleveland Browns (via HOU) - LB Malik Harrison (Ohio State) 3.27 Las Vegas Raiders (via SEA) - WR Devin Duvernay (Texas) 3.28 Baltimore Ravens - EDGE Khalid Kareem (Notre Dame) 3.29 Tennessee Titans - DT Jordan Elliott (Missouri) 3.30 Green Bay Packers - LB Jordan Mack (Virginia) 3.31 Kansas City Chiefs - LB Jordyn Brooks (Texas Tech) 3.32 Denver Broncos (via SF) - OT Scott Franz (Kansas State) Compensatory Picks (as predicted by OverTheCap) 3.33 New England Patriots - OT Ezra Cleveland (Boise State) 3.34 New York Giants - WR Gabriel Davis (UCF) 3.35 New England Patriots - TE Adam Trautman (Dayton) 3.36 Seattle Seahawks - S Hamsah Nasirildeen (Florida State) 3.37 Houston Texans - EDGE Josh Uche (Michigan) 3.38 Pittsburgh Steelers - TE Colby Parkinson (Stanford) 3.39 Philadelphia Eagles - CB Thomas Graham (Oregon)
4.1 Cincinnati Bengals - WR Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty) 4.2 Washington Redskins - CB Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech) 4.3 Detroit Lions - RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) 4.4 New York Giants - CB Damon Arnette (Ohio State) 4.5 Houston Texans (via MIA) - C/G Netane Muti (Fresno State) 4.6 Los Angeles Chargers - C Matt Hennessy (Temple) 4.7 TRADE: San Francisco 49ers - C Jake Hanson (Oregon) 4.8 Arizona Cardinals - RB Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma St.) 4.9 Cleveland Browns - OT Jack Driscoll (Auburn) 4.10 Jacksonville Jaguars - LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian St.) 4.11 Tampa Bay Bucs - RB Eno Benjamin (Arizona St.) 4.12 Denver Broncos - DT Raequan Williams (Michigan St.) 4.13 Atlanta Falcons - CB Darnay Holmes (UCLA) 4.14 New York Jets - EDGE Kenny Willekes (Michigan St.) 4.15 Las Vegas Raiders - QB Anthony Gordon (Washington St.) 4.16 Indianapolis Colts - RB Kylin Hill (Mississippi St.) 4.17 Dallas Cowboys - WR Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon St.) 4.18 Pittsburgh Steelers - OT Ben Bartch (St. John's) 4.19 New England Patriots (via CHI) - LB Logan Wilson (Wyoming) 4.20 Los Angeles Rams - WR Chase Claypool (Notre Dame) 4.21 Philadelphia Eagles - WR Denzel Mims (Baylor) 4.22 Buffalo Bills - WR Jauan Jennings (Tennessee) 4.23 Baltimore Ravens - RB A.J. Dillon (Boston College 4.24 New Orleans Saints - CB Bryce Hall (Virginia) 4.25 Houston Texans - TE Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) 4.26 Minnesota Vikings - WR Lynn Bowden (Kentucky) 4.27 Seattle Seahawks - G Logan Stenberg (Kentucky) 4.28 Baltimore Ravens - Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) 4.29 Pittsburgh Steelers (via TEN) - OT Justin Herron (Wake Forrest) 4.30 Green Bay Packers - OT Matt Peart (UCONN) 4.31 Kansas City Chiefs - CB Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern) 4.32 Denver Broncos (via SF) - LB Cameron Brown (Penn State) Anyways. That's my shot at one. Tell me why you hate it...
DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average. DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run. ATS = Against the spread DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019
Opp (NYJ) Pass DVOA: #25 Opp (NYJ) Run DVOA: #2 Injuries to Watch DEF (NYJ): DB Rontez Miles (OUT, placed on IR) LB CJ Mosley (Q) DB Darryl Roberts (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (NYG): TE Evan Engram (OUT) C Jon Halapop (OUT) WR Sterling Shepard (OUT) OT Mike Remmers (D) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Sterling Shepard (24%) Golden Tate (23%) Evan Engram (20%) Saquon Barkley (18%) Darius Slayton (13%) Rhett Ellison (8%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 9: Saquon Barkley (82%, 20, 8) Wayne Gallman (18%, 0, 1) QB/WTE Breakdown The Giants season has been up and down so far, mostly down, but going up against the team they share a stadium with is a very winnable matchup for the G-Men. Daniel Jones (upgrade) makes for a decent bye week fill in, going up against a defense ranked in the bottom-8 for Pass DVOA, while also ranked in the top-2 for Run DVOA - attacking the Jets through the air seems a likely scenario. Unfortunately for Danny Dimes, he’ll be without Sterling Shepard and stud TE Evan Engram. It’s an exploitable matchup, even with the lack of weapons - NYJ is giving up 18 FPPG to QBs and 26.1 FPPG to WRs. With Shepard out again, Golden Tate (upgrade PPR) will remain the focal point of the passing game, he’s the WR10 the last four weeks (PPR) and can be treated as a solid upside WR2. After Tate, the other options get a bit more dicey, Darius Slayton cashed in two touchdowns in Week 8 against DET, but he did his damage on just two catches. He has yet to clear 4 catches in a game this year, and has gotten more than 5 targets just once. He’s no more a DFS dart throw. Rhett Ellison is a popular TE streamer for this week, and with good reason, with Engram and Shepard out almost 45% of the target share is up for grabs. Consider him a back-end TE1/2 - the Jets only give up 5.1 FPPG to the position, 5th best. RB Breakdown Last week against DAL was a disappointing showing for Saquon Barkley (downgrade), as he put up just 28 yards on the ground. Luckily, he’s also a stud pass-catching back, and his 6-48-0 receiving line salvaged an otherwise extremely low-floor week. A similar story should occur this weekend, as the Jets boast a top Run DVOA - however, they are giving up 18.5 FPPG to running backs. That number is likely inflated by Sony Michel’s three touchdown day against NYJ, but either way, Barkley’s passing game chops should keep his floor high - He’s an every week RB1. Barkley owners would be wise to scoop clear handcuff Wayne Gallman.
Opp (NYG) Pass DVOA: #27 Opp (NYG) Run DVOA: #14 Injuries to Watch DEF (NYG): None Injuries to Watch OFF (NYJ): RB Le’Veon Bell (P) TE Chris Herndon (P) OL Ryan Kalil (D) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Le’veon Bell (20%) Jamison Crowder (20%) Robby Anderson (19%) Demaryius Thomas (17%) Ryan Griffin (9%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 9: Le’Veon Bell (88%, 25, 9) Bilal Powell (10%, 2, 0) Ty Montgomery (2%, 0, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown Any hope the Jets had of turning their season around died last week with their loss to the lowly Miami Dolphins. Sitting at just 1-7, the Jets are looking at a high pick in next years draft, again, and it’s a wonder that Adam Gase keeps getting hired considering his track record. The battle for New York is a winnable matchup for the Jets and Sam Darnold, assuming he can stop seeing ghosts (clearly he saw them again last week). The G-Men are giving up 20.4 FPPG to QBs and 28 FPPG to WRs - however, starting Darnold in most formats even in a good matchup, seems more like a desperation wish than a savvy play. Jamison Crowder (upgrade PPR) is the best bet of the receiving options, as he continues to thrive in the slot as Darnold’s get of jail free card. He can be treated as a back-end WR2 in a solid matchup. Robby Anderson is a much riskier endeavor. So far this season, Anderson has only produced one fantasy viable day, and that was on the back of a 92-yard touchdown catch. Consider him a WR3/4, he’ll need to find the endzone to clear value. Although active last week, Chris Herndon was only to be used as an emergency stop gap due to the Jets dealing with a plethora of injuries, apparently they could barely field a 46-man roster. It appears that he is ready to play this week, which should bump fellow tight end Ryan Griffin off the fantasy radar. It’s unclear how big his role will be in his first game back, and the matchup isn’t great - NYG gives up only 6.1 FPPG to TEs. Consider both Griffin and Herndon low-end TE2’s until we get a clear picture of their snap rates/pass routes run. RB Breakdown It appears that Le’Veon Bell is on track to play this week, but owners should have a contingency plan in place if the workhorse back is forced to sit. If Bell is out, it’s likely that NYJ uses Ty Montgomery for passing downs, while Bilal Powell would take over on early downs. The RBBC situation on the 31st ranked scoring offense makes neither backups appealing if Bell misses time. If Bell does play, treat him as an RB2 - NYG gives up 20.3 FPPG to backs, so the matchup is exploitable. Score Prediction: Giants 24, Jets 21
Opp (NO) Pass DVOA: #12 Opp (NO) Run DVOA: #6 Injuries to Watch DEF (NO): None Injuries to Watch OFF (ATL): QB Matt Ryan (P, expected to play) RB Ito Smith (OUT) G Wes Schweitzer (OUT) Key WCB matchups: Julio Jones vs. Eli Apple, Calvin Ridley vs. Marshon Lattimore (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Julio Jones (22%) Austin Hooper (18%) Calvin Ridley (14%) Devonta Freeman (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 8: Devonta Freeman (80%, 21, 8) Brian Hill (14%, 3, 0) Kenjon Barner (6%, 1, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown The Falcons season is currently sitting in the toilet, yet Matt Ryan (downgrade) continues to gut it out. It appears he’ll be available for the NFC South rivalry, improving the outlook of the entire offense. The Saints defense has gotten better all year, culminating in a top-6 Run DVOA and a top-12 Pass DVOA - however, they are giving up 19.3 FPPG to QBs and 25 FPPG to WRs (numbers that are likely inflated from early season). Ryan can be treated as a back-end QB1, his passing volume should help shore up his floor. Both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are set to draw shadow matchups, going up against CB Eli Apple and CB Marshon Lattimore respectively. Ridley destroyed the Saints last year, posting 7-146-3, resulting in Marshon Lattimore being switched onto him in the second half (Rotoworld). Another interesting fact about last years Week 3 matchup between these two teams - Julio, although shadowed by Eli Apple, was also bracketed by a safety, while Lattimore shadowed Ridley on an island (Rotoworld). Regardless of scheme, Julio remains a WR1 in any matchup, his large target volume provides a high-floor. Ridley can be treated as a boom-or-bust WR3. Russell Gage worked as the No. 3 WR for ATL with the departure of Sanu to NE, but he’s no more than a deep league or DFS dart throw option. Austin Hooper continues to produce as a top-3 TE, he needs to be in all lineups regardless of matchup. RB Breakdown Although disappointing to many owners that drafted him, Devonta Freeman (downgrade) is currently sitting as the RB18 in PPR formats, putting him squarely in the RB2 mix. This week however, does not project as a boom week - NO is ceding just 10.9 FPPG to RBs. Freeman has been heavily utilized in the passing game over Atlanta’s last 5 games, catching 26 balls. Although the matchup is imposing, his passing game usage should help his floor, treat him as a back-end RB2. With Ito Smith out, Brian Hill has run clearly behind Freeman. He can be left on the wire for now.
Opp (ATL) Pass DVOA: #31 Opp (ATL) Run DVOA: #10 Injuries to Watch DEF (ATL): CB Desmond Trufant (Q) DE John Cominsky (OUT) Injuries to Watch OFF (NO): RB Alvin Kamara (P, expected to play) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Michael Thomas (30%) Alvin Kamara (21%) Ted Ginn (12%) Jared Cook (12%) Latavius Murray (10%) Josh Hill (9%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 8: Latavius Murray (91%, 30, 12) Dwayne Washington (9%, 3, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown Bridgewater or Drew Brees (upgrade), it doesn’t seem to matter, NO just keeps on rolling. On tap is a matchup against one of the league's worst pass defenses - ATL boasts the second worst Pass DVOA and gives up 23.8 FPPG to QBs and 28 FPPG to WRs. Brees needs to be in all lineups, and is a good bet to vye for the top QB score this week. Michael Thomas (upgrade) is an absolute stud and needs to be in lineups regardless of matchup. The auxiliary pass options for NO are 100% in play for streaming, owners are likely looking for a one week plug-n-play due to the 6 teams on bye in Week 10. Ted Ginn (upgrade) is the clear No. 2 behind Thomas, and is the best bet for owners looking for find gold on the wire for this week, consider him an upside WR3 in the great matchup. Another burner, Tre-Quan Smith is set to return this week, bumping Austin Carr to the sidelines. He’s more of a desperation flex in his first game back, but he could be used in a pinch in deeper formats. Jared Cook is also set to make his return after missing two games - the matchup is good, ATL gives up 7.8 FPPG to TEs. However, he posted 2-37-0 in Week 1 with Brees healthy (Rotoworld), so he’s more of a low-end TE1 until we see higher usage. RB Breakdown If you read our free agent article from Week 6, you probably scooped Latavius Murray off the wire, and for that you deserve a pat on the back. He handled a superhuman amount of touches and targets in Week 8 (30 & 8!), and put up two straight weeks of 25 fantasy points or more with Alvin Kamara nursing an injury. Kamara is set to make his return this week following New Orleans Week 9 bye, and should slide immediately back into his old role. With Brees back under center, both RBs are viable again (akin to last years combo of Kamara/Ingram), consider Kamara an RB1 and Murray a flex option. The matchup sets up much better for the passing game than it does the running game - ATL is giving up 19.4 FPPG to RBs. However in this case, ATL is 13 point underdogs, so the projected positive game-script should afford Kamara/Murray plenty of scoring opportunities, fire them up. Score Prediction: Saints 34, Falcons 20
Opp (CIN) Pass DVOA: #30 Opp (CIN) Run DVOA: #29 Injuries to Watch DEF (CIN): Dre Kirkpatrick (OUT) Injuries to Watch OFF (BAL): OL Ronnie Stanley (Q) OG Marshal Yanda (Q) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Marquise Brown (26%) Mark Andrews (24%) Seth Roberts (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 9: Mark Ingram (44%, 17, 3) Gus Edwards (40%, 7, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown DFAroto’s Week 9 matchup guide correctly predicted that the Ravens would pull the upset last week, and the main reason behind that logic was the brilliance that is Lamar Jackson (upgrade even further?). A true cheat code for fantasy footballers, Jackson now gets a tasty matchup against one of the worst ranked team defenses by DVOA. Jackson owners will hope rookie QB Ryan Finley can keep this game competitive, as the only thing that can keep L-Jax down this week is an early blowout that allows him to take his foot off the pedal. Marquise Brown (upgrade standard) returned last week to face All-Pro CB Stephon Gillmore, and predictably was unable to produce a start-worthy stat line. This week he’ll do battle against an injury-riddled secondary that ranks in the middle of the league in FPPG to WRs, but is near the bottom in pass DVOA. Brown’s main concern this week is similar to Jacksons’: if the Ravens can win with defense and a strong run game, there will be less need for passing volume. However, it only takes one big play for Brown to hit on his ceiling, so consider him an upside WR3 this week in the favorable matchup. Mark Andrews has been Jackson’s most consistent target this year, and despite some up and down yardage totals, remains a top-10 TE1. The Bengals give up the fourth fewest FPPG to TEs, so this may not be the best week for a boom performance. Still, Andrews ability to get into the endzone and his role as the #1 passing option make him an attractive target this week. No other Ravens’ pass game option is worth real fantasy consideration now that Brown is back to full health. RB Breakdown Although the snap count has been surprisingly even the past few weeks, Mark Ingram (upgrade) continues to hold a strong edge in total touches over backup Gus Edwards (stash). The Ravens seem content to keep Ingram fresh by limiting his workload slightly, and the effectiveness of the run game does not suggest any alterations to that plan are imminent. Despite only touching the ball 17 times, Ingram racked up over 140 total yards, and was close to converting at least one TD. This type of efficiency, bolstered by his big-play ability and versatile role in one of the best offenses in the NFL, keeps him in the RB1 range. The matchup against the Bengals - they give up the second most FPPG to RBs - only further strengthens that case this week. Edwards is a valuable handcuff for Ingram owners at this point, considering he would likely step into a 15+ touch per game role, and his hard running in limited opportunities provides a glimpse of what he could be were Ingram to go down or miss a game late in the season if the Ravens lock up a playoff spot.
Opp (BAL) Pass DVOA: #14 Opp (BAL) Run DVOA: #24 Injuries to Watch DEF (BAL): None Injuries to Watch OFF (CIN): OT Cordy Glenn (Q, likely to play) AJ Green (OUT) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Tyler Boyd (26%) Auden Tate (18%) Alex Erickson (15%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 8: Joe Mixon (51%, 21, 4) Gio Bernard (40%, 5, 2) QB/WTE Breakdown Well the day has finally arrived. Andy Dalton hits the bench in favor of rookie Ryan Finley (best of luck), and the Bengals season manages to find new lows. Dalton was unable to procure even a single win this year, and despite miserable conditions around him, was the most likely candidate to shoulder the blame for a lost season. Realistically, this is probably the right move for a franchise that is in full tank/talent evaluation mode. According to some scouting reports, Finley is mobile in the pocket with decent awareness, but has somewhat limited arm strength that may stop him from making certain NFL throws (Thedraftnetwork.com). Working without what would be his top weapon in AJ Green (drop if needed) Finley is nowhere near the fantasy radar at this point. Tyler Boyd (downgrade) will continue to operate as the Bengals top pass catcher, and should be heavily targeted assuming the Ravens’ offense forces Cincinnati to throw this week. The Ravens give up the 9th most FPPG to WRs, so both Boyd and Auden Tate could theoretically have some success. However, with Jimmy Smith back healthy and Marlon Humphrey playing well all season, this Baltimore secondary is suddenly quite well stocked. The combination of this and the uncertain play of Finley means both wideouts are best considered more WR4 than WR3 this week. Boyd in particular may get a majority of Humphrey’s coverage, a matchup which yielded only 3 catches for 10 yards in Week 6. Consider benching him if you have better options. Tate could be the better play this week, but he has an uncertain floor with the rookie under center. Approach this offense with caution until we see gather some data on the new QB. RB Breakdown You know it’s been a tough year as a Joe Mixon owner when you get excited at the prospect of Cordy Glenn returning from injury. Glenn may in fact be back this week, and could give this horrendous offensive line a slight boost, but expecting it to suddenly provide Mixon with additional running room is most certainly fool’s gold. More important to Mixon’s outlook is the play of the rookie QB. If he plays well and increases the tempo and effectiveness of this offense, perhaps even mixing in some additional targets for Mixon, things could shift for the positive. If he struggles, expect another long day and low yardage total for one of the biggest fantasy busts of 2019. Mixon can’t be viewed as more than a TD-dependent RB2 who is only in your lineups because you likely don’t have anything better. The matchup against the Ravens - they give up the 8th fewest FPPG but have the 24th ranked rush defense by DVOA - is neither an upgrade nor a downgrade. The key is whether Cincinnati can keep this game competitive, and Ryan Finley can be productive. Betting on both of those things requires a serious leap of faith. Gio Bernard (stash) remains a useful handcuff for Mixon owners, especially those in position for playoffs, as an injury ahead of him would mean close to a full time role for Gio. That would likely result in solid RB2 value, especially in PPR leagues, as his pass-catching role would be more than Mixon has seen all season. Score Prediction: Ravens 27, Bengals 14
Opp (GB) Pass DVOA: #13 Opp (GB) Run DVOA: #26 Injuries to Watch DEF (GB): S Adrian Amos (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (CAR): OL Greg Little (Q) Key WCB matchups: None Relevant Target Share %’s (season): DJ Moore (25%) Curtis Samuel (22%) Christian McCaffrey (18%) Greg Olsen (14%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 9: Christian McCaffrey (86%, 27, 3) QB/WTE Breakdown While it was extremely disappointing to see Cam Newton’s foot injury force him onto IR this week, the strong play of Kyle Allen (downgrade) as a starter likely made the decision considerably easier. Allen has won five of his six starts, and while his fantasy value is extremely limited, he manages the game quite well. More importantly, he manages one task better than any: handing the ball off to Christian McCaffrey. Allen isn’t a streaming option in 1 QB leagues unless his matchup is ideal, and the Packers - giving up the eighth fewest FPPG to QBs - are not that. Curtis Samuel (upgrade) has put together a solid WR3 fantasy season to this point, which is somewhat impressive considering how little Allen’s been asked to do in the passing game. Samuel makes the most of his touches and always seems to have at least one “wow” play every week. Jaire Alexander hasn’t been shadowing receivers the past few weeks, and Kevin King has been limited by a groin injury of late (Rotoworld). Samuel is in play as an upside WR3 this week, especially considering the projected negative game script. DJ Moore has just about tied Samuel in targets since Allen took over, but his lack of big plays and TDs is severely limiting his upside. Moore is more attractive in PPR formats, and works with a solid yardage floor, but could really use some positive TD regression. Moore is a solid WR3 in PPR formats, and has some upside this week if Alexander ends up focusing more on Samuel on the outside. Both WRs should likely be in lineups considering the multitude of bye weeks around the NFL. Greg Olsen has struggled to produce since his big performances in Week 2 and 3. He’s healthy and running routes, but being fourth on the target spread in a run-heavy offense isn’t a recipe for success. He’s just a mid-tier TE2 that needs to get into the endzone to be useful. The Packers give up the 8th most FPPG to TEs, but don’t get your hopes up unless this turns into a shootout. RB Breakdown If you drafted in the top-3 and went with anyone other than CMC, you are likely kicking yourself over the missed opportunity to win your league. Christian McCaffrey has put together one of the more dominant individual fantasy seasons we have seen this decade, and is an obvious must start every single week. The Packers are actually quite vulnerable to the run - 5th most FPPG and 26th ranked by DVOA - but it simply doesn’t matter at this point. Reggie Bonnafon is the likely handcuff for CMC owners, but its not clear how things would actually shake out.
Opp (CAR) Pass DVOA: #3 Opp (CAR) Run DVOA: #32 Injuries to Watch DEF (CAR): CB James Bradberry (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (GB): None Key WCB matchups: Davante Adams vs. James Bradberry (Rotworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (season): Davante Adams (28%) Aaron Jones (17%) Allen Lazard (14%) Jimmy Graham (13%) Geronimo Allison (11%) Marquez Valdes-Scantling (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 9: Aaron Jones (59%, 9, 4) Jamaal Williams (44%, 8, 6) QB/WTE Breakdown The Packers experienced a long overdue off-day last week in the form of a “humble pie” blowout loss to the Chargers. Aaron Rodgers had his lowest yardage total on the season, and only barely salvaged his day with a TD and 2-PT conversion. The matchup doesn’t get much easier with the Panthers above average pass defense - 10th fewest FPPG and 3rd ranked pass DVOA - but it would be unwise to expect two low point totals in a row from the Packers. Both the defensive matchup and the Packers position as a home underdog would suggest this sets up better for the run game, so Rodgers ceiling may be capped slightly if things go to script. Still, even in the worst possible scenario last week, Rodgers was able to scrap 13 points together. And we all know the kind of games he’s capable of on the other end of the spectrum. He’s a mid-tier QB1 this week with a stable floor and some intriguing upside if this game turns into a shootout. Davante Adams return also improves Rodgers outlook, and provides fantasy owners with some clarity around who to start amongst the receiving options. With Adams out, both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison were tempting to throw into lineups based on potential upside alone. Now, both can be benched (or dropped in Allison’s case). Allen Lazard isn’t a realistic option either. Adams may face shadow coverage from James Bradberry, but the CB is not at 100% and was a DNP in Wednesday’s practice. He’s questionable to play, and if he were to miss it would be an upgrade to Adams outlook. Adams is knocking on the door of returning to WR1 status, and should obviously needs to be in all lineups. Jimmy Graham (downgrade) also takes a bit of a usage hit with Adams back, but is still in play as a low-end TE1. The Panthers give up the 6th fewest FPPG to TEs, and Graham is quite TD dependent at this point, so consider benching him if you have an alternative option with more upside. RB Breakdown The rollercoaster season for Aaron Jones (upgrade) continued in last week’s loss to the Chargers. A week after dominating as a receiver and showing off all of the tools in his toolbox, Jones got only nine total touches and again ceded a significant amount of pass game usage to Jamaal Williams (upgrade PPR). While it’s impossible to know what Jones’ usage will be this week, things set up well for him as the home favorite against a Panthers team giving up the sixth most FPPG to RBs. He can be viewed as a back-end RB1 that has upside for the RB1 overall finish this week. Williams is an RB2/flex in PPR formats, and more of a mid-tier flex in standard leagues. He makes for a solid play in a week filled with byes, especially considering the Panthers are such a favorable matchup for RBs. Score Prediction: Packers 24, Panthers 20
Welcome back to your official /NFL Power Rankings! 8 years ago, when /NFL was just a baby, these rankings began and as the sub has grown, we have been proud to remain one of it's most popular fixtures. Although many things of changed, our mission remains the same: to provide /NFL with rankings and analysis created by the users for the users. <3 31/32 rankers reporting An introduction for those new to this: Our system is simple, we have a fan from each team (somewhat randomly chosen over the years), and everyone ranks all 32 teams, and writes their team's blurb. We combine those rankings (tossing out the highest and lowest for each team to remove outliers), and that's the final rankings. How each ranker votes is in the link above, and that will be posted each week. Today, we're posting at 8pm Eastern to get the peak crowd, but these will typically be posted around 2pm Eastern on Tuesdays. If we screwed something up, feel free to let us know and we'll try to fix it. If you disagree, start a conversation about why we're wrong. Most of all, have fun, since that's the entire point of this wonderful game! Also please welcome Kijafa, JohnMacArthur, and (at least temporarily) Trapline as our newest rankers!
The defending Super Bowl champions will start the season with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles at QB. While the preseason raised more questions than it answered, if the Eagles intend to repeat, then Foles will need to shine until Carson Wentz is cleared to take back the reins.
"Each year is a new year, and each year has its own challenges. Again, each year we all have to regain our — to the best we can — our ability to perform our jobs. That's what I'm trying to do. I think that's what all of the players, all of the coaches, we're all trying to do that." - Bill Belichick.
Last year the Vikings had two top-ten-graded WRs, two top-ten-graded TEs, a surprisingly decent O-line that ranked 17th in pass blocking grade and 13th in run blocking grade, and the #1 defense in the NFL. They followed that up this off-season by upgrading at QB, signing a pro bowl DT (making it six total pro bowlers on the defense), and got Dalvin Cook back. Last time they looked this good (in 2010), everyone died, the team went 6-10 and our stadium collapsed. So fans are all pretty excited to find out how they're gonna lose their seventh-straight NFC Championship Game.
The Saints come into the 2018 season with high expectations. Answering the defensive questions alongside the explosion of one of fantasy football's favorite new weapons caused a big stir in 2017 and had them a play away from a title game. On paper the only limitation to them is a Drew Brees regression, which they appear to have built contingencies for. They lose Mark Ingram to start the season, but have a pretty favorable schedule in those 4 weeks.
News of the Rams' big name signings and extensions were among the top NFL headlines this off-season, as massive improvements on both sides of the ball gives fans tremendous hope for this season. Still, an embarrassing early exit in the playoffs last year leaves them appropriately skeptical if this team can execute on their talent when needed. While it is nice to have a floor of 8-8, instead of a ceiling of 8-8 (Fisher scars remain), the goal is to play football in February.
Straight to the point: Le'Veon Bell is betting on himself. He's betting that the Steelers will be lost without him. The Steelers are betting they won't be. The problem is that if the Steelers are right and James Conner is good enough to help the team win, saying "See, we told you so" doesn't build any good feelings with Bell and his camp. When you're starting a season, is this the kind of tension and drama you want?
The time for the Jaguars being the off-season darlings is over. It's time for them to put up or shut up. Duval vs. all y'all.
A middling Atlanta off-season included not much more than signing depth players and retaining current talent. If Jaguargator9's preseason curse doesn't come to fruition, Sarkisian can prove he belongs in the NFL as a play caller, and Matt Ryan can stop throwing butt interceptions, the sky another disappointing loss in another Super Bowl is the limit.
With a significantly overhauled roster and a new defensive coordinator, it's an interesting time for the Packers. The Bears come to Lambeau with the highest paid defensive player in the league to face the highest paid offensive player. Predictions that the NFCN will be a bloodbath this year will be tested immediately.
The Cal State Dominguez Hills Chargers FC find themselves in a familiar place when it comes to expectations for the 2018 season. Fans can get excited about the return of future HoFer Antonio Gates, but will he and the Chargers finally put the pieces together for a playoff run?
The Panthers are one of the biggest question marks among the early season contenders. What will Norv Turner's new offense produce as Cam Newton works with DJ Moore and Torrey Smith? And how will the defense fair against the offenses of the NFC South?
There are a lot of question marks going into the season for the Chiefs. How will second year starter Patrick Mahomes play? Will the secondary be as bad as advertised? Can they survive their early season brutal schedule? What in the world is wrong with Eric Berry? Hopefully after Week 1 some questions will be answered, for good or for bad.
The Titans made a bold move by firing their coach after winning a playoff game at the end of last year. The main question is going to be how quickly the players can mesh with the new defensive and offensive schemes. The biggest area of concern seems to be the learning curve for Marcus Mariota with Matt LaFleur's offense, which can take some time to master.
Texans fans finally have the chance to attend the Electric Circus this year, as it looks like Watt and Clowney may actually be uninjured and on the same field at the same time. And thankfully it seems our long-running QB drought has ended as fans (and coaches) expect that Watson will definitely Be Someone this season, but with only a few games under his belt since his injury, it's too early to crown him the People's Champ because, as everyone knows, it takes grinding to be a king (even for first round draft picks). Will the Texans finally sip the sweet syrup of victory, or will it be another season of double-cupping disappointment? Only time can tell.
The Lions caught an early wave of hype after the signing of new HC Matt Patricia in February, but most have cooled significantly on them since then. Less than outstanding preseason performances and roster moves by division rivals have certainly overshadowed Detroit. It's important to remember the Lions did aggressively address their biggest weakness this off-season, however, and if there is significant improvement in the run game, it could change everything for this team.
The biggest story entering the preseason was how first round rookie Lamar Jackson would do. But while he was having rookie growing pains, Joe Flacco had an excellent 16 attempts, and Robert Griffin III earned himself a roster spot as the backup. This high level of preseason play has become customary for the Ravens, with their 5-0 preseason following a couple of 4-0 ones, and increasing their preseason win streak to 13 games.
Its rare that a 6-10 team enters the season with such high expectations, but that is the result of the season-altering trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. From 1-10 to 5-0, 2017 was a tale of two seasons. All the questions around the Niners boil down to one basic question: Which team will show up in 2018?
The makeover of the Cowboys over the past two seasons has been disturbingly drastic. Now boasting the youngest roster in the NFC, casual fans will probably struggle to name more than a handful of starters from a roster full of question marks. Committed to building through the draft, this year will serve as first indicator as to whether or not this will be a repeat of the 1989 rebuild, which looks superficially similar.
The Bears took advantage of their financial flexibility to make a huge splash by trading for Khalil Mack and promptly making him rich. While the Bears are far from in "win now" mode, it's clear Pace thinks the young core of this team is good enough to be in serious contention over the next few seasons. With new head coach Matt Nagy at the helm, the Bears could be in store for a surprising, exciting season, even in a stacked NFC North.
Seattle's certainly going through a changing-of-the-guard, and not just on the offensive line. No one can act like it's no big deal that the defense lost four (maybe five?) superstars over the last 12 months, but the Seahawks have previously shown that superstars can be made out of underrated late draft picks. On one hand, veterans bring stability and knowledge. On the other hand...
The Redskins go into 2018 with a lot of uncertainty. Nobody quite knows what to expect from Alex Smith and the rest of the offense. Preseason injuries have already quelled what little enthusiasm the fan base had and there still exists a lot of ill will over the mismanagement of talent during the off-season. Simply put, this team needs to win or they may be back to the same old revolving door of coaches and QB's who came to Washington and failed.
The Bengals, once again, retained Marvin Lewis in the off-season, a move that reinforces Mike Brown's love for the status quo. The Bengals may he slightly improved from last season, but likely not enough to be taken seriously as playoff contenders. Vegas has the win oveunder at 6.5.
With a new quarterback, a revamped backfield, and a defense exchanging one criminal for another, the Denver Broncos look to improve off of their disastrous 5-11 campaign. Bronco Killers Alex Smith and Khalil Mack have gone East—where they can't hurt the Broncos anymore—creating a wide-open AFC West. Can the Broncos get back to the playoffs with Case? Or will the hopes of the mountain rest on $wag? Only time can tell.
New GM Dave Gettleman won the adoration of fans when he signed Odell Beckham Jr. to a long-term deal in the summer. That adoration, though, will quickly wear off if the Giants get off to a bad start in what's shaping up to be a brutal early season stretch of games. Time will tell if the moves done to address the OL were enough, and if the decision to keep Eli Apple in the starting lineup was a defensible one.
It is only fitting that the writer of this blurb is over 30 and was picked up off the street last minute. The players are saying the right things after the departure of Khalil Mack, but fans are going into week one feeling a bit like they've just been broken up with. A week one win would do a lot to raise the spirits and restore faith in the new regime.
Many are counting the Cardinals out before the season begins, and Vegas has them tied for least wins with the Browns, Bills, and Jets. A coaching change, QB change, scheme change, and one of the league's toughest schedules makes some of that understandable, but nearly all the same pieces that made the team 8-8 last year are still intact. An opening home game against Washington should be a good indication of how the season may go.
After an off-season full of turnover as Colts GM Chris Ballard continues to remake the roster, projections and expectations are a mixed bag for the 2018 Colts. Pending Andrew Luck's continued health and a massive improvement in the coaching department, a 12-4 record and division title could be the ceiling of this young and talented squad. But question marks at WR, RB, and along each level of the defense could mean another top 10 draft pick come season's end.
It's easy to knock the team that spends the off-season tossing aside 3 Pro-Bowlers and bringing in some old war equipment and a receiver that only plays well during the part of the season that the Dolphins tend to watch from home, but the Dolphins are trying something that teams don't usually do, except for the Patriots: Building a team on players that want to work to win and put in the time during the week and during the off-season to win. Nobody that hasn't been to the Dolphins camp thinks they have a chance, but oddly, everyone that visits says they have something special. We'll see.
The good news is that the Buccaneers exited the NFL preseason with as many ACLs as they had when they started. The bad news is that they're facing a brutal schedule and starting the season without their top quarterback.
After a brief 17 year misstep, the Buffalo Bills returned to their standard of excellence last year with a playoff berth in Sean McDermott’s first year as HC. The defense looks to be substantially improved, with the team retaining its elite secondary talent while adding several front seven players this off-season, so the fate of the season now lies in the hands of sophomore QB Nathan Peterman as well as the ability of newcomers at offensive line to step up and perform. A failure at either of these could very well spell disaster, but improvement from last year’s 9-7 record is highly doable if things go well for the Bills in these areas.
On this week's episode of Hey Darnold!, Helga Pa-Mac-i left no doubt that the future is now by naming Sam Darnold the week 1 starting QB and sending Teddy Two-Gloves to New Orleans for a 3rd-round pick. What does the season hold? It's all on Sam now.
Can we make it all sixteen games with the same quarterback? Can we manage at least four wins? Can we make it all year with our head coach? History says no, but history is stupid. As the saying goes "those who do not study history are totally OK and things work out great". Buckle up Browns fans, its 2018!
Edit: Slight changes due to last minute ranker showing up.
Saints vs. Falcons Prediction I don’t see how Atlanta’s pass defense, which enters 29th in DVOA, keeps the Saints in check tonight. Favorites tend to typically cover on a short week, and the Saints will be looking to issue some payback for that loss to the Falcons earlier this month. Betting Preview for the Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints NFL Week 12 Game on November 22, 2018. Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans. When: Thursday, November 22, 2018, 8:20 PM ET. Line: Atlanta Falcons (+13) vs New Orleans Saints (-13) – view all 2018 NFL lines. TV Broadcast: NBC. Betting on the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) Falcons' Betting Record: ATS 2-6-0 OVER/UNDER 3-5-0. Falcons' Leaders on Offense *QB Matt Ryan: 2,170 pass yards with 15 TD and 8 INT. RB Devonta Freeman: 605 total yards with 3 TD The Atlanta Falcons (3-8) play host to the New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thanksgiving as the two NFC South rivals meet for the second time in four weeks.The game is the third of the day and will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET. We analyze the Saints-Falcons odds and sports betting lines, while providing sports betting tips and advice on this matchup. Here's everything to know about betting on Saints vs. Falcons in Week 13, including updated odds, trends and our expert's prediction for the 2019 NFL Thanksgiving game.
Saints at Falcons - Thursday 11/28/19 - NFL Betting Free Picks & Predictions l Picks & Parlays
In this 5-Star Minute, The Razor shares his favorite play from the New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons NFL game. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons - Thursday 11/28/19 - NFL Betting Free Picks & Predictions l Picks & Parlays It is Week 13 of NFL regular season football is Coming to a close and we have you ... New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons 11/10/19 NFL Prediction and Pick Week 10 NFL Betting Tips The New Orleans Saints return from their Bye week and face their bitter rivals, the Atlanta Falcons ... Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints Predictions, Picks and Odds: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Marco D’Angelo @MarcoInVegas, Bryan Leonard @BLeonardSports and Sports Cheetah ... Saints vs Falcons Picks and Odds (New Orleans vs Atlanta Predictions - Thursday, November 28) - Duration: 3:52. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 1,465 views 3:52