Teams are listed in order of their Vegas projected team points.
Page 1: NO, TB, BAL, IND, KC, SF, GB, DAL
Page 2: ARI, NYG, LAR, MIN, CHI, CLE, TEN, NYJ
Page 3: CAR, SEA, PIT, DET, BUF, ATL, CIN, MIA
TNF: OAK, LAC
Byes: DEN, HOU, JAX, NE, PHI, WAS
Cardinals (23.75, +4.5) @ TB
Kyler Murray’s passing production has been up-and-down, but he’s averaging 42 rushing yards over his last seven games, which keeps his ceiling and floor pretty high. This week is shaping up as a ceiling week with the Bucs allowing the most pass attempts per game (41) and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. With Vegas projecting the Cardinals for a slightly above-average 23.5 points, Murray belongs in the top-eight quarterback rankings and deserves DFS tournament consideration. … David Johnson said he’s 100% ready for Week 10, so the question becomes how much will he play? Before Arizona signed Kenyan Drake, Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss said there was a chance Johnson would lose reps to Chase Edmonds (likely rushing reps) because “they can do a lot of stuff on the field at the same time, with Johnson running more receiving routes.” I’m viewing this statement as Arizona being willing to use a two-back committee even when Johnson is healthy. That means Drake will likely be involved this week, primarily as a runner, while Johnson operates more as a pass-catcher than pure running back. Other Cardinals beat reporters agree with this projection. The Bucs are No. 1 in run defense DVOA, so Drake is a boom-or-bust RB3. Despite the trust issues, I’d much rather start Johnson in fantasy, although he’s more of an upside RB2 than the no-brainer RB1 he was earlier in the year. I’m expecting 6-12 carries and 4-8 targets for Johnson this week.
Christian Kirk only had five targets last week with Murray oddly only throwing 24 passes. Things should change this week in this potential shootout against a bottom 12th percentile defense against fantasy receivers. Kirk has double-digit target potential (8.8 targets per game) and is due for some positive touchdown regression since he hasn’t scored despite having 34 receptions and 329 yards. Kirk is an upside WR2/3 and is my favorite player to stack in Murray DFS lineups. Remember, the Bucs defense is averaging the most pass attempts per game (41). … Larry Fitzgerald is averaging 2.3 receptions and 19.3 yards in his last three games, which is more evidence that his age is finally catching up with him. But the matchup is good enough to keep Fitzgerald in season-long lineups, especially since we expect his target total to climb back up the 7-10 range with plays expected to be in abundance. Fitzgerald’s ceiling is tied to random touchdowns, but he’s a fine volume-based WR3/4 this week. … Kirk and Fitzgerald are full-time route runners, and then there’s a rotation on the outside. Here are last week’s routes run and targets: KeeSean Johnson (15 of 33, 3), Andy Isabella (10, 1), Pharoh Cooper (10, 2), and Trent Sherfield (2, 0). Here’s what Kliff Kingsbury said about Isabella, “We know he has explosive capability. We want him to continue to learn and continue to get better. We have a plan for him, and he's on pace for what we want him to be." Let’s go Isabella truthers.
Rams (23.5, -3.5) @ PIT
Everyone knows Jared Goff has home/road and pressure splits, so facing the second-best adjusted sack rate defense on the road is a terrible spot. Making matters worse is the absence of his primary deep threat. Goff is merely a QB2. … Todd Gurley and Darrell Henderson split snaps and touches last week with the Rams taking a commanding lead early. After a bye, I’m expecting Gurley to have a 15-20 touch game as the primary back with Henderson (and possibly Malcolm Brown) occasionally rotating in. The Steelers have been more beatable on the ground (51st percentile in run defense DVOA), but Gurley is still an RB2 with the Rams only projected for 23.5 points this week. Henderson is best served on the bench as an elite handcuff.
Brandin Cooks (concussion) is out, so Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds will be the starters. Kupp has been by far the best fantasy receiver, and he’s set up with the best matchup in the slot against a Steelers Defense that has been vulnerable to slot receivers for multiple seasons now. Kupp should be a high-volume check down option with Goff expected to face pressure. Kupp is a QB1. … Robert Woods has been and should continue to be a boom-or-bust WR3 because his volume is up and down. Woods is also being used differently in 2018 -- his average depth of target has decreased by 3.1 yards this season, which has lowered his ceiling. Also hurting his ceiling is his red-zone usage; Woods has fewer red-zone targets (3) than Antonio Brown this season (4). Cooks being out should solve some of these issues, however, making Woods a quality WR3 option. … On the road against a team that applies pressure isn’t the spot to throw a dart on Josh Reynolds, although he should see a healthy amount of snaps. … Gerald Everett’s week to week usage has been all over the place (see chart above), but he may see more looks without Cooks since Everett has downfield abilities. Among those on the TE1/2 borderline, Everett offers the most upside but predicting which one is a ceiling game is quite difficult.
Giants (23.5, -2.5) @ NYJ
Daniel Jones has been one of the worst passers in the NFL and has been extremely turnover prone -- he’s fourth in interceptions and second in fumbles at the position. Jones can hit some level of a ceiling because he has weapons and is averaging 26 rushing yards in his starts, so he has some QB2 streaming appeal against the Jets, a defense that has allowed the fourth-most pass attempts per game (38). … Saquon Barkley is good if you haven’t heard or seen, and the Jets defense has allowed the eighth-most rush attempts per game (29). The Jets’ No. 2 run defense DVOA ranking is something to fade this week. Barkley should take his 20+ touches to a strong RB1 finish.
Sterling Shepard (concussion) is out indefinitely, so Golden Tate and Darius Slayton will continue to be the top receivers for DJ. Tate has been a strong WR3 since a slow debut in Week 5, and he has a chance for a ceiling this week against a Jets Defense that is in the bottom 22nd percentile in both pass defense DVOA and at stopping fantasy receivers. … Darius Slayton has a really high 16.6 average depth of target as the Giants’ top field stretcher. His production will be extremely boom-or-bust, but he’s a dart throw option with Shepard sidelined. … Evan Engram has a foot sprain is questionable for Week 10 and beyond. I’ll update this after more news surfaces. When healthy, he’s a mid-range TE1. If he’s out, Rhett Ellison will be an awful touchdown-dependent TE2 streamer if you like tilting.
Vikings (22.5, +3) @ DAL
Passing volume is a potential issue for Kirk Cousins with both Minnesota and Dallas willing to feature their stud backs. That’s partially why the Cowboys are in the top 13th percentile against fantasy quarterbacks despite sitting in the middle of the pass defense DVOA rankings. Cousins’ production has been inconsistent, and he’ll likely be without Adam Thielen (hamstring). All things considered, Cousins is a borderline QB1/2 who isn’t likely to hit a ceiling. … Dalvin Cook is leading the NFL in carries inside-the-10 (21) and is averaging 3.7 receptions and 38 receiving yards as a receiver. He’s an elite RB1 always. Heading into Dallas isn’t ideal (see chart above), but it’s not a matchup to downgrade Cook’s outlook by much.
Adam Thielen (hamstring) isn’t likely to play, so Olabisi Johnson will slide into a slightly larger role as a fantasy WR5. … But Stefon Diggs is obviously the clear-cut No. 1 receiver as an upside WR1/2. Diggs’ role has changed this season (see tweet below) which exposes him to more up-and-down weeks but also makes him an attractive DFS tournament option. This isn’t the greatest individual matchup with the Cowboys sitting at No. 6 in PFF’s pass coverage defense, but he’s a strong WR1/2 whenever Thielen is sidelined. … Kyle Rudolph has seen more targets and air yards in the last few weeks, but he’s still only averaging 3.5 receptions and 34 yards in his last four games. Rudolph, like many other tight ends, is a touchdown-dependent TE2. The Cowboys currently sit inside the top 13th percentile against fantasy tight ends.
Bears (22, -2.5) vs. DET
If there was ever a week where Mitchell Trubisky can play even average football, it’s this week. The Lions are one of the worst defenses in terms of efficiency (see chart above) and average the third-most pass attempts against per game (39). That alone puts him in the low-end QB2 conversation but betting against Trubisky is probably the better decision. … The Lions defense has also allowed the seventh-most rush attempts per game (29), and David Montgomery took 78% of the Bears’ carries last week. Montgomery has 20+ carry upside this week as 2.5-point favorites at home, and he’s taken 92% of the Bear’s inside-the-five carries this season. The rookie is a strong RB2 option even if Trubisky continues to play XFL-level football. … Tarik Cohen has needed negative game script to show up in the box score this season, so it’s not a week to get cute with a flex play.
Allen Robinson is prone to clunkers with Trubisky at quarterback, but he’s mostly produced on his WR2-level usage. This week is a time to bet on A-Rob with Detroit checking in as a bottom third defense against fantasy receivers. As noted above, the Bears should pass the ball more this week, making Robinson a low-end WR2 with some upside. … Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller will be running routes and could luck into an occasional touchdown, but they don’t have enough volume to use as a flex dart throw. … The Bears are last in production from tight ends this season.
Browns (21.5, -2.5) vs. BUF
Baker Mayfield continues to struggle and checks in as a low-end QB2 on a good day. With the Bills’ high-end secondary coming to town, this isn’t the week to take a contrarian stance on Mayfield. Instead, I expect the Browns to use Nick Chubb and possibly Kareem Hunt heavily on the ground, while Mayfield funnels some of Landry’s targets towards Odell. That would be the first step in Mayfield returning to the fantasy radar, but I’m taking a wait-and-see approach given the opponent. … Nick Chubb is a nice DFS tournament option with some people overly concerned with the matchup (the Bills are great against the pass, not the run) and Kareem Hunt’s role. Coach Freddie Kitchens said Hunt will “definitely have a role” but I think Hunt has a higher chance of seeing 0-5 touches than seeing over 10. We’ve seen backs take weeks to get into game shape after sitting out, and Chubb has earned the featured role with his play. Since Chubb has averaged 19.3 carries and 3.1 receptions this season, I’m definitely keeping him in the RB1 mix.
Baker pledged to get Odell Beckham more involved this week -- thank you -- but the matchup is far from easy. The Bills are PFF’s No. 5 pass coverage defense, largely because of CB Tre’Davious White, who will likely be shadowing OBJ this week. Odell could have a big week because he’s an elite talent, but I think Week 11 and beyond is when he starts to take off. For now, I’m keeping Odell in the low-end WR2 mix given the individual matchup and recent production (4.3 receptions and 57 yards in last six games). … Jarvis Landry also has a tough individual matchup, but his WR3-level usage (see above chart) is enough to keep him in season-long flex spots. Landry can afford to lose 1-2 targets per game in the event Mayfield actually funnels more passes to OBJ.
Titans (21, +6) vs. KC
Ryan Tannehill has 300 yards or three touchdowns in all three of his starts. He’s been an improvement over Marcus Mariota, but he faces his biggest challenge yet this week. The Chiefs are a top 10th percentile pass defense, and Corey Davis is questionable to play. We’ve also seen teams pivot away from the pass to attack the Chiefs’ poor run defense, a strategy that seems likely if the scoreboard allows it. Tannehill is a two-QB option but not a standard-league streamer. … The Chiefs are PFF’s No. 32 run defense and have allowed the sixth-most rush attempts per game (29). If there’s a week to force-feed Derrick Henry carries, it’s this week. Henry is already averaging 18.2 carries and is one of three backs with 100% of his team’s share of inside-the-five carries, so the matchup is just icing on the cake. Henry is an RB1/2 with touchdown equity.
Corey Davis (hip) missed early-week practices and is questionable for now. When healthy, he’s been a low-end flex play with limited targets and air yards (see chart above). Given the Chiefs’ top 20th percentile ranking against fantasy receivers, I’d be inclined to bench Davis even if he is active. … Hopefully Davis sits so we can all enjoy more A.J. Brown, who is averaging 10.5 yards per target while playing with sub-par quarterbacks. Brown looks like a stud on tape, too, and could enjoy a mini breakout if Davis misses time. Volume will always be a concern, but the rookie would be a flex option if Davis is out. Brown is coming off a season-high in air yards. … If Davis is out, Tajae Sharpe would be the No. 2 receiver. … Delanie Walker (ankle) also looks like he’ll miss Week 10, so Jonnu Smith should draw another start. In his last three games, Smith has averaged four receptions for 53 yards and 0.3 touchdowns. That’s definitely TE1/2 production, and he could see an additional target or two if Davis is sidelined.
Jets (21, +2.5) vs. NYG
Sam Darnold has more interceptions (24) than passing touchdowns (23) through 18 games, and he’s only averaging 215 yards this season. He’s been awful, so the only reason for optimism is the matchup; the Giants are in the bottom 25th percentile against the pass and against fantasy quarterbacks. Darnold is a QB2 based on volume and hope. … The Giants defense has allowed the fifth-most rush attempts per game (30) because the Giants are bad. That’s good news for Le’Veon Bell as long as he’s healthy, which is to be determined. I’ll update this section once more news comes out, but Bell would be an upside RB1/2 if healthy and Ty Montgomery would be a plug-and-play RB2/3 option if not.
Robby Anderson was able to get deep in Week 6 for a 5-125-1 game, but he’s been held to 7-86-0 in the three games since. Anderson has some bounceback appeal this week, however. The Giants are PFF’s No. 28 pass coverage defense and rookie CB Deandre Baker has allowed the second-most receiving yards per coverage snap. Since Anderson is primarily used deep, his production is boom-or-bust, but he’s a quality WR3/4 with a respectable amount of weekly air yards (see above chart). … Jamison Crowder and Demaryius Thomas are the next options and their production has been equally inconsistent. Crowder had nine targets last week, but he needs that level of volume to pay off as a low-aDOT receiver. Perhaps that happens, but there are many paths to failure. Crowder and Thomas are WR5 options. … Chris Herndon (hamstring) has been limited in practices and may end up being a game-time decision. He’s been a total sketch ball this season, so I’m inclined to wait-and-see Herndon’s usage before vaulting him into the TE1/2 discussion. But there is definitely some upside since he piled up 502 receiving yards on 9.0 YPT as a rookie last season. The Jets fill-in tight end, Ryan Griffin, has seen 4.3 targets per game in his last four contests.