Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions.
Teams are listed in order of their Vegas projected team points.
Page 1: KC, PHI, GB, BAL, SEA, CAR, LAR, JAX, NE
Page 2: TB, IND, MIN, NYJ, ARI, LAC, HOU, CLE, OAK
Page 3: TEN, SF, PIT, NYG, CIN, MIA, DEN, WAS
Thanksgiving: NO, DAL, ATL, CHI, BUF, DET
Before we get further, make sure to check on the weather this week. Lots of games can be affected. Here is Connor Allen's weather report.
Chiefs (30.5 projected points, -10 spread) vs. OAK
Patrick Mahomes has averaged 340 yards and 3.3 touchdowns in his three starts against Oakland. Mahomes is the QB1 overall this week with LJ playing the much tougher Bay Area defense. … Damien Williams (ribs) was unable to practice Wednesday after the bye week, so LeSean McCoy is looking like the Chiefs’ starter this week. If Shady is the starter, he’ll be an upside RB1/2 as 10-point home favorites in an elite matchup. In his two starts with Williams sidelined, McCoy had 80 and 89 total yards with at least one touchdown in each game. Darrel Williams and potentially rookie Darwin Thompson would rotate in behind McCoy. I’ll have a Saturday update if Williams’ gets a practice in.
Tyreek Hill practiced this week after leaving the last game early. Tyreek is an obvious top-five WR1 against the very worst defense at preventing 20+ yard plays. Sign me up for Mahomes to Hill stacks in DFS. … Sammy Watkins has been held to under 65 yards in every game since his 9-198-3 game in Week 1. He’s beyond due for a “boom” week, but his recent-week usage gives him a lower floor than other WR3 options. Watkins is a positive touchdown regression candidate, one that I’d want exposure to in DFS tournaments. He hasn’t scored in his last seven healthy games. … Demarcus Robinson ran a route on 72% of dropbacks last week and has at least 30 routes in back to back weeks. He’s at least on the field and has the best passing QB in the league, so he’s a viable WR4 dart throw in a fantastic matchup. … Travis Kelce has 168, 62, and 107 yards with three touchdowns in his last three games against Oakland. Kelce is obviously the TE1 overall with the Raiders checking in as a bottom 12th percentile defense against fantasy tight ends.
Editor's Note: Need an extra edge heading into the fantasy playoffs? Want to dominate in DFS throughout the postseason? Find out how to get the NFL Season Pass, NFL DFS Toolkit and other products for free with our Black Friday sale! Click here to learn more!
Eagles (27, -9) @ MIA
Carson Wentz has struggled mightily with horrendous pass-catching support, but his accuracy is to blame as well. Luckily Wentz will have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor back and gets the 30th defense against quarterbacks this week. Wentz is a low-end QB1 with upside as the quarterback of the team projected to score the second-most points of the week (27). … Jordan Howard hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, so Miles Sanders (85% snaps last week) and Jay Ajayi (11%) are likely to carry the load. Sanders has 11 and 12 carries and two and three receptions in his two starts without Howard, but he’s a candidate for more than that since those two starts came in low-scoring losses. Sanders’ 15-20 touch projection makes him a rock-solid RB2 despite the back-to-back bust weeks. Ajayi can’t be started until we see him on the field more.
Alshon Jeffery is expected to play in Week 13. Jeffery looks washed on tape but that doesn’t matter too much with his workload (see above) in this ideal matchup. The Dolphins are 32nd in pass defense DVOA and just sent multiple starting DBs to injured reserve. Jeffery is a candidate to have his best game of the season, making him a strong WR3. … Nelson Agholor is also expected to return, but he’s only averaging 18 receiving yards in his seven games with Jeffery in the lineup. … Zach Ertz isn’t likely to see the 11-14 targets he had seen in the last three weeks due to game script, but he’ll still likely be a top-three TE1 on 7-10 targets. His floor is as high as it gets at the position. … Dallas Goedert will likely slide back into his 4-6 target role with Alshon back, but the 27-point team total and his near full-time playing time keep him in the TE1/2 mix. In his last four games with Alshon, Goedert’s averaged a 4/40/0.5 receiving line.
Packers (27, -6.5) @ NYG
Aaron Rodgers is the most overrated quarterback in the NFL this season, but even I will give him the QB1 label this week. The New York defense, who is now likely without S Jabrill Peppers, is in the bottom 25th percentile in pass defense DVOA and against fantasy quarterbacks. Rodgers should have a ceiling game this week with the Packers’ 27-point team total. … Aaron Jones has between 8-13 carries in 9-of-11 games, adding 3.2 receptions per game. It’s possible that Jones beats those averages this week as 6.5-point favorites this week. After last week’s white-flag loss, coach Matt LaFleur said, “I think we definitely need to involve [Aaron Jones] more.” Jones, who is tied for first in inside-the-10 rushing touchdowns (9) this season, will be on the RB1/2 borderline. … Jamaal Williams’ workload will take a slight step back if LaFleur puts his words into action. Last week, Williams had extra pass-catching opportunities (7 receptions) but is extremely unlikely to reproduce those numbers and snaps with the Packers expected to win by nearly one touchdown. Williams’ projection of 5-10 carries and 2-4 receptions make him an RB3.
Davante Adams has 11, 10, and 12 targets since his injury. The Giants are 31st against fantasy receivers. He’s an upside WR1. … Allen Lazard is only averaging 4.0 targets since Adams’ return, making him purely a WR5 dart throw in an awesome matchup. … Geronimo Allison (3.0 targets per game) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2.0) have been even less utilized than Lazard over that span. … Jimmy Graham’s 2.5 receptions and 28.8 yards per game make him a touchdown-dependent TE2. The Giants’ No. 3 defense against tight ends would take a step backward if S Jabrill Peppers is indeed out.
Ravens (25.75, -6) vs. SF
Lamar Jackson is taking defenses’ souls as both a rusher and a passer. This will be his toughest test to date -- yes, even tougher than the Patriots -- because of the 49ers’ edge rushers, willing-to-tackle secondary, and LB Dre Greenlaw. It will be harder to run off-tackle against this defensive unit and the Ravens are without their starting center, so I’m projecting Lamar for way under his 80-rushing yard average. With that said, Lamar is still an elite QB1 with only Patrick Mahomes in the same ballpark. … Mark Ingram is very one-dimensional (only 1.6 receptions per game), which makes him a boom-or-bust RB2, but he’s been booming more often than not thanks to his 0.82 touchdowns per game. Like I just mentioned, I’m a tad worried about the matchup, but Ingram’s 13.9 carries per game and the Ravens’ 25.75-point team total are enough for me to keep him in the RB2 mix, albeit with a lower than usual floor.
Marquise Brown ran a route on 77% of the Ravens’ dropbacks, including the last-minute RGIII plays, so Brown appears to be over his early and mid-season injuries. Brown found the end zone twice against the Ramsey-led Rams but is still only seeing 4-7 targets in most contests. Brown will continue being a boom-or-bust WR3 fantasy asset as an explosive, mid-volume receiver, especially against the 49ers No. 2 passing DVOA defense. No unit has prevented 20+ yard pass plays better than San Francisco. … Mark Andrews wasn’t a part of Lamar’s five-touchdown game last week but should rebound with another 5-8 target game this weekend with the score projected to be a lot closer than normal. Even against the 49ers’ No. 2 defense against tight ends, Andrews is an impossible sit in season-long leagues given the state of the position and his target volume.
Seahawks (25.75, -3) vs. MIN
Russell Wilson is the most boom-or-bust QB1 with the Seahawks willing to establish the run to the detriment of win probability. Only Lamar Jackson has more games as a starter with 25 or fewer pass attempts than Russ, which keeps his floor lower slightly lower than other QB1s. Russell’s ceiling is elite, however, especially at home. The Vikings Defense is talented but that hasn’t necessarily translated to the box score this season (see above) with Minnesota fifth in pass attempts allowed per game (38). Wilson has a path to a ceiling game this week. … Chris Carson’s fumble issues propped up again last week, leading Rashaad Penny to a season-high 14 carries and 129 yards. Coach Pete Carroll said there's "no reason not to get [Penny] back in there" and at least one beat reporter believes the backfield could turn into a “true timeshare” now that Penny has lost 10 pounds. Carroll was more adamant Carson was the starter the last time he fumbled, so I’m projecting this to be closer to a 60/40 split for Carson/Penny. Carson is should still provide upside RB2 value with the Seahawks ranking fifth in rush attempts (33 per game), but last week was a red flag. Penny is a high-upside, low-floor flex play considering the Vikings are a top 10th percentile run DVOA defense.
Tyler Lockett remains the most volatile usage receiver in the league. Last week’s two targets were a reminder of his nonexistent floor, but he has a WR1-level ceiling. For the reasons I listed in the Wilson section, this is a week to bet on Lockett hitting a ceiling. The Vikings are in the bottom 9th percentile against fantasy receivers. … D.K. Metcalf’s air yards make him an every-week WR3 with upside, and the Vikings bottom 29th percentile defense against 20+ yard pass plays give him a direct path to that upside this week. … Josh Gordon isn’t seeing enough targets (two each game) to be started in fantasy. … Jacob Hollister has fewer than 5.3 PPR points in 3-of-5 games, but he has higher touchdown equity with Russ than other low-floor TE1/2 options, as we’ve seen in his Week 9 (4-37-2) and Week 10 (8-62-1) games.
Panthers (25.25, -10) vs. WAS
Kyle Allen isn’t a starting-level passer and offers absolutely nothing as a runner, so he’s been bad for fantasy. With that said, Allen does have the surrounding talent to have QB2 weeks against bad defenses. The Redskins obviously count. Vegas projects Carolina for 25.25 points this week, so Allen should toss two touchdowns as a forgettable QB2. … Christian McCaffrey is having a historical season. I’m going to get bold and advise playing him against a bottom 25th percentile defense against fantasy running backs.
D.J. Moore had an awkward arm injury last week in the middle of his 6-126-2 performance but should be ready to go. With WR1-level usage, Moore has turned in four-straight games with at least six receptions and 95 yards. And there’s nothing about the matchup this week to shy away from Moore as a top-10 fantasy receiver as long as he practices Friday. … Curtis Samuels’ air yards have fallen in five-straight games with more production heading Moore’s way. Samuel has been crushed by Allen’s inability to throw deep, giving Samuel absolutely zero floor and unpredictable upside as a boom-or-bust WR4. I’m still expecting one or two more “boom” games this season but your guess is as good as mine as to when that happens. … Greg Olsen has 5-10 targets in four of his last five games, operating as a viable TE1/2 option every week. That should continue against the Redskins’ bottom 25th percentile defense against tight ends.
Rams (25.25, -3) @ ARI
Jared Goff and Mason Rudolph have similar stats this season. That’s where we are at right now. Luckily for Goff, who went all of November without a single passing touchdown, he gets the worst defense against fantasy quarterbacks this week and should get his starting right tackle back. Goff still can’t be trusted as a QB1 right now, although he does deserve QB2 streaming consideration. … Todd Gurley was limited to just six carries and three receptions in last week’s demoralizing defeat. It was the rock bottom in an awful season for Gurley, who is averaging a career-low 54 rushing yards per game. Gurley should rebound in the carries department against the fastest-paced offense in the NFL but will remain an RB2 in a usually cold offense.
Cooper Kupp has fewer than 54 receiving yards in five of the last six games and now will return to competing for targets with Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. The matchup against the Cardinals’ bottom 12th percentile pass DVOA defense elevates his floor and ceiling, but it’s impossible to trust Kupp as anything more than an upside WR2 with recent volume and production. … Robert Woods’ volume and production have also been all over the place, but he does have two-straight games with at least seven receptions and 96 yards while operating as Goff’s go-to check-down receiver. With Goff projected to drop back more times than normal this week, Woods is a viable WR3 with upside. … Brandin Cooks is by far the Rams receiver I’m most worried about. Goff isn’t throwing the ball deep this season, and Cooks was only targeted four times in his return last week. The Cardinals are allowing the second-most 20+ yard pass plays this season, however, so there is a path to long-touchdown upside as a boom-or-bust flex play. … Gerald Everett (knee, ankle) is day to day and could be limited even if he does suit up Sunday. Everett was also a beneficiary of Cooks’ absence, so it’s fair to knock him out of the low-end TE1 mix for the rest of the season. With that said, Everett undoubtedly has a path to upside against the Cardinals league-worst defense against tight ends. If Everett is out, Tyler Higbee will be a recommended TE2 streamer.
Jaguars (25, -1) vs. TB
Nick Foles has compiled 296 and 272 garbage-time yards with just two total touchdowns in his two starts. It’s been bad, but he gets a get-right spot against the Bucs’ 31st defense against fantasy quarterbacks. Foles should drop back 35-45 times with Tampa Bay checking in as the biggest pass funnel in the NFL -- they’ve allowed a league-high 42 pass attempts per game to just 23 rush attempts. With three capable pass-catchers plus Fournette, it’s possible Foles hits a ceiling as a QB2 streamer and DFS tournament option. … Leonard Fournette’s run-game matchup is as tough as it gets (see above) but his 5.1 receptions per game keep him in the low-end RB1 mix, especially after last week’s monster two-touchdown performance.
D.J. Chark has an awesome matchup against the league’s worst defense against fantasy receivers. Chark, who is the WR5 overall thus far, should see 7-12 targets as a WR1/2 with upside given Foles’ tendency to throw the ball deep downfield. … Dede Westbrook has six, six, and nine targets in his three games with Foles as a low-aDOT (6.6) check-down option. Westbrook doesn’t have the upside of Chark or even Conley, but his floor makes him a viable WR3/4. … Chris Conley is the most underrated receiver heading into Week 13. He’s cleared the “10 PPR Expected” threshold in five-straight games and just set a new season-high for air yards and targets last week. Conley’s downfield ability gives him DFS tournament upside as an intriguing yet overlooked WR3/4. The Bucs are in the bottom 19th percentile at preventing 20+ yard pass plays.
Patriots (24.25, -3.5) @ HOU
Update: Bill Belichick put everyone on the injury report this week. Classic. So we'll have to track inactives Sunday morning. I think all these receivers will play.
Tom Brady’s 3.4% touchdown rate and 6.7 YPA are his worst since at least 2002, but he remains in the QB1/2 mix his league-leading passing volume. This week’s matchup is an elite one, too. The Texans are in the bottom quarter of the league in just about every passing category and weather won’t be an issue this time around. Brady is a lower-ceiling QB1/2 while game managing a defense-led team. … Rainy and windy weather made last week a “Sony Michel game” which meant 20 carries and 85 scoreless yards. Michel’s efficiency has been awful and he’s losing a dozen or so snaps to Rex Burkhead, so Michel is completely dependent on touchdowns as an RB2/3. … I expect James White to be more involved this week with the Texans allowing the most receptions to running backs this season, but he has been held to under 76 receiving yards in every game thus far. Burkhead’s presence should keep White’s usage in the 3-6 reception range, making him an RB3 even in PPR leagues.
Julian Edelman is tied for the second-most targets (112) and will continue seeing WR1-level usage despite the Patriots’ added receiving weapons. Edelman is a high-floor WR1 against the Texan’s below-average pass defense. … Phillip Dorsett cleared concussion protocol and should take back his outside role over N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. Dorsett returning to full-time snaps isn’t guaranteed, however, so I’m fading all three of these receivers until I get more clarity on the depth chart. … Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was close to playing last week and will likely end up as a game-time decision again. If active, Sanu will likely playing at less than 100% and will be dealing with Dorsett and the two rookies. His range of outcomes is very wide, ranging from 0 fantasy points to 10 targets. Treat him as a boom-or-bust WR4. … Ben Watson is a low-volume, touchdown-dependent TE2.