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
Bucs (24, +1) @ JAX
Jameis Winston has at least 300 yards in eight of his last nine games, operating as an awful real-life quarterback but low-end QB1 in fantasy. The Jaguars average pass defense doesn’t move the needle either direction, so Winston will remain an upside QB1/2. … Ronald Jones will see 10-16 carries and a few receptions in wins and close losses, but he’s largely game-script dependent with Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale subbing in on a handful of passing downs. This week, RoJo is in decent shape for a flex-worthy game with the Bucs only sitting as a 1-point underdog. The Jaguars have also been completely owned by the run.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are every-week WR1s. This matchup doesn’t scream “upside game” with the Jaguars playing slow on offense and allowing a lot of production to running backs, but Evans and Godwin can pop for 150+ yards in any matchup. … O.J. Howard wasn’t completely benched last week -- he ran 20 routes on 33 dropbacks -- but he’s seen one and two targets in his last two games. Howard and Cameron Brate are touchdown-dependent TE2s at best.
Colts (22.75, -2.5) vs. TEN
Update: Parris Campbell (hand) is out.
Jacoby Brissett has 25 or fewer pass attempts in his last three healthy starts with the Colts using Brissett as a complete game manager. Without T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron, it’s very hard to envision Brissett hitting any sort of a ceiling. He’s a low-end QB2. … Marlon Mack (hand) is still out, so Jonathan Williams will draw another start. Despite trailing in the game, Williams received 26 carries, rushing for 104 yards and one touchdown. The Titans are in the top 13th percentile in run defense DVOA, but Williams will be a startable RB2 based on volume. Nyheim Hines (33% snaps) and Jordan Wilkins (1% snaps) aren’t very involved.
With no T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron, the Colts are desperate for players like Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, Chester Rogers, and Jack Doyle to step up. In the three games without Hilton, Pascal had six, seven, and six targets with a reasonable amount of air yards but only managed a 9-119-1 receiving line. Pascal is a buy low flex option with 5-12 targets up for grabs between Hilton and Ebron. … Marcus Johnson (61% routes run last week) and Chester Rogers (58%) will be the secondary options behind Pascal as long as rookie WR Parris Campbell (hand, limited) doesn’t play. Johnson and Rogers are averaging fewer than 6.4 yards per target and are purely WR5 punt plays. Campbell would be more intriguing if he suits up. … Some of Ebron’s 2.8 receptions, 34 yards, and 0.91 red-zone targets per game will flow to Jack Doyle, who has shown TE1-level production without Ebron before. I’m projecting Doyle for 4-7 catches as a low-end TE1 with above-average touchdown equity.
Vikings (22.75, +3) @ SEA
Update: Adam Thielen was able to practice this week. It looks like he'll play.
Kirk Cousins is averaging 288 yards and 2.6 touchdowns over his last seven games and could find himself in a little shootout against Russ, especially if Adam Thielen can get back on the field. Only the Tampa Bay defense has allowed more pass attempts than the Seahawks. Cousins is an upside QB1/2. … Offenses have opted to pass more than run against Seattle, but Dalvin Cook will eat in any game script -- he’s averaging 19.5 carries and 4.1 receptions per game. Cook is a top-three RB1 with Alexander Mattison operating as the handcuff.
Adam Thielen (hamstring) had an injury “scare” in practice and will likely be a game-time decision for Week 13. Thielen has upside and will eventually be back in the WR2 mix, but his re-injury risk is too high to rank him that high in his first game back, especially since he was only seeing 5-8 targets per game prior to his injury. Thielen is a boom-or-bust WR3. … Stefon Diggs is my preferred Vikings receiver this week mainly because he’s healthy and has shown a massive ceiling in 2019. With Seattle allowing the second-most pass attempts per game, I’m projecting Diggs for an above-average game as a WR2 this week. … In Weeks 1-6 when Thielen was healthy, Kyle Rudolph averaged 1.5 receptions and 12 yards. Rudolph’s uptick in usage should take a big step backward if Thielen returns, making him a touchdown-dependent TE2. If Thielen misses another game, Rudolph is on the TE1/2 borderline.
Jets (22.5, -3.5) @ CIN
Sam Darnold has averaged 275 yards and 2.0 touchdowns over his last four games (MIA, NYG, WAS, OAK), and he gets another cupcake matchup against the tanking Bengals. Darnold is a QB2 streamer with Cincy checking in as the 31st pass DVOA defense. … Over that same four-game stretch, Le’Veon Bell has averaged 16 carries and 4.8 receptions while scoring two touchdowns. That’s more than enough usage to keep Bell as a low-end RB1, especially when facing the defense that’s allowed the most rush attempts per game (34) this season.
Robby Anderson finally took advantage of an easy matchup last week but is still only seeing 3-5 targets with modest air yards. Anderson can reach a mini ceiling as the Jets’ deep threat, but he’s purely a WR4 dart throw based on volume and the Jets’ inconsistent offense. The positive for Anderson this week is the Bengals’ bottom 9th percentile defense against 20+ yard passes. … As you can see above, Jamison Crowder has hovered around the “10 PPR Expected” line for most of the season. His air yards and targets dropped in last week’s blowout win but should rebound in what should be a much closer game. Crowder’s 6.8 target average over his last four games make him a nice WR3/4. … Demaryius Thomas is slightly due for a touchdown (382 yards with 0 scores) but can largely be ignored in fantasy since he’s only averaging 5.0 targets over his last five games. … Nobody -- and I really mean nobody -- is being left as wide open as Ryan Griffin in recent weeks. It’s how he’s scored his last two touchdowns, and it’s something I’m not willing to bet on moving forward. Griffin is still only averaging 2.5 receptions per game, making him a touchdown-dependent TE2.
Cardinals (22.25, +3) vs. LAR
Kyler Murray is the QB5 overall on the season and has been trending up in recent weeks -- half of his passing touchdowns have come in the last three weeks. Murray also catches a home game after a bye against a sleepwalking Rams team that got embarrassed by Lamar last week. Murray is a top-six QB1. … When David Johnson asked his coaches about his playing time they said they didn’t have a “defined” role for him yet. That and practice reports have led Cardinals beat reporters to believe Kenyan Drake will be the “main ball carrier” on Sunday. That’s what I’m projecting, too. Drake should see 10-15 carries with a few receptions even with Johnson and Chase Edmonds active. Drake is a boom-or-bust RB2 and I can’t recommend starting Johnson in most season-long leagues. DJ is more of a handcuff until I see otherwise.
Christian Kirk’s usage is all over the place now that he’s moved outside for more of his snaps. That’s allowed him to hit a massive ceiling since his average depth of target has increased with the move but can leave him vulnerable to a lower floor. Kirk also faces CB Jalen Ramsey this week, so he’s a boom-or-bust WR2/3. … Larry Fitzgerald’s air yards since Week 7 are laughably low (see above). Over that span, Larry is averaging four receptions for 33 yards. It’s possible he sees elevated usage with Ramsey on Kirk, but Fitzgerald is a low-ceiling flex play from here on out. … Andy Isabella and the other secondary receivers are just dart throws with the Cardinals using more two-TE sets in recent weeks.
Chargers (20.75, -3) @ DEN
Philip Rivers is toast. He has the worst touchdown rate of his career and is throwing YOLO balls at an alarming rate. Heading into Denver isn’t doctor’s orders either. The Broncos are a top 13th percentile defense against fantasy quarterbacks and have CB Chris Harris to neutralize Keenan. Rivers is a volume-based QB2 with a low ceiling. … Melvin Gordon has averaged 18.7 carries but just 2.3 receptions over his last three games. He’s turned into a one-dimensional back who relies on rushing touchdowns and chunk gains for fantasy points. As 3-point favorites, Gordon should be fine as a high-end RB2, but the floor is a little lower than others ranked near him. … Austin Ekeler is also one dimensional but obviously relies on pass-game work for production. If Keenan is locked by CB Chris Harris, Ekeler could emerge as a 6-10 target player this week as a viable flex with upside in PPR leagues. Ekeler, of course, has the same chances of busting if the Chargers jump out to an early lead.
Keenan Allen is a volume hog but faces CB Chris Harris who limited Allen to 4-64-0 and 4-18-0 the last two times they’ve matched up. Allen can still beat Harris for a few plays and should still see 6-10 targets, but he’s more of a WR2/3 than WR1/2. … Mike Williams needs to step up -- he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet -- but also gets a difficult matchup. The Broncos are in the top 20th percentile at preventing 20+ yard pass plays and Williams is only seeing deep targets (17.3 average depth of target). Williams is at best a boom-or-bust WR3/4. … Hunter Henry is by far the best pass-catching play of the week in this offense. Henry is averaging 8.2 targets over his last six games and has the easiest individual matchup of the group. Over that six-game span, Henry is the TE1 overall in PPR formats.
Texans (20.75, +3.5) vs. NE
An impossible matchup awaits Deshaun Watson. The Patriots will put a lot of pressure on an inexperienced offensive line, and Watson’s biggest weakness is dealing with sacks. Unlike Dak, Watson gets a home matchup in a dome, but New England has done enough to force every quarterback to be downgraded a few spots in the rankings. Watson’s rushing production while trailing keeps him in the low-end QB1 mix. … Carlos Hyde is only averaging 10.75 carries in losses this season as a game-script dependent flex option. Hyde is a preferred sit against the No. 1 defense versus fantasy running backs.
DeAndre Hopkins will battle the league’s best corner in Stephon Gilmore, who has shut down literally every receiver this season. Even Hopkins needs to be downgraded against him, but he should still see 8-12 targets and is capable of winning a few plays per game against elite players. Hopkins can’t be benched in most season-long leagues. … Will Fuller returned in a huge way against the Colts on Thursday Night Football, but where Fuller wins (downfield) is where New England is at its best. I’m a lot more willing to bench Fuller, who is already a boom-or-bust fantasy asset because I expect Fuller to see safety attention on almost every snap. Fuller is a risky WR3/4 for this week only. He’ll be an upside WR2 in other matchups. … Darren Fells is a zero-floor touchdown-dependent TE2/3.
Browns (20.5, -1) @ PIT
Update: David Njoku will not play.
A tough early-season schedule slowed down Baker Mayfield, but he now has three touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Mayfield is showing signs again, although expectations this week need to be somewhat tempered. The Steelers limited him to 6.0 yards per attempt two weeks ago and have #RudolphGate narratives to bring the heat against the Browns on Sunday. Mayfield is a QB2 given the circumstances. … Nick Chubb has at least 20 carries in six-straight games, including a 27-carry game against these Steelers in two weeks ago. Chubb’s pass-game role has taken a hit with Kareem Hunt activated, however, which takes away his high floor. Still, Chubb can reach a nice ceiling as the goal-line back with a 15-25 touch projection. Chubb is a low-end RB1. … Kareem Hunt caught six passes against Pittsburgh two weeks ago and should see 4-8 targets once again with the game projected to be close. Hunt’s two-catch game last week will likely go down as an outlier since the Browns won by 17 points. Hunt is a viable flex in PPR leagues.
Jarvis Landry continues to outplay Odell Beckham, but both receivers have seen WR1/2-level usage in recent weeks. Odell is still a positive regression candidate -- he only has two touchdowns and 776 yards -- and is someone I want to continue betting on despite his WR3 numbers. Odell was an inch away from a 4-60-1 line against the Steelers two weeks back. … Jarvis Landry has scored in four-straight games -- that’s obviously unsustainable -- but Landry’s 7-13 target projection keeps him in the WR2 mix even if he’ll regress the rest of the year. … Coach Kitchens said it is “too early to tell” if David Njoku (wrist) will return. If active, Njoku will be an immediate upside TE2 but would face some Minkah Fitzpatrick this week.
Raiders (20.5, +10) @ KC
Derek Carr only has one game with three touchdowns and faces a rock-solid pass defense with a below-average Vegas team total (20.25). The Raiders are more likely to try to establish the run like we’ve seen other teams do against Kansas City, so it’s tough to trust Carr as a QB2 streamer this week. Carr only had 198 yards and one touchdown against the Chiefs in Week 2 this season. … The Raiders being 10-point underdogs would usually make me nervous for the game-script dependent Josh Jacobs, but the Chiefs are the worst defense against running backs this season. That’s because teams sell out rushing the ball in an attempt to keep Mahomes on the sideline. Jacobs should see his typical 14-20 touches as an upside RB2. He has 99 rushing yards against KC earlier in the season despite losing 28-10.
Tyrell Williams’ 4-7 weekly target totals are starting to catch up with him. Williams hasn’t hit 100 yards since Week 1 and hasn’t scored since his Week 8 air yards spike. The deep threat needs to score to pay off as a flex play but that’s asking a bit much against a pass defense that’s in the top 17th percentile against fantasy receivers. Slightly helping Williams’ projection is Hunter Renfrow’s (ribs) expected absence. … Darren Waller also sees a boost with Renfrow ailing. His usage slipped in recent weeks because of the rookie but should slide back into early-season form. The Chiefs’ weakness in the secondary has been against tight ends, too. In Week 2, Waller had a 6-63-0 receiving line on seven targets. That’s a decent projection for the mid-range TE1.
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