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May 12, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns Post-Draft Power Rankings Roundup

With the 2017 NFL Draft now behind us, it’s time for NFL teams to turn their full attention to getting ready for the upcoming season.

In previous seasons, we have published our own version of NFL Power Rankings.

Starting in 2017, we’ve decided to post a weekly consensus NFL Power Rankings throughout the season. Even though the media is far from perfect in ranking teams, the goal of aggregating power rankings from various sites is to arrive at a consensus outlook for teams.

Considering most sites have published a post-draft update to their power rankings, we figured now would be a great time to begin posting the consensus rankings.

In addition to gathering data on a league-wide basis, we will post individual team roundups so fans of teams can see where their team stacks up and what the national media is writing about them.

With that said, here is where the Cleveland Browns rank in the post-draft edition of our Consensus 2017 NFL Power Rankings:

  • Rank: 32nd
  • Average score: 31.0
  • Best rank/site: 29th (CBS)
  • Lowest rank/site: 32nd (Multiple)

Based on where the Cleveland Browns stand in this update, here is a roundup from the sources that are included in our consensus power rankings (sorted by best ranking to worst ranking):

CBS Sports: 29th

I think they had a nice draft, adding a lot of talent, but it's all about second-round passer DeShone Kizer. If he's good, they might win six games.

NFL.com: 31st

Strange thing happened in Philly: Myles Garrett, that rare player who was almost universally considered the top talent in the draft, was barely discussed after his selection by the Browns with the first overall pick. He was the Andrew Luck of his year, the Earl Campbell -- the rich man's version of any player. And yet, it was like he was another ho-hum first-round choice. Garrett and the rest of Cleveland's Grade A draft haul (we grade these things, you see; very important) leave much room for optimism among the Brian Sipe faithful. What's more surprising than Garrett barely being celebrated or David Njoku being handed the keys to the tight end position shortly after being drafted? The Browns being up a spot in the Power Rankings.

Fox Sports: 31st

Don’t get me wrong, the Browns did a lot of good things in the draft. However, their roster is still one of the weakest in the NFL. DeShone Kizer isn’t going to start in Week 1, so they still have a question at quarterback. At least they added three Day 1 starters in Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku. They did improve in those three areas — defense, special teams and tight end — this weekend.

SI.com: 32nd

But just barely, and largely on the strength of not messing up the Myles Garrett pick at No. 1. Garrett and Swiss army knife Jabrill Peppers can fill a few different holes in the defense, but not nearly all of them. DeShone Kizer taking in the entire 2017 campaign from the sidelines would be the Browns’ best-case scenario, and in cutting ties with Gary Barnidge they’re showing faith in David Njoku’s NFL readiness that many draft analysts don’t share.​​​​​

ESPN: 32nd

When you can triple your previous season's win total and still have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick, you're in a ... good spot? Not sure, but the Browns got three fun players in the first round of the draft and somehow kept Jamie Collins from leaving in free agency. I say give Brock Osweiler a shot, but they probably won't.

- View full consensus 2017 NFL Power Rankings

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May 08, 2017

2017 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots Unanimous Top Team in Post-Draft Consensus Power Rankings

With the 2017 NFL Draft now behind us, it’s time for NFL teams to turn their full attention to getting ready for the upcoming season.

In previous seasons, we have published our own version of NFL Power Rankings.

Starting in 2017, we’ve decided to post a weekly consensus NFL Power Rankings throughout the season. Even though the media is far from perfect in ranking teams, the goal of aggregating power rankings from various sites is to arrive at a consensus outlook for teams.

Considering most sites have published a post-draft update to their power rankings, we figured now would be a great time to begin posting the consensus rankings.

Below are the post-draft Consensus 2017 NFL Power Rankings:

RankTeamRecordLastChg.Avg.ESPNNFLSICBSFox
1New England Patriots0-0--111111
2Atlanta Falcons0-0--2.222322
3Green Bay Packers0-0--4.435437
4Pittsburgh Steelers0-0--544665
4Dallas Cowboys0-0--556293
6Oakland Raiders0-0--5.673576
7New York Giants0-0--7.297758
8Seattle Seahawks0-0--7.46101344
9Kansas City Chiefs0-0--9.68881113
10Tampa Bay Buccaneers0-0--10.814912811
11Tennessee Titans0-0--11.612129169
12Miami Dolphins0-0--121311101214
13Denver Broncos0-0--13.81014211410
14Houston Texans0-0--151116152112
15Detroit Lions0-0--15.61513112415
16Arizona Cardinals0-0--161817171018
17Washington Redskins0-0--172015161816
18Carolina Panthers0-0--18.41719201719
18Indianapolis Colts0-0--18.41920142217
20Baltimore Ravens0-0--20.21621242020
21New Orleans Saints0-0--20.62423221321
22Minnesota Vikings0-0--21.22122182322
23Cincinnati Bengals0-0--22.42325261523
24Philadelphia Eagles0-0--22.82218252524
25Los Angeles Chargers0-0--23.62524231927
26Buffalo Bills0-0--24.62627192625
27Jacksonville Jaguars0-0--26.82726282726
28Los Angeles Rams0-0--28.62828292830
29Chicago Bears0-0--29.62929313029
30San Francisco 49ers0-0--303130303128
31New York Jets0-0--30.63032273232
32Cleveland Browns0-0--313231322931
Sources: ESPN, NFL.com, SI.com, CBS Sports and Fox Sports.

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April 26, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft (Final version): Browns trade up for Mitchell Trubisky

The long wait is almost over. We are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Without further ado, here is my 2017 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Mock drafts are hard, but this pick is easy. As Sean Beazley noted in his mock draft, "[e]ven the Browns can’t screw up this pick."

With a rare blend of length, burst and freakish athleticism, Garrett has all of the tools to develop into a perenniel All-Pro pass-rusher. Even though rookie Emmanuel Ogbah led the team in sacks last year, only the Raiders (25) recorded fewer sacks than the Browns (26) in 2016.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Ideally, the 49ers would like to trade out of this spot and accumulate more draft capital. Assuming they are unable to move down, it's unclear who will be the first-ever draft pick in the John Lynch era, but I think the choice comes down to Adams or Stanford's Solomon Thomas. Perhaps the former safety sees a bit of himself in Adams, a defensive tone-setter and a great leader by all accounts.

3. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

In most previous updates of my mock, I've slotted Thomas to the 49ers (and Adams to the Bears). I think Marshon Lattimore is in play here, but Thomas gives Fox and Fangio a versatile lineman with outstanding strength and quickness and a non-stop motor.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Despite rumors of a quarterback possibly in play here, this decision comes down to Fournette or Alabama's Jonathan Allen, for me. If teams are concerned about Allen's shoulders, it's possible he slides beyond this point. That said, their defense isn't the problem. Finishing sixth in total defense in 2016, they added premier defensive free agents in Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye last month.

While the defense hasn't been the problem, Blake Bortles certainly regressed in his third season. One way to help him is to add a back like Fournette. Given his unique combination of size, power and speed, Fournette is built to be a workhorse back that will wear down opposing defenses and helps to change the team's identity into a run-first team that plays great defense.

(Projected trade: Browns/Titans)

5. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Since professional football returned in 1999, the Browns have had 26 starting quarterbacks. At this point, it appears the Browns could move up for their 27th -- even if he isn't the Week 1 starter.

The biggest knock on Trubisky is his lack of experience as a starter (only one season). Possessing a strong arm and mobility, however, Trubisky completed 68.2 percent of his pass attempts with 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2016 including a 17-to-none TD-INT ratio in the red zone.

6. New York Jets (Draft History): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

There's a good chance that Lattimore is off the board at this point, especially if the Titans don't move back, but he'd be a perfect fit for the Jets. Lattimore displayed his elite athleticism (4.36 forty and 38.5-inch vertical) at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine prior to tweaking his hamstring. His history of hamstring injuries is a potential concern, but he is extremely fluid with the cover skills to develop into a true shutdown corner.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Drawing comparisons to Ed Reed, Hooker is a ball-hawking free safety with tremendous range that finished his only season as a starter with seven interceptions, three of which he returned for scores.

8. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

The last time Jonathan Stewart did not miss at least three games in a season was 2011. Not only did Stewart recently turn 30, but he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season. McCaffrey may not be ideally suited to be a workhorse at 202 pounds, but he's as versatile as they come and especially gifted as a receiver and returner.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

Better than the ninth-overall prospect in this year's draft, the Bengals would be getting a nice value if Allen slips to this point and they are comfortable with his shoulders. Allen would give the Bengals a highly disruptive, productive and run-dominant defensive lineman with the versatility to play multiple spots along the line.

10. Buffalo Bills (Draft History): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Especially given the durability track record of receiver Sammy Watkins, adding pass-catching reinforcements would make sense. With all wide receivers still on the board, perhaps they add Mike Williams or Corey Davis here. That said, Howard is a complete tight end that excels as a blocker while also possessing elite physical tools (4.51 forty at 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds) to create mismatches in the passing game.

11. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Given his failed/diluted drug test at the combine, however, it's likely that Foster at least slips outside of the top 10. While Foster begins his NFL career in the league's drug program, reports are that he has never failed a drug test at Alabama. The Butkus Award winner, Foster is a devastating hitter with sideline-to-sideline range that I've heard ESPN's Louis Riddick dubbed a "shutdown linebacker." Meanwhile, Greg Cosell compared him to Patrick Willis.

(Projected trade: Browns/Titans)

12. Tennessee Titans (Draft History): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Upgrading the secondary was a major need for the Titans and their two biggest free-agent signings (cornerback Logan Ryan and safety John Cyprien) will help to bolster the unit. With the team releasing Jason McCourty this month, however, they will go into the season with two new starters -- Ryan and Humphrey -- based on this mock.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Possessing the size (6-4, 220) and physicality to overpower defensive backs, Williams isn't the fastest receiver, but he's fast enough. Bouncing back from his 2015 neck injury, the Clemson wideout finished 2016 with 98/1,361/11 and has the talent to develop into a true No. 1 receiver at the next level.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History), via MIN: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

While he may lack the elite burst of some other pass-rushers in this class, Barnett's production is unparalelled as no player had more sacks over the past three seasons combined. In fact, Barnett broke Reggie White's all-time sack record at Tennessee despite playing only three seasons and the junior edge rusher became the first player in SEC history to record double-digit sacks in three different (consecutive) seasons.

15. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

A three-down linebacker prospect with tremendous speed and range, Reddick began his Temple career as a walk-on defensive back and has played a variety of roles for the Owls. As an undersized defensive end last year, Reddick finished with 22.5 tackles for loss, third-most in college football, and a team-high 10.5 sacks. Few prospects, if any, improved their draft stock since the end of the college football season as much as Reddick has.

16. Baltimore Ravens (Draft History): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Both Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman have elite speed as vertical receivers, but Davis has the talent to develop into a true No. 1 receiver for the Ravens. On NFL Network on Wednesday night, ex-Raven Steve Smith compared Davis to Terrell Owens and I think Davis is the best receiver prospect in this year's draft class.

In each of his past three seasons, Davis has dominated lesser competition with 1,400-plus yards and 12-plus touchdowns. The senior receiver has excellent size (6-3, 213), speed, hands and is an outstanding route-runner. Assuming Davis is selected here (or somewhere in Round 1), he will join Randy Moss as the second MAC wide receiver to be selected in the first round.

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2017 NFL Mock Draft

- For more 2017 NFL mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database

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April 23, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 1 to 16

Now that the NFL has released the 2017 NFL Schedule, we have updated our 2017 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule pages.

Our fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) rankings for each position are based on last year's production. In other words, we average the fantasy points allowed per game (in 2016) for every team's set of 2017 opponents. The higher the number listed below, the more cumulative fantasy points their 2017 opponents allowed in 2016.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to draft and they are otherwise comparable in your view, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie.


Here are the 2017 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule Rankings:

RankTeamPlayer(s)Cumulative PointsFantasy Playoffs
1Minnesota VikingsStefon Diggs24.1571.45
2Carolina PanthersKelvin Benjamin24.0371.82
3Chicago BearsKevin White2467.23
4Seattle SeahawksDoug Baldwin23.967.31
5New Orleans SaintsMichael Thomas23.7971.2
6Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike Evans23.6673.01
7Atlanta FalconsJulio Jones23.5673.03
8Arizona CardinalsLarry Fitzgerald23.4469.33
9San Francisco 49ersPierre Garcon23.3166.47
10New York GiantsOdell Beckham23.0773.03
11Detroit LionsGolden Tate22.9866.82
12Dallas CowboysDez Bryant22.9566.14
13Los Angeles RamsTavon Austin22.9275.58
14Houston TexansDeAndre Hopkins22.8764.12
15Baltimore RavensMike Wallace22.6665.91
16Green Bay PackersJordy Nelson22.6368.05
16Washington RedskinsJamison Crowder22.6359.75
18Pittsburgh SteelersAntonio Brown22.6264.51
19Jacksonville JaguarsAllen Robinson22.5767.25
20Miami DolphinsJarvis Landry22.565.37
21New York JetsEric Decker22.4959.54
22Tennessee TitansRishard Matthews22.4575.16
23Denver BroncosDemaryius Thomas22.2868.11
24Cleveland BrownsCorey Coleman22.2777.86
25New England PatriotsJulian Edelman22.2365.85
26Cincinnati BengalsA.J. Green22.1868.63
27Indianapolis ColtsT.Y. Hilton22.1359.49
28Buffalo BillsSammy Watkins22.0968.52
28Philadelphia EaglesAlshon Jeffery22.0964.7
30Oakland RaidersAmari Cooper21.7971.17
31Los Angeles ChargersKeenan Allen21.5568.57
32Kansas City ChiefsJeremy Maclin21.5269.65

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2017 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 1 to 16

Now that the NFL has released the 2017 NFL Schedule, we have updated our 2017 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule pages.

Our fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) rankings for each position are based on last year's production. In other words, we average the fantasy points allowed per game (in 2016) for every team's set of 2017 opponents. The higher the number listed below, the more cumulative fantasy points their 2017 opponents allowed in 2016.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to draft and they are otherwise comparable in your view, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie.


Here are the Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule Rankings for 2017:

RankTeamPlayer(s)Cumulative PointsFantasy Playoffs
1New England PatriotsDion Lewis, Rex Burkhead19.4660.52
2New York JetsMatt Forte19.3661.45
3Carolina PanthersJonathan Stewart19.152.11
4Tennessee TitansDeMarco Murray19.0359.65
5Jacksonville JaguarsChris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon18.8959.83
6Chicago BearsJordan Howard18.7857.71
7Baltimore RavensKenneth Dixon, Danny Woodhead18.6965.49
8Cincinnati BengalsJeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard18.6648.18
9Seattle SeahawksEddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls18.6349.3
10Buffalo BillsLeSean McCoy18.653.53
10Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott18.650.58
12Denver BroncosC.J. Anderson18.5961
13Kansas City ChiefsSpencer Ware18.5758.85
14Arizona CardinalsDavid Johnson18.5551.08
14Minnesota VikingsLatavius Murray18.5550.71
16Philadelphia EaglesRyan Mathews, Darren Sproles18.3255.9
17Los Angeles ChargersMelvin Gordon18.357.95
18Indianapolis ColtsFrank Gore18.2556.23
18Miami DolphinsJay Ajayi18.2553.98
20New York GiantsPaul Perkins18.0445.28
21Houston TexansLamar Miller17.9665.1
21New Orleans SaintsMark Ingram17.9659.67
23Detroit LionsAmeer Abdullah, Theo Riddick17.8954.61
24Atlanta FalconsDevonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman17.8264.58
24Green Bay PackersTy Montgomery17.8255.27
26Washington RedskinsRobert Kelley17.8153.34
27Oakland RaidersDeAndre Washington17.6148.81
28Cleveland BrownsIsaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson17.5149.53
29Tampa Bay BuccaneersDoug Martin, Charles Sims17.4952.03
30Los Angeles RamsTodd Gurley17.4445.92
31Pittsburgh SteelersLe'Veon Bell17.2747.79
32San Francisco 49ersCarlos Hyde16.4348.7

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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April 22, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 1 to 16

Now that the NFL has released the 2017 NFL Schedule, we have updated our 2017 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule pages.

Our fantasy football strength of schedule (SOS) rankings for each position are based on last year's production. In other words, we average the fantasy points allowed per game (in 2016) for every team's set of 2017 opponents. The higher the number listed below, the more cumulative fantasy points their 2017 opponents allowed in 2016.

A player's fantasy strength of schedule is far from the most important aspect of his outlook. But if you're debating a pair of players to draft and they are otherwise comparable in your view, a more favorable fantasy schedule could potentially break the tie.


Here are the best Fantasy Football Strength of Schedules for quarterbacks in 2017:

RankTeamPlayerCumulative PointsFantasy Playoffs
1Minnesota VikingsSam Bradford17.3350.1
2New Orleans SaintsDrew Brees17.1154.51
3Chicago BearsMike Glennon17.0554.26
3Carolina PanthersCam Newton17.0548.93
5Baltimore RavensJoe Flacco16.9451.84
6Tampa Bay BuccaneersJameis Winston16.8954.21
7Atlanta FalconsMatt Ryan16.8452.85
8New York JetsJosh McCown16.6846.67
9Green Bay PackersAaron Rodgers16.6150.78
10Buffalo BillsTyrod Taylor16.5851.96
11Seattle SeahawksRussell Wilson16.5149.52
12Pittsburgh SteelersBen Roethlisberger16.4745.08
13Miami DolphinsRyan Tannehill16.4146.93
14New England PatriotsTom Brady16.3949.18
15Cincinnati BengalsAndy Dalton16.3850.89
15Detroit LionsMatthew Stafford16.3849.18
15Houston TexansTom Savage16.3846.39
18Denver BroncosTrevor Siemian16.3651.38
19Arizona CardinalsCarson Palmer16.3347.95
20Jacksonville JaguarsBlake Bortles16.3144.75
21Cleveland BrownsCody Kessler16.350.23
22Tennessee TitansMarcus Mariota16.2949.89
23New York GiantsEli Manning16.1648.34
24Indianapolis ColtsAndrew Luck15.9343.52
25San Francisco 49ersBrian Hoyer15.9247.55
26Kansas City ChiefsAlex Smith15.8252.2
26Los Angeles RamsJared Goff15.8248.41
28Dallas CowboysDak Prescott15.7944.74
29Los Angeles ChargersPhilip Rivers15.7849.2
30Washington RedskinsKirk Cousins15.7744.3
31Oakland RaidersDerek Carr15.6547.95
32Philadelphia EaglesCarson Wentz15.5746.54

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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April 21, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Myles Garrett, Mitchell Trubisky to Browns

The countdown is on.

Instead of months or even weeks, we are now just days away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft in the City of Brotherly Love. A high volume of rumors will surface between now and draft day, so for many, the 2017 NFL Draft can't come too soon.

Please note that there will be at least one additional update of this mock draft, no later than the Wednesday night preceding the draft.

For now, however, here is my updated 2017 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

No position in sports, not just football, is more important than quarterback and the Browns lack of success in finding their franchise quarterback has been well-documented. Even though the Browns used a third-round pick on Cody Kessler in last year's draft, the quarterback position remains unsettled for the long term.

With so many other holes on the roster, Garrett appears to be a lock here despite reports the Browns may consider UNC's Mitchell Trubisky at No. 1 as well. Fortunately for the Browns, their five top-65 selections gives them the draft-day ammunition and flexibility to address the need.

Only the Raiders (25) recorded fewer sacks than the Browns (26) last season, but Emmanuel Ogbah, one of the team's 2016 second-round picks, led the team with 5.5 last year. Racking up 31 sacks in 34 career games, Garrett has the length, burst and freakish athleticism to make an immediate impact with the potential to develop into a perenniel All-Pro pass-rusher to pair with Ogbah.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

“There’s the traditional trade chart, (and) we’ve got one of our own,” [GM John] Lynch said. “I think we know how we value that (pick). As I’ve said, we’re open for business. We’d listen to anything. But, I’ve always said you don’t like being 2-14, but you like having the second pick. I think it puts you in the driver’s seat with a lot of options at your disposal and we’ll explore every single one of them.”

If the 49ers stay put and are unable to find a trade partner to move back, this pick likely comes down to Thomas or one of the top-three defensive backs -- safeties Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Considering the potential for Kirk Cousins to call the Bay area his home this time next year, I wouldn't expect the the 49ers to use a top-two pick on a quarterback even though they currently go into the season with backup-caliber quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley atop the depth chart.

Even though the 49ers (albeit Trent Baalke) have selected defensive linemen with back-to-back first-round picks in 2015 (Arik Armstead) and 2016 (DeForest Buckner), they aren't exactly ideal fits in the team's new defensive scheme. Meanwhile, Thomas has outstanding quickness and strength and a tireless motor that warrants a selection this high in the 2017 draft.

3. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

Signing Mike Glennon this offseason means the Bears should target the defensive side of the ball with this selection. Perhaps the Bears will select one of the top three defensive backs here (I had Jamal Adams mocked here in the previous version of my mock), but Allen would be a good fit provided the medical staff is comfortable with his shoulders. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Allen closed his collegiate career with back-to-back seasons of double-digit sacks and will help shore up Chicago's 27th-ranked run defense.

MORE: Bears select a QB in my way-too-early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Going eighth overall to the Panthers in previous versions of this mock, Fournette may not last that long. Likely the first team to take a serious look at selecting Fournette (despite reports the 49ers could select him at No. 2), the Jaguars have built upon their strong defense (sixth in total defense in 2016) by adding Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye in free agency.

Despite universal expectations that the Jags would take a step (or two) forward in 2016, they instead took a step backwards as the play of quarterback Blake Bortles regressed. In addition, Jacksonville ranked only 27th in the NFL in rushing offense (92.1 yards per game).

Adding a back with Fournette's combination of size, power and speed would take some pressure off Bortles. And Fournette is built to be a workhorse back that will wear down opposing defenses as the game progresses.

5. Tennessee Titans (Draft History), via Rams: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Upgrading the secondary was a major need for the Titans and their two biggest free-agent signings (cornerback Logan Ryan and safety John Cyprien) will help to bolster the unit. With the team releasing Jason McCourty this month, they will go into the season with two new starters -- Ryan and Lattimore -- based on this mock.

At the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, Lattimore displayed his elite athleticism (4.36 forty and 38.5-inch vertical) prior to tweaking his hamstring. His history of hamstring injuries is a potential concern, but he is extremely fluid with the cover skills to develop into a true shutdown corner.

6. New York Jets (Draft History): Jamal Adams, S, LSU

In the previous version of this mock, I had the Jets selecting UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Tar Heel or another quarterback could certainly be in play here. Using (read: wasting) a second-round pick on Christian Hackenberg last season, however, the Jets may decide to wait until 2018 to add another early-round quarterback in a year where the talent is widely expected to be better (depending on which quarterbacks declare early).

Recently running a sub-4.4 forty at LSU's Pro Day, Adams has a first-round pedigree (father George was a first-round pick in 1984), the versatility to play either safety spot and is a defensive tone-setter. In fact, NFL.com's Bucky Brooks went so far recently to call Adams "the best prospect in the draft."

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Once again, I have the Chargers selecting Hooker and if he's still on the board here, it's hard to imagine him the Bolts passing on him. Drawing comparisons to Ed Reed, Hooker is a ball-hawking free safety with tremendous range that finished his only season as a starter with seven interceptions, three of which he returned for scores.

8. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

If Leonard Fournette were available here, I think he'd be the pick -- and he was in the previous version of this mock -- as Jonathan Stewart recently turned 30 and has missed three-plus games in each of the past five seasons. If Fournette is off the board, I'm not sure that they add Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook here.

The Panthers could use more dynamic pass-catchers. A top-10 prospect, Howard is a complete tight end that excels as a blocker while also possessing elite physical tools (4.51 forty at 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds) to create mismatches in the passing game. Howard had just two 100-yard games at Alabama, coincidentally both coming in the past two national championship games, but he should be much more productive in the NFL than he was in college.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Carlos Dunlap had 8.0 sacks (and defensive tackle Geno Atkins had 9.0), but the Bengals could use an upgrade opposite Dunlap as 30-year-old Michael Johnson had 3.5 sacks and graded out as PFF's 105th edge rusher (out of 109 qualified players).

While he may lack the elite burst of some other pass-rushers in this class, Barnett's production is unparalelled as no player had more sacks over the past three seasons combined. In fact, Barnett broke Reggie White's all-time sack record at Tennessee despite playing only three seasons and the junior edge rusher became the first player in SEC history to record double-digit sacks in three different (consecutive) seasons.

10. Buffalo Bills (Draft History): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Before the start of free agency, there was rampant speculation that the Bills would part ways with Tyrod Taylor -- and many mocks, including mine, had the Bills selecting a quarterback in this slot. With all of the quarterback prospects still on the board, it's possible that the Bills select one of them here, but adding pass-catching reinforcements would make sense especially given the durability track record of receiver Sammy Watkins.

Possessing the size (6-4, 220) and physicality to overpower defensive backs, Williams isn't the fastest receiver, but he's fast enough. Bouncing back from his 2015 neck injury, the Clemson wideout finished 2016 with 98/1,361/11 and has the talent to develop into a true No. 1 receiver at the next level.

11. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

A three-down linebacker prospect with tremendous speed and range, Reddick began his Temple career as a walk-on defensive back and has played a variety of roles for the Owls. As an undersized defensive end last year, Reddick finished with 22.5 tackles for loss, third-most in college football, and a team-high 10.5 sacks. Few prospects, if any, improved their draft stock since the end of the college football season as much as Reddick has.

12. Cleveland Browns (Draft History), via Eagles: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Since professional football returned in 1999, three quarterbacks have had double-digit wins during their time in Cleveland: Tim Couch (22), Derek Anderson (16) and Brian Hoyer (10). Out of that group, only Hoyer (10-6) has a winning record as a starter. Meanwhile, 26 of them have a QB loss.

It's possible that Trubisky doesn't last this long in the draft. Specifically, the Jets at No. 6 and Bills at No. 10 would be the two most-likely teams to select him. Then again, it's possible that the Browns trade up to get in front of the Jets to select Trubisky.

The biggest knock on Trubisky is his relative lack of experience as a starter (only one season), but he could at least enter the 2017 season as the backup to McCown in this scenario. Possessing a strong arm and mobility, Trubisky completed 68.2 percent of his pass attempts with 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2016.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

The Cardinals are fortunate to have cornerback Patrick Peterson, but that means teams will heavily target the other cornerback. And for the most part, that has been met with plenty of success.

If college teammate Lattimore tops the cornerback draft class, you could argue that Conley is the second best in this deep and talented group. With good length (6-0 with 33-inch arms) and athleticism (4.44 forty and 37-inch vertical), Conley has started every game over the past two seasons and intercepted four passes in 2016.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History), via MIN: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

If the Cardinals went in a different direction than Conley, I would expect him to be the pick here and he's been slotted in this spot in many of my previous editions of this mock. With both Lattimore and Conley off the board, perhaps the Eagles will go in a different direction here and target a corner in Round 2.

Breaking Barry Sanders record for all-purpose yards in college football back in 2015, McCaffrey may not be ideally suited to be a workhorse at 202 pounds, but he's as versatile as they come and especially gifted as a receiver and returner. One player comp for McCaffrey has been former Eagles great Brian Westbrook, but Westbrook himself doesn't seem to be a fan of McCaffrey at No. 14.

15. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA

The Colts lost a number of pass-rushers to free agency or retirement (Erik Walden, Robert Mathis, etc.) and added others in free agency (Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, etc.), but you can never have too many pass-rushers. An explosive athlete with a relentless motor, McKinley had a breakout season for the Bruins with 18 tackles for loss including 10 sacks.

MORE: The Indianapolis Colts have the easiest strength of schedule in 2017

16. Baltimore Ravens (Draft History): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Without Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken, the Ravens will rely on Mike Wallace, a free agent after the 2017 season, and former first-rounder Breshad Perriman, who missed the 2015 season due to injury and posted a 33/499/3 line in 2016. Both Wallace and Perriman have elite speed as vertical receivers, but Davis has the talent to develop into a true No. 1 receiver for the Ravens.

In each of his past three seasons, Davis has dominated lesser competition with 1,400-plus yards and 12-plus touchdowns. The senior receiver has excellent size (6-3, 213), speed, hands and is an outstanding route-runner. Assuming Davis is selected here (or somewhere in Round 1), he will Randy Moss as the second MAC wide receiver to be selected in the first round.

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2017 NFL Mock Draft

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April 02, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Myles Garrett, Mitchell Trubisky to Browns

Now only four weeks from the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, the majority of free-agency moves and college Pro Days are behind us.

Leading up to the draft, I will project all seven rounds and 253 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.

For now, here is how I think Round 1 could play out:

1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

No position in sports, not just football, is more important than quarterback and the Browns lack of success in finding their franchise quarterback has been well-documented. Even though the Browns used a third-round pick on Cody Kessler in last year's draft, the quarterback position remains unsettled for the long term.

With so many other holes on the roster, however, Garrett is all but a lock as the No. 1 overall pick. In fact, the Browns have five top-65 selections; three more than any other team.

Only the Raiders (25) recorded fewer sacks than the Browns (26) last season, but Emmanuel Ogbah, one of the team's 2016 second-round picks, led the team with 5.5 sacks last year. Racking up 31.0 sacks in 34 career games, Garrett has the length, burst and freakish athleticism to make an immediate impact and the potential to develop into a perenniel All-Pro pass-rusher.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

San Francisco's fourth head coach in as many seasons, Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have time on their side after signing six-year deals this offseason. In other words, they have the job security to rebuild the roster with a long-term view in mind.

Neither Brian Hoyer nor Matt Barkley is the long-term answer at quarterback. And perhaps Kirk Cousins will be that guy (starting in 2018). But with so many holes and such a high pick in a talent-rich draft, it's unlikely that the 49ers reach for a quarterback here.

Even though the 49ers (albeit Trent Baalke) have selected defensive linemen with back-to-back first-round picks in 2015 (Arik Armstead) and 2016 (DeForest Buckner), Thomas has outstanding quickness and strength to go along with a tireless motor that warrants a selection this high in the 2017 draft.

3. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

Signing Mike Glennon to a three-year deal in free agency all but eliminates the possibility that the Bears use this pick on a quarterback. If things don't work out with Glennon, however, it would only be a $4.5 million cap hit for the Bears to move on after the 2017 season.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Lattimore sustained a hip flexor or hamstring injury (depending on whom you ask), but he participated in on-field drills at Ohio State's Pro Day. His history of hamstring injuries is a potential concern with Lattimore, but he has elite athleticism (4.36 forty and 38.5-inch vertical) and the cover skills to develop into a true shutdown corner.

MORE: Bears select a QB in my way-too-early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

One year after giving Malik Jackson a massive free-agent deal, the Jags signed Calais Campbell to a $60 million contract. Perhaps there are some concerns about arthritis in his shoulders or his overall level of athleticism, but Allen gives the Jags another highly disruptive, productive and run-dominant defensive lineman with the versatility to play multiple spots along the line.

In both news and other mock drafts, a common prospect linked to the Jags with this particular pick is LSU's Leonard Fournette. With the regression of quarterback Blake Bortles, a good and improving defense and last year's 27th-ranked rushing offense (92.1 yards per game), Fournette would make sense as well.

5. Tennessee Titans (Draft History), via Rams: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Upgrading the secondary was a major need for the Titans and their two biggest free-agent signings (cornerback Logan Ryan and safety John Cyprien) will help to bolster the unit. While those moves give them more flexibility with this pick, it wouldn't surprise me if they added another defensive back here. With a first-round pedigree (father George was a first-round pick in 1984), Adams has the versatility to play either safety spot and is a defensive tone-setter.

6. New York Jets (Draft History): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

In the previous version of this mock, I slotted a quarterback (UNC's Mitchell Trubisky) to join the trio of Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Even though they team used (wasted?) a second-round pick on Hackenberg, the long-term answer at the position does not appear to currently be on the roster. If they go in a different (non-QB) direction with the sixth-overall pick, someone like Howard could help whoever is under center. Howard is a complete tight end that excels as a blocker while also possessing elite physical tools (4.51 forty at 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds) to create mismatches in the passing game.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Drawing comparisons to Ed Reed, Hooker is a ball-hawking free safety with tremendous range that finished his first season as a starter with seven interceptions. A pair of surgeries kept him from working out at the combine, but Hooker would be a Day 1 starter and upgrade for Gus Bradley's defense.

8. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The last time Jonathan Stewart did not miss at least three games in a season was 2011. Not only did Stewart recently turn 30, but he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season. The Panthers signed Stewart to a one-year extension, but perhaps more than anything, that helps to alleviate his cap hit for 2017.

Given his unique combination of size, power and speed, Fournette is built to be a workhorse back that will wear down opposing defenses as the game progresses. With quarteback Cam Newton recently undergoing shoulder surgery, Fournette will help take some pressure off Cam while also significantly upgrading the long-term outlook of their rushing attack.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Carlos Dunlap had 8.0 sacks (and defensive tackle Geno Atkins had 9.0), but the Bengals could use an upgrade opposite Dunlap as 30-year-old Michael Johnson had 3.5 sacks and graded out as PFF's 105th edge rusher (out of 109 qualified players).

While he may lack the elite burst of some other pass-rushers in this class, Barnett's production is unparalelled as no player had more sacks over the past three seasons combined. In fact, Barnett broke Reggie White's all-time sack record at Tennessee despite playing only three seasons and the junior edge rusher became the first player in SEC history to record double-digit sacks in three different (consecutive) seasons.

10. Buffalo Bills (Draft History): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Before free agency began, speculation led to the Bills parting ways with Tyrod Taylor -- and many mocks, including mine, had the Bills selecting a quarterback in this slot. With Taylor agreeing to a restructured deal (or pay cut), adding reinforcements would make sense especially given the durability track record of stud receiver Sammy Watkins and free-agent departures of Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin.

In each of his past three seasons, Davis has dominated lesser competition with 1,400-plus yards and 12-plus touchdowns. The senior receiver has excellent size (6-3, 213), speed, hands and is an outstanding route-runner.

11. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama

Only the 49ers (30.0) allowed more points per game than the Saints (28.4) last season, New Orleans can use help at all three levels of their defense. The Butkus Award winner as college football's top linebacker, Foster is a devastating hitter with sideline-to-sideline range.

12. Cleveland Browns (Draft History), via Eagles: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Since returning in 1999, three quarterbacks have double-digit wins during their time in Cleveland: Tim Couch (22), Derek Anderson (16) and Brian Hoyer (10). Out of that group, only Hoyer (10-6) has a winning record as a starter. Meanwhile, 26 of them have a QB loss.

Passing on Carson Wentz last season, it's possible that they pass on a quarterback here given the talent that could be available in next year's draft. And with their number of picks including the second-round pick obtained by acquiring free-agent flop Brock Osweiler, it's possible that the Browns are able to package together an offer to pry Jimmy Garoppolo away from the Patriots (despite New England's apparent reluctance to part ways with their backup QB).

Completing 68.2 percent of his pass attempts with 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2016, the biggest knock on Trubisky is his relative lack of experience as a starter. That said, the local kid (Mentor, OH) looks the part with a strong arm and good mobility.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

The Cardinals are fortunate to have cornerback Patrick Peterson, but that means teams will heavily target the other cornerback. And for the most part, that has been met with plenty of success.

If college teammate Lattimore tops the cornerback draft class, you could argue that Conley is the second best in this deep and talented group. With good length (6-0 with 33-inch arms) and athleticism (4.44 forty and 37-inch vertical), Conley has started every game over the past two seasons and intercepted four passes in 2016.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History), via MIN: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU

Signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency addresses one of their biggest needs this offseason. Another big need that hasn't yet been addressed is the secondary. Last year's starting cornerbacks -- Nolan Carroll and Jalen Mills -- graded out as PFF's 92nd and 112th (of 112) cornerbacks last season and Carroll is now in Dallas. Essentially a four-year starter with outstanding cover skills, White could be the first (of potentially multiple) pick(s) to improve their secondary in the draft.

15. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

New GM Chris Ballard has been active in free agency as the Colts have added six new players to their front-seven. But there is still plenty of work to do to continue to improve this 26th-ranked defense (379.1/G) from last season.

A three-down linebacker prospect with tremendous speed and range, Reddick began his Temple career as a walk-on defensive back and has played a variety of roles for the Owls. Last year, Reddick finished with 22.5 tackles for loss, third-most in college football, and a team-high 10.5 sacks.

16. Baltimore Ravens (Draft History): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Without Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken, the Ravens will rely on Mike Wallace, a free agent after the 2017 season, and former first-rounder Breshad Perriman, who missed the 2015 season due to injury and posted a 33/499/3 line in 2016. Both Wallace and Perriman have elite speed as vertical receivers, something that Williams doesn't necessarily possess, but he has the talent to develop into a true No. 1 receiver with the size and physicality to overpower defensive backs.

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2017 NFL Mock Draft

- For more 2017 NFL mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.

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February 23, 2017

Way-too-early 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Browns Select Franchise Quarterback

We are still a week away from the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine and more than two months away from the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.

So, naturally, it makes sense to post my first 2018 NFL Mock Draft. (Of course, it makes no sense as there is so much that will change between now and then.)

But that won't stop me.

For simplicity, the 2018 NFL Draft order used below is based on the draft order for this year's draft. More than anything, the goal of this mock draft is to highlight some players and some possible fits, but this will clearly look so different with future iterations of this mock draft.

With all of that said, here is my early projection of how Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft could play out:

1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Sam Darnold, QB, USC

It appears to be a lock that the Browns will use their No. 1 overall pick in 2017 to select Texas A&M's Myles Garrett, the consensus top player available in this year's draft. Provided they don't trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or draft a signal-caller with their other first-round pick, selecting a potential franchise quarterback like Darnold would make sense next year if the Browns are once again in this spot.

Not only is the 2018 quarterback class widely viewed as being more talented than this year's crop of quarterbacks, Darnold has the potential to be the best of the group. With prototypical physical tools and outstanding poise and leadership, the redshirt freshman engineered a come-from-behind victory over Penn State in Rose Bowl as he threw for 453 yards and five scores.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

Based on my 2017 NFL Mock Draft (as of 2/17), Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers will get their franchise quarterback in UNC's Mitch Trubisky. There is some uncertainty with Key, who has recently taken a leave of absence for personal reasons, but he's an explosive edge rusher that set the school's single-season sack record (12) as a true sophomore in 2016.

3. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Jay Cutler era is likely to end soon and both backup-caliber quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley are due to become unrestricted free agents. In previous versions of my 2017 mock, I've had the Bears select Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer. It's unlikely that they pass on a signal-caller once again if they don't address the position long term this year.

Perhaps the Bears go with another Josh (UCLA's Rosen) at quarterback, but Allen has great size (6-5, 222) and plays in a pro-style offense although he is a bit raw. One AFC Exec told MMQB's Albert Breer, "He’s a big ol’ kid with a big arm, and he’s pretty athletic too. We gotta learn more about him, but the tools are there." Coincidentally, Allen plays for Craig Bohl, who recruited Carson Wentz to North Dakota State.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Derwin James, S, Florida State

With Tashaun Gipson signed to a free-agent deal before last season, the Jags may go in a different direction here. That said, James is a freakish talent that warrants a top-five selection and one ACC coach said the following of James before the start of last season: "Derwin James is flat scary good. He could probably start at all 11 positions. He’s one of those freaky guys who might be better than Ramsey when it’s all said and done."

5. Los Angeles Rams (Draft History): Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Rams could certainly use more weapons for or help protecting Jared Goff and I strongly considered slotting Christian Kirk or Calvin Ridley to them. But defensive back could be a need as well. Trumaine Johnson is a free agent this year, Lamarcus Joyner is a free agent next year and E.J. Gaines graded out as the 107th-best of 112 qualified cornerbacks last season. With experience at both cornerback and safety, the 6-foot-1 Fitzpatrick led the SEC with six interceptions as a sophomore.

6. New York Jets (Draft History): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Perhaps the Jets will address their need at quarterback in 2017 with only two unproven quarterbacks -- Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg -- on the roster. Considering they used a second-round pick on Hackenberg last season, it's possibly the franchise waits another year before investing a high draft pick in the position. Expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft even before stepping foot on campus, Rosen's 2016 season was cut short by a shoulder injury and he will now have his third offensive coordinator in as many seasons. But if Rosen's still available here, it would be difficult for the Jets to pass on him.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Left tackle King Dunlap has played in only 19 of 32 games over the past two seasons and will turn 33 years old at the beginning of the 2018 NFL season. While the team's offensive line seems to be in perpetual need of an upgrade, McGlinchey would be a first step in upgrading it.

8. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

One of the most explosive receivers in college football, Kirk (5-11, 200) has 80-plus catches and 900-plus yards in each of his first two seasons in College Station. In addition, Kirk has averaged 22.25 yards per punt return with five returned for scores over the past two seasons. Meanwhile, WR/PR/KR Ted Ginn Jr. is a free agent heading into the 2017 season.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

While his sophomore season (71/776/7) was a disappointment at least compared to expectations and his freshman production (89/1,045/7), Ridley has elite speed, hands and route-running ability to develop into a true No. 1 receiver at the next level. If Tyler Eifert could stay healthy, the Bengals would have one of the best trios of pass-catchers with A.J. Green, Ridley and Eifert for years to come.

10. Buffalo Bills (Draft History): Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

Originally committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame and a high school safety, Hubbard is a freakish athlete that closed the season strong. Per PFF, Hubbard had seven total pressures and 12 defensive stops in the team's final three games. If he builds upon that momentum in 2017, Hubbard could become a top-10 pick in 2018.

- Continue reading our 2018 NFL Mock Draft

- Our 2017 NFL Mock Draft

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January 27, 2017

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Three QBs in the Top 10?

Roughly three months until Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, here's one prediction that's sure to come true: This mock draft will look a lot different in April than it looks today.

It's virtually impossible to predict how things will shake out three minutes before the start of a draft, let alone three months before it. After all, some prospects will rise and fall following workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine and their Pro Days, teams will fill needs (or not) via NFL free agency, etc.

As we get closer to April, I will add more rounds to this mock with the goal to be a full seven-round mock draft.

With all of that said, here is my early projection of how Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft could play out:

1. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Obviously, it's a quarterback-driven league and the Browns (still) do not have a franchise quarterback on the roster. While the team used a third-round pick on Cody Kessler in the 2016 NFL Draft, he's a low-end, low-upside starter (if not a career backup). That said, if the team passed on a signal-caller at the top of last year's draft class, there's a good chance they won't feel compelled to select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick this year.

The Browns defense could use upgrades at all three levels. Not only did the Browns rank 31st in total defense (375.4 YPG) and 30th in scoring defense (28.3 PPG), but only the Raiders (25) recorded fewer sacks than the Browns (26) in 2016. On a positive note, Emmanuel Ogbah, one of the team's 2016 second-round picks, led the team with 5.5 sacks.

With Garrett, the Browns get a difference-making pass-rusher that is widely viewed as the top prospect in this year's draft class. After finishing with 11-plus sacks in his first two collegiate seasons, the explosive edge rusher had just 8.5 sacks in 10 games this season as he battled a high-ankle sprain in addition to facing many double and triple teams from opposing defenses.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

As usual, there are several quarterback-needy franchises picking at the top of the draft yet there isn't necessarily a slam-dunk consensus choice at the position. Not only is Blaine Gabbert a free agent (and not a good quarterback), but there is a good chance that Colin Kaepernick won't on the opening day roster either.

Only a one-year starter for the Tar Heels, Trubisky completed 68.2 percent of his pass attempts with 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2016. With good size (6-3, 220), accuracy, a strong arm and mobility, he possesses all of the traits to potentially develop into a franchise quarterback for presumed head coach Kyle Shanahan.

3. Chicago Bears (Draft History): Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama

Will the Bears go with Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer or Clemson's Deshaun Watson here and make it two quarterbacks in the top three? (After all, Dabo Sweeney recently compared Watson to Michael Jordan.) It's certainly possible the Bears draft a quarterback here as they are expected to move on from Jay Cutler, but it wouldn't surprise me if they go with Allen here.

Few prospects are as safe as Allen. With the versatility to play multiple spots along the defensive line, Allen closed his collegiate career with back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks and will help shore up Chicago's 27th-ranked run defense.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Draft History): Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Possessing great size (6-1, 213) and a first-round pedigree (father George was a first-round pick in 1984), Adams has the versatility to play either safety spot, but he is especially good playing in the box. Having his best season, strong safety John Cyprien was the seventh-graded PFF safety (of 90 qualified), but he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

5. Tennessee Titans (Draft History), via Rams: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

With a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, the Titans exceeded expectations in 2016 and have a bright future. One area that needs to be addressed via the draft and/or free agency, however, is their pass defense, which ranked 30th in the NFL last season. One of the deeper positions in this year's draft class, the Titans can double-dip with a pair of first-round cornerbacks as I project in this mock.

6. New York Jets (Draft History): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

None of the quarterbacks on the 2016 roster have shown that they are the long-term answer at quarterback for the Jets and both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are free agents anyways. Perhaps it's too early to judge Christian Hackenberg, but Kizer has all of the physical tools to potentially become the long-term answer for the Jets.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Drawing comparisons to Ed Reed, Hooker is a play-making safety with tremendous range. One year after letting Eric Weddle depart via free agency, Hooker would fill the void.

8. Carolina Panthers (Draft History): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The last time that Jonathan Stewart did not miss at least three games was 2011. Stewart, who turns 30 in March, averaged just 3.8 yards per carry this season and there is some speculation that Stewart could turn out to be a cap casualty. A man among boys, Fournette has a rare combination of size, power and speed and his presence would help take some pressure off of Cam Newton even if Stewart isn't released.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Draft History): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford

Viewed by some as a 'tweener, the redshirt sophomore was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was dominant in the Sun Bowl win over UNC. Possessing rare physical attributes, Thomas has drawn some comparisons to J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald, but the long-term upside is tremendous.

10. Buffalo Bills (Draft History): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Tyrod Taylor's days as starter in Buffalo appear to be numbered, so the Bills could be in the market for a starter with this pick if (at least) one of the top-three signal-callers is still available here. First-round bust E.J. Manuel will be an unrestricted free agent and the only other quarterback on the roster is fourth-rounder Cardale Jones.

There is plenty to like about the dual-threat Watson, who led Clemson to a national championship win over Alabama and a runner-up finish the year before. While he has come up big in big games, he has struggled with accuracy and thrown too many interceptions -- 30 over his past two seasons -- so it's possible that Trubisky and/or Kizer are selected before him.

11. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama

The Saints have finished 27th in team defense and have failed to make the postseason in each of the past three seasons. Obviously, adding playmakers to all three levels of their defense should be their offseason priority. The Butkus Award winner as college football's top linebacker, Foster is a devastating hitter with sideline-to-sideline range.

12. Cleveland Browns (Draft History), via Eagles: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Isaiah Crowell had a number of big games (four 100-yard games), but he also rushed for less than 30 yards in seven of 16 games. Cook is a true difference-maker at the position and is a threat to take it to the house any time he touches the ball.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Draft History): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The first wide receiver off the board in this mock, Davis has dominated lesser competition with 1,400-plus yards and 12-plus touchdowns in each of his past three seasons. The senior receiver has excellent size (6-3, 213), speed, hands and is an outstanding route-runner.

While the Cardinals had a trio of receivers with 50-plus catches for 800-plus yards in 2015, wide receiver has become a position of need with plenty of question marks over the short term. While Larry Fitzgerald is expected back in 2017, his career is winding down, the team cut Michael Floyd earlier this season after his DUI arrest and John Brown has had some health concerns.

** Note: A coin flip will break a tie to determine whether the Colts or Eagles pick 14th or 15th. **

14. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Far from the most explosive edge rusher, Barnett has been one of college football's most productive. After all, Barnett broke Reggie White's school record with 33 sacks in just three seasons.

The Colts had two players that recorded more than three sacks -- Erik Walden (11.0) and Robert Mathis (5.0). Walden is an unrestricted free agent and the soon-to-be 36-year-old Robert Mathis has announced his retirement.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History), via MIN: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

Tabor certainly doesn't lack confidence and ex-Florida coach Will Muschamps put Tabor in his "starting five" of trash-talkers. But Tabor has the size, aggressive demeanor and ball skills to help upgrade a positional unit in massive need of improvement.

16. Baltimore Ravens (Draft History): Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

As PFF's 19th-graded offensive tackle, starting right tackle Ricky Wagner is about to become an unrestricted free agent. Especially if the Ravens are unable to re-sign Wagner, Robinson would be a good fit here. Even though he has started exclusively on the left side at Alabama, he may be a better fit on the right side opposite last year's first-round pick Ronnie Stanley.

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2017 NFL Mock Draft

- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.

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December 24, 2016

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 16 NFL picks against the spread:

San Diego Chargers -4.5 over Cleveland Browns (4 Units)

I think this one is almost too good to be true, but looking at this Cleveland defense I can't justify them hanging close with the Chargers. The Browns have been historically bad this year, and this is probably their best shot to win a game as they have Pittsburgh to finish up the season. The Browns just can't stop anyone as they allow 155 yards rushing per game and 4.8 yards per carry, and they allow opposing passers 245 yards per game and 31 touchdowns. I just think the Chargers have too much for them, and also RG3 looked really bad in his return. I just don't think the Browns will win a game all year, and San Diego should easily win big here.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over San Francisco 49ers (3 Units)

I know the history trend is always to take the 49ers anytime they are playing the Rams, but this week for the Rams at home will be different, as the 49ers are playing some really awful ball right now. The 49ers have one of the worst rushing defenses in memory, as they allow 176 yards rushing per game, and also 5.0 yards per carry. I think the Rams game plan will be to run Todd Gurley about 600 times this game, as they might not even let Jared Goff attempt a pass. I also like the ability of the Rams front four to get pressure on Colin Kaepernick, and they will be able to bottle up Carlos Hyde. In a game that is unwatchable, I like for Gurley to have his breakout game for the fantasy championships.

Detroit Lions +6 over Detroit Lions (4 Units)

I think this game is pretty simple, as Dallas has nothing to play for, and the Lions have everything to play for. The Cowboys have home field throughout the playoffs sewn up, and I think this will be a rotation game where Ezekiel Elliot will see a lot less touches. The Lions have traditionally had good luck against the Cowboys, as they have gone 4-1 against the spread in their last five. The main reason I like Detroit, is that they can attack a weak Dallas pass defense that allows 265 yards passing per game, a 68% completion percentage, and 23 passing touchdowns on the year. We all know the Lions are the king of the comeback this year, and they will certainly be within a touchdown of the Cowboys.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 16 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Philip Rivers is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Tom Brady and Rivers, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Rivers.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 16 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at CLE)

Reaching the 300-yard mark in only one of his past seven games, Rivers has also failed to finish as a top-12 weekly quarterback in nine consecutive games. And while he has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven straight with a total of 16 during that span, he has also been a turnover machine with 14 interceptions in those seven games.

There is reason for optimism in Championship Week, however, as Rivers and the Chargers head to Cleveland to face the winless Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year, but no team has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in more games this season than Cleveland (11).

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. IND)

With back-to-back disappointing performances, Carr completed just 17-of-41 for 117 yards and no touchdowns in Week 14 and 19-of-30 for 213 yards and a score in Week 15. In what is expected to be a shootout against Andrew Luck and the Colts, Carr should have a have a bounce-back performance in Week 16. In fact, the Raiders are projected to score the second-most points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. And that's after allowing just one passing touchdown to five passes intercepted over their past three games. Of course, that dominance is primarily due to the matchups against the likes of Bryce Petty, Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at CHI)

Second in the NFL to only Drew Brees, Cousins is averaging 311.4 passing yards per game and has seven 300-yard games this season. With the exception of Week 5 against the Ravens, Cousins has either thrown for 300-plus yards and/or accounted for multiple touchdowns. Due to that consistency, Cousins has finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in seven of his past eight games.

Week 16 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at SEA)

The good news is that Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards in two of his past three games and multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games. In fact, he has finished as a top-three weekly quarterback in both of those 300-yard games.

That said, Palmer and the Cardinals head to Seattle this week to take on the Seahawks, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Even without Earl Thomas, it's a difficult matchup, especially on the road at CenturyLink. In fact, only the Jets and Broncos are projected to score fewer points this week than the Cardinals.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at HOU)

The good news is that Dalton gets back A.J. Green this week. The bad news is that it is unclear what we should expect from AJG and Dalton will miss Tyler Eifert, one of the league's best tight ends and red-zone weapons. In addition, the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position, which makes Dalton a poor streaming option this week.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at DAL)

Scoring the eighth-most fantasy points through Week 15, Stafford has been up-and-down this season. While Stafford has seven top-10 weekly performances, he has also finished as the QB20 or worse in five games this season including three of his past five. During that five-game span, Stafford has thrown for multiple touchdowns in just one game with a total of only four passing touchdowns over that stretch. Only five teams are projected to score fewer points than the Lions this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

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Week 16 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Bilal Powell is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned DeMarco Murray, Le'Veon Bell and Powell and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Powell.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SF)

A few players -- DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, etc. -- could earn the dubious honor as well, but Gurley has arguably been the biggest first-round fantasy football bust of the 2016 season.

Despite the high cost on draft day, there has been little to show for it. With double-digit fantasy points in only four of 14 games, Gurley has yet to exceed 85 rushing yards any week and has averaged just 55.6 per game on the season.

If you somehow advanced to Week 16 with Gurley as your first-round pick, the good news is that he could finally deliver for his owners with a soft matchup against the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed the most fantasy points to the position and 5.11 yards per carry and 22 touchdowns to the position, both of which are league highs.

Even worse (or better from Gurley's standpoint), the 49ers have allowed a 100-yard rusher in 11 of their past 13 games. Stated differently, the 49ers have allowed 12.94 percent (11 of 85) of the 100-yard rushing games this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)

In a season where little has gone right for the Bears, Howard has been a bright spot. Heading into Championship Week, the ex-Hoosier has racked up the seventh-most yards from scrimmage (1,348) and has been even better more recently.

Since Week 8, Howard has a minimum of 15 touches and 99 YFS in seven straight games. During that seven-game span, Howard ranks fourth in the NFL in touches (152) and YFS (868).

Granted, the Bears are home underdogs this week, but Howard has a plus matchup. Washington has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In addition, only three teams have allowed more yards per carry (4.52) and combined touchdowns (18) to running backs this season.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. IND)

In the 12 games he has played, Murray has finished outside the top-30 fantasy running backs in only one game (RB52 in Week 4 at Baltimore). So, in other words, Murray has a minimum of seven fantasy points in 11 of 12 games this season.

Finishing as the RB30 last week, Murray should bounce back in a plus matchup against the Colts. Not only have the Colts allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but only the Patriots are projected to score more points this week than the Raiders. It wouldn't surprise me if Murray, who has averaged a rushing score per game this season, found the end zone once again.

RB - Bilal Powell, New York Jets (at NE)

With Matt Forte (knee) active last week, Powell once again dominated touches. In his past two games, Powell now has 61 total touches -- 45/229/2 rushing and 16/112 receiving.

Even though the Jets are 17-point underdogs and projected to be the lowest-scoring team of the week, according to implied totals from Vegas odds, Powell should be heavily involved in the passing game and get 20-plus touches once again as Forte is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game.

Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (at PIT)

One week after carrying it twice for just two yards, West erupted for 77 yards on 13 carries and added four catches for 45 yards against the Eagles in Week 15. The 122 yards from scrimmage and 17 touches were five-week highs.

It's possible that he has another productive game, but it's difficult to know whether West or Kenneth Dixon will get the larger share of the workload and we've seen the Ravens abandon the run even in games where they are successfully running the ball. Therefore, West and Dixon are both flex options as opposed to RB2 starts.

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR)

Since returning from injury, Coleman has scored three touchdowns in four games. That said, he has averaged just 3.62 yards per carry and 5.2 yards per reception over that four-game span. Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed the third-lowest yards per carry (3.58) to opposing running backs this season and Coleman had just 19 yards on eight carries earlier this season against Carolina.

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (at KC)

In two games with the Broncos, Justin Forsett has nine and 14 touches, respectively. Meanwhile, Booker has just five and eight touches in those same games and has failed to finish as a top-50 fantasy running back in both games. Before Forsett was signed, Booker had averaged 20.5 touches over a six-game span including 25 the first time against the Chiefs. Forsett is a solid flex option and Booker is completely off the fantasy radar.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 16 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Dontrelle Inman is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton and Inman and can only start two receivers, you should start Jordy and Hilton -- and in turn, bench Inman.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 16 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

Whether you call him a running back or a wide receiver, Montgomery is worth a start. It would be unreasonable to expect another 16/162/2 rushing performance, but more than reasonable to expect double-digit touches and a productive outing for a third consecutive game.

As far as the matchup goes, the Vikings have been much worse against the run over the past half-season or so than they were at the beginning of the year. From Weeks 1 to 7, the Vikings allowed 3.74 yards per carry (26th-most) and no running back exceeded 56 rushing yards. From Weeks 8 to 15, they have allowed 4.52 YPC (eighth-most) and six running backs have at least 70 rushing yards against them.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (at JAX)

Hopkins has just one 100-yard game this season and it was all the way back in Week 2. In addition, the matchup this week is challenging as the Jaguars have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. That said, the quarterback change to Tom Savage gives the passing offense a shot in the arm and a reason for Hopkins owners to be optimistic. Last week, Savage peppered Hopkins with targets and Nuk finished with eight catches for 87 yards on 17 targets.

WR - Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (at CLE)

Inman has a minimum of 43 yards in eight consecutive games, but he has averaged 4.6 receptions and 67.0 yards per game over that span. While his streak of games with a touchdown ended last week at three, Inman and the Chargers receivers get a plus matchup against the winless Browns. The Browns have allowed 14.01 Y/R and 10.76-percent touchdown rate, both of which are fourth-most, to opposing receivers this year.

WR - Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)

During the team's past five games, Tom Brady has targeted Edelman a minimum of 11 times in every game for an average of 13.4 per game over that span. That has allowed Edelman to post consistent receiving numbers -- a minimum of six catches and 73 yards in six consecutive games.

In their first matchup in Week 12, Edelman had eight catches for 83 yards on 11 targets. Not only have the Jets allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, but no team is projected to score more points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Week 16 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

With only one target last week, Cobb put up a goose egg against the Bears. Over his past seven games, he has only one game with more than 41 receiving yards and has averaged 3.0/31.7/0.3 on 4.1 targets per game during that span. At this point, Cobb is only the fourth-best wide receiver option on his own team after Jordy Nelson, Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams.

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (at BUF)

It's been an up-and-down (mostly down) season for Parker. The second-year receiver has a total of just six catches for 65 yards on 10 targets in his past three games combined. Even though Matt Moore threw four touchdowns last week, he threw only 18 pass attempts. Given the lack of volume and production recently, Parker isn't anything more than a low-floor, TD-dependent WR4.

WR - Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns (vs. SD)

In two starts by RG3 in Weeks 14 and 15, Pryor has one catch for three yards and four catches for 19 yards, respectively. Obviously, fantasy owners were hoping for more. Not only have the Chargers allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to receivers this season, but I'd expect Casey Hayward to also shadow Pryor as well. In addition, Pryor will need surgery this offseason for a torn ligament in his finger.

WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (at NE)

The good news? Marshall ended an eight-game streak of single-digit targets with 11 in Week 15. The bad news? He converted that volume into one catch for 16 yards. With Bryce Petty (still) under center, I'd (still) prefer Robbie Anderson over Marshall among the Jets wide receivers. With a league-low implied total of 13.5 points this week, however, the Jets could struggle to generate much offense on Saturday.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 16 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kyle Rudolph is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Greg Olsen and Rudolph, you should start Olsen -- and in turn, bench Rudolph.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 16 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)

Over his past four games, Rudolph has three games with double-digit targets and a minimum of eight during that span. That volume has led to a total of 27 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown over the past quarter season. In a favorable matchup against the Packers, who have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, I would expect another high-usage and productive game from Rudolph.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 16 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at CLE)

With two weeks to go in the season (and likely his career), Gates is two touchdowns behind Tony Gonzalez for the most-ever by a tight end. Not only could Philip Rivers look to force an end-zone target or two into Gates' direction, the Browns have been atrocious when defending tight ends. No team has allowed more fantasy points to the position and only the Lions have surrendered more touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at NO)

Speaking of tight end touchdowns, Brate has scored a touchdown in five of his past eight games. During that eight-game span, Brate has a total of 36 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns and he's a strong TE1 for Week 16. Start him with confidence.

Week 16 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at PIT)

Pitta had a breakout performance in Week 13 with 9/90/2 on 11 targets against the Dolphins. For much of the season, Pitta has been heavily-targeted although the fantasy production didn't match. Over his past two games, however, Pitta has just 4/18 on five targets and 2/16 on two targets. Pitta should remain on your bench this week as he had just 2/14 on three targets against Pittsburgh earlier this season.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)

One of the most inconsistent tight ends in the NFL, Cook is coming off a 6/85 performance against the Bears and a top-seven weekly outing. Since returning from a multi-week absence, Cook has finished as the weekly TE1, TE51, TE28, TE37 and TE7, respectively. Stated differently, he has 85-plus yards in two of those games and less than 20 yards in the other three.

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (vs. SD)

Barnidge had a seven-game streak with at least 37 receiving yards from Weeks 2 to 8, but since then, he has failed to exceed 35 yards in any game. Over his past six games, Barnidge has averaged just 3.11 fantasy points per game.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

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December 17, 2016

Week 15 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Tyrod Taylor is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Matt Ryan and Taylor, you should start Ryan -- and in turn, bench Taylor.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 15 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)

Cousins has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in seven consecutive games with an average of 22.13 fantasy points per contest over that stretch. Going back to Week 2, Cousins has finished as a top-15 weekly quarterback in all but one game (Week 6 vs. the Eagles).

This week, Cousins is behind only Atlanta's Matt Ryan in my quarterback rankings. In addition, only the Falcons are projected to score more points this week than the Redskins (using Vegas odds).

On the season, Cousins is averaging 311.15 pass yards per game with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Counting a pair of rushing touchdowns, he has accounted for multiple touchdowns in eight consecutive games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. CLE)

With a season-low two rushing yards last week, Taylor ended a streak of 11 consecutive games with a minimum of 25 rushing yards and an average of 41.6 per game over that 11-game span. In addition, Taylor had a rushing score in five of his previous six games.

While we shouldn't expect prolific passing statistics from Taylor (and Buffalo's run-heavy offense) in any given week, he gets a fantasy-friendly matchup against the league's most generous defense to opposing quarterbacks. In addition, improved health from Sammy Watkins is another positive for the outlook of his passing numbers.

As double-digit favorites, the Bills are projected to score the seventh-most points this week, according to Vegas odds. Given his favorable matchup and ability to make plays with his legs, Taylor is worth a start over some typical high-end QB1's with difficult matchups -- Tom Brady (at Broncos), Andrew Luck (at Vikings), etc.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. NO)

Palmer hasn't played great, but he has multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and five of his past six. During that stretch, he has thrown a total of 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

Not only do the Saints allow the 11th-most fantasy points to the position, but they will be without their best cornerback (Devin Breaux) this weekend as well. Among the teams left to play this week, only the Falcons and Redskins are projected to score more points than the Cardinals.

Week 15 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CIN)

With a notable home-road split, Big Ben has averaged just 231.14 passing yards per game in his seven games away from Heinz Field this season with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Scoring single-digit fantasy points in four of those seven, he has averaged just 12.76 fantasy points on the road this year.

Meanwhile, the Bengals have allowed only two passing touchdowns in their past four games combined and no more than 13.26 fantasy points in any of those games. Roethlisberger is just outside of my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week at No. 14.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. DET)

Manning has now thrown for less than 200 yards in three consecutive games and in five of his past nine games. Over his past seven games, he has averaged just 214.57 yards per game.

While the Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, they have been much better lately. They have not allowed a top-12 quarterback in any of their past six games and during that span, they have as many passes intercepted (seven) as they have allowed passing scores (seven).

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at NYG)

The other in this game has an even more difficult matchup. Only the Broncos have allowed fewer fantasy points this season than the Giants. When playing at home (or at a neutral site), the Giants have held all but one opposing quarterback to a QB20 (or worse) finish with the exception of Cousins in Week 3.

The Lions have won eight of nine and Stafford has a 15:3 TD-INT ratio in those games. Even though he has a pair of top-10 fantasy performances in consecutive games, this matchup is more difficult than his recent matchups and all but one of those past nine games were played in a dome -- six at home, at New Orleans and at Minnesota.

With a dislocated middle finger on his throwing hand, a more challenging matchup and playing outside of a controlled environment in December, there are enough reasons to downgrade Stafford and keep him on your bench this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 15 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Tevin Coleman is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray and Coleman and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Coleman.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 15 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Bilal Powell, New York Jets (vs. MIA)

Dealing with a torn meniscus, Matt Forte may play on a short week against the Dolphins as he's considered to be a game-time decision. Even so, I'd expect Powell to get the majority of work if both are active on Saturday night.

Powell had a massive 34 touches last week against the 49ers and posted a 29/145/2 rushing line to go along with five catches for 34 yards. The matchup isn't nearly as favorable this week as the 49ers have one of the worst run defenses in the league, but the duo of Forte and Powell combined for 148 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches against the Dolphins in Week 9.

If Forte sits, Powell is a borderline RB1 this week. If he's active, Powell remains a solid RB2.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at ATL)

Coming off his best game of the season, Hyde rushed for 193 yards and scored 26.0 fantasy points against the Jets in Week 14. Hyde had just one catch and one target, but he scored his second receiving touchdown in the past three games as well.

We are unlikely to see a repeat performance of last week, but one thing is for sure, Hyde should see lots of volume in a favorable matchup. With a minimum of 18 touches in four consecutive games, he has averaged nearly 20 touches per game on the year and the 49ers have shown a commitment to run the ball even in games where they trail by a lot.

With the 2016 season nearing a close, the Falcons have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. They have allowed a total of 16 touchdowns -- 11 rushing and five receiving -- to opposing running backs on the year.

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SF)

Even though I expect a bounce-back game from Devonta Freeman, Coleman should be productive as well. The second-year back out of Indiana had a pair of touchdowns last week as the Falcons blew out the Rams. A big play waiting to happen, Coleman has scored nine times on 110 touches -- or roughly one touchdown per every 12.2 touches.

While Hyde has a great matchup, Coleman's is even better. Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to the position, no team has allowed more yards per carry (4.99) to opposing RBs or more rushing touchdowns (19) to the position. In addition, the Falcons are projected to be this week's highest-scoring team using implied totals from Vegas odds.

Related: The Coleman/Freeman duo is a great play on DraftKings this week

RB - Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)

Even though he isn't much of a factor in the passing game, Kelley should get a heavy workload with a minimum of 14 carries in six consecutive games since taking over as the starter. During that six-game span, he has averaged 80.3 rushing yards per game and scored a total of five touchdowns. Considering the Redskins are home favorites and projected to score the second-most points this week, Kelley could get a few goal-line opportunities this week.

Week 15 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (at BAL)

While Darren Sproles has already been ruled out for Week 15, it's hard to trust Mathews in a tough matchup. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Ravens this season. Only the Cardinals (3.18 YPC) have allowed fewer yards per carry to the position than the Ravens (3.48) and they have surrendered just four rushing scores to running backs. Meanwhile, the Eagles are one of just six teams with an implied total under 18 points this week.

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. NE)

In his three games prior to Week 14, Booker had 24, 24 and 18 carries, respectively. Last week? Three. Even worse, he averaged just one foot per carry as he gained only one yard against the Titans. Booker had been anything but efficient, but he finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in the previous three weeks due to sheer volume. In his past six games, Booker has a total of 98 carries for 267 yards -- or 2.72 yards per carry.

Booker should get more touches this week (than he had last week), but Justin Forsett had nearly double the number of touches (nine) that Booker had in his debut with Denver. Considering Kubiak's history with Forsett, who already had familiarity with Kubiak's offense, it's certainly possible that the workload gap even widens this week as well.

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PHI)

West had a Booker-like rushing performance with two carries for two yards against the Patriots last week although he added four receptions for 24 yards. It was the third time in seven games that West had single-digit touches even though he has the same number of games with 16-plus touches during that span. That said, Kenneth Dixon had a season-high 19 touches last week and has 17-plus in two of three games so I'd trust Dixon much more than I'd trust West this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

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Week 15 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Tyreek Hill is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald and Hill and can only start two receivers, you should start OBJ and Fitz -- and in turn, bench Hill.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 15 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. NO)

Fitzgerald had three catches for 12 yards last week in Miami and both of those were season-low totals for the 33-year-old veteran receiver. Before last week's disappointment, however, Fitzgerald had double-digit receptions in three of five games. In fact, Fitzgerald is averaging double-digit targets on the season.

Even though he was having an up-and-down season, the Cardinals released Michael Floyd following a DUI arrest after last week's game and J.J. Nelson has big-play ability but is inconsistent. So, in other words, Fitz should see 10 to 15 targets in a matchup where the Cardinals are expected to put up plenty of points.

Among the teams left to play this weekend, only the Falcons and Redskins are projected to score more points than the Cardinals, according to Vegas odds. And as much as Drew Brees has struggled over the past two weeks (zero touchdowns and six interceptions), it wouldn't surprise me if the Saints were able to put plenty of points this week as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at SD)

Crabtree is listed as questionable on the injury report, but he's fully expected to play this week. Crabtree had four catches for just 21 yards last week and now has less than 30 yards in three of five games, but a bounce-back performance should be expected.

Earlier this season, Crabtree had a 3/47/1 performance against the Chargers, but Casey Heyward is now shadowing and will likely shadow Amari Cooper. In other words, I like Crabtree as much as or even more than Cooper this week. In fact, I have both just inside my top-10 fantasy wide receiver rankings this week.

WR - Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. TEN)

Even with Jeremy Maclin back in the lineup and Travis Kelce exploding with four consecutive 100-yard games, Hill is a viable WR2 this week against the Titans. The matchup is great as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season the Titans.

One of the fastest players in the league, Hill has a pair of return scores in his past three games. But the explosive receiver also has 50-plus receiving yards in five consecutive games and six of his past seven in addition to 11 carries in his past eight games. Even as Maclin gets healthier, Hill should maintain a significant offensive role.

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)

As noted above, Washington has one of the two highest implied totals for Week 15. While his targets have been somewhat inconsistent, Crowder had double-digit fantasy points in six of his previous seven games prior to last week's 2/37 dud. Even though he's far from the biggest receiver, Crowder had 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in each of those seven games. The matchup this week is favorable as the Panthers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, which means Crowder is a viable WR2 this week.

Week 15 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)

It would be an understatement to say that Robinson has had a disappointing season. As bad as the season overall has been for AR15, it's been even worse recently. Here are his fantasy points scored over the past three weeks: 2.4 (WR83), 3.1 (WR69) and 1.7 (WR82), respectively. To be fair, the matchups were tough, but he doesn't have a great matchup this week either as the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at CHI)

In his past six games, Cobb has a total of 21 catches for 222 yards -- or 3.5/37.0 per game -- and two touchdowns on 28 targets (4.67/G). Despite playing with Aaron Rodgers in a favorable matchup against the Bears, Cobb is a distant third, at best, behind Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams when it comes to Green Bay receivers that I'd start. Considering the historically cold temperatures expected in Chicago for Sunday's game, you can do better than Cobb this week.

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (at WAS)

Scoring less than two fantasy points in consecutive games, Benjamin has two (or fewer) receptions in three consecutive games. Since beginning the season with a bang (6/91/1 and 7/108/2 in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively), Benjamin has finished as a top-24 fantasy wide receiver in only one of 11 games -- WR23 in Week 12. With Josh Norman likely to shadow the under-performing wideout, it'd be foolish to expect a bounce-back performance to happen this week.

WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (vs. MIA)

Marshall is expected to be on a "pitch count," but he has been brutal either way. Marshall has 45 yards or less in four of his past five games and clearly Robbie Anderson (double-digit targets in back-to-back games) is Bryce Petty's BFF. Not only does Marshall have single-digit targets in eight consecutive games, but he has scored just one touchdown during that span.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

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Week 15 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Cameron Brate is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 15 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Travis Kelce and Brate, you should start Kelce -- and in turn, bench Brate.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 15 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. IND)

Once again, Rudolph is one of the most-targeted tight ends in the league. In his past three games, Rudolph has 10, 12 and eight targets, respectively, and a combined 19 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown during that span. In those three games, he has a minimum of 23.53-percent target share. In other words, those are of three of his four most-involved games since Week 4.

Over their past five games, the Colts have defended tight ends better with no top-12 weekly finishes over that stretch. That said, they have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season so I expect Rudolph to get plenty of opportunities on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 15 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. OAK)

Gates had a five-week span with a minimum 20-percent target share, but then he had a total of four targets in two games (and worse, one of those was a goose egg). Last week, however, Gates caught five-of-nine targets (25-percent share) for 61 yards against the Panthers. With a top-12 matchup against the Raiders, Philip Rivers should once again look Gates' way early and often.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at DAL)

Brate has a minimum of four catches and 40 yards in three consecutive games and in five of his past six. Going back to Week 8, Brate has scored in four of seven games. During that seven-game span, Brate has a 31/349/4 line on 40 targets.

The Cowboys have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to oppposing tight ends this season. Brate, who has averaged 8.41 fantasy points per game in his past seven, could be in store for another solid outing.

Week 15 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. PHI)

Here are Pitta's last six games: 2/14, 6/26, 3/30, 3/34, 9/90/2 and 4/18. One of these was clearly unlike the others and Pitta gets a difficult matchup this week agains the Eagles, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. It is highly unlikely that he bounces back in such a tough matchup.

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (at ARI)

If Pitta has a tough matchup, Fleener's matchup is even more difficult. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. It would be surprising if Drew Brees were to have three terrible outings in a row, but the future Hall-of-Famer has zero touchdowns and six interceptions in his past two games. While Fleener is coming off a one-catch, six-yard performance as well, I have much more confidence in Brees' ability to bounce back than I do Fleener's.

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (at BUF)

Barnidge has a better, not great, but better matchup than either Pitta or Fleener. Of course, that's obvious considering Pitta and Fleener have the worst two matchups at the position this week.

That said, Barnidge has no more than three catches, five targets or 27 yards in any of his past five games. Granted, he did score his only touchdown this season in one of those five games, but those five games have featured five of his six lowest yardage totals on the year. He had zero in Week 1 against the Eagles with RG3 under center.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

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December 08, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsFantasy Playoffs
1San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule10.1630.48
2Chicago BearsTeam Schedule9.5428.62
3Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule9.1827.54
4Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule9.0327.1
5Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule8.6125.83
6Houston TexansTeam Schedule8.5225.55
7Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule8.4625.37
8New York GiantsTeam Schedule8.3925.17
9San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule8.3224.95
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule8.1224.37
11Detroit LionsTeam Schedule8.0424.12
12Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule8.0224.05
13Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule7.8823.63
14Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule7.823.4
15Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule7.6723
16Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule7.6522.95
17Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule7.6322.88
18Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule7.5822.75
19Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule7.5522.65
20New York JetsTeam Schedule7.221.6
21Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule7.1821.53
22Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule7.1521.46
23New England PatriotsTeam Schedule6.8320.48
24Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule6.6920.07
25Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule6.6619.98
26Denver BroncosTeam Schedule6.4219.27
27Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule6.3819.15
28Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule6.1918.57
29Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule6.0818.24
30Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule5.9917.98
31New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule5.8917.67
32Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule5.8117.42

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsFantasy Playoffs
1Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule25.9277.76
2Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule25.5276.55
3San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule25.476.19
4Denver BroncosTeam Schedule25.1975.57
5San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule24.9274.75
6Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule24.6974.07
7Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule24.5873.73
8New York JetsTeam Schedule24.3172.94
9Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule24.2872.85
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule24.2772.81
11New York GiantsTeam Schedule23.9271.77
12Chicago BearsTeam Schedule23.7471.21
12New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule23.7471.22
14Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule23.7171.12
15Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule23.5870.74
16Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule23.5670.69
17Detroit LionsTeam Schedule23.470.21
18Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule23.3169.94
19Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule23.2369.69
20Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule23.0969.28
21Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule22.6768.02
22Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule22.5967.77
23Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule22.567.51
24Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule21.8765.62
25Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule21.8265.47
26Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule21.6865.03
27Houston TexansTeam Schedule21.5764.72
28New England PatriotsTeam Schedule21.3864.14
29Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule21.0963.27
30Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule20.7762.32
31Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule20.7162.14
32Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule20.3861.13

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 14-16):

RankTeamTeam ScheduleAverage PointsTotal Points
1Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule21.5164.54
2Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule21.3163.92
3Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule21.0763.21
4Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule20.6862.03
5Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule20.5161.53
6San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule20.2860.83
7New York JetsTeam Schedule20.0260.06
8San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule19.3157.94
9Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule19.2957.87
10Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule18.9656.89
11Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule18.9156.74
12Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule18.7756.3
13Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule18.6956.06
14Houston TexansTeam Schedule18.655.81
15Chicago BearsTeam Schedule17.9253.75
16Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule17.9153.74
17Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule17.8953.66
18Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule17.753.1
19Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule17.3652.07
20New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule17.0151.03
21Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule16.9250.75
22Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule16.8750.6
23Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule16.7950.37
24Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule16.5949.76
25New England PatriotsTeam Schedule16.549.51
26Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule16.4749.4
27Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule16.2548.75
28Denver BroncosTeam Schedule15.9647.89
29Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule15.6246.86
30Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule15.3546.04
31New York GiantsTeam Schedule15.2945.87
32Detroit LionsTeam Schedule15.2745.8

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 14 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 14 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 14-16):

1San Diego ChargersTeam Schedule18.5955.78
2Carolina PanthersTeam Schedule18.254.61
3Oakland RaidersTeam Schedule18.1254.37
4Chicago BearsTeam Schedule18.0554.16
4Tampa Bay BuccaneersTeam Schedule18.0554.16
6San Francisco 49ersTeam Schedule18.0354.08
7Denver BroncosTeam Schedule17.9253.75
8New York JetsTeam Schedule17.7953.38
8Buffalo BillsTeam Schedule17.7953.36
10New York GiantsTeam Schedule17.7153.14
11Minnesota VikingsTeam Schedule17.6953.08
12Houston TexansTeam Schedule17.5352.58
13Los Angeles RamsTeam Schedule17.3652.08
14Atlanta FalconsTeam Schedule17.2551.76
15Arizona CardinalsTeam Schedule17.0751.22
16Washington RedskinsTeam Schedule17.0251.07
17Cleveland BrownsTeam Schedule1751
18Dallas CowboysTeam Schedule16.6249.87
19Cincinnati BengalsTeam Schedule16.5649.68
20New Orleans SaintsTeam Schedule16.5249.57
21Baltimore RavensTeam Schedule16.4149.22
22Pittsburgh SteelersTeam Schedule16.3749.12
23Kansas City ChiefsTeam Schedule16.348.89
24Miami DolphinsTeam Schedule16.1648.49
25Seattle SeahawksTeam Schedule16.1448.41
26Detroit LionsTeam Schedule16.0148.02
27Philadelphia EaglesTeam Schedule15.5546.65
28Jacksonville JaguarsTeam Schedule15.5146.54
29Tennessee TitansTeam Schedule15.3846.13
30Indianapolis ColtsTeam Schedule15.3746.1
31New England PatriotsTeam Schedule15.0945.27
32Green Bay PackersTeam Schedule14.643.8

* Note: Totals above are the average and total fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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December 06, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (40 percent)

In three of his past four games, Fiedorowicz has failed to score at least five fantasy points. That said, he continues to see a steady volume of targets his way.

Since Week 4, Fiedorowicz has a minimum of five targets in every game and an average of 7.11/G over that nine-game span. And in the past three games, he's averaged 8.33/G. During that nine-game span, the third-year tight end has averaged 4.78/51.78/0.33 per game.

Fiedorowicz gets a favorable matchup this week against the Colts, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. In his first game this season against the Colts, Fiedorowicz had a 6/85/1 line on seven targets and finished the week as fantasy's TE3.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers (23 percent)

Green's playing time continues to expand and the first-year Steeler had six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets in Week 13. With the team looking for a pass-catcher to step up beyond Antonio Brown (and Le'Veon Bell), Green could/should be that guy down the stretch.

3. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (33 percent)

Through Week 12, Pitta had zero touchdowns (despite being one of the most-targeted tight ends in the league). Through Week 13, he now has two. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't score another touchdown the rest of the season. Joe Flacco has only three multi-TD games this season. That said, he should continue to see a steady dose of targets in one of the league's most pass-happy offenses.

4. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (29 percent)

Allen saw Pitta's two touchdowns and raised him a score. Turning three-quarters of his targets into touchdowns, Allen finished Monday Night Football with a 4/72/3 line against the Jets. Allen had five catches for 49 yards on six targets in Week 12. Of course, Allen won't score three touchdowns in a game again this season, but he remains a TD-dependent option going forward.

5. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (37 percent)

Davis now has five catches in back-to-back games as Jordan Reed missed Week 13 against the Cardinals. Davis has a minimum of 47 yards in six of his past seven games -- the miss was a Week 11 goose egg against the Packers. Especially if Reed misses another game, Davis will be a back-end TE1/high-end TE2 despite another difficult matchup against the Eagles.

6. Jermaine Gresham, Arizona Cardinals (three percent)

The upside with Gresham isn't great, but he now has five catches in back-to-back games, touchdowns in two of his past three games and six-plus targets in three of his past four games. With injuries (Rob Gronkowski and Reed) at the top of the position, Gresham is at least worth a look for those in dire need at the position.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 14

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots (29 percent)

Productive in Weeks 11 and 12, Mitchell scored a total of three touchdowns in those two games, but he had a total of only nine targets and no more than 14-percent target share in either of those two games. Week 13 was different. Mitchell had eight catches and 10 targets, both of which were season highs, and a 21.74-percent target share.

Not only is Rob Gronkowski out for the rest of the season, but Danny Amendola is now dealing with a high-ankle sprain. With the Pats running more three-wide sets with Gronk out and Mitchell gaining the trust of Tom Brady, he is a must-add for those in any league size.

2. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (48 percent)

Since returning from his multi-game absence, Coleman has only 13 total receptions in four games with no more than 41 yards in any of those games. That said, he has 31 targets (7.75/G) and RG3 is likely to get the Week 14 start and down the stretch.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

3. Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (20 percent)

Inman had just two catches and five targets, both of which were seven-game lows, but he finished with 49 yards and a touchdown to score double-digit fantasy points in his second consecutive game. Even though the absolute number of targets were a seven-game low, Inman now has at least 20-percent target share in four consecutive games.

The Chargers receivers get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Panthers, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and then the Raiders and Browns in Weeks 15 and 16.

4. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (16 percent)

In the first two games since the A.J. Green hamstring injury, LaFell had nine targets in each game but only 32 and 38 yards, respectively. Last week, LaFell had fewer targets (seven), but he was much more efficient and productive (5/95/1). Dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring tear, it appears that AJG is still a week or two, if not more, away from returning.

5. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (46 percent)

Floyd had only three catches for 18 yards on Sunday and he now has 31 yards or less in three consecutive games. That said, the good news is Floyd had eight targets (18.6-percent target share, his highest since Week 3) and scored a touchdown Sunday. In addition, he's re-emerged as the clear No. 2 receiver after Larry Fitzgerald in the Cardinals offense.

6. Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina Panthers (23 percent)

Ginn now has three-plus catches and 40-plus yards in seven consecutive games and touchdowns in each of his past three. During that span, however, he has an additional six carries so has at least five touches in six of his past seven games. That said, he has no more than seven targets in any of those games and remains a TD-dependent fantasy option.

7. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (32 percent)

Garcon had seven catches for 78 yards on Sunday and he now has at least six catches and 67 yards in four of his past five games. If tight end Jordan Reed misses another game in Week 14, Garcon will be in the WR3 mix.

8. Will Fuller, Houston Texans (43 percent)

One week after hauling in four catches for 60 yards, Fuller had five catches for 59 yards against the Packers. It's hard to trust any of Houston's receivers, primarily due to Brock Osweiler's struggles, but there is some upside with the explosive rookie receiver.

9. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (37 percent)

Lockett had five catches for 63 yards on six targets and a 75-yard touchdown run to have his best performance of the season. He now has six targets (16-percent target share) in three of his past five games. Dangerous in the open field, Lockett's talent warrants a larger offensive role (although it's hard to count on it) and the Seahawks get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Packers.

10. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (11 percent)

Lee had just three catches for 34 yards in Week 13 against the Broncos, but the good news is that he continues to see heavy volume in the pass game. Lee now has a 20-percent share in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. In fact, he now has at least six targets in 10 of the 11 games since Week 2. Unfortunately, the Jags have a couple more tough matchups on the horizon with Minnesota in Week 14 and Houston in Week 15.

11. Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons (38 percent)

After four consecutive top-15 weekly performances, Gabriel finished as fantasy's WR55 in Week 13, but he actually had a season-high six targets. Over his past five games, the speedster has 18/315/4 receiving with 3/51/1 rushing. Depending on the status of Julio Jones (turf toe) and Mohamed Sanu (groin), both of whom were dealing with injuries at the end of Week 13's loss to the Chiefs, Gabriel could see similar volume in Week 14.

12. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (16 percent)

Since Week 5, Thielen has 39 catches for 512 yards and three touchdowns on 53 targets over eight games. Better in PPR formats, Thielen has now finished as a top-35 PPR wide receiver in four consecutive games.

13. Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (eight percent)

Green-Beckham now has double-digit targets in back-to-back games. With Carson Wentz throwing it 60 times and Jordan Matthews sidelined on Sunday, it's disappointing that DGB had just four catches for 29 yards on his 10 targets. Matthews should return this week, but DGB should see 6-8 targets.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 14

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 14 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (46 percent)

Even with the Ravens winning by 32 points on Sunday, Dixon had just six carries and backfield mate Terrance West (13) had more touches than Dixon (10). The good news, however, is that Dixon actually ran for a season-high 56 yards (9.3 yards per carry) and he has exceeded 6.0 yards per carry in three of his past four games.

Over that four-game span, Dixon has rushed for 183 yards on 31 carries (5.90 YPC) and he has four-plus receptions in three of those games as well. While Dixon has been effective on a per-touch basis, one of his concerns is that West is more likely to get the goal-line opportunities and West scored a pair of touchdowns on Sunday.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 14 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (23 percent)

Gillislee missed Week 12 with a hamstring injury and he's a clear second to LeSean McCoy on the depth chart. That said, he is starting to see a steady rise in workload and he's been highly productive in the red zone.

Not only does Gillislee have a minimum of eight carries in each of his past four games, but he now has six touchdowns in his past seven games played. With a minimum of 7.2 fantasy points in four consecutive games, Gillislee has finished as a top-15 weekly performer in three of those four weeks.

The Bills have a pair of fantasy-friendly matchups coming up against the Steelers and Browns. Both teams rank among the top-six in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season.

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (45 percent)

Expected to be part of a 1-2 rushing attack with DeMarco Murray, it has been more of a 1-1 attack with Murray followed by some more Murray. That said, Henry now has eight-plus carries in three of four games. (Of course, the exception was a Week 11 goose egg.)

In his most recent game (Week 12 before their bye), Henry had eight carries for 60 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. Henry now has two touchdowns in his past four games and the team has talked about getting Henry more involved in short-yardage situations.

4. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent)

Sims is eligible to return from IR this week and the team plans to activate him in time to return for Sunday's game against the Saints. Sims has been productive in a third-down, change-of-pace role for the Bucs and Doug Martin has historically struggled with durability. The Bucs get a pair of matchups against the Saints (Weeks 14 and 16) and the Cowboys (Week 15) in the fantasy playoffs.

5. Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos (six percent)

With Devontae Booker struggling with efficiency (3.29 YPC or worse in five consecutive games) and Kapri Bibbs sent to IR, the Broncos claimed Forsett off waivers. Considering Forsett had the best season of his career playing for Gary Kubiak in Baltimore, it's possible that he earns some opportunities sooner than later. That said, he hasn't been all that effective with the Ravens or the Lions this season.

6. Rex Burkhead, Cincinnati Bengals (five percent)

Burkhead lost a fumble last week, but he had 12 touches -- eight carries and four receptions -- for 66 yards. The Bengals get a favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Browns, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs after the 49ers.

7. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (44 percent)

Scoring his second touchdown on the season, McKinnon had 55 yards from scrimmage and a score on 14 touches on Sunday. He now has 12-plus touches in three consecutive games. Adrian Peterson may or may not return this season, but both McKinnon and/or Matt Asiata lack upside as the Vikings are averaging a league-low 3.0 YPC this season.

8. Shane Vereen, New York Giants (three percent)

Designated as the team's player to return from IR, Vereen is eligible to return in Week 14 and is expected to resume practicing on Wednesday. Vereen is worth a look in PPR formats.

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December 03, 2016

Week 13 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, C.J. Fiedorowicz is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Jimmy Graham and Fiedorowicz, you should start Graham -- and in turn, bench Fiedorowicz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 13 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (at GB)

As much as the Texans offense, particularly the pass offense, has struggled this season, Fiedorowicz has emerged as a steady and consistent option. The third-year tight end now has a streak of eight games with at least five targets and he's averaged 6.88 per game over that stretch with a line of 4.63/52.75/0.38 and 7.53 fantasy points per game.

The matchup this week is favorable as the Packers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points this season. On the year, only the Bills and Buccaneers have allowed more Y/R to opposing tight ends than the Packers (13.2 Y/R). Over their past four games, they have allowed four tight ends to exceed six fantasy points.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

With the exception of his first start, Colin Kaepernick has consistently targeted McDonald, who has six-plus targets in five consecutive games. In his past four games, McDonald has finished as a top-four weekly tight end twice. In his past four games, he has a minimum of 46 yards each week and a total of 240 yards and two touchdowns.

There are a number of top tight ends out this week. Not only will Rob Gronkowski miss the next two months following back surgery, but Jordan Reed has been ruled out as well and Delanie Walker is on bye. While it's hard to trust any of San Francisco's wide receivers on a weekly basis, McDonald is certainly a viable streamer this week and he's owned in only 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SD)

Over his past five games, Brate has scored a touchdown and finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in three of those games. In addition, he has five-plus targets in four of those games. With less than 50 yards in four of those five games, Brate is a TD-dependent option at tight end, but Jameis Winston often looks his way in the red zone and he's just inside my top-12 tight ends this week.

Week 13 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (vs. MIA)

Even though Pitta ranks fifth among tight ends in targets (74) this season, he has finished as fantasy's weekly TE14 (or worse) in nine consecutive games. During that span, he has scored an average of 3.31 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring formats.

In addition, Pitta's volume of targets has decreased recently with just 19 (4.75/G) over his past four games compared to 8.14/G in the first seven games of the year. Pitta gets a favorable matchup as the Dolphins allow the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, but the likelihood that Pitta is able to exploit it is fairly low.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (vs. HOU)

In typical Cook fashion, he went from being fantasy's top-scoring tight end one week to the TE50 the next. In Week 11 against the Redskins, Cook had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. In Week 12, he had one catch for seven yards on two targets. With a matchup against the Texans, typically stingy against opposing tight ends, Cook is merely a roll of the dice in DFS tournaments than anything more than that.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (at NYJ)

A viable streamer at times this season, Doyle has scored the 14th-most fantasy points among tight ends (12th-most in PPR formats) on the year. That said, Doyle has exactly two targets in back-to-back games and three of fewer in three of his past four games. With Dwayne Allen back for the past three games, neither tight end is reliable enough to trust as a starter in 12-team leagues.

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Week 13 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jamison Crowder is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and Crowder and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Fitzgerald -- and in turn, bench Crowder.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 13 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (at ARI)

What a season it has been for Crowder! Crowder has finished as a top-33 fantasy wide receiver in seven consecutive games and in nine of his past 10. On the year, Crowder has actually been better in standard-scoring formats (11th-most fantasy points) than he has in PPR formats (14th-most).

Either way, he has vastly exceeded expectations.

During that 10-game span since Week 2, he has scored less than 8.8 fantasy points only once (Week 4) and he has averaged 10.85 per game over that stretch. And he's been even better over his past five games with three 100-yard outings with a total of 31 catches for 442 yards and three touchdowns on 41 targets.

With Jordan Reed out and Tyrann Mathieu doubtful, it helps Crowder for different reasons. Reed's absence could/should lead to more targets and Mathieu's absence improves an otherwise difficult matchup.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. DET)

Thomas is coming off a 9/108/2 game, but he has been consistent despite being a rookie playing in a spread-it-around type of offense. Thomas has a minimum of four catches and 40 yards in every game this season. There are only three players that have 11 games of 4/40 this season: Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald and Thomas.

Since Week 3, Thomas has an average of 6.1/75.0 on 8.1 targets per game with seven TDs in nine games so there is plenty of upside in addition to his established floor. With no team is projected to score more points this week and given how well Drew Brees and the Saints offense play at home, all of the Saints should be popular plays in daily fantasy this week.

WR - Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (vs. LA)

With Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) out for two months, Edelman should be peppered with targets by Tom Brady all game long. That's what happened with Gronk sidelined two weeks ago when Edelman had a season-high 17 targets (44.74% target share).

In fact, Edelman now has double-digit targets in back-to-back games. Not only does Edelman have seven-plus catches in three consecutive games, but each of his three highest weekly yardage totals this season have come in those three games.

Expecting him to get double-digit targets (12 or so) in a plus matchup (vs. LA, 8th-most FPA to WRs) for a team with the second-highest implied total from Vegas odds, Edelman could finish as a top-10 receiver this week.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (vs. BUF)

Crabtree was limited in practice this week by an ankle injury, but he's a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 this week. Crabtree has been a little boom-or-bust lately. Over his past five games, Crabtree has 8/96 or better in three games, but only 27 and five yards in the other two games. That said, the two duds were against tough pass defenses (Denver and Houston). During that five-game span, Crabtree has averaged 10.6 targets per game.

Week 13 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (at SEA)

Benjamin began the season with a bang -- 13/199/3 in his first two games. Since then, his best weekly finish has been the WR23 (last week). During that nine-game span, Benjamin has averaged 3.89 catches and 59.67 yards per game and has scored just two touchdowns. Even though he doesn't always shadow, I'd expect Richard Sherman to shadow Benjamin as he's the team's clear-cut WR1, which makes Benjamin more of a fantasy WR3 this week than a must-start.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (vs. HOU)

Over his past four games, Cobb has finished as fantasy's WR34, WR59, WR28 and WR68, respectively. With the running back on the roster getting healthier, the Packers were more run-pass balanced last week than they have been in a long time. Against the low-powered Texans offense, Aaron Rodgers may not need to sling it all over Lambeau Field either.

When he has recently, however, Cobb has not been as big of a factor in the passing game as he was earlier in the season. In the first six games of the season, Cobb had 20-percent target share five times. Since then, however, he's been at 4.76, 14.55, 11.63 and 18.42 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the Texans have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at BAL)

It seems as though DeVante Parker (listed as "questionable") will miss Sunday's game against the Ravens. “Right now, this moment, we got to make sure we have a plan in place if he doesn’t make it,” [OC Clyde] Christensen said.

Parker's absence would give Landry a boost, but the previously target-dominant Landry has gone from double-digit targets in each of his first four games to an average of 6.29/G since then. Part of Landry's diminished role in the passing game has been due to Parker's increased role, but the team has transformed themselves into a run-first team lead by Jay Ajayi.

Right now, Landry is ranked in the 35-40 range of my wide receiver rankings. Assuming Parker sits, he'd get bumped up to the 25-30 range, but he'd still be outside of my top-24 wideouts for Week 13, making him a WR3.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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Week 13 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Latavius Murray is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and Murray and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and MG3 -- and in turn, bench Murray.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. SF)

With the exception of Week 7 against the Packers, Howard has a minimum of 15 carries in his other seven games since Week 4. During that span, he has four 100-yard rushing games and the odds of him rushing for 100-plus yards this week is high.

Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but no team has allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the 49ers (5.18). The Raiders are a distant second at 4.61 YPC to RBs. In addition, the 49ers have allowed RBs a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns and a total of 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the 49ers have allowed eight 100-yard rushers this season.

Given the teams injuries and/or suspensions on offense, we should see Howard get north of 20 carries and possibly 25 touches in this game provided it remains close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at ATL)

Ware hasn't been great recently with 60-70 rushing yards and no touchdowns in his three games since returning from a concussion. That said, Ware has 16, 19 and 19 touches, respectively, and I would expect Kansas City to try to control the clock as much as possible against the high-powered Falcons offense on the road. Regardless of whether Jeremy Maclin suits up or not, the Chiefs aren't built to win shootouts.

As far as the matchup goes, it's favorable for Ware. Only the 49ers (see above) and the Browns (on bye) have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. No team has allowed more receptions to opposing running backs than the Falcons and Ware has multiple receptions in six consecutive games and even had a 7/129 receiving line in Week 1.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. BUF)

Since missing a couple of games earlier in the season, Murray has a minimum of 16 touches in five consecutive games. During that five-game span, he carried the ball 80 times for 299 yards (only 3.74 YPC). That said, Murray has scored six touchdowns and added 16 receptions for 142 yards on 22 targets over that stretch.

Far from efficient, Murray's volume (19.2 touches per game over his past five), role as a receiver and opportunities near the goal line make him a top-12 play this week. Only five other teams are projected to score more points than the Raiders, who are three-point home favorites.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

In many weeks, Hyde is a mid- or back-end RB2 in my rankings, but he's solidly inside the top-10 this week. It's not often that the 49ers are favorites and even though they are on the road this weekend, San Francisco is currently a two-point favorite against the Bears.

Even in losses, Chip Kelly has shown his commitment to the running game. Provided this game stays close or that 49ers play with a lead, Hyde could see 25-plus touches.

And while the matchup may not look great on paper as Chicago has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, the team has been decimated by injuries and/or suspensions. I currently have Hyde projected for 21 touches, 91 yards and a touchdown.

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. MIA)

The matchup against the Dolphins isn't great, as they have limited opposing running backs to the 13th-fewest fantasy points this season. More concerning for West's outlook, however, is the role (or specifically the rise of it) for Kenneth Dixon. The Ravens have said they would get their fourth-round rookie more involved -- and they have.

Not only did Dixon have one more touch than West last week, but he played more snaps (31 to 23) than West as well. In addition, the Ravens have the fourth-lowest run-to-pass play percentage in the NFL this year. With the trend not favorable for West, it's hard to trust him as anything more than a flex option at this point.

RB - James White, New England Patriots (vs. LA)

If I were to start a Patriots running back, it would be LeGarrette Blount. In fact, the Blount is flirting with RB1 territory in a game where the Patriots are expected to blow out the Rams. If I were to start two Patriots running backs, it would be Blount and Dion Lewis. Since returning to action, Lewis has had five and six carries in addition to roughly 14 percent of the team's target share. On the other hand, White has maintained a role as a receiver (10/85/1 on 15 targets), but he has zero carries in his past two games.

RB - T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. DEN)

Even with Chris Ivory ruled out this week and Yeldon active last week, it's unlikely that he sees a large enough workload to warrant RB2 consideration. With Ivory leaving early last week, Yeldon had just six carries for 17 yards and one three-yard reception on two targets. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson had 13 carries for 39 yards and he's expected to get a sizable workload this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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Week 13 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Colin Kaepernick is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Kaepernick, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Kaepernick.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

If you need a Week 13 streamer, Kaepernick is available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues as of Saturday morning. But at this point, Kaepernick has become much more than just a weekly streamer in a favorable matchup.

Since San Francisco's Week 8 bye, few quarterbacks have been more productive than Kaepernick. During that four-game span, Kaepernick has scored a minimum of 19.44 fantasy points every week, averaged just shy of 25 per game as he finished no worse than fantasy's QB8 in any of those four weeks.

In a week where Drew Brees accounted for a total of five touchdowns, San Francisco's dual-threat quarterback actually led all signal-callers in fantasy points as he just missed a 300/100 game by a mere four passing yards. Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 113 yards to score 33.14 fantasy points.

Taking over as the starter in Week 6, Kaepernick has 46 carries for 373 yards and a touchdown in six games. From his rushing stats alone, Kaepernick has averaged 7.22 fantasy points per game. Those rushing numbers both buoy his fantasy floor and maximize his fantasy ceiling.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 13 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at OAK)

With a minimum of five rush attempts in every game except Week 2, Taylor has averaged 7.0 carries for 44.78 yards since Week 3. In addition, he has rushed for a score in four of his past five games.

Taylor threw a season-low 18 times last week for 166 yards and a touchdown, but he still managed to score over 20 fantasy points due to his 7/38/1 rushing line. In fact, he has thrown for less than 200 yards in five of his past seven games yet he has finished outside the top-15 weekly fantasy quarterbacks only once during that span.

While Sammy Watkins is supposedly still dealing with a broken bone in his foot, he is expected to play on Sunday and he had three catches for 80 yards in his return last week. Because of the concerns about his foot, I wouldn't start Watkins at wide receiver this week, but his presence gives Taylor a boost. In addition, the Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at NO)

It's been more than a month since Stafford has finished as a weekly top-15 fantasy quarterback. Over his past four games, Stafford has finished as fantasy's QB19, QB17, QB23 and QB24, respectively. That said, they were four challenging matchups -- Texans, Jaguars and Vikings twice.

While the Saints are playing better defense lately, this week's matchup is more favorable than any of his previous four. Even though the Lions are six-point underdogs, they have the 12th-highest implied total based on Vegas odds in what is expected to be a shootout (highest over/under of the week).

Week 13 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at PIT)

After throwing just five touchdowns in his first five games this season, Manning has thrown multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games and in five of his past six. That means that Eli has also scored a minimum of 17 fantasy points in those five games with multiple scores.

During the team's six-game winning streak, however, Manning has thrown multiple interceptions three times and he has failed to throw for more than 257 yards in five consecutive games. Over his past five games, he's averaging just 222.8 passing yards per game.

While they haven't faced many elite quarterbacks (and even Andrew Luck sat last week with a concussion), the Steelers have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. WAS)

Palmer has thrown for 300-plus yards and/or multiple scores in five consecutive games. That's the good news. The bad news is that he has just one top-12 performance since Week 3 to show for it.

Not only does Palmer have six interceptions in his past four games combined, but the Cardinals offensive line has struggled to protect him. Only the Browns (104) and Colts (90) have allowed more QB hits than the Cardinals (88) this season. Until further notice, Palmer more of a QB2 than a QB1.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. DEN)

The Jags have numerous injuries on offense with Chris Ivory and Allen Hurns already ruled out and Julius Thomas doubtful (likely out). Over their past five games, Bortles has thrown multiple touchdowns every week although much of his production continues to come in garbage time to salvage an otherwise poor performance.

One way that I could see Bortles having a productive day is on the ground like last week when he ran eight times for 81 yards, but no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Broncos.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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November 27, 2016

Week 12 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 12 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +7 over New York Giants (5 Units)

I don't think Cleveland will go winless this year. The Browns are bad, but I actually like them a lot more with Josh McCown at QB than I do with Cody Kessler. The Giants are probably the most overrated 7-3 team I have seen in awhile. I think they fall victim here on the road. I'm going to put some on the moneyline too. Cleveland 26, New York 24.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New England Patriots -8 over New York Jets (4 Units)

It’s tough laying more than a touchdown in this rivalry, but this Jets team is pretty bad. If you're playing DFS Sunday, don’t forget Tom Brady even with Rob Gronkowski out. I expect the Patriots to abandon the run and throw the ball a ton. This line to me screams bet on NY, which is why I think the sharp money play is the Pats. New England 35, New York 23.

Denver Broncos -3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (5 Units)

Kansas City is another overrated 7-3 team. The Broncos can be beat on the ground, but for whatever reason Andy Reid wants Alex Smith to throw all over the place. Spencer Ware has only eclipsed the 20-carry mark twice this year, and if the Chiefs want any chance in this one Ware is going to have to shoulder the load. I just don't see that happening this week. I like Denver at home. Denver 24, Kansas City 17

Tennessee Titans vs. Chicago Bears, Over 42.5 (5 Units)

I have seen QBs like Matt Barkley look like Joe Montana versus the Titans. While I do expect the Titans to win, I don't expect their defense to hold the Bears to less than 20 points on Sunday. I love Jordan Howard for DFS, so get him in your lineups and win money. For Tennessee, Mariota has thrown for multiple TDs in seven consecutive games. I think he makes it eight here. Titans 31, Bears 24.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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November 24, 2016

Week 12 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, C.J. Fiedorowicz is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Jimmy Graham and Fiedorowicz, you should start Graham -- and in turn, bench Fiedorowicz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 12 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. GB)

After sustaining a rib injury in the season opener, Ertz missed a couple of games and returned following their Week 4 bye. In his first four games back, he was frustratingly under-utilized with four or fewer targets in the first four games back. In fact, he had just nine catches for 92 yards over that four-game span.

Since then, however, Ertz has become much more involved in the offense again. With a minimum of seven targets and a total of 26 over his past three games, Ertz has six-plus catches in three consecutive games and has finished as a top-10 fantasy tight in two of those three games. And he could have had an even better performance last week if an unnecessary penalty did not negate a touchdown of more than 50 yards.

With a great matchup against the Packers this week, Ertz could be in store for another strong performance. The Packers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Only the Bills (13.89 Y/R) and Buccaneers (13.84) have allowed more yards per reception than the Packers (13.20) this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (vs. SD)

Barely used as a receiver in the team's first three games, Fiedorowicz has become much more involved in the passing offense since then. The third-year tight end now has five targets in seven consecutive games.

Over that seven-game span, Fiedorowicz has averaged 7.0 targets per game and has posted a 33/380/3 line during that stretch including 6/82 on 10 targets on Monday Night Football in Mexico City. Fiedorowicz now has at least 24-percent target share in two of his past three games.

The Chargers have been solid at defending tight ends, 12th-fewest fantasy points to the position, but Fiedorowicz is still a top-12 option due to his volume. If you're looking for a streamer, Fiedorowicz was on my list of waiver-wire options to target as he was owned in roughly one-fifth of Yahoo! leagues as of Tuesday this week.

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (vs. MIN)

After being sidelined for a few games, Ebron has been highly productive over his past three games. During that stretch, he has finished as fantasy's weekly TE12, TE11 and TE2, respectively, with a minimum of 70 receiving yards in each game.

Over that three-game span, Ebron has 17 catches for 241 yards on 23 targets and had a one-yard touchdown run last week as well. In his first game against the Vikings (Week 9), Ebron had seven catches on eight targets for a season-high 92 yards and I expect another productive outing from him on Thanksgiving.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (at HOU)

Over his past four games, Gates has a minimum of nine targets. Going back five games, Gates has a minimum of 20-percent target share. The matchup this week against the Texans isn't favorable, but one thing that we know for sure is that Gates will be targeted heavily by Philip Rivers.

And of course, Gates is still one of the better red-zone weapons in the NFL. With a touchdown in three consecutive games, Gates has finished as the TE7, TE4 and TE5, respectively, over that span.

Week 12 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)

Thomas has been a huge disappointment this season. Healthy going into his second season with the Jaguars, Thomas has 28 yards or less in every game played since Week 3.

Even though he has a touchdown in three of his past five games, he kills your fantasy team when he doesn't score -- 2/21 (TE29) in Week 9 and 3/12 (TE36) in Week 11. More TD-dependent than any other position in general, Thomas is one of the most TD-dependent players at the most TD-dependent position.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at PHI)

Returning from a multi-month absence, Cook had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 11 targets on Sunday Night Football. It was clearly his best performance as a Packer, but hopefully it's a sign of what may be to come.

In his first three games with the Packers, however, Cook had just 53 total yards on six catches and 11 targets. And the Packers have a Week 12 matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

As inconsistent as Cook has been over his career and given the difficult matchup this week, he's outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 12.

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (vs. NYG)

I listed Barnidge as a sit last week and I wrote, "he's going to score a touchdown at some point this season and perhaps that's this week, but ..." (Naturally, he scored his first touchdown of the season last week.) So, perhaps listing Barnidge on this side of the post once again will lead to another score for him.

That said, he is a TD-dependent option this week. In his past three games including last week's performance, Barnidge has finished with 3/23 (TE27), 1/8 (TE40) and 2/23/1 (TE9).

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (vs. LA)

In the first five games of the season, Fleener had a pair of TE2 performances (and three outside the top-25). Since then, he has finished somewhere between the weekly TE12 (last week) and TE31 in five consecutive games.

The good news is that Fleener had both of his TE2 outings at home and the Saints are at home this week, but the bad news is that his matchup against the Rams isn't a favorable one. The Rams have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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Week 12 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Rishard Matthews is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Jordy Nelson, Amari Cooper and Matthews and can only start two receivers, you should start Jordy and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Matthews.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 12 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. GB)

Here's the bad news: Matthews has finished as a top-24 fantasy wide receiver in just two of his 10 games played. And one of those weeks, his better performance of the two, was all the way back in Week 1. Of course, if you own Matthews, you already know this.

That said, there are a couple of favorable factors for his outlook for Week 12. First of all, the volume has been there -- double-digit targets in four consecutive games. During that four-game span, only three receivers -- Stefon Diggs (49), Allen Robinson (47) and Mike Evans (46) -- have more targets than Matthews, who's tied for fourth with Jordy Nelson at 45 targets over that stretch.

The other factor that bodes well for Matthews is the matchup. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Packers. The Packers have allowed 30-plus (real) points in four consecutive games and are the only team other than the 49ers to do so this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (at TB)

Baldwin may not throw any (more) touchdowns to a quarterback this week, but the former Stanford wideout has now finished as a top-seven (WR1 and WR7) fantasy wide receiver in back-to-back games. The biggest concern with Baldwin is the lack of huge volume upside -- six or fewer targets in five of his past seven games.

That said, Russell Wilson seems healthier, the duo has outstanding rapport and Baldwin gets a favorable matchup this week. The Buccaneers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

WR - Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (at CHI)

Matthews has scored in five of his past seven games and he has a total of six touchdowns over that span. Even though he has five or fewer targets in four of those seven games, Matthews red-zone success has allowed him to score at least 9.2 fantasy points in all but one game over that stretch. Even though he didn't score in Week 11, Matthews had nine catches for 122 yards on 13 targets, all of which were season highs.

The Titans get the Bears in Week 12, which sets up Matthews to continue to his high level of play. The Bears have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Earlier in the season, it was hit or miss as far as which Titans receiver would have the most productive outing, but Matthews has clearly separated himself from the rest of the group.

WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (vs. LA)

The rookie out of Ohio State has finished as the weekly WR35 or worse in two consecutive games and in three of his past four games, but he has more than 60 yards in five of his last six games. Looking back over a slightly longer stretch, however, Thomas has finished as a top-22 fantasy wide receiver in five of his past eight games.

During that eight-game span, he has averaged a 5.75/70.88/0.62 statistical line. With Drew Brees and the Saints passing offense typically playing better at home than on the road, Thomas is a top-20 fantasy wide receiver for me this week.

Week 12 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (vs. MIN)

Things have gone downhill for Jones after a 23/482/2 first month as a Lion. Since that four-game span, Jones has 37 yards or less in five of six games and back-to-back games held to just one catch including Week 9 against the Vikings.

Jones has 3.3 fantasy points or less in each of his past three games. Meanwhile, the Vikings have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season; only the Broncos have allowed less. In fact, Golden Tate, who has been much more productive recently, is outside of my top-30 fantasy wide receivers for the week as well.

WR - Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)

A few weeks back, Hurns had 7/98/1 on 11 targets in Week 8 against the Titans. That game seems so long ago as Hurns has just three catches for 22 yards since then. In Week 11 against the Lions, he had only one nine-yard catch on two targets.

With the emergence of Marqise Lee in the secondary role to Allen Robinson, the team's clear No. 1 receiver, Hurns is not even inside my top-50 receivers this week. In addition, the matchup isn't great as the Bills have allowed the 12th-fewest fantasy points to the position and the Jags are one of six teams projected to score fewer than 19 points this week.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at PHI)

Cobb had just five targets in Week 11 against the Redskins although he finished with 84 yards on three receptions. With Davante Adams becoming more involved in the passing offense, the duo of receivers are in the WR3/flex range (both just outside my top-30) of my Week 12 rankings. The Packers have only a 22.0 implied total, which is the 20th-most this week.

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. PIT)

Normally, Moncrief is a top-24 fantasy wide receiver and a solid WR2 type when both he and Andrew Luck are healthy. In fact, Moncrief has a touchdown in nine of 11 games that both he and Luck have played.

With Luck forced to miss Thursday night's game with a concussion, however, it's hard to trust Moncrief or any part of the passing game. In other words, the switch has downgraded my outlook of T.Y. Hilton from a WR1 to a WR2, Moncrief from a WR2 to a WR3/flex, etc.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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Week 12 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Rashad Jennings is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Jay Ajayi and Jennings and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Ajayi -- and in turn, bench Jennings.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (at CLE)

Jennings has exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage and has now finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in back-to-back games. In addition, Jennings has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his past four games. Coming off his best game of the season, Jennings carried the ball 21 times for 85 yards and a touchdown and added five catches for 44 yards on six targets in Week 11 against the Bears.

Only the 49ers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Browns, who have been especially bad the past five weeks. Granted, they have faced some elite backs like Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, etc., but they have allowed four top-five running backs in the past five weeks and a total of 13 top-24 running backs in their past eight games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at TB)

In his return on Sunday, Rawls carried the ball 14 times for 57 yards and added three catches for 31 yards. The numbers by themselves aren't spectacular, but he didn't show any ill effects from the injury or rust, which inspires confidence about his ability to handle an expanded workload going forward.

And that's what he should get in Week 12. With C.J. Prosise suffering what could turn out to be a season-ending injury, Rawls shouldered more of the load than expected last week and is in line for a major workload in his second game back with Seattle favored by nearly a touchdown.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)

Since returning from a concussion that sidelined him in Week 9, Ware has had a couple of modest performances -- 72 and 85 yards from scrimmage on 16 and 19 touches, respectively, with no touchdowns. Even though the Chiefs are projected to score the second-fewest points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the matchup for Ware is much more favorable than those for Kansas City's other skill-position players.

The Broncos have allowed opposing running backs to average 4.30 yards per carry, 11th-most to the position, and they have surrendered the eight-most fantasy points to running backs. Assuming the score stays relatively close, the Chiefs should stay committed to the run and Ware could approach or exceed 20 touches in Week 12.

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)

After getting 11 touches in Week 9 in the loss to the Raiders, there was some concern that Kapri Bibbs would eat into Booker's role as lead back with C.J. Anderson out for the rest of the year. While Bibbs had seven touches in Week 10 (compared to just three in Week 9), it was Booker that dominated backfield touches (26).

In his past three games, Booker has 53 carries for 152 yards (only 2.87 YPC) and eight catches for 50 yards. Despite the inefficiency, Booker has finished as a top-17 fantasy running back in two of those three starts. Assuming that Booker gets 20-plus touches again, he should finish as a solid RB2 with upside for much better if he can improve upon his efficiency.

Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)

Predicting Ivory's workload has been virtually impossible. Over the past four games, Ivory has gone from five to 19 to 11 to 23 touches. Especially if T.J. Yeldon (ankle) sits, Ivory should get another large workload with should being the operative word.

Then again, the Jaguars are more than a touchdown underdog on the road and projected to be one of this week's lowest-scoring teams. Given the struggles of Blake Bortles, it's hard to trust Ivory or any Jag, especially if they get off to another notoriously slow start.

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (at PHI)

With a larger workload in his second game (14 touches) back from his knee injury compared to his first (10), Starks totalled 71 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to finish the week as a top-10 fantasy running back. Not only has Starks scored in back-to-back games, but he has a total of 10 targets (eight receptions) in the passing game.

Averaging a mediocre 3.63 YPC in his two games back, however, Starks is a TD-dependent fantasy option this week especially if Christine Michael makes his Packers debut. I would expect Starks to get more touches than Michael, but losing some touches to him and/or Ty Montgomery eats a bit into his upside.

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at DET)

The good news is that McKinnon had 17 touches in Week 11. Although he was trending up (seven and nine in Weeks 9 and 10, respectively), that was his most, by far, since Week 5. The not-so-good news is that he could only must 41 YFS on those 17 touches.

The Vikings have been a historically bad run offense this year as no team has averaged fewer yards per carry than the Vikings (2.70) since 1970. Only three other teams -- 1994 Patriots (2.79), 1992 Colts (2.91) and 1986 Patriots (2.93) -- have averaged less than 3.0 YPC over the past 45 seasons.

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. CIN)

Despite being a home favorite in a plus matchup against the Bengals, who have allowed running backs to average 4.48 YPC, it's hard to trust West this week. One week after saying that Kenneth Dixon would be more involved, West had just nine touches.

The Ravens did lose by 10 points, but West's volume has been inconsistent on a week-to-week basis: 27, eight, 16, 22 and nine over his past five games. Due to a split in playing time with Dixon, West is more of a flex option than a RB2 in a game with one of the week's lowest over/unders (40.5).

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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Week 12 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Eli Manning is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Drew Brees and Manning, you should start Brees -- and in turn, bench Eli.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 12 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. WAS)

Breaking the record previously held by Tom Brady for most pass attempts without an interception to begin a career, Prescott has played beyond his years yet within himself. It helps to have one of the best offensive line units, perhaps ever, and an outstanding running game, but Prescott has been nearly flawless in his own right.

With back-to-back 300-yard passing games, Prescott has accounted for multiple touchdowns (passing and rushing) in eight consecutive games. During that eight-game span, he has finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy quarterback in all but one week (QB13, Week 6 at Lambeau). In addition, he has a minimum of 17.48 fantasy points in every game since Week 2 (at Washington) and has averaged 21.27/G over that stretch.

Thursday begins the first time that he will face an opponent for a second time in the same season. Perhaps this is the week that he will look like a rookie (since he is one).

Or perhaps he has another 25-point fantasy performance like last week. Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, no team is projected to score more real points this week than the Cowboys.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (at CHI)

The last time that Mariota finished outside the top-12 weekly fantasy quarterbacks was October 2nd in Houston. Mariota completed only 13-of-29 for 202 yards and no touchdowns in that game, but since then, he has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game.

In fact, he has 19 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions in those seven games. If you count his two rushing scores, he's averaging exactly three scores per game. During that span, he has completed 67.58 percent of his pass attempts for 8.43 Y/A and a passer rating of 116.8.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at CLE)

The good times should continue to roll for Eli. While he had a Week 7 dud against the Rams, Eli has scored at least 17 fantasy points in his other four out of five most recent games. With the exception of the London game against the Rams, Manning has thrown multiple touchdowns in the other four games over that stretch.

This week, Manning should be thankful for one of the best matchups on the schedule.

Cleveland has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Not only have the Browns allowed the highest passing TD% (6.58 percent), but they have allowed the third-most Y/A (7.96) this season.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. JAX)

It was a brutal week for Taylor, from a fantasy perspective, as the Bills won 16-12 over the Bengals and he threw for just 166 yards and no touchdowns. Taylor has fewer 200-yard games (four) than he has with less than 200 yards (six games), but there is the potential that he gets Sammy Watkins back this week.

Even if I wouldn't start Watkins if he's active due to an expected limit in snaps, the presence of a true weapon can only help the passing attack overall. Despite the lack of gaudy passing stats, Taylor has performed as a weekly top-15 fantasy quarterback in eight of his 10 games played this season.

Of course, he derives much of his production from his rushing numbers. The dual-threat quarterback has averaged 6.2 rush attempts per game and has at least five carries in all but one game (Week 2). On the season, he has 401 rushing yards and four touchdowns, which equates to 6.41 fantasy points per game from his rushing stats alone.

Week 12 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)

It's been a disappointing season for the Jags, Bortles and his fantasy owners. As bad as he's been, Bortles has thrown multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games, but the majority of his production has come in garbage time. With no teams on bye this week, it will be tougher for one-quarter (or one-half) of garbage-time production from Bortles to lead to a productive outing.

The Jaguars are one of six teams projected to score fewer than 19 points this week, according to implied totals from Vegas odds. In addition, the Bills have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. SEA)

In his past five games, Winston has thrown for either 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in every game. During that span, he has averaged 19.44 fantasy points with a minimum of 17.44 in each game. This week's matchup agains the Seahawks isn't great, although injuries in the secondary could make it less daunting than usual. Either way, there are more than 12 better options than Winston this week.

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at HOU)

Rivers had finished outside of the top-12 weekly fantasy quarterbacks in five consecutive games prior to his Week 10 bye. During that five-game span, Rivers had averaged 283.4 yards per game with nine touchdowns, but he has also thrown eight interceptions including four of them in Week 10 against Miami. Going on the road in Week 12, Rivers will face the Texans, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and the fourth-fewest passing yards this season.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. MIN)

After throwing for 300-plus yards in two of his first three games this season, Stafford has failed to reach the 300-yard mark in seven consecutive games. And after finishing as a top-10 weekly quarterback in five of his first seven games, Stafford has failed to do in each of his past three games.

Stafford has averaged 13.16 fantasy points per game over his past three with a max of 14.76 (QB17) in Week 9 against the Vikings. Part (read: much) of that production came in the fifth as Stafford threw a game-winning touchdown to Golden Tate in overtime.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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November 23, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 12 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 9.07
2. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.97
3. Chicago Bears: 8.90
4. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 8.75
5. Houston Texans (C.J. Fiedorowicz): 8.69

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 12-16):

28. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 6.27
29. Atlanta Falcons (Austin Hooper): 6.19
30. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 6.15
31. Green Bay Packers (Jared Cook, Richard Rodgers): 6.10
32. Miami Dolphins (Dion Sims): 5.63

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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November 22, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 12 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Chicago Bears (Cameron Meredith): 25.65
2. San Francisco 49ers (Jeremy Kerley): 24.91
3. Seattle Seahawks (Doug Baldwin): 24.58
4. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker): 24.44
5. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 24.34

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 12-16):

28. Tennessee Titans (Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe): 22.02
29. Green Bay Packers (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams): 20.88
30. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 20.71
31. Indianapolis Colts (T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief): 20.32
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee): 18.97

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 12 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 12-16):

1. Los Angeles Rams (Todd Gurley): 21.28
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.08
3. San Diego Chargers (Melvin Gordon): 19.95
4. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee): 19.94
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Spencer Ware): 19.82

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 12-16):

28. Minnesota Vikings (Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Adrian Peterson): 16.91
29. New Orleans Saints (Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower): 16.57
30. Denver Broncos (Devontae Booker): 16.38
31. Seattle Seahawks (Thomas Rawls): 16.00
32. Washington Redskins (Robert Kelley): 14.55

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 12 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 12 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 12-16):

T1. New York Jets (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty): 18.55
2. Chicago Bears (Matt Barkley): 18.55
3. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 18.46
4. Los Angeles Rams (Case Keenum): 18.16
5. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.15

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 12-16):

28. Tennessee Titans (Marcus Mariota): 15.60
29. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 15.51
30. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 15.22
31. Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers): 14.97
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.82

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 12

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 12 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (12 percent)

Returning from a multi-month absence, Cook had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 11 targets on Sunday Night Football. It was clearly his best performance as a Packer, but hopefully it's a sign of what may be to come.

In his first three games with the Packers, however, Cook had just 53 total yards on six catches and 11 targets. And the Packers have a Week 12 matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (21 percent)

Barely used as a receiver in the team's first three games, Fiedorowicz has become much more involved in the passing offense since then. The third-year tight end now has five targets in seven consecutive games.

Over that seven-game span, Fiedorowicz has averaged 7.0 targets per game and has posted a 33/380/3 line during that stretch including 6/82 on 10 targets on Monday Night Football in Mexico City. Fiedorowicz now has at least 24-percent target share in two of his past three games.

3. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (38 percent)

Once. Week 2.

That's how often (and when) Pitta has finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end this season. In Week 2 against the Browns, Pitta had nine catches for 102 yards on 12 targets.

Since then, he has a minimum of five targets in all but one game and averaged 6.88 targets over that eight-game stretch.

Once again, however, Pitta gets a favorable matchup in Week 12 as the Bengals have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Can he exploit the matchup? We'll see ...

4. Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (17 percent)

Bad news first: Henry has 16 yards or less and a total of five catches in his past three games played. That said, he has four touchdowns in his past six games and he had a four-game streak of 60-plus yards before his recent three-game cold streak.

Clearly, Antonio Gates is the team's tight end to trust with 20-percent target share in five consecutive games, but it wouldn't surprise me if Henry (knee) becomes more involved again as he approaches full health.

In addition, if Gates were to miss time at all, Henry would immediately become a top-10 option with a great schedule in the fantasy playoffs -- Panthers, Raiders and Browns in Weeks 14, 15 and 16, respectively. All three of those teams rank in the top-eight in terms of most fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

5. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (eight percent)

With 20-percent target share in back-to-back games, McDonald now has six targets in four consecutive games. McDonald has 204 yards and two touchdowns in those four games and has averaged 8.1 fantasy points per game during that stretch. He's still TD-dependent -- TE3/TE4 in the two weeks he scored, TE20/TE22 in the two weeks he didn't, but he has become a viable streamer in plus matchups down the stretch.

6. Will Tye, New York Giants (two percent)

For the third consecutive week following the team's Week 8 bye, Tye had five-plus targets and now has a total of 20 targets in his past three games. It's disappointing that he turned his five targets into only two catches for 12 yards last week, but he did score his first touchdown of the season.

In addition, Tye has some exploitable matchups on the horizon with the Browns in Week 12 first up. Only the Lions -- his Week 15 opponent -- have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends this season than the Browns.

7. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (13 percent)

The last time that Clay scored three or more fantasy points was Week 6 against the 49ers. In his past four games, however, he has had just 29, six, nine and 23 yards, respectively.

On a positive note for Clay (and potentially his fantasy owners), the team has had numerous injuries at wide receiver although Sammy Watkins is eligible to return this week. That said, it's far from a sure thing that he returns and it now appears that Robert Woods, the team's No. 2 wide receiver (after Watkins), will miss time with a knee injury.

8. Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams (12 percent)

Kendricks followed up a disappointing one-catch, zero-yard performance in Week 10 with four catches for 38 yards on Sunday. Those numbers are not great, but Kendricks had seven targets and now has seven-plus targets in four of his past five games. The upcoming schedule is positive for Kendricks with the Saints, Patriots and Falcons up over the next three weeks.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 12

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 12

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 12 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (41 percent)

One of the most talented receivers in the league, when healthy, Watkins is eligible to return in Week 12 and there appears to be at least a chance that he returns this week. Or at least a "hope." Even if Watkins isn't ready for Week 12, Rex Ryan's comments suggest that his return may not be far behind.

Watkins played in only two games (six catches for 63 yards) this season, but Watkins broke out last year with a 60/1,047/9 line last season and was especially productive down the stretch. Exceeding 100 yards four times over his final six games, Watkins had 35 catches for 679 yards and six touchdowns during that six-game stretch. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a similar six-game stretch if Watkins returns this week, but there is no other player on the waiver wire that could put a team over the top like Watkins.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (four percent)

In terms of receptions, A.J. Green (66) and Giovani Bernard (39) rank first and second on the Bengals and now the team will be without both for a significant period of time. Not only did Green tear his hamstring, but Bernard was lost to a torn ACL.

While I'd expect to see a lot more Jeremy Hill and Tyler Eifert, the biggest beneficiary among the team's wide receivers should be Boyd. The rookie out of Pittsburgh had six catches Sunday for 54 yards and a score on eight targets. Not only did he tie season highs in both receptions and targets, but he scored his first touchdown of his career.

Boyd, Brandon LaFell and the Bengals receivers have a favorable upcoming schedule with the Ravens, Eagles and Browns in Weeks 12 to 14. The Ravens have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and the Eagles and Browns are both within the top-12 most generous fantasy defenses to the position this season.

3. Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (23 percent)

From Weeks 4 to 8, Rogers played in only one game (Week 6), but he has emerged as the team's No. 2 receiver after Antonio Brown. Rogers caught four-of-six targets on Sunday for only 20 yards, but it was a difficult weather situation with high sustained winds.

Before that, Rogers had six catches for 103 yards on 10 targets in Week 9 and four catches for 42 yards and a score on five targets in Week 10 to finish as a top-30 fantasy performer in each week.

The Steelers will visit the Colts on Thursday Night Football this week in what should be a shootout. The Steelers are three-point favorites and the over/under currently sits at 54.

4. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (six percent)

Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense has regressed this season, but Lee has taken a huge step forward in his third season. Lee scored his first touchdown of the season last week, but he now has a minimum of four catches and six targets in eight of nine games since Week 2. In addition, Lee has at least 50 receiving yards in five of his past six games.

The biggest concern with Lee is lack of targets in the red zone, but at this point of the season, I'd trust Lee more than I'd trust Allen Hurns, who has just three catches for 22 yards in his past three games combined. Lee is on pace for 67 catches and 870 receiving yards.

5. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (41 percent)

In his past five games, Hill has scored double-digit fantasy points three times and has finished as a top-40 fantasy wide receiver in all but one game during that span. During that five-game span, Hill has seven carries for 71 yards and 23 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns on 30 targets.

Dangerous in the open field and used in the vertical passing game more than a 5-foot-10 receiver typically would, Hill is a big play waiting to happen. On the season, Hill ranks second in punt return average (15.8) and he would rank eighth in kickoff return average (23.3) if he had enough returns to qualify among league leaders.

For as long as Jeremy Maclin (groin) continues to miss time, Hill should remain in the WR3 mix. That said, the Chiefs face the Broncos in Week 12.

6. Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans (12 percent)

Sharpe began the season with a 7/76 performance on 11 targets, but that was the exception to the rule over the first month and a half of the season. In his next five games, Sharpe failed to reach 50 receiving yards and averaged only 22.6/G over that span.

Since then, however, he has become more productive. The rookie out of UMass has a minimum of 58 receiving yards in three consecutive games and four of his past five. In addition, he has scored in back-to-back games.

The Titans are a run-first team and Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews are the team's top-two pass-catching options, but Sharpe could be useful down the stretch in Marcus Mariota's breakout season.

7. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (four percent)

In general, it's a low-volume pass offense for the Vikings, but Thielen has been productive over the past month-plus. In his past six games, Thielen has 24 catches for 373 yards and three touchdowns and has averaged 9.4 fantasy points per game over that stretch.

The Vikings have a favorable matchup on Thanksgiving against the Lions and Stefon Diggs (knee) was listed as "limited" on Monday. Even though the Vikings did not practice on Monday and Diggs is expected to play, it's something to watch.

8. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (11 percent)

LaFell's production and efficiency has been inconsistent, but his volume of targets is sure to increase with the injury to Green. While he finished with only four catches for 32 yards on Sunday, LaFell's nine targets were his second-most as a Bengal. Going forward, he should consistently see six-plus targets.

9. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (13 percent)

It's hard to trust any Titans receiver too much, but Wright -- like Sharpe and Matthews -- has played well over the past month and a half, which corresponds to Mariota's hot streak. With a minimum of five fantasy points in five of six games, Wright has a total of 22/353/3 during that six-game stretch. The concern, though, is that he has exceeded five targets in only two of those games.

10. Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (four percent)

For the second time in three games, Green-Beckham finished with five catches, 50-plus yards and at least eight targets. Of course, it isn't great that he didn't get his second catch in this game until the fourth quarter, but garbage-time stats count just the same as first-quarter stats.

A big-bodied receiver, DGB scored just his second touchdown of the season last week, but both scores have occurred in the past month. The team's 2015 first-round pick, Nelson Agholor, has been a bust and DGB should at least move ahead of him in the pecking order for playing time and snaps.

11. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings (five percent)

Patterson had just two targets in his first three games combined, but since then, he has averaged six per game and he has eight in two of his past three games. Patterson has finished as a top-24 fantasy wide receiver in three of those seven games, (not-so) coincidentally when he scored, but he's at least worth a look in deeper leagues.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 12

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 12

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 12 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (48 percent)

Let's try this again. A couple of weeks ago, Ivory topped this list as he rushed 18 times for a season-high 107 yards.

The expectation was that the Jags would be more committed to the run, to Ivory in particular, in Week 10. Instead, Ivory had nine carries (just 42.86 percent of the team's attempts) for 31 yards and two catches for 10 yards.

With T.J. Yeldon (ankle) leaving Sunday's game early, it was back to another heavy workload for Ivory, who finished with 17 carries for 39 yards and six catches for 75 yards against the Lions.

Yeldon's injury is considered to be day-to-day, but it sounds like his status for Week 12 is in doubt. If Yeldon is forced to sit out Week 12, Ivory should once again get a sizable workload.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 12 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (25 percent)

LeSean McCoy (thumb surgery) may or may not play in Week 12, and if not, it would obviously open up more opportunities for Gillislee. Per Pro Football Talk, McCoy is expected to play in Week 12 "barring something unexpected." Then again, coach Rex Ryan was less certain as he said, "we'll see."

In their past three games, Gillislee has rushing lines of 12/85/1, 8/32/1 and 14/72 in addition to five catches for 13 yards. In those three games, he has finished as the weekly RB9, RB15 and RB34, respectively.

3. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (28 percent)

Going into Sunday's game, the expectation was that Terrance West would continue to start, but that Dixon's carries would increase. While they didn't increase in absolute numbers, Dixon saw a season-high 37.5 percent of the carries on Sunday.

Dixon now has at least six carries in three consecutive games and he has a total of 78 yards on 12 carries (6.5 YPC) in his past two games with another five catches for 42 yards. Based on talent, Dixon is capable of bigger and better things and is certainly worth a stash for all fantasy owners.

4. Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (two percent)

Both Ryan Mathews (knee) and Darren Sproles (fractured rib) exited Sunday's game with injuries and Smallwood led the team with 17 touches for 79 yards. At this point in the week, it sounds as if both Mathews and Sproles will play.

Even when all of the backs were healthy in Week 10, Smallwood had 13 carries for 70 yards as well. If Mathews and/or Sproles were to miss Week 12, Smallwood would be the biggest beneficiary against the Packers, who have been bleeding production to opposing running backs over the past month.

Over the past four games, the Packers have surrendered 90/452/7 rushing and 13/109/1 receiving to opposing running backs. Not only have they surrendered a total of 114.5 fantasy points to position, they have allowed a running back to score 17-plus fantasy points in four consecutive games.

5. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (38 percent)

Based on talent, McKinnon is clearly more talented than Matt Asiata. Neither have been all that efficient and Sunday was no different. That said, the shift in workload has continued as McKinnon had 17 touches for 41 yards in Week 11.

McKinnon was inactive in Week 8, but he had seven and nine touches in the previous two games, respectively. On the other hand, Asiata's volume has declined from 16 touches in Week 8 to 11, 10 and six over the past three weeks, respectively.

Asiata has scored in back-to-back games and remains the best best for goal-line opportunities. But if McKinnon is going to continue to dominate backfield touches, he is the preferred option in this duo going forward. And if Adrian Peterson is available, it appears that he has a shot to return as early as Week 15.

6. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (41 percent)

Powell had one of his best games of the season before the bye as he totalled 89 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 11 touches including seven receptions, both of which were season highs. While he's better in PPR formats and his upside is capped as long as Matt Forte is healthy, Powell has now finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy performer (standard scoring) in two of his past three games. Powell has finished as a top-26 PPR running back in six of his past eight games.

7. Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (three percent)

Far from efficient on a per-touch basis, Washington's usage rate continues to be a positive. For a second consecutive game, he had double-digit carries and Washington (15) had more touches this week than Theo Riddick (12).

Washington managed only 0.14 fantasy points per touch as he gained only six yards on his 13 carries and added two catches for 15 yards. Riddick had 10 targets in the passing game and remains the preferred option among the team's running backs, but the expanded role is at least a positive for Washington.

The remaining schedule isn't great as only the Saints in Week 13 are a plus matchup, but if he maintains his role through Thursday's tough matchup against the Vikings, he could be a low-end RB2/flex option for fantasy owners in Week 13.

8. Rex Burkhead, Cincinnati Bengals (zero percent)

Not only did the Bengals lose the game (in score), they lost two of the most-talented weapons to lengthy injuries as A.J. Green tore his hamstring and Giovani Bernard tore his ACL. While others will benefit more than Burkhead, he should see a fairly significant bump in playing time due to the injuries.

Before the season, there was some talk that Burkhead would see some playing at wide receiver so both injuries have the potential to create additional opportunities for Burkhead. On the year, however, Burkhead has just six carries for 39 yards and two catches for 24 yards. At a minimum, he's at least worth a look for deep-leaguers.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 12

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November 19, 2016

Week 11 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Eric Ebron is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 11 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Jordan Reed and Ebron, you should start Reed -- and in turn, bench Ebron.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 11 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (at OAK)

Barely used as a receiver in the team's first three games, Fiedorowicz has become much more involved in the passing offense since then. Even though he had just three catches for 26 yards in Week 10, the third-year tight end now has five targets in six consecutive games.

Over that six-game span, Fiedorowicz has averaged 6.5 targets per game and has posted a 27/298/3 line during that stretch. Brock Osweiler has been awful and last week was no different (14/27 passing, 99 yards and two touchdowns). While Fiedorowicz had five targets, the team's other tight ends also had five targets total and caught both of Osweiler's touchdowns.

In other words, I feel much more confident in starting a Texans tight end like Fiedorowicz than I do in starting one of the team's wide receivers, even one as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. Considering the Raiders have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, Fiedorowicz is a top-10 option at the position for me this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots (at SF)

The only concern with Bennett this week is that the Patriots use him more as a blocker than a receiver, which is something that we've seen at points this season. In other words, it has led to some boom or bust weeks.

Bennett has as many 100-yard games (three) as he has games with less than 15 receiving yards. With Rob Gronkowski ruled out this week and no team projected to score more points this week, however, Bennett's upside is huge. He's a top-four fantasy tight end for me.

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (vs. JAX)

Ebron has missed multiple games this season, but he has been especially productive in his past two outings. On a total of 18 targets, Ebron has seven catches for 79 yards and seven catches for 92 yards in his past two games, respectively.

This season, he has a minimum of four catches and 42 yards in all six games that he has played. On a per-game basis, he has averaged 5.33 catches for 63.5 yards on 7.17 targets per game.

Even though the Jaguars have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, the Lions are projected to score the fourth-most points this week.

Week 11 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (at DAL)

Here's the good news: Pitta has averaged 7.33 targets per game this season and has three games with double-digit targets. Here's the bad news: Pitta has 42 yards or less in all but one game (Week 2). In fact, Week 2 was the only time that Pitta finished a week as a top-12 fantasy tight end.

Even though he has the second-most targets (66) amongst tight ends behind only Greg Olsen (78), he ranks just 25th in fantasy points scored. (Due to volume, he's more productive in PPR formats, TE15.) Pitta has yet to score a touchdown and is averaging just 8.15 Y/R.

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (vs. PIT)

Barnidge had a five-game streak with at least 57 receiving yards, but he has failed to reach that level of production in each of his past three games. In fact, he has just three catches for 23 yards and one catch for eight yards in his past two games with a total of just seven targets in those two outings.

In addition, Barnidge has yet to score a touchdown this season. Of course, he's going to score a touchdown at some point this season and perhaps that's this week, but until he's more involved in the offense again, he's nothing more than a roll of the dice.

TE - Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

The Colts had a Week 10 bye, but Allen returned in Week 9 and finished with one catch for 15 yards on two targets. Meanwhile, Jack Doyle had five catches for 61 yards on nine targets in that game. The Titans have been generous to opposing tight ends (ninth-most fantasy points allowed), but I would prefer to start Doyle over Allen if I had to choose a Colts tight end to start this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 11

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Week 11 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Stefon Diggs is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 11 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper and Diggs and can only start two receivers, you should start OBJ and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Diggs.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 11 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. JAX)

Things could not have started much worse for Tate as he totaled only 17 catches for 134 yards and no touchdowns on 31 targets in his first five games this season. That's a per-game average of 3.4/26.8 on 6.2 targets. Since then, however, Tate has a total of 32 catches for 379 yards and two touchdowns on 43 targets -- or 8.0/94.75/0.5 on 10.75 targets per game.

The matchup against the Jags isn't great as they allow the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers and both Amukamara and Ramsey shadow, but Tate's recent usage keeps him in the WR2 mix. Not only are the Lions projected to score the fourth-most points this week, according to Vegas odds, but Tate has double-digit targets in three of his past four games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (vs. ARI)

Like Tate, Diggs has a poor matchup. In fact, it's worse (than Tate's). The Cardinals have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and Patrick Peterson will shadow Diggs.

That said, Diggs has a minimum of 13 targets in three consecutive games and exactly 13 receptions in back-to-back games. Last week, he parlayed those 13 catches into 164 yards. Primarily based on volume, Diggs should be able to overcome a challenging individual matchup.

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

With this week's highest over/under, this game should be a shootout and the Colts are favored by a field goal. With a rare combination of size and athleticism, Moncrief has scored in three of four games played this season. The lone exception was Week 2 against the Broncos when he left early due to injury.

In fact, Moncrief has now scored in eight of 11 games that both he and Andrew Luck have played together. It's a favorable matchup for Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton and the Colts receivers as the Titans have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Only the Patriots are projected to score more points than the Colts this weekend.

WR - Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (at WAS)

Even with a traditional running back returning last week, Adams had nine targets that resulted in six catches for 156 yards last week. Over his past four games, he has a total of 35 catches for 403 yards and three touchdowns on 47 targets. With a minimum of eight targets in each game, Adams has 100-plus yards in two of his past four.

With Josh Norman likely to shadow Jordy Nelson, it bodes well for both Adams and Randall Cobb. So far this season, Adams has been targeted six times inside the 10-yard line and only six players have more such targets. In fact, Nelson is tied with Emmanuel Sanders for the NFL lead (10).

Week 11 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (at WAS)

With James Starks returning in Week 10, Montgomery was relegated to a secondary role last week. Getting only five touches (three carries and two receptions), he finished with 20 yards from scrimmage as fantasy's WR65. Not only is Starks now one more game removed from his knee injury, the team claimed Christine Michael off waivers. I still expect Montgomery to get a few carries and a few targets, but it's difficult to envision him being a significant factor in the team's offensive game plan on Sunday.

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (vs. JAX)

In a bit of a role reversal with Tate, Jones has seen his major role over the first four games turn into a bit role over the past five. With a minimum of 74 receiving yards in each of his first four games, Jones racked up a 23/482/2 statistical line in the first month of the season.

Since then, however, Jones has a total of only 14 catches in five games for 179 yards and two touchdowns. His only top-24 weekly performances occurred in Weeks 2 and 3 of the season. With a lesser role in a not-so-favorable matchup, Jones is outside of my top-24 fantasy receivers once again.

WR - Will Fuller, Houston Texans (at OAK)

Fuller began his career with a bang -- back-to-back 100-yard games to start the season. In Houston's inefficient passing offense, it's been all downhill from there. He has 31 receiving yards or less in four of five games since Week 3 and hasn't played since Week 8. He's expected to return this week, but he's a game-time decision and plays on Monday Night Football. Even with a soft matchup against the Raiders, Fuller isn't worth the risk this week.

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Week 11 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Theo Riddick is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 11 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount and Riddick and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Blount -- and in turn, bench Riddick.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 11 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at SF)

No player has more rushing touchdowns this season than Blount (12), who has scored in every game other than their Week 4 shutout with Tom Brady suspended. With the highest implied total from Vegas odds, there could very well be multiple scoring opportunities for Blount this week.

Perhaps atypical for a Belichick-coached team, Blount has been the recipient of a consistent workload this season. Not only does he have a minimum of 15 touches in every game, but he has averaged 20.89 per contest even though he is little-used as a receiver.

This week's matchup for Blount is as good as it gets. While their streak of 100-yard rushers allowed ended at seven last week, the 49ers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and no team has allowed more yards per carry (5.26) or rushing scores (13) to the position.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins (vs. GB)

Emerging as the team's lead back over the past two games, Kelley carried it 21 times for 87 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 and 22 times for 97 yards in Week 10. (The team had its bye in Week 9.) With 69.84 percent of the running back touches in those two games, Kelley should once again approach 20 carries as the team is a home favorite against the Packers in Week 11.

Even though the matchup appears tough on paper, as the Packers have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to running backs, they have been more generous lately. In their past three games, they have allowed three consecutive top-six fantasy performances — Devonta Freeman (Week 8), Frank Gore (Week 9) and DeMarco Murray (Week 10).

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (vs. JAX)

No longer just a change-of-pace option due to injuries, Riddick has a minimum of 15 touches in his past six games. On the season, he has averaged 81.4 yards from scrimmage and 5.0 receptions per game with a total of five touchdowns.

In his past three games, Riddick has finished as fantasy's weekly RB6, RB4 and RB17 against the Eagles, Texans and Vikings, respectively. Against the Jags this week, the Lions are projected to score the fourth-most points according to implied totals from Vegas odds.

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

Gore has finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in all but two games this season -- Week 1 (RB30) and Week 5 (RB25). Averaging 18.78 touches per game, Gore has scored seven touchdowns in his nine games.

Even though the Titans allow the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, Gore had 83 yards and a touchdown on 22 touches in their first matchup and no game has a higher over/under this week. In fact, only the Patriots are projected to score more points than the Colts this week.

Week 11 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (at WAS)

In the first game back from his knee injury, Starks had a total of 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 total touches. The workload and efficiency weren't great, but the score led to a productive fantasy outing.

With Ty Montgomery still an option to steal a couple of carries and the addition of Christine Michael off waivers, it's unclear how much Starks will see his workload expand this week. Even though he has a favorable matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Starks is more of a flex option than a solid RB2 this week.

RB - Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (at DET)

How many touches will Ivory get this week? Who knows? One week after getting 19 touches and having his most productive outing of the season, Ivory saw only 11 touches last week. On the year, here are his weekly touches: 13, eight, 13, seven, five, 19 and 11.

With the exception of his 19-touch outing, Ivory has less than 50 rushing yards in every game played. As underdogs to the Lions, who allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position, it's hard to trust that Ivory will get a sufficient workload to allow him to finish as a top-24 fantasy running back this week.

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (vs. ARI)

In his past two games, McKinnon has seven carries for eight yards and then six carries for 16 yards. Granted, he also added three catches for 17 yards last week, but the lack of work and inefficiency means that McKinnon (and Matt Asiata) should remain on your bench. Without a touchdown, neither will be in the RB2 mix against the league's stingiest defense to fantasy running backs as the team is averaging a league-low 2.7 yards per carry this season.

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (vs. PHI)

There are a few different reports on how Rawls will be used in his first game back from injury. Considering how well C.J. Prosise played last week, however, it would make sense to ease Rawls back in. Prosise turned 24 touches into 153 yards from scrimmage last week and he is the preferred Seahawks running back to start -- at least, for Week 11.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 11

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Week 11 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kirk Cousins is listed below as a "start" for Week 11. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 11 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Andrew Luck and Cousins, you should start Luck -- and in turn, bench Cousins.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 11 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 11 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (at IND)

Not only did Mariota extend his streak of weekly top-12 fantasy performances to six consecutive weeks, but the second-year quarterback scored more fantasy points than any other quarterback in Week 10. In fact, Mariota has finished as a top-four weekly producer four times during that six-game span.

Even though he has thrown less than 30 pass attempts in four of those six games, Mariota has accounted for multiple touchdowns in all six of those games. With a total of 19 scores (17 passing and two rushing), Mariota has thrown a touchdown every 10.65 pass attempts during that stretch.

The Colts have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position and Mariota threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns in his first matchup against the Colts this season. Even though that was his worst game during his recent hot stretch, Mariota still finished that week as fantasy's QB11.

After running for 60-plus yards in back-to-back games (Weeks 5 and 6), Mariota hasn't run the ball much (14 rushing yards or less in four straight). That said, few quarterbacks have as much upside as Mariota does due to his TD efficiency and dual-threat abilities in a potential shootout (highest over/under of week).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 11 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. GB)

Cousins has averaged more than 300 passing yards per game (301.78) this season. Including a rushing score in Week 7, he has averaged exactly two scores over his last seven games played. Starting in Week 2, Cousins has been consistent with a minimum of 17 fantasy points in all but one game (Week 5).

This week, he gets a favorable matchup against the Packers, who are just one of four teams this season to allow three passing touchdowns in at least four games on the year. Only the Browns (7.27%) and Lions (6.39%) have allowed a touchdown on a higher percentage of pass attempts than the Packers (6.08%). In addition, only the Browns (8.31 Y/A) and Bills (8.27) have allowed more yards per attempt than the Packers (8.21).

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. BAL)

Playing beyond his years, Prescott and the Cowboys are the only remaining one-loss team this season and their lone loss was by one point in Week 1. Even though the Cowboys are a run-first team, Prescott has multiple touchdowns -- both passing and rushing -- in seven consecutive games.

Atypical for a rookie, Prescott has been incredibly consistent with a minimum of 17.48 fantasy points in every game since Week 2. While he threw for a career-high 319 yards last week against the Steelers, he has yet to throw for fewer than 227 in any game.

Even though the Ravens have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, Prescott has finished as the weekly QB12 (or better) in all but one game over his past seven. In fact, the one exception was a QB13 performance and I expect another top-12 performance from him this week.

Week 11 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at MIN)

Good news first: Palmer has thrown for more than 340 passing yards in three consecutive games. Not only is it the longest such streak this season, but only four other quarterbacks have done it in back-to-back games this year -- Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Andy Dalton.

So, why is he listed on the Sit'em side of this post?

Despite averaging 360.3 yards over his past three games, he has scored 15-plus fantasy points in only one of those outings. In addition, he has more than one touchdown in just one of his past six games.

While Cousins finished as fantasy's QB12 last week against the Vikings, it was the first time this season that the Vikings have allowed a top-12 weekly quarterback. On the season, they have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BUF)

Ending a streak of four games with 19-plus fantasy points before the bye, Dalton threw for only 204 yards and one touchdown in Week 10 against the Giants to finish as fantasy's QB21. Playing on a short week, Dalton and the Bengals will face the Bills, who have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at KC)

In terms of fantasy production, Winston has been productive with a 10:2 TD-INT ratio and average of 19.95 fantasy points over his past four games. During that span, he has finished as the weekly QB13 or better each week.

On the year, Winston has been better at home (19.14 fantasy points per game) than he has on the road (16.05/G) and the Bucs head to the difficult road environment at Arrowhead this week. Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the Buccaneers are projected to score the fifth-fewest points (18.5) this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 11

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November 13, 2016

Week 10 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Antonio Gates is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 10 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Gates, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Gates.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 10 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (at JAX)

Barely used as a receiver in the team's first three games, Fiedorowicz scored a total of 0.7 fantasy points in Weeks 1 to 3. Since then, however, he has become much more involved in the offense.

Even with Brock Osweiler and the passing offense struggling, Fiedorowicz has been able to flourish. The third-year tight end out of Iowa has at least seven targets in four consecutive games and a total of 24 receptions for 272 yards and three touchdowns on 34 targets over his past five.

This week's matchup isn't great, as the Jags have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position, but he is a viable starting tight end given his expanded role.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

TE - Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. MIA)

Even with Melvin Gordon so productive in the red zone, Gates maintains great rapport with Philip Rivers and he's always a threat to score a touchdown or two even if he has lost a step (or two) in his advanced age (for his occupation).

In each of his past four games, Gates has had at least 20-percent target share. Since Week 6, no other tight end has as many games with 20-percent target share and only Jimmy Graham and Delanie Walker have at least three.

Only the Cardinals and Patriots are projected to score more points this week. Not only is Gates a strong start this week, but rookie Hunter Henry is just outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for the week and is worth consideration if you're looking for a streamer assuming he's active this week.

[Henry is owned in only 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues, as of Saturday evening.]

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (at TB)

After scoring three touchdowns in two games, Miller has at least six receptions and eight targets in three of his past four games. In fact, he has double-digit targets in two of his past three games. Over his past six games, Miller has averaged 5.5/57.67/0.5 on 7.5 targets per game. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season and three touchdowns to the position in their two most recent games.

Week 10 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at WAS)

The good news is that Rudolph scored a touchdown last week. The bad news is that he set a season-low in targets (three) and finished with only one catch for one yard in a dream matchup against the Lions. So, even with the touchdown, Rudolph only finished as fantasy's TE17 in Week 9.

Compared to the first four games (19/221/3 on 33 targets), Rudolph has just 13/102/1 on 24 targets in his most-recent four games. In those games, he has finished as the weekly TE25, TE8, TE25 and TE17, respectively. Until (or unless) things get better, Rudolph is a risky start and better left on your bench.

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (vs. DEN)

Not only does Fleener have 44 yards or less in three consecutive games and four of his last five, but here's his target percentage in those five games: 13.89%, 14.58%, 4.26%, 11.43% and 15.38%. There are 16 tight ends that have a higher team target percentage than Fleener (13.74%) this season. Even though the Broncos are a little more generous to tight ends (11th-fewest FPA to TEs) than to wide receivers (fewest FPA to WRs), it's hard to trust Fleener with Drew Brees spreading the ball around.

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)

The Jaguars offense has been a huge disappointment as Blake Bortles has taken a step backwards this season. Entering the season healthy, there were high expectations for Thomas, but he has less than 30 receiving yards in five consecutive games. During that five-game span, he's averaged 2.4/22.0 on 4.8 targets per game, but he has scored twice. At this point, Thomas has merely a TD-dependent fantasy option and the Texans have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (and only one touchdown) to opposing tight ends this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

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November 12, 2016

Week 10 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Tyrell Williams is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 10 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and Williams and can only start two receivers, you should start Julio and Fitz -- and in turn, bench Williams.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 10 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (vs. MIA)

It's been boom or bust for Williams over the past five weeks. Correction: It's been a boom-Broncos-boom-Broncos-boom weekly alternating cycle. The good news is that Williams won't face the Broncos this week (or again this season). In his past three games against a team other than Denver, Williams has finished as the weekly WR11, WR12 and WR14.

Excluding the two dud performances against the Broncos, Williams has a combined 18 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns in his three most recent games. With Travis Benjamin (knee, doubtful) all but ruled out for Week 10, Williams has the potential to once again finish as a top-15 wideout.

As well as Melvin Gordon has played, it's possible that he dominates the game plan, but the Chargers (26.75) are projected to score the third-most points this week after the Cardinals (30.75) and Patriots (28.50), based on implied totals using Vegas odds. In other words, there could be plenty of scoring opportunities for all of the team's top offensive weapons.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (at NO)

One week after giving up 398 passing yards to Colin Kaepernick and the low-flying 49ers offense, the Saints get Trevor Siemian and the Broncos this week. Regardless of your opinion about Siemian, he has much better weapons than Kaep does so there is reason for some optimism for Denver's passing attack in this soft matchup.

It was disappointing that Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, etc. did not exploit a great matchup against the Raiders last week and Sanders has only one 100-yard game this season. In fact, he has finished as the weekly WR30 (or worse) in five consecutive games.

The good news, though, is Sanders has a minimum of eight targets in all but one game (Week 6) and is averaging 9.56 per contest. With that type of volume, Sanders could have a breakout type of game this week.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)

Speaking of volume, Matthews had 14 targets in Week 8 and 10 targets in Week 9. Those were his first two games with double-digit targets since he did so in Week 1 against the Browns.

In what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the weekend (no game has a higher over/under), Matthews could see double-digit targets once again as they try to keep up with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the league's top-scoring offense.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (at WAS)

Diggs is better in PPR formats as the Vikes should once again pepper him with targets in the short passing game. After getting 13 targets against the Bears in Week 8, Diggs saw a season-high 14 targets last week as he finished with 13 catches for 80 yards. The matchup may not be great, but Josh Norman shouldn't shadow Diggs when he runs routes out of the slot, something I'd expect Diggs to do on at least half of his routes.

Week 10 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

WR - Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints (vs. DEN)

Not only is the matchup against Denver difficult, but both Michael Thomas are the team's top two wide receivers now. Even though he has seven-plus targets in six of seven games played this season, Snead has finished as the weekly WR78, WR63, WR33, WR49 and WR60 in his past five games, respectively. Coincidentally (or not-so-coincidentally), Thomas has flourished with double-digit fantasy points in five of his past six games.

WR - Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (at TEN)

In Weeks 7 and 8, Adams hauled in a combined 25 receptions for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 30 targets. Last week, his production was more subdued -- four catches for 41 yards and a score on eight targets. With James Starks back and Randall Cobb healthy, Adams may see closer to eight targets (or even less) than the 14-plus he had in the previous couple of weeks.

For the record, Adams isn't a horrible play and Aaron Rodgers likes to target him in the red zone. But for the first time in a couple of weeks, Adams is outside of my top-24 receivers (but still inside my top-30). In other words, he's a fine WR3/flex, but certainly not a must-start for those that start two wide receivers.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SF)

The matchup is great. And the Cardinals are projected to be the week's highest-scoring team. Yet if you still own Floyd for some reason, he should be on your bench. Or, more accurately, on your league's waiver wire.

His role in the offense continues to diminish as J.J. Nelson has moved into the starting lineup and Floyd played a target-less 40.8 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Week 8. He has now played less than 50 percent of the offensive snaps in four of his past five games.

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (at SD)

Parker was inactive for the opener and targeted 13 times in Week 2 against the Patriots to finish with a statistical line of 8/106 in that game. Since then, however, Parker has seen a target share of less than 17 percent in all but one game. In addition, he has 28 yards or less in four of his past five games.

With Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense relying much more on Jay Ajayi as their workhorse back, there has not been many targets to go around. In fact, Ajayi has nearly as many carries (77) as Tannehill has pass attempts (85) since Week 6. Even Jarvis Landry has averaged only 6.5 targets per game over his past four games.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

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Week 10 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Darren Sproles is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 10 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray and Sproles and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Sproles.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 10 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)

In a potential shootout against the Falcons (highest over/under of the week at 51.0), there should be plenty of offense on both sides as the Falcons and Eagles both rank inside the top-nine in terms of implied totals from Vegas odds. Emerging as the team's lead running back over the past couple of weeks, Sproles is a top-15 play this week with upside for much more.

Sproles has 20 and 16 touches in Weeks 8 and 9, respectively, which equates to 65.46 percent of the running back touches over that two-game span. In addition, he has 16 of the 19 running back targets.

The Falcons have been relatively stingy in terms of yards per carry allowed to opposing running backs (3.83, eighth-lowest in NFL), but opposing backs have done plenty of damage as receivers out of the backfield. So far this season, only the Chargers (73) have allowed more receptions to running backs than the Falcons (71).

- Related: Sproles was among our favorite Week 10 DraftKings plays

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (at SD)

Before the season began, the Dolphins tried to sign restricted free agent (at the time) C.J. Anderson and then later signed Arian Foster, who has since retired. In half of a season, Ajayi has gone a long way -- from Week 1 inactive to 30%-owned waiver-wire back less than a month ago to an every-week must-start workhorse now.

While he didn't rush for 200-plus yards for a third consecutive game, Ajayi rushed 24 times for 111 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Jets. With 529 yards and four touchdowns on 78 carries (6.78 YPC), the Dolphins have won three consecutive games. Despite being a road underdog, Ajayi is a top-five option at the position this week.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at CAR)

After leaving Week 8 early with a concussion and missing Week 9, Ware returns to the starting lineup in Week 10. The matchup against the Panthers isn't great, but I expect the Jeremy Maclin-less Chiefs to rely heavily on Ware as long as the game is close. (And it should be a fairly close game as the spread is only three points.)

Over their past three games, the Panthers have allowed only 141 rushing yards on 45 carries (3.13 YPC) to opposing running backs. That said, they have allowed 24 catches for 198 yards to the position during that same three-game span.

In his past 16 games, Ware has 906 rushing yards on 172 carries (5.27 YPC), 318 receiving yards on 23 receptions (13.83 Y/R) and a total of 10 touchdowns -- eight rushing, one receiving and one return.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (at TB)

It had appeared that Howard's role was diminishing as he ceded touches to Ka'Deem Carey prior to his monster performance in Week 8 against the Vikings. Prior to his Week 9 bye, Howard posted a 26/153/1 rushing line while adding four catches for 49 yards.

With two top-three weekly finishes in his past four games, all signs point to another big week for the rookie out of Indiana. At least for this week, I'm optimistic that the Bears stick with Howard after his 202-yard game in Week 8 despite recent comments by Dowell Loggains.

“You don’t have Matt Forte who was the Workhorse, the No. 1 back,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains told WGN Radio. “We keep saying ‘running back by committee,’ well Jordan has been the workhorse the last five weeks, but we’re getting (Langford) back healthy and the carries — however it works out — could end up balancing out a little bit.”

Week 10 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. CIN)

Playing in five games (and missing a few others), Jennings saw his second-lowest share of the carries in Week 9 (45.83 percent). His lowest share (40.63 percent) occurred in Week 2 when he left the game early with a thumb injury. Since Week 2, Jennings has 46 carries for 93 yards (2.02 YPC) in four games. As Paul Perkins sees a larger share of the workload, Jennings remains someone to avoid in fantasy even with four teams on bye.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)

In each of the past two weeks, Mathews has been saved by a rushing touchdown, but he had four carries for 10 yards and five carries for 15 yards against the Cowboys and Giants, respectively. With only 20 percent of the RB touches -- 11 of 55 -- over the past two games, Mathews belongs on your bench.

RB - Matt Asiata/Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at WAS)

When Adrian Peterson went on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, it wasn't necessarily clear which running back would benefit the most -- Asiata or McKinnon. Neither have been great, though. Or even good.

Since Week 2, they both have finished as a top-24 running back once each -- Week 4 for McKinnon and Week 5 for Asiata. The duo has combined to rush for 452 yards on 146 carries (3.10 YPC) this season.

Even in a favorable matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, neither McKinnon nor Asiata can be trusted. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if Ronnie Hillman was the team's most productive back as the trio split carries last week.

[For what it's worth, Asiata had 10 carries for 26 yards the last time (2014) he faced Washington. Three of those 10 carries were touchdowns.]

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

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Week 10 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Marcus Mariota is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 10 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Mariota, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Mariota.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 10 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs. GB)

After a slow start to the season, Mariota has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league and has scored the seventh-most fantasy points on the year. Over his past five games, Mariota has averaged 24.16 fantasy points per game and finished as fantasy's weekly QB1, QB4, QB11, QB11 and QB4, respectively.

During that five-game span, the dual-threat quarterback has thrown 13 touchdowns and rushed for two more. In addition, he has averaged 252.4 passing yards and 32.6 rushing yards per game over that stretch.

So far this season, the Packers have allowed only two top-12 fantasy quarterbacks -- Matthew Stafford in Week 3 and Matt Ryan in Week 8 -- even though their defense has been banged up. That said, their pass defense has been more generous away from Lambeau Field. In three road games, opposing quarterbacks have completed 74-of-105 pass attempts (70.48 percent) for 894 yards (8.51 Y/A), six touchdowns and only one interception.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at PIT)

Playing beyond his years, Prescott has finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in five of his past six games. In fact, the lone exception was a QB13 performance. Since Week 2, Prescott has scored a minimum of 17.48 fantasy points in every game.

Prescott benefits from the plays he makes with his legs, especially near the goal line (four rushing scores), but he has now thrown multiple touchdown passes in three consecutive games and in four of his past five. Even though he hasn't posted gaudy yardage totals, he's been consistent with at least 227 passing yards in all eight games.

Like with Mariota and the Titans, Dak and the Cowboys want to utilize a run-heavy approach. Prescott has averaged just 29.0 pass attempts per game over their seven-game winning streak and he has thrown 30 or fewer times in five of those games. As small underdogs, however, it's possible that Prescott is forced to throw more often than he otherwise would.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU)

If you went into the season with Bortles as your starting quarterback, you've undoubtedly been disappointed. The third-year quarterback has regressed as a "real" quarterback -- and as a fantasy one as well.

With that said, he's been better in fantasy terms in his past two games (largely due to garbage time). Scoring 27.68 fantasy points (QB4) in Week 8 and 21.48 fantasy points (QB11) in Week 9, Bortles has completed 55-of-95 for 589 yards, five touchdowns and an interception with 10 carries for 76 yards in the past two games.

The Texans have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but they have intercepted a league-low three passes so perhaps he'll have a few more opportunities to try to sustain drives. Bortles is just inside my top-12, but if you roster him, my advice would be to not watch until around 3:15 (i.e., roughly when the fourth quarter begins).

Week 10 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at NYG)

Dalton has finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy quarterback in each of his past four games. Including both passing and rushing scores, Dalton has multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games. And having Tyler Eifert back and healthy certainly helps Dalton.

With that said, the Giants have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position and only one top-12 fantasy QB this season (Kirk Cousins in Week 3). Dalton has historically struggled in stand-alone games and he is just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. MIN)

With Week 5 being the exception, Cousins has scored more than 17 fantasy points in six of his past seven games. In his past two games, Cousins has finished as the weekly QB5 and QB7, respectively, and racked up a total of 759 passing yards. This weekend, he faces the Vikings, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at SD)

Going into the season, Tannehill was one of my favorite QB2 options and I had him ranked in the 13th-15th range. Admittedly, that was way too high for him. Either way, he's barely a QB2 in a two-QB league these days.

The Dolphins have employed a run-heavy game plan fueled by Jay Ajayi's recent production, but Tannehill has thrown 25, 18, 32, 25 and 28 pass attempts in his past five games, respectively. In addition, he has thrown only three touchdowns during that span and finished with 10.38 fantasy points (or fewer) in four of those five games.

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November 09, 2016

DFS Roundtable: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 10

Every week of the 2016 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 10?

Sean Beazley: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears ($6,600)

I am assuming most people will target David Johnson this week, so you are going to need to be very wise with how you spend the rest of your salary. The price point I am looking at for my WRs is between $5,500-$7,000. There are a bunch of great tournament plays in this group that could have the same type of ceiling as some of the top options this week.

One of the players that I am interested in this week is Alshon Jeffery. I really like the Jay Cutler/Jeffery stack vs. a Tampa defense that is ranked 27th in the NFL vs. the pass. Alshon finally looks healthy and he has seen 32 targets in his past three games.

We have seen what Jeffery’s ceiling is in the past. I could see a 8/140/2 type of game here. I definitely will be overweight on Alshon this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a one-day $3 NBA contest with $25,000 paid to 1st place. ENTER HERE.

Kevin Hanson: David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($8,400)

Perhaps my final ownership will be less than 100 percent, but there will be no other time this season that I will come this close to 100-percent ownership on a player than this specific week and with this specific player. The only concern is the massive spread (nearly two TDs) and that the Cardinals take their proverbial foot off the gas, but no team has a higher implied total than the Cardinals (31.0).

Not only have the 49ers surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but they have allowed seven consecutive 100-yard rushers. The 49ers are allowing RBs a league-most 5.48 YPC and only the Browns and Saints (14 each) have allowed more total touchdowns to RBs (13).

So, how much will an elite running back like Johnson rack up this week? Well, he was one of those seven rushers and had 27 carries for a season-high 157 yards and two touchdowns with three catches for 28 yards in his first matchup against them in Week 5.

Perhaps he won't match his Week 5 performance, but no player has a higher floor and ceiling this week than DJ.

John Trifone: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans ($5,700)

Early on, there doesn't appear to be a ton of great value, so paying down at QB is a good way to give yourself some extra spending. Mariota has been outstanding the last few weeks and has at least 17 DK points in each of his last five games. Tennessee is at home against Green Bay this week, in what should be one of the higher-scoring games of the week. I like Mariota to easily pay off his salary, but also offer the high upside of some of the top-tier QBs this week.

Brendan Donahue: Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,300)

This is the second week in a row I'm picking Sproles even after he let me down a bit last week with a somewhat disappointing performance. The good news is that Coach Pederson reiterated that Sproles is the lead back and that was evidenced by him getting 60 snaps to just eight for Ryan Mathews. It is also encouraging that he was targeted nine times even though he was only able to catch one-third of them. In what should be a shootout with Atlanta, I expect him to get at least that many targets again, if not more. It seems that DraftKings has not properly factored in his new usage into their pricing as he is only $4,300 this week, which is the 33rd-priced RB and one of the best values of the week.

Dan Yanotchko: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears ($6,000)

This week, I like Jordan Howard of the Bears as he has a great matchup against the Buccaneers. Howard is rested off a bye, but he gashed an excellent Vikings defense for 202 yards from scrimmage two weeks ago. The Buccaneers have been soft against the run giving up 118 yards per game 4.1 yards per carry, and eight touchdowns on the year. Howard will be under the radar this week with Jay Ajayi, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliot having favorable matchups, but I love his matchup.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 10-16):

1. New York Giants (Will Tye): 8.88
T2. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.87
T2. Kansas City Chiefs (Travis Kelce): 8.87
4. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 8.75
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Jesse James, Ladarius Green): 8.61

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $5,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 10-16):

28. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 6.51
29. Denver Broncos (Virgil Green): 6.38
30. Atlanta Falcons (Jacob Tamme, Austin Hooper): 6.31
31. Miami Dolphins (Dion Sims): 6.20
32. Green Bay Packers (Richard Rodgers, Jared Cook): 5.88

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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November 08, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery, Cam Meredith): 24.84
2. San Diego Chargers (Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin): 24.82
3. San Francisco 49ers: 24.62
4. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu): 24.51
5. Los Angeles Rams (Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Brian Quick): 24.41

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a one-day $3 NBA contest with $25,000 paid to 1st place. ENTER HERE

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 10-16):

28. Baltimore Ravens (Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr.): 22.84
29. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 22.07
30. Green Bay Packers (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery): 21.77
31. Indianapolis Colts (T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief): 21.23
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee): 18.80

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 10-16):

1. Arizona Cardinals (David Johnson): 20.43
2. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee): 20.30
3. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart); 20.29
4. Los Angeles Rams (Todd Gurley): 20.04
5. San Diego Chargers (Melvin Gordon): 19.73

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a one-day $3 NBA contest with $25,000 paid to 1st place.ENTER HERE

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 10-16):

T27. Green Bay Packers (James Starks, Ty Montgomery): 17.01
T27. Detroit Lions (Theo Riddick): 17.01
29. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata): 16.62
30. San Francisco 49ers (Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris): 16.12
31. Seattle Seahawks (Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls): 15.90
32. Washington Redskins (Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, Matt Jones): 14.42

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 10 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 10 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 10-16):

1. San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers): 18.33
T2. Los Angeles Rams (Case Keenum, Jared Goff): 18.21
T2. Buffalo Bills (Tyrod Taylor): 18.21
4. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 17.91
5. Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton): 17.80

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a one-day $3 NBA contest with $25,000 paid to 1st place.ENTER HERE

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 10-16):

28. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.56
29. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 15.54
30. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 15.30
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.92
32. Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers): 14.82

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens (50 percent)

Returning from a multi-game absence, Smith had four catches for 47 yards on seven targets plus a two-point conversion to finish the week as fantasy's WR39. The even better news is that he didn't seem limited as he was on the field for more than 80-percent of the team's offensive snaps and he has been removed from the injury report ahead of Thursday's dream matchup against the Browns.

Granted, the Ravens offense has been extremely sluggish this season. The Ravens (4.807) average the third-fewest yards per play; only the Vikings (4.6771) and Texans (4.7194) have averaged fewer yards per play.

With that said, only the Cardinals and Patriots are projected to score more points this week than the Ravens. The Browns have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, but Cleveland has allowed 12 receivers to score double-digit fantasy points in just nine games this season.

In fact, 10 of those receivers -- including seven in the past five games -- have finished as a weekly top-15 fantasy wide receiver this season. No team has allowed more yards per reception to opposing receivers than the Browns (15.15 Y/R) and they have allowed the fourth-most receiving touchdowns (12) to the position as well.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (16 percent)

From Weeks 1 to 6, Nelson had just four catches for 51 yards on six targets. In the two games prior to the bye, however, Nelson had become much more involved in the offense as he's moved into the starting lineup. One week after a 3/84 performance on seven targets against the Seahawks in Week 7, Nelson had 8/79/2 on 12 targets and finished the week with the second-most fantasy points (19.9).

Coming out of the bye, the Cardinals get a soft matchup against the 49ers. I expect David Johnson to rush for 300 yards or so (ok, maybe less but still ...) against a defense that has now allowed seven consecutive 100-yard rushers, but Nelson and the Cardinals are projected to score a league-high 31.0 points this week based on Vegas odds.

So, in other words, even if the team is taking their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, the (fantasy) damage may have already been done.

3. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (31 percent)

Matthews set season highs in targets in both absolute terms (10) and relative terms (24.39-percent market share) in their Week 9 loss to the Chargers. Matthews turned those 10 targets into a 6/63/2 line and finished the week as fantasy's WR4.

The overall volume of targets has been a bit of concern in the team's run-dominant offense, but Matthews has now scored a total of five touchdowns in his past five games. During that five-game span, he has 21 catches for 240 yards and five scores on 28 targets. In addition, Matthews has eight-plus fantasy points in five of his past six games.

The team's wideouts get a favorable matchup this week against the Packers, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to the position this season, and then the Colts and Bears before their Week 13 bye.

4. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (31 percent)

When healthy, Watkins is one of the most physically-gifted wide receivers in the league. Currently on Injured Reserve, Watkins is eligible to return as early as Week 12 and there is some hope that he may be able to do so. Certainly if you have the room and patience to stash him, he's the biggest per-game difference-maker at any position among players owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues.

5. Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (42 percent)

Over the past month (three games and a bye), Coates has one catch for four yards on 10 targets. Just as bad for his fantasy owners, Coates dropped a touchdown pass last week. Immediately prior to that three-game stretch, the second-year speedster had a 6/139/2 line as he finished as the top-scoring fantasy receiver in Week 5. There is plenty of boom-or-bust with Coates, but as he (hand) and Ben Roethlisberger (knee) get healthier, there is the potential for more big games in his future.

6. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (11 percent)

Woods had the best game of his career against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football as he finished with 10 catches for 162 yards on 13 targets. The Bills head into their bye, but Woods now has at least six targets in six consecutive games played. During that six-game span, he has 34 catches for 422 yards on 50 targets, but he has scored only one touchdown this season.

Even though the Bills are on bye this week, Woods has a favorable schedule down the stretch: Bengals, Jaguars, Raiders, Steelers, Browns, Dolphins and Jets. Five of those seven matchups are against teams that are among those that have surrendered the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

7. Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (four percent)

Inman finished Week 9 with six catches for 56 yards on nine targets and now has six-plus targets and 56-plus yards in three consecutive games. With Travis Benjamin battling a knee injury, it's possible that Inman continues to flourish along with Tyrell Williams. Benjamin left Sunday's game early and the team has a bye in Week 11 so it's also possible that they rest Benjamin.

When all three receivers are healthy (or on the field), it's more difficult to trust Inman. But if Benjamin is inactive this week, Inman will have some appeal as a WR3/flex option against the Dolphins.

8. Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams (10 percent)

Teammate Kenny Britt is owned in 51 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but he would rank near the top of this list if he were at 50 percent or less. Either way, Quick has been quietly productive for most of the season. Against the Panthers on Sunday, Quick had four catches for 48 yards, a six-game low, and has averaged 62.33 yards per game over his past six games.

9. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (four percent)

For the second time in three games, Lee had eight targets and 80-plus yards. In addition, the third-year wide receiver now has four-plus catches and six-plus targets in six of his past seven games. During that seven-game span, Lee is averaging 60.0 receiving yards per game, but he has yet to score a touchdown this season.

10. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (five percent)

Thielen is a low-upside but solid PPR option for those in deeper leagues. With 24 targets over his past four games, Thielen has 16 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown. That said, his best game (7/127/1) happened with Stefon Diggs out of the lineup and the team's first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell, got his first reception last week.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 10

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 10

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 10 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (33 percent)

When the Jags initially signed Ivory, most expected the team to utilize a run-heavy game plan -- or at least more run-pass balanced than last season -- and for Ivory to get the larger share of the workload split with T.J. Yeldon. Instead, the Jaguars have been the most pass-heavy team (67.83 percent of plays) through Week 9.

Of course, the team has vastly underperformed expectations, largely due to regression from third-year quarterback Blake Bortles, which has led to the team mostly playing from behind this season. So, even if the plan was to run the ball more frequently, plans change when you get punched in the face to paraphrase boxing great Mike Tyson.

While Jacksonville lost to Kansas City this past weekend, Ivory had his best game, by far, as a Jaguar. Although it could have been even better without a lost fumble into the end zone, Ivory carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and finished the week as fantasy's RB16.

From Week 3 to 8, it was a nearly identical split in workload between Ivory (46) and Yeldon (47). In his first game with Nathaniel Hackett as the team's offensive coordinator, Ivory had 19 touches to Yeldon's 12.

The Jaguars are early 1.5-point home underdogs this week to the Texans, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Texans offense has really struggled with efficiency this season -- only the Vikings average fewer yards per offensive play -- so I'd expect this to be another run-heavy game for the Jags.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 10 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (30 percent)

Prior to the bye, Kelley drew the start with Matt Jones inactive and racked up 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. With Jones set to return this week, it's Kelley that will once again get the "bulk of carries."

The matchup this week isn't great as the Vikings have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the position. Not only have they limited running backs to 4.07 yards per carry this season, only the Lions (one) have allowed fewer rushing touchdowns to the position than the Vikings (two).

After this week, the Redskins face the Packers, Cowboys and Cardinals, all three of whom rank among the sixth stingiest fantasy defenses to opposing running backs.

3. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (33 percent)

Set to return after beginning the season on the PUP list, Lewis was highly productive prior to his injury last season. In only seven games last season, Lewis had 234 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards on 36 receptions and four total touchdowns. With Lewis out, James White has been productive. Over his past 15 games going back to last season, White has 61/610/7 receiving and 40/143/2 rushing.

Given Bill Belichick's unpredicatability when it comes to running backs, it'd be too risky to start either White or Lewis in Week 10 against the Seahawks. Depending on how the playing time and workload is allocated, however, all of the Patriots running backs get a dream matchup in Week 11 against the 49ers, who have allowed seven consecutive 100-yard rushers.

4. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (12 percent)

Coming out of their Week 8 bye, the plan was to get Dixon more involved in the offense. And they did. The problem is that Dixon wasn't any more efficient than he was in limited work before the bye. In Sunday's win, Dixon carried the ball nine times for 13 yards and had two receptions but for no yards.

In four games, Dixon has a total of 23 rushing yards on 15 carries (1.533 YPC). If there's a positive (aside from his bump in volume), Terrance West hasn't been efficient in his past two games either. West has 8/10 and 15/21 rushing in his past two games, respectively.

The Ravens are double-digit favorites in a fantastic matchup against the Browns, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In addition, only the Cardinals and Patriots are projected to score more points this week as well based on implied totals from Vegas odds.

Will either (or both) back(s) be able to exploit it?

5. Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( percent)

Perhaps Barber will get another start in Week 10 after drawing the start on Thursday Night Football against the Falcons last week. In that start, Barber had 11 carries for 31 yards and added four catches on five targets for 24 yards.

Not only was Antone Smith placed on IR, but Jacquizz Rodgers appears to be a "long shot" to return in Week 10 against the Bears, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. In addition, Doug Martin sat out Monday's practice and hasn't practiced since Week 2.

Even though the matchup isn't great, Barber could get 15-plus touches again this week considering the team's health at the position.

6. James Starks, Green Bay Packers (19 percent)

With Eddie Lacy placed on IR and Starks sidelined since having knee surgery several weeks back, the Packers have lacked a running game with either Aaron Rodgers or Ty Montgomery leading the team in rushing in each of the past three weeks. There is a good chance that Starks returns to the field this week.

Given the effectiveness of Montgomery, who has averaged 5.67 yards per carry on his 21 carries, however, it's unclear what type of volume Starks may see in his first game back from injury. At some point though, Starks should get the largest share of the running back workload.

7. Kapri Bibbs, Denver Broncos (seven percent)

Devontae Booker dominated running back touches on Sunday Night Football against the Raiders, but he was unproductive for a second consecutive game. Booker had 10 carries for 22 yards (2.2 YPC) and one catch for eight yards in Week 9 after rushing 19 times for 54 yards (2.84 YPC) and a touchdown with five catches for 30 yards in Week 8.

Meanwhile, Kapri Bibbs played only nine snaps (to Booker's 46) on SNF)and had just three touches -- two carries for 11 yards and a 69-yard touchdown reception. His role is expected to increase going forward, though.

8. DuJuan Harris, San Francisco 49ers (33 percent)

Starting in place of injured Carlos Hyde (shoulder), Harris had a massive 142 yards from scrimmage -- 59 rushing and 83 receiving -- and a touchdown. Even though he lost a fumble, Harris finished the week as fantasy's RB7 (RB4 in PPR). While Hyde is expected to return this week, I'd expect Harris to continue to be the team's back with the most usage and production other than Hyde.

9. C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks (17 percent)

One week after racking up more than 100 yards from scrimmage, the rookie out of Notre Dame had just 15 yards on four touches. Neither Prosise nor Christine Michael was very productive on Monday Night Football, but it's interesting that Prosise (26-of-47, 55%) out-snapped Michael (18-of-47, 38%). Even when Thomas Rawls returns, Prosise should maintain a significant role within the offense.

10. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (33 percent)

With Jones out, Thompson remained in his change-of-pace role as Kelley drew the start. While it was a disappointing performance -- only 41 yards on 12 touches -- for Thompson, he now has 12-plus touches in three consecutive games. On the season, Thompson is a top-35 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats and top-30 in PPR and has already had his bye.

11. Paul Perkins, New York Giants (six percent)

The good news is that Perkins set career highs in touches (14) after never getting more than five in a game before that. Both Perkins and Rashad Jennings split the workload evenly -- 11 carries and three catches each, but never running back was all that efficient. Perkins had 47 yards from scrimmage; Jennings had 39 YFS.

12. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (38 percent)

Rawls won't play in Week 10 against the Patriots, but the team is "shooting for a return" against the Eagles in Week 11. And once he returns, it's unclear how the workload will be allocated.

If Christine Michael continues to struggle in Week 10, however, it's possible that Rawls gets the majority of early-down touches sooner than later. Over his past five games, Michael has 67 carries for 215 yards -- 3.21 YPC -- and 12 catches for 56 yards -- 4.67 Y/R.

13. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (48 percent)

With roughly a 75-25 split in touches in favor of Matt Forte, Powell's value in standard-scoring formats would rely on an injury to Forte. That said, Powell has some RB2/flex value in PPR formats as he has finished as a top-26 weekly PPR running back in five of his past seven games. During that seven-game span, Powell has four games of a season-high 10 touches, but a total of 26 receptions over that span.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 10

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November 05, 2016

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Cleveland Browns +7.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

The Cowboys, coming back to cover in OT against the Eagles last week, was a pretty terrible bet for me and anyone that liked Philly with the points last week. They came back from down 10 with eight minutes to go in the game to no only win, but cover with an OT touchdown on their first possession.

This week looks like a pretty typical trap game, going to Cleveland to face a winless Browns team, in between a big division win and a game against the Steelers next week. Dallas will probably win the game, but the Browns have been playing hard and they get Corey Coleman back this week. I like them to keep this one close.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Pittsburgh Steelers -2 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The Steelers are one of the best teams, certainly in the AFC, but also in the entire league. Baltimore has been marginally good this year, but with the Steelers getting Ben Roethlisberger back, I just think they have too many weapons for the Ravens to handle. I'll take the small road favorite here.

San Francisco 49ers +4.5 over New Orleans Saints (5 Units)

The Saints had a big win over Seattle last week and similar to Dallas, look to be in a let-down spot. San Francisco has been terrible, but I like them to put up points against the Saints defense, which has been characteristically bad. I think the Niners can keep it close and maybe eek out the upset at home.

Carolina Panthers -3.5 over Los Angeles Rams (4 Units)

Against my better judgment, I'm taking another small road favorite. The Panthers are 2-5 and looking to build off an impressive Week 8 performance. I think Carolina has started to right the ship, and while they may not be the 15-1 team they were last year, they're certainly better than 2-5. They need to keep winning if they have any chance at a playoff run and the Rams are certainly a weak enough offensive team that I feel comfortable giving the 3.5.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 9 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Colin Kaepernick is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 9 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Kaepernick, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Kaep.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at CLE)

Over the past five games, Prescott has finished the week as a top-12 fantasy quarterback four times with a QB13 finish being the lone exception. In addition, Prescott has scored a minimum of 17.48 fantasy points every week since Week 2.

While Prescott has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game, he has thrown a total of five touchdowns in back-to-back games against the Packers and Eagles. And even though he is unlikely to post gaudy passing stats in any game this season, the return of Dez Bryant (knee) last week gives him a full complement of passing-game weapons at his disposal.

More than anything, his dual-threat ability boosts his floor. Prescott has rushed for a touchdown in four of his past six games. Even though the Cowboys are on the road this week, only the Packers and Saints are projected to score more points than the Cowboys this week, based on Vegas odds.

Last but not least, the Browns have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

QB - Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (vs. NO)

Kaepernick has been brutal as a passer -- 46.03 completion percentage and 5.24 Y/A. While he's started just two games, he has thrown for only 187 and 143 yards against the Bills and Buccaneers, respectively. As a rusher, however, he is averaging 8.82 YPC and 75 rushing yards per game.

In a matchup against Drew Brees where neither defense offers much resistance, Kaepernick has plenty of upside this weekend. Even though the 49ers are home underdogs, they are still projected to score the ninth-most points this week based on Vegas odds.

- Related: Kaepernick is QB of our collaborative DraftKings tournament lineup

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (at SD)

The past four games have gone differently for Mariota than have his first four games.

In his first four games, Mariota threw four touchdowns and five interceptions, averaged only 11.55 fantasy points per game and he finished outside of the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks every week. In his past four games, Mariota has thrown 10 touchdowns to only one interception, rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown and has finished as a QB11 or better in all four games.

Mariota's efficiency has also been much better over the past month. Over his past four games, he has completed 68.75 percent of his pass attempts for 8.47 Y/A, which compares to 58.82 percent for 6.80 Y/A in his first four games.

While the Titans would like to use a run-heavy game plan against the Chargers, there are underdogs on the road so hopefully that leads to a few extra pass attempts for Mariota.

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. DEN)

Sure, it's hard to put a guy that threw for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns the previous week on your bench. And Carr has been playing extremely well this season. On the year, only Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck have scored more fantasy points among quarterbacks.

So far this season, Carr has either finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback (five times) or as a QB20 or worse (three times). Based on my rankings (QB14), this will be the first time that he finishes in between QB9-19.

Despite facing plenty of top quarterbacks -- Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers (twice), etc., the Broncos have allowed only three 200-yard games (out of eight played). The only quarterback to finish as a top-16 fantasy quarterback was Newton, who rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

Since Week 2, the Broncos have limited all opposing quarterbacks to less than 15 fantasy points in every game and an average of 11.0/G. Opposing quarterbacks complete only 53.52 percent of their pass attempts for an average of 5.7 Y/A, both of which are league lows.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at MIN)

Not quite Denver's defense, but the Vikings have actually limited opposing quarterbacks to the fewest fantasy points per game this season. They allow 12.22/G compared to 12.27/G for Denver. No quarterback has finished as a top-12 quarterback against them this season.

Like Carr, Stafford has had several strong performances -- five top-10 weekly finishes -- and a few not-so-strong performances -- three weeks at QB19 or worse. Based on implied totals using Vegas odds, no team is projected to score fewer points this week than the Lions.

In a week where some lesser fantasy quarterbacks (Prescott, Kaepernick, etc.) have more favorable matchups, Stafford is a sit for me this week.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at KC)

Whereas the Lions are projected to score the fewest points this week, the Jaguars are projected to score the second-fewest (tied with Buffalo). One of the biggest problems with the Jaguars (aside from Bortles in general) is their inability to score points early. The Jags rank dead last in the NFL in first-half scoring (6.7/G).

There is always the chance that Bortles puts up some fantasy points in garbage time as Jacksonville ranks fourth in fourth-quarter scoring (9.3/G), but he has taken a major step back this season. Bortles led the NFL in interceptions thrown (18) last season, but he's currently on pace to throw even more (20.6).

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at SEA)

Since Week 2, Taylor has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback every week. Even though he has thrown for less than 200 yards in five games this season, Taylor has 319 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In other words, he avearges 6.24 fantasy points per game due to his rushing stats alone.

Even though the Seahawks have allowed an average of 300.75 passing yards per game over their past four, it's hard to trust Taylor in such a tough matchup with such a poor group of weapons. Speaking of his weapons, it's at least an interesting story that Percy Harvin has "unretired" and his first game back in the NFL will be against his former team.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 9

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November 02, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Los Angeles Rams (Case Keenum, Jared Goff): 18.26
2. San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers): 18.21
3. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.00
4. Buffalo Bills (Tyrod Taylor): 17.81
5. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 17.69

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 9-16):

28. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 15.34
T29. Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton): 15.18
T29. Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford): 15.18
31. Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers): 15.05
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.94

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Arizona Cardinals (David Johnson): 20.20
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.04
3. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee): 19.83
4. Baltimore Ravens (Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon): 19.71
5. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 19.52

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 9-16):

28. Detroit Lions (Theo Riddick): 17.22
29. Philadelphia Eagles (Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews): 16.88
30. Minnesota Vikings (Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon): 16.76
31. Seattle Seahawks (Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls): 16.45
32. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones, Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson): 14.49

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 9-16):

1. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker): 25.12
2. San Diego Chargers (Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin): 24.98
3. Los Angeles Rams (Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick): 24.93
4. San Francisco 49ers (Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley): 24.89
5. Denver Broncos (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders): 24.88

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 9-16):

28. Indianapolis Colts (T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief): 21.94
29. Baltimore Ravens (Mike Wallace, Steve Smith): 21.90
30. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 21.28
31. Green Bay Packers (Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery, Davante Adams): 21.15
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns): 19.70

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 9 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 9 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 9-16):

1. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.74
2. Buffalo Bills (Charles Clay): 8.37
T3. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 8.33
T3. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.33
5. Baltimore Ravens (Dennis Pitta): 8.32

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 9-16):

28. Seattle Seahawks (Jimmy Graham): 6.27
29. Cincinnati Bengals (Tyler Eifert): 6.20
30. Atlanta Falcons (Austin Hooper, Jacob Tamme): 6.17
31. Detroit Lions (Eric Ebron): 6.14
32. Miami Dolphins: 5.97

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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November 01, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (42 percent)

On Halloween, Coleman (hand) gave his fantasy owners a "treat," so to speak, as he was cleared to practice in full. In other words, Coleman, the 15th-overall pick and first wide receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, is expected return in Week 9 against the Cowboys. Coleman has missed every game since Week 2, but the ex-Baylor Bear is an explosive playmaker that had 2/69 and 5/104/2 in his only two games played.

2. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (50 percent)

With back-to-back 100-yard games, Crowder set season highs with nine catches and 13 targets in Week 8. In addition, he scored a touchdown for the fourth time this season. Beginning with Week 2, Crowder has finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver and scored nine-plus fantasy points in six of seven games. Crowder and the Redskins have a Week 9 bye following their cross-atlantic trip to London, but it wouldn't surprise me if he continues to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver the rest of the way.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

3. Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (45 percent)

Enunwa has now scored in back-to-back games, he set a three-game high in receptions (four) and a season high in yards (93). He also tied his season high in targets (11). In a favorable matchup against the Dolphins, Enunwa could be in store for another productive outing, especially considering six teams are on bye.

4. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (six percent)

In the team's past three games, Wright has had two big outings -- 8/133/1 (19.3 fantasy points, weekly WR7) and 4/84/1 (15.9, WR6). While Wright had just five targets last week, that equated to 21.74 percent of the team's total. In a run-dominant offense, it's unlikely that we can trust any of the team's receivers as anything more than a WR3, but Wright should lead the group the rest of the way.

5. Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams (39 percent)

Second on the team in target share behind Tavon Austin (27.35%), Britt (20.51%) had just three catches (on eight targets) for 43 yards against the Giants before the bye. Through seven games, Britt is averaging 4.71/76.43/0.29 on 6.86 targets per game. Only 28 years old, the former first-round pick is on pace for 76 catches for 1,223 yards this season.

The team's quarterback play, run-heavy philosophy and lack of scoring opportunities will limit Britt's upside, but he should be a solid, if not spectacular, option for the remainder of the season. And depending on your bye-week situations, Britt could make for an excellent streamer with the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins and Saints on the schedule over the next month.

6. Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (42 percent)

Coates has just one catch for four yards on five targets in the past two games and he suffered a hand injury prior to the bye. Especially once Ben Roethlisberger (knee) returns, Coates has WR3 upside as a vertical threat in the passing offense. In the first five games of the season, Coates had 19 catches for 421 yards (22.2 Y/R).

7. Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams (seven percent)

Even though he has exceeded 20-percent target share in only one game this season, Quick has been productive and consistent with five consecutive games of more than 50 receiving yards. During that five-game stretch, he has a total of 326 yards and three touchdowns including a 4/92 stat line in Week 7.

Due to volume of targets, I'd prefer Britt over Quick, but it's close. And as noted above, the duo has an extremely favorable schedule with the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins and Saints on deck. In fact, only the Dolphins and Chargers wide receivers have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule the rest of the way.

8. Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (five percent)

There was talk earlier in the season about getting Green-Beckham more involved in the offense and he had a season-high nine targets in Week 8. In fact, it was more than double what he had in any other game as an Eagle. As a big-bodied receiver with an expanding role, DGB is worth adding as bench stash. It's a little too early to trust that he will see nine targets per week, however.

9. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (24 percent)

Matthews has 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown -- and at least eight fantasy points -- in four of his past five games. That's the good news. The bad news is that he has four or fewer targets in four of those games, coincidentally the ones in which he had nine-plus fantasy points. Without a boost in volume, however, it's unlikely that he continues his recent run of solid production. As noted above, I'd prefer Wright over any other Titans receiver.

10. Jeff Janis, Green Bay Packers (two percent)

With Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery both out on Sunday, Janis had four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. While he is a physical freak, he has never seemed to earn the trust of either Aaron Rodgers or the coaching staff. But if his offensive involvement continues to expand (probably unlikely, though), he has plenty of upside.

11. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (three percent)

While he's one of the smallest receivers in the league, Hill is a big play waiting to happen. Finishing as the WR5 in Week 8, Hill had five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown and added a seven-yard run. There's always the potential for him to return one to the house (currently second in punt return average and eighth in kickoff return average), but Hill has been involved as both a runner (six carries) and a receiver (19/223/4) this season. Even so, he's more of a deep-league consideration in Kansas City's low-volume pass offense.

12. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings (12 percent)

Patterson has three-plus catches in four consecutive games, but he has less than 40 yards in all but one of those outings. In a favorable matchup against the Lions in Week 9, there is some reason for optimism. But the overall lack of volume and his place in line for targets behind (at least) Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph would make him a very risky start in any week.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 9

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (48 percent)

Going into the season, it was expected that DeMarco Murray and Henry would form a 1-2 "exotic smashmouth" backfield that would wear down opposing defenses. Instead, Murray has run away (literally) with the job. Murray a minimum of 18 touches and 12.5 fantasy points in all eight games with an average of 23.5 touches and 17.66 fantasy points per contest. Only Arizona's David Johnson has scored more fantasy points among running backs this season.

In Week 8, however, Henry finally got a sizable share of the workload. Henry had more touches (20) last week than he had in his previous four games combined (15). The big bruising back carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards and a score while adding four catches for 37 yards.

While it would be unrealistic to expect many more 20-touch games as long as both Murray and Henry are healthy, it's possible that his role becomes more fantasy-relevant the rest of the way. Over the next four weeks, the Titans will face the Chargers, Packers, Colts and Bears. San Diego and Indianapolis both rank among the six-most fantasy-friendly defenses to running backs this season.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (nine percent)

Spencer Ware left Sunday's game with a concussion and Jamaal Charles (knee) was inactive last week so West finished Sunday with 14 carries for 52 yards and two catches for eight yards. Depending on how Ware progresses through the concussion protocol, it's possible that West ends up starting against the Jaguars in Week 9. Based on early odds, the Chiefs are nearly double-digit home favorites (-9), which sets up for a run-dominant game script for West and the Chiefs.

3. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (33 percent)

The Patriots are on bye in Week 9, but perhaps Lewis returns following the bye. Lewis returned to practice last week and the Patriots will have up to 21 days to activate him from the PUP list.

At least initially, the biggest fantasy impact of the move would be to hurt the outlook of James White as opposed to being able to trust Lewis as a starter. That said, he has shown how good he could be when healthy and with Tom Brady under center.

4. Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (35 percent)

With Matt Jones (knee) sidelined in Week 8, Jones led Washington's backfield with 21 carries for 87 yards and a score. Before Jones missed Week 8, he had lost a fumble in two of his previous three games and was essentially benched in Week 7. But it's unclear how much of the workload Kelley would have received in Week 8 if all three of the team's primary backs (Kelley, Jones and Chris Thompson) were healthy.

In games that Jones can't play, however, Kelley should get the bulk of the early-down work with Thompson maintaining a change-of-pace role. The Redskins are on bye in Week 9 and then get a pair of challenging matchups following their bye against the Vikings and Packers. Then again, Jordan Howard just racked up 200-plus yards from scrimmage and a touchdown against the Vikings defense on Monday Night Football.

5. Antone Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (one percent)

Playing on a short week, it's likely that the Buccaneers will be without their top-three running backs as Jacquizz Rodgers left Sunday's game late with a foot injury. Tampa Bay Times writer Greg Auman tweeted it's "[s]afe to say" that Rodgers won't play on Thursday.

Considering that Smith had more snaps and touches than Peyton Barber on Sunday, it's reasonable that Smith gets the majority of touches in a plus matchup this Thursday night. The Falcons have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

6. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (37 percent)

After getting 21 receptions over a four-game stretch, Powell has only one reception in his past two games. Thanks to a long touchdown run, however, Powell had a nice fantasy performance in Week 8 with 6/76/1 rushing and 13.9 fantasy points.

Meanwhile, Matt Forte has had massive workloads in each of the past two games with 34 touches in Week 7 and 27 in Week 8. In those two games, Forte has 55/182/3 rushing (3.31 YPC) and 6/70/1 receiving. I'd expect Powell to become more involved as a receiver once again, but he's at least worth a stash/handcuff for Forte owners.

7. Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (five percent)

A fumble by Mark Ingram led to a massive workload for Hightower, who carried the ball 26 times for 102 yards against the Seahawks on Sunday. How much of that was a one-game statement to Ingram? We'll see, but Payton said that Hightower will "definitely" get more carries going forward. Depending on his Week 9 workload, there is plenty of upside against the NFL's most fantasy-friendly defense (49ers) to opposing running backs this week.

8. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (12 percent)

Dixon began his NFL career on the sidelines with a knee injury and he has been far less than spectacular since making his debut a few weeks ago. In his three NFL games, Dixon has six carries for 10 yards (1.67 YPC) and three catches for six yards (2.0 Y/A). He's even seen one less touch per game -- four to three to two, respectively.

That said, Dixon is much more talented than his production suggests. Not only was the team high on him when they selected him in the fourth round of this year's draft, so was I. Apparently, the plan remains to get him more involved in the offense.

Over the next three weeks, the Ravens get the Steelers, Browns and Cowboys.

9. C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks (two percent)

Prosise broke the 100-yard mark with four carries for 23 yards and four catches for 80 yards. It's unlikely that he repeats that production at any point with Thomas Rawls set to return in a couple of weeks, but he is at least worth monitoring.

10. Don Jackson, Green Bay Packers (five percent)

If you're absolutely desperate, Jackson may be worth a look. Through two games, Jackson has managed only 16 yards on six carries (2.67 YPC), but the team cut Knile Davis and Ty Montgomery may not be available again this week either. The matchup is favorable against the Colts, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, although it wouldn't be a surprise if Aaron Rodgers once again led the team in rushing.

11. Kapri Bibbs, Denver Broncos (seven percent)

It seems likely that Devontae Booker (shoulder) will be ready to go for Week 9, but the rookie running back will go through some more tests on Monday. Bibbs had next to nothing (two carries for four yards) on Sunday, but the Broncos face the Raiders and Saints over the next two weeks and could have some value if Booker isn't cleared for whatever reason.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 9

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 9

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 9 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (22 percent)

With Jay Ajayi running for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games, Tannehill has thrown the ball 25 times or less for 204 yards or less in three of his past four games. During that four-game span, he has averaged 209 passing yards per game and thrown more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (two).

That said, Tannehill gets a favorable matchup in Week 9 against the Jets, who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The recent lack of volume is a concern for Tannehill's outlook, but the Jets have a stout run defense so Ajayi shouldn't run for another 200-yard game.

In a week with six quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, etc.) on bye, Tannehill makes for a decent streamer this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 9 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (42 percent)

Smith exited Sunday's game against the Colts twice to be checked for a concussion and ruled out after the second time. Aside from the concussion, the other concern with Smith in any week is the potential for the Chiefs to call a run-heavy game plan that limits his upside.

If he's cleared in time for Week 9, he gets a favorable matchup against the Jaguars, who have allowed the 13th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. As nearly double-digit home favorites (-9), however, there is the potential for the Chiefs to dial up run plays more than Smith drops back to pass.

After this week, Smith gets two even better matchups against the Panthers and Buccaneers, both of whom are among the seven most fantasy-friendly defenses to fantasy quarterbacks this season.

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (30 percent)

If you need a spot starter, Fitzpatrick is a viable streamer. While he didn't post gaudy statistics against the Browns, he has now thrown 48 pass attempts over the past two games with no interceptions. The Jets are small road underdogs (-3.5) in Miami and we could see a higher volume of attempts this week.

Considering he was benched once already for Geno Smith, it's possible that Fitzpatrick gets benched again in favor of the young quarterbacks on their roster if the season is completely lost. Despite the difficult schedule to begin the season, Fitzpatrick gets a more favorable schedule from here on out as the Jets quarterbacks have the sixth-most favorable fantasy football strength of schedule.

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (23 percent)

Here's the good news: Flacco has thrown 44-plus pass attempts in four consecutive games and 40-plus pass attempts in six straight. The bad news is that the pass offense has been terribly inefficient. Flacco has just two passing touchdowns in his past five games and is averaging just 13.25 fantasy points per game this season.

In Week 9, Flacco and the Ravens face the Steelers, who have allowed four top-12 weekly performances over the past six weeks. In Week 10, Flacco faces the winless Browns, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this season.

5. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos (12 percent)

Siemian has finished as the weekly QB1 (Week 3), QB17 (Week 6) and outside the top-20 fantasy quarterbacks in every other game he has played. Siemian has thrown twice as many touchdowns (eight) as interceptions (four), but he is averaging only 6.95 yards per attempt. With that said, he is a fringe top-12 fantasy quarterback with a pair of top-10 matchups against the Raiders and Saints the next two weeks.

6. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (7 percent)

In two starts, Kaepernick has completed only 46.03 percent of his past attempts at 5.24 Y/A. In those same two games, however, he has rushed 17 times for 150 yards (8.82 YPC). While he may not throw for 300-plus yards, his Week 9 matchup against the Saints lends itself to posting a big fantasy day.

7. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings (16 percent)

Many of the bottom-tier fantasy quarterbacks have favorable matchups in Week 9 and Bradford is one of them. Bradford has completed 66.5 percent of his pass attempts with an 8-to-1 TD-INT ratio, but the Vikings rank just 26th in pass-play percentage. Not only does Bradford get the Lions, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but the Lions have been particularly vulnerable to defending tight ends. Considering how often Bradford targets Kyle Rudolph, that bolsters his fantasy appeal as a streamer in Week 9.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 9

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October 30, 2016

Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -3 over Green Bay Packers (3 Units)

Both Eddie Lacy and James Starks are out and while they may get more from Knile Davis and/or Don Jackson, we should see a pass-heavy approach from the Packers. Over the past season and a half, Aaron Rodgers hasn't been himself and it appears that he will be without Randall Cobb on Sunday. Meanwhile, I expect Desmond Trufant to shadow Jordy Nelson, who only had one reception last week in a game that three Green Bay receivers had double-digit receptions.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will be without Tevin Coleman and I think that is an issue as their dynamic backfield duo of Devonta Freeman and Coleman creates mismatches for opposing defenses. But Matt Ryan is playing the best football of his career and the Packers top-three cornerbacks will be out. Stopping (or slowing down) Julio Jones seems like an impossible task.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (3 Units)

One year after posting a 15-1 regular-season record and getting to the Super Bowl, it's been a brutal start to the season for the Panthers (1-5). Like the Panthers, the Cardinals have disappointed compared to last season and preseason expectations. I certainly have some concerns about the Panthers on the back end even though Carson Palmer has not played as well this season. But after tying the Seahawks in a 6-6 defensive slugfest last Sunday night, the Cardinals face a well-rested Panthers team coming off their bye. I'll give the points as I expect the Panthers to get their second win of the season this week.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets are bad, worse than anyone expected going into the season, but part of their struggles can be attributed to their brutal schedule to open the season. Of course, the other part is largely due to Ryan Fitzpatrick's propensity to turn the ball over.

That said, the Browns have one of the league's worst defenses and the Jets have the ability to exploit both run and pass matchups. Not only have running backs averaged 4.68 YPC (187/876/7) against them, but only the Panthers (8.64 Y/A) have allowed more yards per attempt than the Browns (8.63 Y/A).

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

The Colts have been somewhat resurgent as of late, and they will head into this game at home facing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are middling as well at 4-3. I always like the Colts at home on the fast track and the Chiefs haven't been that great against the pass this year. Kansas City allows 257 passing per game to opposing quarterbacks, they have only compiled eight sacks so far this year, and if it wasn't for that stinker by Ryan Fitzpatrick, they would only have four picks.

Recent history has also not been kind to the Chiefs as well, as they are 1-4 against the Colts and the number in their last five games. I will take the Colts at home, as they will get back to .500.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (3 Units)

The Jets have certainly started slow this season, but that is because the schedule has not been easy with the first seven games, and now they get an easier task going against the winless Browns. This game will come down to being won on the ground, as the Jets have one of the best rushing defenses in the league that allows an average of 74.9 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry.

The flip side is that the Browns have the second-worst rushing defense in the league, as they allow a whopping 139.9 yards per game, and 4.7 yards per carry. I would look for a heavy dose of Matt Forte, and they will limit the amount of throws for Fitzpatrick. I like the Jets on the road.

Minnesota Vikings -5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

The Bears are bad, and they have an even worse relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler, who recently said "they have no choice but to start me." I am thinking that even with a broken arm, John Fox wishes that Brian Hoyer could start for him instead of Cutler.

The Vikings will be able to make this game very one-dimensional, as they excel at stopping the run by only allowing 81.7 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. I also will look for the Vikings to attack the Bears through the air, as the Chicago secondary gives up 243 yards passing per game, and allows a 67-percent completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. I think the Vikings get back on track here on Monday night, as the Bears are pretty hapless.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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October 29, 2016

Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets -2.5 over Cleveland Browns (2 Units)

Josh McCown will be back this week, which should give a huge boost to the Browns offense, but I like the Jets on the road here. I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is very sneaky in daily fantasy leagues this week, and I love the stack with Brandon Marshall. The Jets are better than their record indicates. Poor QB play is the reason why they have struggled, and what better place is there than a matchup with the Browns. Jets 23, Browns 17.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

New Orleans Saints +2 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

I'm picking against both of the teams from the Sunday night stinker last week. The Saints are much better at home than they are on the road. Drew Brees will go overlooked in DFS because of the Seahawks D, but I think the Saints will have no problem moving the ball on Sunday. My bold prediction is 400/4 for Brees. Saints 34, Seahawks 27.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Arizona Cardinals (4 Units)

The Panthers at home coming off a bye are in a great spot Sunday. Cam Newton has struggled this year, and the Arizona D has been pretty good, but this is just one of those hunch games. I think Carolina is going to get back on track and crush the Cardinals. Panthers 30, Cardinals 16.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 8 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Michael Crabtree is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton and Crabtree and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Hilton -- and in turn, bench Crabtree.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 8:

WR - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

Regardless of whether he's listed/eligible as wide receiver or running back in your league(s), Montgomery is worth a start this week. Due to the injuries in Green Bay's backfield, Montgomery has seen his usage rate skyrocket recently and he's set up for another high volume of work in Week 8.

Getting only two touches in the first four games of the season, Montgomery has exactly 10 receptions in back-to-back games for a total of 164 yards on 25 targets. In addition, he has 12 carries for 66 yards including 9/60 rushing in last week's game. It's certainly possible that Montgomery approaches the 19 touches he had last week once again.

Green Bay's other receivers should benefit from the team's best cornerback, Desmond Trufant, likely shadowing Jordy Nelson as well. For Montgomery, however, his fantasy floor gets a boost from his rushing stats and the matchup (from a fantasy running back standpoint) is outstanding as only six teams, two of whom are on bye, have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Falcons.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

Like Montgomery, Cobb got some work as a rusher in Week 7 with five carries for 21 yards. With or without the carries, however, Cobb has been heavily involved in the passing game over the past three weeks.

During that three-game span, Cobb has 9/108/0 (11 targets), 7/53/1 (11 targets) and 11/95/1 (15 targets), respectively. A pass-heavy approach and a few carries gives Cobb a strong fantasy outlook for Week 8.

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)

Here's the bad news first: Fitzgerald has finished as the weekly WR36 (or worse) in four his past five games. In his other three games, however, he has finished as a top-12 fantasy performer. Compared to the team's other receivers, Fitzgerald is the one for whom we can safely project a steady volume of work.

Not only does he have double-digit targets in four of seven games, but he has a minimum of seven targets in every game this season. On the year, Fitzgerald has 71 targets (10.14/G) and a total of five touchdowns. Fitzgerald has 25.45 percent of the team's targets; no other Cardinals receiver has more than 16.13 percent.

So far this season, the Panthers have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. In their past three games, the Panthers have allowed five receivers to score double-digit fantasy points (standard scoring).

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at TB)

With six touchdowns in seven games, Crabtree has been consistent -- nine-plus fantasy points in all but one game. On the year, he has scored the seventh-most fantasy points among receivers. Crabtree has double-digit targets in three of the past five games. Projected to score the sixth-most points based on Vegas odds, both Amari Cooper and Crabtree are ranked inside my top-10 Week 8 fantasy wide receivers.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

WR - Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (at IND)

It's been a disappointing season for Maclin and his fantasy owners. Through Week 7, Maclin has scored the 52nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers (50th in PPR formats).

Maclin has had some great matchups and yet has finished with less than 50 receiving yards in three of his past four games. Over the past five weeks, Maclin has finished, as follows, in weekly fantasy production: WR46 (at HOU), WR61 (vs. NYJ), WR36 (at PIT), WR56 (at OAK) and WR52 (vs. NO).

The Colts have bled fantasy points to both running backs and tight ends, but they have been stingier against wide receivers -- fifth-fewest FPA to the position. Even though the Chiefs are on the road, this sets up to be Spencer Ware and perhaps Travis Kelce game more than a Maclin one.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Only the Bears are projected to score fewer points this week than the Eagles, who head to Dallas for the Sunday Night Football matchup. Outside of Week 1 (7/114/1 on 14 targets), Matthews has finished no better than the weekly WR28 and he's coming off his worst performance (3/10 on four targets) of the season. Matthews is more of a WR3 or flex option this week than a WR2.

WR - Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers (at DEN)

Benjamin averaged 7.8 targets per game over the team's first five games, but he has just five targets in each of the past two games. In those two games, he has a total of seven catches for 71 yards and no touchdowns. In fact, he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2.

On the other hand, Tyrell Williams had a season-high 10 targets in Week 7 and he now has a pair of 100-yard games over the past three weeks. Considering the Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, it would be unrealistic to expect a productive outing for Benjamin (or Williams) this week.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)

As noted above, Fitzgerald is the clear leader among the team's receivers. Nearly halfway through the season, Floyd has yet to finish any better than the weekly WR29. On average, he has finished as the weekly WR47.

Floyd had five catches for 65 yards on seven targets last week, but the team was without John Brown. With Brown set to return this week, Floyd's volume will most likely be too low to trust his as a top-24 fantasy receiver.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

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Week 8 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jacquizz Rodgers is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Ezekiel Elliott, Spencer Ware and Rodgers and can only start two running backs, you should start Zeke and Ware -- and in turn, bench Quizz.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 8:

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)

Both C.J. Anderson and Booker had big games against the Texans on Monday Night Football. Booker rushed 17 times for 83 yards and a score and added a four-yard reception while CJA gained 107 yards with a score on 16 carries.

With Anderson placed on Injured Reserve, however, Booker will dominate touches in the backfield going forward even though he had seen his workload expand on a weekly basis for much of the season. Since Week 3, Booker's percentage of carries has increased every week: 17.39% (W3), 21.88% (W4), 25.00% (W5), 31.25% (W6) and 48.57% (W7). With the potential to rank near the NFL leaders in RB touches from Weeks 8 to 17, Booker has also been productive on a per-touch basis (4.78 YPC).

Getting a fantasy-friendly matchup in Week 8 against the Chargers, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Booker is a top-seven fantasy running back this week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 8 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (at NO)

The workload has been there for Michael, who has a total of 85 touches -- 77.98 percent among the team's RBs -- in his past four games. In a tough defensive battle against the Cardinals last week that resulted in a 6-6 tie, Michael struggled on a per-touch basis (59 yards on 19 touches). Before that, however, Michael had a total of 284 YFS and five touchdowns in his previous three games and finished as a top-12 weekly producer in each game.

Even though the Seahawks are on the road this week, the Seahawks are projected to be one of the top-five scoring teams of the week based on Vegas odds. Plus, the matchup couldn't be any better as no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than New Orleans.

In addition, no team has allowed more touchdowns (12) to running backs than New Orleans, who has also allowed the highest rate as well. Running backs have scored a touchdown on 6.99 percent of their carries. (San Diego is second in that statistic at 5.80 percent.)

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at IND)

With Jamaal Charles already ruled out this week, it should be some Ware and some more Ware against the soft Colts run defense. Over the past two seasons with the Chiefs, Ware has 167 carries for 895 yards (5.36 YPC), 21 catches for 290 yards (13.81 Y/R) and nine total touchdowns. Averaging 18.3 touches per game, Ware has scored 19-plus fantasy points in three of six games this season. On the year, he ranks eighth in fantasy points scored among running backs (10th in PPR).

As noted above, the Chiefs are projected to score the third-most points this week so a Ware touchdown (or two) is certainly possible (likely). The Colts have allowed the fifth-most YPC (4.83) to opposing RBs and the fourth-most Y/R (10.05). In addition, no team has allowed more receiving touchdowns (four) to RBs. The Colts have allowed six top-10 (eight top-17) weekly fantasy RBs in seven games.

RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. OAK)

In back-to-back games, Rodgers has exceeded the 100-yard rushing mark on a total of 56 carries in addition to having six receptions as well. With both of Tampa's top-two running backs still sidelined, Rodgers should once again get 20 or more touches in a plus matchup against the Raiders.

While quarterback Jameis Winston had 50-plus pass attempts in back-to-back games earlier this season, the Bucs have been much more committed to running the football in their past two games. As noted in my Week 8 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em, the Bucs have run the ball on 54.9 percent of their plays over the past two games. The Raiders have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

From Weeks 3 to 6, Howard finished as a top-24 weekly fantasy running back and averaged 13.68 fantasy points over that four-game span. During that four-game stretch, Howard rushed for 308 yards (4.89 YPC) on 63 carries, added 12 catches for 119 yards and scored two touchdowns.

With Ka'Deem Carey healthy now, however, Howard has seen his workload decrease over the past two weeks. After getting 19 touches in Week 5 against the Colts, he had 17 and seven in Weeks 6 and 7 against the Jaguars and Packers, respectively. Meanwhile, Carey had two carries in Week 5, nine in Week 6 and 11 in Week 7.

In a difficult matchup against the Vikings, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, with his usage rate going in the wrong direction, Howard isn't worth the risk even in a week with six teams on bye. In addition, the Bears are projected to be the lowest-scoring team based on Vegas odds this week.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

On the season, Mathews has averaged 12.33 touches per game, but his weekly volume has been inconsistent. With a pair of lost fumbles over the past three games including one that essentially cost the Eagles a win in Detroit, Mathews could see a lower-than-average usage rate this week.

Over the past three weeks, Mathews has 16 touches (64.0% of RB usage) in Week 5, nine touches (42.86%) in Week 6 and 14 touches (62.5%) in Week 7. (Mathews lost fumbles in Weeks 5 and 7.) Not only did he see a dip in touches on an absolute and relative basis in the game following his first lost fumble, Mathews played only 21 percent of the snaps in Week 6.

It's certainly possible that Mathews sees another dip in usage/snaps this week following last week's lost fumble. Perhaps you have no other choice considering six teams are on a bye, but Mathews is just outside my top-24 fantasy running backs (RB26) for the week.

RB - Knile Davis, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

On a short week, Davis had just two carries in his first game as part of the Packers organization. With additional time to get familiar with the offense, Davis will see more work this week as coach Mike McCarthy has essentially said so. McCarthy recently said of Davis: "[H]e's part of the game plan. I think the extra time he spent with Ben Sirmans [RB coach] over the weekend, getting ready. So, yeah, I like what he brings to the table. ... He's making progress."

In a favorable matchup against the Falcons, there are worse lottery tickets than Davis if you're desperate at the position. I'd rather take a wait-and-see approach, however, and he could be a viable start next week in another plus matchup (Colts) depending on how much his workload increases this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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Week 8 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kyle Rudolph is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Rudolph, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Rudolph.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 8:

TE - C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (vs. DET)

In his first three games this season, Fiedorowicz was a non-factor. In those games, he had a total of two catches for seven yards on four targets. Since then, however, his role has expanded considerably.

Through Monday Night Football against the Broncos, Fiedorowicz has four-plus catches in four straight games. In his past three games, Fiedorowicz has a minimum of seven targets per game. In the four games from Weeks 4 to 7, Fiedorowicz has a total of 19 catches for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 27 targets.

Perhaps his rate of production will slow ... eventually, but this week's matchup sets up for another productive game. With six teams on bye, Fiedorowicz is a viable streaming option this week against the Lions, who allow the third-most fantasy points to the position.

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TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. OAK)

Over his past four games, Brate had 10/113/2 on 18 targets in the first two and just 4/67/0 on six targets in the past two games. In a game with an over/under a tad shy of 50 points, there should be plenty of offense for both teams and the matchup is favorable for Brate. So far this season, the Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. KC)

Over the past two weeks, Doyle has four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Texans (weekly TE6) and nine catches for 78 yards and a score against the Titans (weekly TE3). With Dwayne Allen out for another week, Doyle should be the team's top-targeted tight end once again.

If there's a concern with Doyle, however, it's that the Chiefs have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position this season and only one tight end (Jesse James, TE12 in Week 4) has finished as a top-12 fantasy TE against the Chiefs in 2016. In addition, both Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett are expected to return this week to provide Andrew Luck with more talented options in the passing game.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)

So far this season, Rudolph has seven-plus targets and finished as a top-12 weekly tight end in five of six games. Rudolph had just five catches for 55 yards last week, but he had a season-high 11 targets. Rudolph is on pace for a career-best 69/776/8 and 128 targets this season.

With 24.49 percent of Minnesota's targets, Rudolph has the largest target share at the position aside from Carolina's Greg Olsen (26.43%). The matchup this week isn't great as the Bears have limited opposing tight ends to the 10th-fewest fantasy points this season, but Rudolph's volume makes him a mid-tier (or better) TE1 in almost any matchup this season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 8:

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Since returning from a two-game absence, Ertz has finished as the weekly TE19, TE31 and TE26 over his past three games, respectively. During that three-game span, he has a total of five catches for 73 yards and no touchdowns and exactly three targets in each game.

At some point (hopefully soon for Ertz owners), he will become more involved in the passing offense and more productive. But given the past three duds, I prefer to be a week late than (perhaps several) too early. In one league with 11 offensive starters, I've actually benched Ertz in favor of Jimmy Graham and Fiedorowicz this week.

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (vs. MIN)

The volume for Miller has been excellent -- 44 total targets and 6.29 per game. That has allowed Miller to score the seventh-most fantasy points among tight ends (third-most in PPR formats) through the first seven weeks of the 2016 NFL season. That said, Miller & Co. get a difficult matchup against the Vikings in Week 8. No team is projected to score fewer points than the Bears (based on Vegas odds) and the Vikings have limited opposing tight ends to the ninth-fewest fantasy points this season.

TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (vs. SEA)

In a difficult matchup against the Chiefs last week, Fleener had just two catches for 44 yards on two targets. Fleener has had some big games, finishing as a top-two fantasy tight end twice over his past four games, but he has less than three fantasy points in three games this season as well. Given the challenging matchup and his up-and-down season, Fleener is just outside of my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 8.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. PHI)

Historically, Witten has been productive against the Eagles with six-plus catches in six of his past eight games over the last four seasons including 7/56 and 6/43 in 2015. Since his hot start in Week 1 (9/66 on 14 targets), however, Witten has finished outside the weekly top-15 fantasy tight ends in his other five games this season. With the Eagles allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Witten isn't a strong consideration in standard-scoring formats, especially with Dez Bryant set to return this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

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