Some fantasy football GMs are preparing for a playoff berth. Others might be looking at their record and making holiday plans (hey, there’s always DFS).
Similar to last week (and next week), fantasy fans will have to do without key players on the Broncos, Ravens, Texans and Vikings. So let’s navigate the games that are left.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers at Raiders
The Raiders are a dumpster fire that other dumpster fires gather around to keep warm. Last December, Rivers torched the Raiders for 387 yards and three scores. This season, he’s averaging a career high 20.4 points per game as well as 279.5 yards and 2.4 touchdowns, according to fantasydata.com.
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears vs. Lions
Howard has a home game against one of the most accommodating run defenses, which is allowing a league-worst 5.58 yards per carry and 11 fantasy points. Howard had spotty production earlier this season, and while yards are still hard to come by, he’s had four touchdowns over the last four days.
Matt Breida, RB, 49ers vs. Giants
New York’s been surprisingly vulnerable to the run – they given up double-digit points in each game and at least 14 points in the previous five games. If Breida is healthy, he won’t have to worry about a timeshare with Raheem Mostert, who was lost for the season to a broken arm.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers at Raiders
Julio Jones twisted and turned his way into the end zone for the first time in forever – maybe Allen can too. As mentioned above, the Raiders are terrible. At the very least this looks like a 100-yard game. Pro tip for Allen, though: How about you score before you even think about grabbing your crotch in front of opposing fans?
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals vs. Saints
A.J. Green might need surgery, but he certainly isn’t in any shape for this game. That means the primary work goes to Boyd.
Benjamin Watson, TE, Saints at Bengals
The Bengals are 30th against tight ends and his role in Sean Payton’s offense is evolving, as evidenced by his performance against the Rams.
Stephen Gostowski, K, Patriots at Titans
Sunday was only the second time since Week 3 that Gostowski has had fewer than 8 fantasy points, and it was a function of the Packers giving up touchdowns, not field goals. Tennessee will offer more resistance on their field, but not enough to keep Gostowski out of range.
Packers defense vs. Dolphins
The Packers defense has slugged it out in two high-profile road matchups against a couple of the best quarterbacks in the league in (Jared Goff and Tom Brady) and came up empty. They’re going to skewer Brock Osweiler.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions at Bears
Here’s the thing. Stafford will probably put up a touchdown and a decent amount of yards against the Bears, but some scoring systems ding quarterbacks for sacks. The Vikings racked up 10 on Stafford last week and the Bears likely get Khalil Mack back. Since the Lions may have difficulty running the ball as well, Stafford may have to put up a lot of balls, risking interceptions as well.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars at Colts
Even if Fournette returns from his season-long hamstring woes, there are several reasons to be cautious. He could face limited snaps, lose touches to Carlos Hyde and T.J. Yeldon, and be a victim of game flow if the Jaguars’ sluggish offense falls behind the high-powered Colts.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles vs. Cowboys
The Eagles aren’t the most efficient ground game, and Dallas looks like an uphill battle despite Dion Lewis Monday night breakout. Then there’s Josh Adams, a bigger body looming to take touches.
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers vs. Dolphins
Cobb has amassed just 6.4 fantasy points over the past two games. The emergence of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and other receivers may continue to dent his numbers.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Bills at Jets
He has a catch rate of 36 percent through eight weeks, according to footballoutsiders.com. That’s a fancy way of saying his game is trash.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals vs. Saints
Uzomah can be touchdown-dependent and the Saints have allowed just one to the position all season.
Phil Dawson, K, Cardinals at Chiefs
The Cards will have to take some chances to keep up with the high-flying Chiefs on their home turf. New offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich showed some flashes, enough to move the team into position for some deep shots for Dawson.
Steelers defense vs. Panthers
Cam Newton hasn’t been the turnover prone passer he was last season, and he hasn’t taken many sacks, the one reliable stat the Steelers usually generate. They’ve only picked off Browns and Buccaneers. When you consider Norv Turner has had Carolina humming on the ground and in the air, it’s not a recipe for success.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns vs. Falcons
Alex Smith suffered major injuries along his offensive line – and still put up 300 yards. In fact, only Nick Foles and Ben Roethlisberger failed to top 300 yards, and at least Roethlisberger had three touchdowns. Mayfield made strides under “new management.” Expect the coaches to continue to tailor the offense to support him.
Mike Davis, RB, Seahawks at Rams
What’s this? A lead Seattle running back set back by an injury? No, sir, I haven’t heard that one before. Chris Carson aggravated his hip injury now his status is in question. Davis stands to get at least a few more totes if not a full workload, and the Seahawks commit to the run no matter the matchup.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Jets vs. Bills
Jordan Howard, another bruiser, had success against Buffalo. Despite his wild swings in productivity, Crowell’s still powerful enough to take advantage of a patsy.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants at 49ers
The Niners have been generous to wide receivers but they’re lowly 25th in defensive efficiency against WR2s.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks at Rams
Baldwin moved like his old self as he averaged a season-high 19.25 yards per catch for 77 yards against the Chargers. The Seahawks talked after Sunday’s loss about improving timing in the passing game, and that starts with establishing Russell Wilson’s connection with Baldwin. Here’s a guess that Baldwin gets his first touchdown of the season.
Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers vs. Panthers
Sharing duties with Jesse James on a team that doesn’t use the tight end much anyway, McDonald can be hit or miss. But Carolina has given up five touchdowns over the last four games, not to mention a 100-yard game.
Josh Lambo, K, Jaguars at Colts
The Colts give up the second most fantasy points to kickers. Lambo’s coming off a four field goal game against the Eagles, including two 50-yarders.
Jets defense vs. Bills
The Jets have had three touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 17 sacks. Nathan Peterman and company may not give up two touchdowns like did for the Bears, but it’s an offense in disarray.