START – Jordan Love vs LAR: over his last 5 games Love has 5 passing TD to 8 INT but he’s still been quite usable in fantasy, 15+ points in 5 of 7 games thus far. The Rams have given up the 8th most fppg to QB including the 3rd most rushing yards to the position. That’s important as Love has been a capable scrambler, topping 30+ rush yards in 3 of 7 games.
SLEEPER – Derek Carr vs CHI: the Bears allow the 4th most fantasy points per game (fppg) to QB and they’ve given up four seperate 3-TD QB games (Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jordan Love). The Bears are bottom 10 in yards, comp%, TDs and yards/att allowed. And not for nothing Carr has three consecutive games now with 300+ passing yards.
START – C.J. Stroud vs TB: looking to bounce back after last week’s 12 point fantasy day, TB has allowed 300+ yard passers in 2 of their last 3 games. Stroud has thrown for 2 TD in 4 of his last 6 games.
DEEP SLEEPER – Bryce Young vs IND: IND has the 2nd lowest QB pressure rate which should allow for Young to play a bit more composed. They’ve also allowed the 9th most pass yards per game. Oh by the way, Young has quietly improved as the season has progressed. Over his first 3 games he averaged a gross 167 passing yards per game with 2 TD versus 2 INT. His last 3 games it’s moved up to 233 yards passing per game with 5 TD and just one INT.
FADE – Gardner Minshew: CAR allows the 8th fewest fppg to QB, mostly because it’s a hard run funnel defense. Teams can run roughshod on this Panthers defense and that plays perfectly with what the Colts want to do. Indy has thrown for 10 touchdowns (league average), while they’ve rushed for 12 scores (4th most). Expect big days from the JT/Moss combination and for Minshew to play a basic game manager role.
FADE – Geno vs BAL: allows the fewest fppg to QB. They lead the league in sacks which has helped to stall numerous drives, a big reason why they’ve allowed the fewest touchdowns to QB this year. Big plays have been hard to come by as well, the 5.45 yards/att allowed is also tops in the league. And from a fantasy perspective, Geno has really struggled, he’s been below 15 fantasy points in 5 of 7 games.
START – Bijan vs MIN: the Vikes have allowed the 4th fewest fppg to RB BUT there is hope as they have allowed an insane 93.9% comp rate to the position. The 6.03 yards/tar allowed is also bottom 10. RB’s have only been targeted 33 times against the Vikings, the 3rd fewest to this point, expect that to change this week with Bijan. Robinson has seen at least 5 targets in 6 of the 7 games where he didn’t have to deal with Arthur Smith’s nonsense
SIT – D’Onta Foreman vs NO: gotta love how the CHI coaching staff immediately stuck Foreman in a 3-way timeshare after he went ham and literally carried his team to a victory the week prior. Make it make sense. An incompetent coaching staff going up against a stout rush defense, no thanks. NO has allowed the 5th fewest fppg to RB.
START – Kenny Walker vs BAL: the Ravens allow 4.33 ypc to opposing backs (10th worst) and they’ve also been especially vulnerable vs RBs out of the backfield allowing an 84.8% catch rate (5th worst) and 6.5 yards/tar (7th worst). Walker’s been as reliable as they come, scoring 13+ in 5 of his last 6 games.
START – Mixon vs BUF: the Bills are low-key bad at stopping the run this year. The 4.81 ypc allowed to RB is 3rd worst and BUF is DEAD LAST in yards after contact. They’ve allowed a RB to score 13+ ppr points in five consecutive games. Burrow seems like he is back-back and it’s lifting the entire offense, a big reason why we saw Mixon drop a 20 spot on SF, his first game all year scoring more than 14 ppr points.
SMASH SPOT – JT / Zack Moss vs CAR: the Panthers allow the 2nd most fppg and are arguably the worst run defense in the league. They’ve given up the most touchdowns and the 2nd most yards to RB. The 5.07 ypc allowed is 2nd worst and they’ve allowed the 3rd most yards after contact. Dameon Pierce is the only starting back to not drop double-digit ppr points on this team, although it should be noted that he was stopped at the 1 on two different occasions which could have dramatically changed his fantasy performance. In fact the Panthers have allowed a 20 point ppr RB on 4 of 7 games this season.
SMASH SPOT – Kamara vs CHI: the Bears allow the 7th most fppg to RB and notably just gave a huge receiving performance to Austin Ekeler (8/7/94/TD just as a pass catcher, 23.3 ppr total). The Bears are dead last in rec yards/game and yards/tar allowed to RB and of course no one has more targets or receptions at RB than Kamara.
START – James Cook vs CIN: I’m not worried about Fournette as of yet and the matchup is solid as the Bengals have struggled containing the run. They’re bottom 5 in ypc, yards after contact and yards before contact allowed to RB. It should be no surprise that they allow the 3rd highest explosive run rate.
START – Josh Jacobs vs NYG: the 4.69 ypc allowed by the Giants ranks as 4th worst and they’re dead last in yards before contact allowed. Jacobs, who’s been getting flooded at the line, is facing a NYG defense that ranks 3rd to last in run stuff rate which should allow him to shake free for nice runs this week.
SIT – Keontay Ingram vs CLE: the Browns are one of the best defenses in the NFL and the Cardinals are trotting out rookie QB Clayton Tune. I don’t think there will be much scoring opps for Keontay this week. Granted Emari Demercado (toe) is out but it’s a bad offense in a bad matchup as CLE allows the 10th fewest fppg to RB.
SLEEPER – Royce Freeman vs GB: you’re of course starting Darrell Henderson in a plus matchup but Freeman has a chance to come through this week too. GB once again is struggling vs the run, allowing the 6th most fppg to RB. They’ve allowed the 7th most rush yards per game and are bottom 10 in explosive run rate allowed. And over his last two games Freeman is averaging a very robust 5.24 ypc (21 car, 110 yards). I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes on a bulk of the goal line work either.
SLEEPER – Devin Singletary vs TB: Dameon Pierce (ankle) is banged up and Singletary was playing about 50% of the snaps anyways. The matchup isn’t as bad as you would think. The Bucs are about league average when it comes to ypc allowed and are 7th worst in terms of run stuff rate. Singletary, a good pass-catching option, is facing a TB team that is below league average in receptions, rec yards and completion percentage allowed to RB.
SLEEPER – Chuba Hubbard vs IND: great matchup, IND allows the 5th most fppg to RB and are bottom 10 in rec yards, yards/tar and comp% allowed to RB. Miles Sanders sounds like he’s being held together with old gum and duct tape. Dealing with shoulder and calf ailments, Sanders technically carries no injury designation for this week but the same was true last week and he ended up playing just 12 snaps (19%) while Hubbard took home 65% of the snaps.
FADE – Josh Downs vs CAR: the Panthers allow the fewest yards and rec per game to the slot while the 65.2% comp rate allowed is 6th best. Downs has been great but the outside corners for CAR have been bad which is why most teams attack them outside. Plus, Downs has been dealing with a knee injury, he’s been limited in practice all week.
SMASH SPOT – Michael Pittman vs CAR: the Panthers allow a 72.15% comp rate to outside WR (5th worst) and the 10.15 yards/tar allowed is 4th worst. The target totals have been very up and down but I think you can expect another 10+ looks in a great matchup.
SMASH SPOT – CeeDee Lamb vs PHI: the Eagles have been getting beat up in the slot giving up the 3rd most yards, the 4th most rec and the 2nd most fantasy points per game inside. Lamb who is coming off of his 41 point barrage last week, plays about 65% of his snaps lined up inside.
START – Chris Olave vs CHI: The Bears allow the 2nd most fppg to outside WR including the 3rd most rec, while the 9 TD allowed outside is tied for the 5th most.
START – Garrett Wilson vs LAC: the Chargers are bottom 10 in rec, yards and TD allowed to outside WR. Wilson has seen 12+ targets in 3 of his last 4 games.
SLEEPER – Brandin Cooks vs PHI: the Eagles have surprisingly allowed the 3rd most fppg to outside WR where Cooks lines up 70% of the time Philly has allowed the 2nd most rec and are tied for the 2nd most TD allowed to the outside. Cooks has collected TD in back to back games and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team completely move on from Gallup given how poorly he has played this season. Cooks has OBVIOUSLY been more productive but over the last 2 games he’s played just a bit more snaps and run a bit more routes than Gallup. Look for that gulf to widen. PHI has given up double-digit ppr games to four different outside WRs over their last three games.
START – Amari Cooper vs ARI: the Cardinals allow the 4th most yards to outside WRs and the 73.7% comp rate allowed to the outside is 2nd worst. Cooper is seemingly on the every other week plan scoring 14+ or 2 points in alternating weeks for the past 5 weeks. This is his scheduled “off” week but the matchup is too nice.
SLEEPER – Jayden Reed vs LAR: coming off his best game last week (6/4/83), Reed takes on a Rams defense that is bottom 10 in yards, rec and yards/att allowed to the slot.
SLEEPER – Khalil Shakir vs CIN: with Dawson Knox sidelined, the Bills finally decided to be normal and stop with the “11.5” personnel and just go with three real wide receivers and obviously Shakir benefitted. Posting a 6/6/92 line, Shakir set career highs targets, receptions and yards last week. Plus it’s a solid matchup as well as the Bengals have allowed 6 TD to inside pass catchers, tied for the 2nd most in the NFL. This game has a total of 48.5 (2nd most of the weekend) potentially upping TD exposure for everyone involved.
DEEP SLEEPER – Demario Douglas vs WAS: the Commanders allow the 2nd most fppg to WR, Douglas (4.44 40, 39.5 inch vert) ran the most routes last week and has shown promise as an explosive slot player. He’s also kind of the last man standing. Kendrick Bourne is out of the season obviously but now DeVante Parker is most likely out with a concussion (hasn’t practiced all week).
SMASH SPOT – Dalton Kincaid vs CIN: the Bengals allow the 2nd most fppg to TE and Kincaid has scored 15.5 and 17.5 ppr points since Knox has gone down with injury.
START – T.J. Hockenson vs ATL: the Falcons are bottom 10 in both rec and comp rate allowed to TE. I’m not totally sure about Jaren Hall which is the only reason I can’t give the Hock full-throated smash spot status. But moving forward, if Joshua Dobbs is the guy, the Hock will fly.
SLEEPER Cade Otton vs HOU: the Texans allow the 3rd most fppg to TE, including the most receptions and the 3rd most yards per game to TE. Otton rarely comes off the field, is second on the team in routes run and has seen 6 tar in back to back weeks. With injuries and byes, if he does his normal thing and somehow catches a touchdown, he’s likely a top 6 TE on the week.
James Koh is the co-owner of Reception Perception, a fantasy football analyst and an award-winning journalist. He’s probably wrong, but you never know. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok @JamesDKoh.