Week 14 fantasy football matchups, starts and sits


In the immortal words of Jim Mora ... "PLAYOFFS!?!?!" That's right, the fantasy playoffs are officially upon us, so the stakes have been raised and the emotional tilt will be out of this world for all of our players. Hopefully, the preview below (with an assist from Matt Franciscovich this week) can help all of your move on to the next round of the postseason. If not, well, you know where to send your complaints -- my mentions.

As always, this is where I go game-by-game and player-by-player for every Week 14 contest. Those looking for quick-hitting start/sit/flex/stream analysis will find that listed for the main players for every team. Below that, I do my best to preview the game with additional insight, stats, and analysis to contextualize my recommendations.

This column wouldn't be possible without our incredible research teams, both @NFLResearch and the fine folks at Next Gen Stats. So thanks to all of you and all that you do.

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Kirk Cousins, QB: START
 » Samaje Perine, RB: START
 » Jamison Crowder, WR: START
 » Josh Doctson, WR: FLEX
 » Vernon Davis, TE: SIT
 » Redskins D/ST: SIT

Kirk Cousins has multiple touchdown passes in three straight games, but turnovers (four in his last two games) have limited his scoring upside. The Chargers present a tough matchup, though, so I'd consider Cousins a low-end QB1 at best and wouldn't be totally opposed to streaming the position over playing him. Samaje Perine has handled 75.5 percent of the backfield opportunities (targets and touches) that last three weeks and remains a must-play based on volume alone. Jamison Crowder posted a decent PPR line last week (5-67-0) but his on-field play left a lot to be desired. This could be a nice bounce-back spot for him though, as the Chargers are tied with the third-most touchdown receptions allowed to slot receivers (six), where Crowder lines up 67 percent of the time. Josh Doctson could draw a lot of coverage from Casey Hayward, who has been one of the league's best cornerbacks all season. Doctson does have a touchdown in back-to-back games, though, so he could be a dart throw in the flex. Vernon Davis has disappeared in two consecutive games and will be hard to trust here with Niles Paul out-targeting him eight to three in those games. The Washington defense is traveling cross-country to contend with one of the league's hottest offenses. Hard pass.

 » Philip Rivers, QB: START
 » Melvin Gordon, RB: START
 » Austin Ekeler, RB: DEEP FLEX
 » Keenan Allen, WR: START
 » Hunter Henry, TE: START
 » Chargers D/ST: START

Since the Chargers' Week 9 bye Philip Rivers has averaged 316 passing yards per game with eight touchdowns and just one interception. If you throw out the strange the Thanksgiving Day game for Washington, they've allowed 272 passing yards per game over their last four, with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rivers is a strong start at home. Melvin Gordon has 20 or more touches in four straight games and is a locked-in RB1 on volume alone. Austin Ekeler has touch totals of eight, nine and six over the last three weeks, and still cedes plenty of receiving work to Gordon. He's a deep flex, but can offer nice upside if he gets into the end zone. Keenan Allen has been unstoppable for three straight weeks, becoming the first player in NFL history to post 10-plus catches, 100-plus yards, and a touchdown in three straight games. You're starting him. Hunter Henry looks on track to play after suffering a minor knee injury last week and is in a perfect matchup. The Redskins allow over 65 receiving yards per game to tight ends and are tied with the third-most touchdowns allowed to the position with seven. The Chargers defense boasts one of the NFL's top pass rushes and is facing an injury-ravaged offensive line. Kirk Cousins has been sacked 10 times and committed four turnovers in his last two games, so fire up the Bolts.

New York Jets at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Josh McCown, QB: START
 » Matt Forte, RB: FLEX
 » Bilal Powell, RB: FLEX
 » Robby Anderson, WR: START
 » Jermaine Kearse, WR: FLEX
 » Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE: STREAM
 » Jets D/ST: SIT

Not only is this a decent matchup for Josh McCown, as the Broncos have allowed more passing touchdowns than any other team in the league, but he's graduated past the point of being a streamer. He ranks seventh among quarterbacks on the year in fantasy points and has scored multiple touchdowns (rushing included) in seven of his last eight games. Matt Forte handled 18 touches last week and found the end zone, while Bilal Powell saw 20 touches and scored as well. They're facing a Denver run defense that has been stout for most of the year, but is starting to show some cracks the last two weeks: 249 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards, three total touchdowns allowed to backs. Assuming Powell/Forte keep up this type of touch share, they can be flexed this week. But this backfield has been the farthest thing from predictable all year, so tread with caution. Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse are both solid starts against a Denver defense that surprisingly has given up the most passing touchdowns in the league (26). Granted, only 12 of those have gone to wideouts, but with Anderson stretching the field and Kearse seeing roughly 30 percent of the targets the last two weeks, they both should have plenty of opportunities to produce. Since Week 7, among all wide receivers Anderson ranks ninth in yards (525) and second in touchdowns (six). It's worth noting Anderson left Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury, but it isn't deemed serious and he's expected to play Sunday. Austin Seferian-Jenkins seemingly has a touchdown erased on review every week, but perhaps this is the week he finds the end zone and it actually counts. The Broncos lead the league in yards per game allowed to tight ends (68.4) and are tied for the second-most touchdowns allowed with eight. The Jets have five sacks in their last two games and are playing a broken Denver offense, but on the road their matchup is a little less appetizing. I'd probably look elsewhere for a streamer.

 » Trevor Siemian, QB: SIT
 » Broncos, RBs: SIT
 » Demaryius Thomas, WR: LOW-END START
 » Emmanuel Sanders, WR: LOW-END START
 » Broncos D/ST: SIT

What a disastrous year this has turned into for the Broncos. They (by their own design) have endured one of the worst quarterbacking carousels of the season that has landed back on Trevor Siemian. Sure, C.J. Anderson saw 19 touches last week, but that's only the second time he's seen more than 15 since Week 4. And that was likely due in part to Devontae Booker suffering from the flu and playing minimal snaps. This is a committee on a bad offense and fantasy fans should avoid it at all costs. On a positive note, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders saw a combined 17 targets last week. On a negative note, they only caught four for 38 yards. Both are in the mix as low-end starts against an average Jets secondary thanks to volume, but no one starting them can feel anywhere close to confident about it.

Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Marcus Mariota, QB: SIT
 » DeMarco Murray, RB: SIT
 » Derrick Henry, RB: FLEX
 » Corey Davis, WR: SIT
 » Rishard Matthews, WR: SIT
 » Delanie Walker, TE: See below

Marcus Mariota has thrown multiple touchdown passes just twice all year, and still has more interceptions (12) than passing touchdowns (10) on the year. I'm not trusting him in the fantasy playoffs this week. I understand it could be hard to sit DeMarco Murray, but he's rushed for fewer than 70 yards in 11 of 12 games this season, and has relied heavily on touchdowns for fantasy scoring. Against a tough Cardinals run defense his floor is frighteningly low. During the Titans' last seven games, Derrick Henry has averaged 5.4 yards per carry, despite seeing just 11.7 carries per game. I like his upside as a flex play because at some point the team has to realize he's a better option than Murray right now. They have to ... right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!?! Anyway, Rishard Matthews could return this week but may land in the shadow coverage of Patrick Peterson. No bueno. Typically this would be a matchup to target the secondary wide receivers, but when those receivers are the struggling Corey Davis and Eric Decker, it's better to look elsewhere for help. Delanie Walker remained sidelined at Thursday's practice with an ankle injury. His status could come down to a game-time decision, which puts fantasy owners in a pinch. If Ricky Seals-Jones is available in your league, add him as a Walker backup, as he plays in this game, as well. The Titans defense has scored double-digit points in back-to-back weeks thanks to 12 sacks. Blaine Gabbert has been sacked an average of three times per game as the Cardinals starter and has committed six turnovers. This matchup would be better if the Titans were at home, but they're an OK streaming play here.

 » Blaine Gabbert, QB: STREAM
 » Adrian Peterson, RB: SIT
 » Kerwynn Williams, RB: See below
 » Larry Fitzgerald, WR: START
 » Ricky Seals-Jones, TE: STREAM
 » Cardinals D/ST: STREAM

In the last five weeks alone the Titans secondary has given up season-high yardage performances to Joe Flacco (he's since surpassed that total) and Tom Savage. Needless to say, this secondary is one to pick on and Blaine Gabbert has proven a capable fantasy signal-caller in such spots this year. He's averaging 240 passing yards per game as the starter with seven touchdowns and six interceptions, so be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride. Adrian Peterson missed practice Thursday with the neck injury that sidelined him last week, and could miss this game as well. If he does, Kerwynn Williams will be in play as a low-end flex option, but the Titans have been the best run defense in the NFL since Week 6, allowing just 69.1 rushing yards per game. Williams would likely need a touchdown to return value in your lineup. Larry Fitzgerald owns 27 percent of the targets with Gabbert under center and has turned those into 2-1 yards and two touchdowns (three games). He's an every-week play. Ricky Seals-Jones barely sees the field (21 percent of the offensive plays the last three weeks), but when he does he's heavily involved. Over the last three weeks he's second to only Fitzgerald in every receiving category for the Cardinals save touchdowns (where he has a three-two advantage), with nine catches for 170 yards on 16 targets. Marcus Mariota has been sacked two-plus times in five of his last six games and has tossed six touchdowns to eight interceptions in that span. The Cardinals are definitely a streamable defense at home.

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Carson Wentz, QB: START
 » Eagles RBs: See below
 » Alshon Jeffery WR: START
 » Nelson Agholor, WR: START
 » Eagles TEs: See below
 » Eagles D/ST: SIT

Even in a bad spot last week, Carson Wentz delivered another strong fantasy performance. There's no reason to turn away from him, even against a tough Rams defense on the road. Three straight teams have found some success on the ground against the Rams, but I can't convince myself to trust any of the Eagles committee backs in my starting lineups. Over the last four weeks, each of LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi has 30 or more touches, with Blount "leading" the way with 45. Both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are solid starts here, as the Rams have been prone to giving up big games to wide receivers (Adam Thielen and Larry Fitzgerald most recently). Zach Ertz is a great start if he plays, though his outlook is looking increasingly more doubtful. If he sits, Trey Burton is a strong plug-and-play option off of the waiver wire. When Ertz missed the game against Denver earlier this year, Burton caught two of four targets for 41 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles defense has the potential to harass Jared Goff and accumulate some sacks, but the Rams rarely turn the ball over, and the Eagles have been away from home for a full week now (they played in Seattle last week and stayed on the West Coast), so this feels like an uphill battle.

 » Jared Goff, QB: START
 » Todd Gurley, RB: START
 » Sammy Watkins, WR: FLEX
 » Cooper Kupp, WR: FLEX
 » Josh Reynolds, WR: SIT
 » Rams TEs: SIT
 » Rams D/ST: START

Jared Goff only has one bottoming-out performance in his last six games, but that was due in part to some bad luck and missed plays against the Vikings (Cooper Kupp's fumble at the one and big-time drop). The Eagles defense should put plenty of pressure on him, though, which he's been just OK at handling this year. I'd look at Goff as a high-end QB2 this week, as he has 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last five games. Todd Gurley has his work cut out for him this week, as the Eagles lead the league in rushing defense by a WIDE margin. Their 549 rushing yards allowed this year are 275 fewer than the next closest team. Nevertheless, Gurley is the true focal point in this offense and his involvement in the passing game (four-plus targets in 10 of 12 games) makes him a must-start. With Robert Woods expected to miss this game as well, both Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp remain strong flex plays. The Eagles have a solid secondary, but Watkins and Kupp should have plenty of targets coming their way. The Seahawks dominant front just harassed Carson Wentz into three sacks and an interception, which is entirely possible from this Rams group led by perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald. If you've been riding with the Rams this long, it's OK to give them a go at home.

Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Russell Wilson, QB: START
 » Seahawks RBs: SIT
 » Doug Baldwin, WR: FLEX
 » Paul Richardson, WR: SIT
 » Tyler Lockett, WR: SIT
 » Jimmy Graham, TE: START
 » Seahawks D/ST: START

Russell Wilson versus the Jaguars defense is the biggest fantasy question of the week. And I'm sweating through it as well, as I have him in my most important league. So let's get into it. The Jaguars defense hasn't allowed a single top-12 quarterback fantasy performance all season, and only three passers to face them have finished inside the top 20 in their given week. Just two passers have scored 15-plus fantasy points against them, and they're also the only two to throw multiple touchdowns against the Jags all year (Philip Rivers, Blaine Gabbert). Wilson has posted 250-plus total yards and at least two touchdowns in nine of his last 10 games, during which time he's scored 28 touchdowns and committed just nine turnovers. Wilson has been making teams pay via the deep ball all year (20-plus air yards), completing 25-of-64 attempts with a 6-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Meanwhile, the Jags have allowed just nine completions on 49 attempts, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Wilson leads the league in combined pass/rush yards by one player, while the Jags lead the league in fewest passing/rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks. Only eight quarterbacks have been sacked more than Wilson this season, and no team has more sacks than Jacksonville. So what's the move? If there's a strong streamer available in your league, I don't think it's crazy to turn away from Wilson here. That being said, I simply can't sit him during this historic hot streak ... even on the road against the league's top defense. I'm going down with the ship, like it or not. As for the rest of the Seahawks, avoid the backs at all costs. Doug Baldwin has a dreadful matchup on paper, but his mind-meld with Wilson and ability on scramble plays makes him worth a flex, at least. I'd probably avoid the ancillary receivers here, as it's too hard to project how Paul Richardson or Tyler Lockett will fare against this defense. Jimmy Graham has the best matchup of the bunch and should be locked into starting lineups anyway after scoring nine touchdowns in his last eight games. I'd still start the Seahawks defense on the road, as they've notched six sacks and three turnovers in their last two games and are playing Blake Bortles.

 » Blake Bortles, QB: SIT
 » Leonard Fournette, RB: FLEX
 » Marqise Lee, WR: START
 » Dede Westbrook, WR: DEEP FLEX
 » Jaguars D/ST: START

I wrote up Blake Bortles as a potential playoff difference-maker in fantasy, but this is not the week to start him. Wait until his schedule softens up. Leonard Fournette found the end zone last week for the first time since Week 6, but has been finding the sledding tough as teams stack the box against him. No starting running back has faced a higher percentage of his carries against eight-plus defenders in the box than Fournette this season (51.2 percent), and all seven of his rushing touchdowns have come against such fronts. It's hard to sit Fournette as a featured back, so just temper expectations as he'll be running into a Seattle front allowing just 2.65 yards per carry over the last month. Marqise Lee should see plenty of volume here, as usual (nine-plus targets in five of last seven games), and could find space to roam in the injury-ravaged Seattle secondary. Those looking for a deep sleeper could take a stab at Dede Westbrook, as the rookie has six-plus catches in each of his last two games with target totals of nine and 10. It's a risky proposition starting a fantasy defense against Russell Wilson, but there's certainly a script where the "Sacksonville" unit swallows up Wilson and stuffs the stat sheet. Much like with Wilson, I'd go down with the ship in this case.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC

 » Joe Flacco, QB: SIT
 » Alex Collins, RB: START
 » Jeremy Maclin, WR: SIT
 » Mike Wallace, WR: FLEX
 » Benjamin Watson, TE: SIT
 » Ravens D/ST: START

Joe Flacco's 18.66 fantasy point outing in Week 13 marked his ceiling for the 2017 season. He's been one of the worst performing quarterbacks in the NFL this year, averaging 170.5 pass yards per game in his first 11 contests, and after last week, he owns an 11:11 TD:INT ratio. Don't chase his performance against the Lions, as he'll now travel to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers defense that's allowed the second-fewest pass yards per game, 195.8, and just 17.8 points per game to opponents. Because of Flacco's inefficiency, you're going to want to avoid his weapons in the receiving corps, too. Jeremy Maclin's amassed just 81 receiving yards over his last three games, and while Benjamin Watson did score in Week 13, he's averaging a mere 2.3 receptions and 16 yards per game over the last three. Mike Wallace could be a viable PPR flex as he's racked up 19 targets in the last two contests for a 10/164/1 line, but 70 percent of his yards came in a big game last week (116 yds). Running back Alex Collins is the only player you can feel confident rolling into starting fantasy lineups. He's scored in three straight games now and is averaging a solid 19.6 touches per game. That kind of volume could lead to fantasy production against a Steelers defense that just lost their best linebacker (Ryan Shazier) for the season and has allowed 277 scrimmage yards and two total scores to opposing backs in their last two games. The Ravens defense, that's amassed a league-leading 20 interceptions this season, is a starting option even against an offense as high-powered as Pittsburgh. -- Matt Franciscovich

 » Ben Roethlisberger, QB: SIT
 » Le'Veon Bell, RB: START
 » Antonio Brown, RB: START
 » JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR: SIT (SUSPENDED)
 » Martavis Bryant, WR: SIT
 » Steelers D/ST: START

Ben Roethlisberger has been hot lately, with no fewer than 17 fantasy points in each of his last four games, two of which were four-touchdown outings. He's also thrown for at least 290 yards in three straight. But the Ravens defense is allowing just 198.6 pass yards per game, the third-fewest in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown just 11 touchdown passes against Baltimore while averaging a mere 9.05 fantasy points per game against the unit. Keep in mind, the Ravens lost cornerback Jimmy Smith (torn Achilles) in Week 13, and struggled after he left the game with 4:24 left in the second quarter. At that point, Baltimore had allowed just 79 pass yards and zero points. Once he was out, they gave up 215 pass yards and 20 points to the Lions. If nothing else, it boosts the outlook for the already elite must-start Antonio Brown who has three-straight 100-yard games with six touchdowns in that span. Rookie Juju Smith-Schuster is suspended for this one, so some of you might be quick to slot Martavis Bryant into your flex spot. Just temper expectations, as Bryant hasn't surpassed 42 receiving yards in a game for a month now, and even with Smith-Schuster out in Week 12, Bryant posted just a serviceable 4/40/1 line against the Packers. Le'Veon Bell is a must-start no matter the matchup. He's tied with Todd Gurley for the league-lead in scrimmage touchdowns (11) and ranks first in the NFL in carries (270), rush yards (1,057), touches (336) and scrimmage yards (1,559). Even without Ryan Shazier, the Steelers defense is usable against a Ravens offense that lacks explosiveness. -- Matt Franciscovich

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (Monday)

 » Tom Brady, QB: START
 » Dion Lewis, RB: FLEX
 » Rex Burkhead, RB: FLEX
 » Brandin Cooks, WR: START
 » Chris Hogan, WR: FLEX
 » Danny Amendola, WR: SIT
 » Rob Gronkowski, TE: SIT (SUSPENDED)
 » Patriots D/ST: STREAM

Tom Brady was a fantasy bust last week, as he failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 1. Don't let last week discourage you from starting him against the Dolphins, though. Prior to Week 13, Brady had been averaging 22.9 fantasy points per game over his last three contests, and one of those was against Miami. In fact, he threw four touchdown passes against the Dolphins which accounts for 18 percent of the 22 passing touchdowns Miami has allowed to opposing quarterbacks on the season. There may be concern about Brady's upside without Rob Gronkowski available due to suspension but wideout Chris Hogan, who has missed several games with a shoulder injury, has practiced this week and is reportedly on track to return. In Weeks 2 through 8, Hogan averaged 61.4 receiving yards 4.5 receptions and 0.71 touchdowns per game. He should fall back into a heavy target share with Gronk out, and will be startable in all formats. Brandin Cooks is also a must-start fantasy receiver and is in a prime bounce-back spot after posting just 17 yards against Buffalo last week. Cooks is averaging 73.8 yards per game and leads the team with 886 receiving yards this season, in addition to five touchdowns. He should have no issues dominating a Dolphins secondary that he generated a 6/83/1 line against back in Week 12. Danny Amendola has disappointed, even with Hogan out the last few weeks. Amendola's posted reception totals of just one and two over the last two games. He's not a viable starter. You can also safely start both Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis in all formats. The Patriots running back tandem has dominated in recent weeks, combining for 111 touches, 604 scrimmage yards (5.4 yards per touch) and seven total touchdowns in their last four games. Burkhead got the goal-line looks last week and is the upside play, while Lewis is more of the between the 20s back who might have to rip off a long one to find pay dirt, but you never know with New England backs. Lewis had 112 yards against the Dolphins in Week 12, while Burkhead had just 50 but scored. The Patriots defense is also a top option against a Miami squad that ranks 29th in total offense. -- Matt Franciscovich

 » Jay Cutler, QB: SIT
 » Damien Williams, RB: SIT (INJURED)
 » Kenyan Drake, RB: FLEX
 » DeVante Parker, WR: SIT
 » Jarvis Landry, WR: FLEX
 » Kenny Stills, WR: SIT
 » Julius Thomas, TE: STREAM
 » Dolphins D/ST: SIT

Don't chase Miami's Week 13 performance. The Dolphins put up 367 total yards of offense, 222 passing and 145 rushing against a Broncos team that's basically circling the drain at this point. Miami's defense also recorded three picks, one pick-six, two safties, one blocked punt and one onside kick recovery. They'll be lucky if any one of those things happens against New England. Even with the nice outing, Jay Cutler remains on pace for a career-low 183.7 pass yards per game and owns a 15:11 TD:INT ratio in 2017. Don't put yourself through streaming him, that dream died weeks ago. Meanwhile, there's a chance he can provide some value for his receivers, mainly Jarvis Landry who maintains a safe floor as a volume hog. In Week 12 against New England, Landry managed eight receptions for 70 yards, a decent PPR outing. Kenny Stills popped up last week for a 5/98/1 line and showed some rare chemistry with Cutler. But Stills has been inconsistent this year and is a risky option in the fantasy playoffs against a Patriots defense that's shutting down the opposition in recent weeks. DeVante Parker has been a no-show for three straight games with just six receptions for 36 yards in that span. No thank you. You can roll out running back Kenyan Drake who, thanks to locked in volume with Damien Williams (shoulder) injured, posted 20 standard fantasy points last week. Expect anywhere from 15-20 touches for Drake, including garbage time receptions which will boost his fantasy floor. As always, Julius Thomas is a longshot to find the end zone, but he did so last week in a revenge narrative against his old squad. He also had five receptions for 52 yards against the Patriots in Week 12, and all your seeking in a streaming tight end at this point is something more than a zero. Pals don't let pals start the Dolphins D/ST against one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. -- Matt Franciscovich


New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC

 » Drew Brees, QB: START
 » Mark Ingram, RB: START
 » Alvin Kamara, RB: START
 » Michael Thomas, WR: START
 » Ted Ginn, WR: LOW-END FLEX
 » Saints D/ST: SIT

In the last six meetings between the Saints and Falcons, these teams average a combined 60.3 points and have put up 70-plus three times. Drew Brees has evened out his fantasy scoring of late, with an average of 300 yards per game with four touchdowns and one interception over his last three. He's a safe start in what should be a high-scoring affair. Mark Ingram has 100-plus scrimmage yards in three of his last four games, while Alvin Kamara has 100-plus in five straight. They've combined for 20 touchdowns this season and are the entire engine of the Saints offense. There's simply no reason to sit them -- ever. Michael Thomas has had five-plus catches in every game this season, and 65-plus yards in all but three. He got into the end zone last week for the first time since Week 4 and has a solid outlook against Atlanta. They could be missing Brian Poole and/or Desmond Trufant again this week, two of their starting corners. In his two games against the Falcons last year, Thomas posted lines of 7-71-1 and 10-156-1. Ted Ginn remains a decent flex play, but he can totally bottom out in your lineup. In his last four games he has yardage totals of 27, 71, 87 and three. With Coby Fleener on injured reserve, more targets flooded to the backfield last week (13 total) than to any other wideout or tight end. A road trip to face a potent Atlanta offense with Marshon Lattimore still not fully healed is a tough spot for the Saints fantasy fortunes on defense.

 » Matt Ryan, QB: START
 » Devonta Freeman, RB: START
 » Tevin Coleman, RB: FLEX
 » Julio Jones, WR: START
 » Mohamed Sanu, WR: LOW-END FLEX
 » Austin Hooper, TE: SIT
 » Falcons D/ST: SIT

Week 13 was the first time all season Matt Ryan failed to throw a touchdown pass, and he posted just 173 yards against the stingy Minnesota defense. Things should get better for him against the Saints, who could be without star corner Marshon Lattimore again. At home with playoff hopes hanging in the balance in what should be a high-scoring game, Ryan should be OK. Over the last three weeks the Saints have struggled to slow down opposing running backs, giving up 271 yards and two scores on the ground and 112 yards and two scores through the air. Devonta Freeman returned to action last week after missing two games with a concussion and played 73 percent of the snaps while leading the backfield in touches (13) and total yards (81). Tevin Coleman stayed heavily involved, though, handling eight carries and three receptions for an OK 49 total yards against a tough Minnesota defense. Both are in the mix this week for me. Julio Jones crashed back to Earth last week as he hauled in just two catches for 24 yards. He'd notched 70-plus receiving yards in eight of his 11 games prior to that, though, so the "roller coaster" descriptions for his fantasy season have been a bit overstated. This is a decent bounce-back spot for Jones, especially if star rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore remains sidelined or limited. Mohamed Sanu led the Falcons in receiving last week with three catches and 43 yards. He's a low-floor flex option as usual. Starting a fantasy defense against the Saints is a bad idea.

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Jacoby Brissett, QB: SIT
 » Frank Gore, RB: FLEX
 » Marlon Mack, RB: DEEP FLEX
 » T.Y. Hilton, WR: START
 » Jack Doyle, TE: START
 » Colts D/ST: SIT

A case could be made to stream Jacoby Brissett this week, but there are also plenty of red flags. He's on the road against a Buffalo defense that's allowed just 236 passing yards per game over their last three with three touchdowns and two interceptions in that span. Brissett has also struggled in that same span, completing under 59 percent of his passes in each game with three touchdowns, three picks and an average of just 197 yards per game. He's at best a very low-end streamer. Frank Gore has been offering a reliable, yet uninspiring floor for several weeks, as he's averaged 76 scrimmage yards per game since Week 8. This could be his chance for a solid outing, though, as the Bills struggle to stop the run and just gave up 188 yards to the Patriots backs. In fact, over the last four weeks the Bills lead the league in rushing yards (621) and rushing touchdowns (nine) allowed to backs, and that includes a game where they held Kareem Hunt to 17 yards and no touchdowns. Due to the matchup, Marlon Mack could be in the mix as a deep flex option, though he's averaged just over eight touches per game over the last four. T.Y. Hilton surprisingly found the end zone against the Jaguars elite secondary last week, and kept up the "all or nothing" ride of starting him in fantasy. He has four games with 100-plus yards or a touchdown in his last 10, but 30 or fewer yards in the other six. Over the last five weeks Jack Doyle leads all Colts players in targets (41), receptions (32), and receiving yards (303). He's a strong play against a Buffalo defense that was just dominated by Rob Gronkowski. The Colts defense might be in play if Nathan Peterman starts, but otherwise, this unit has suffered far too many injuries to be a fantasy factor.

 » Tyrod Taylor, QB: See below
 » LeSean McCoy, RB: START
 » Zay Jones, WR: SIT
 » Charles Clay, TE: SIT
 » Bills D/ST: STREAM

Tyrod Taylor practiced on a limited basis with a knee injury on Thursday, but his status remains in question for Sunday. If Taylor's healthy enough to play, he's a solid streamer against the Colts injury-ravaged defense. If Nathan Peterson starts ... abandon ship. LeSean McCoy has returned to his workhorse ways the last three weeks, averaging 19 touches and 102 scrimmage yards per game, with two touchdowns in that span. The Colts have been OK against the run over the last month, holding opposing backs to 343 yards on 97 carries (3.5 ypc) with two touchdowns, but McCoy's volume and passing game work should allow him to succeed. The Bills passing offense is broken, and Tyrod Taylor will be playing on an injured knee if he starts. With no teams on byes, there's really no reason to risk starting Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson, Kelvin Benjamin (possibly returning from injury) or even Charles Clay. They're all receiving minimal opportunities and not doing much with them. The Bills defense kept Tom Brady in check for parts of their most recent game, and should be able to rack up some fantasy stats against Jacoby Brissett, who's been sacked a league-high 47 times.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Dak Prescott, QB: START
 » Alfred Morris, RB: START
 » Rod Smith, RB: SIT
 » Dez Bryant, WR: FLEX
 » Jason Witten, TE: STREAM
 » Cowboys D/ST: STREAM

Dak Prescott was gifted a short field early and often last week, which is partially why he only amassed 102 yards on Thursday night. He did throw two touchdowns though, and if Alfred Morris can keep up the momentum he built last week, Prescott should be able to move the offense well enough against a struggling Giants defense. Speaking of Morris, he gets a nice matchup to keep rolling after notching 27 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown last week against Washington. The Giants have allowed 248 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to opposing backs over the last two weeks. Rod Smith found his way into the end zone last week, helping those who flexed him, but it's worrisome that six of his 10 carries came in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand for Dallas. I'd be very cautious in starting Smith, as the team clearly prefers Morris as the main back with Ezekiel Elliott still serving his suspension. Dez Bryant found the end zone last week for the first time since Week 7, but it was more of the same otherwise as he had five catches for 61 yards. Hopefully, you've accepted the reality by now that Bryant is a floor play at wide receiver, with upside if he gets into the end zone. He has just one game with more than 74 yards this year. Jason Witten also scored a touchdown last week and has a great matchup on paper against the Giants, but with three one-catch games in his last five, he's tough to trust. I'd consider him a low-end streamer, though, and for what it's worth he did smash the Giants for a 7-59-1 line back in Week 1. After not securing a sack or turnover in two straight games, the Dallas defense got back on track with four sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries against Washington. The Giants quarterbacks have been sacked seven times over the last two weeks and committed three turnovers.

 » Eli Manning, QB: SIT
 » Orleans Darkwa, RB: SIT
 » Sterling Shepard, WR: FLEX
 » Evan Engram, TE: START
 » Giants D/ST: SIT

Geno Smith managed just 212 passing yards with one touchdown and two turnovers against the Raiders poor defense last week, and is now headed back to the bench for Eli Manning, who averaged 179 passing yards per game in his last six starts. Neither is startable in fantasy. Orleans Darkwa found the end zone last week, but should probably ride the pine from here on out, especially in games where the Giants figure to fall behind quickly, which could be the case against a potentially resurgent Cowboys offense. He's failed to amass more than 32 rushing yards in each of his last two games. Sterling Shepard caught three of his six targets for 56 yards last week, though Manning's return could help funnel targets back his way. I'd give him a shot in the flex. Evan Engram looks like the only true, startable asset in this offense. He rebounded nicely after two disaster fantasy weeks to post a 7-99-1 line on eight targets. He's the offense's best playmaker and should receive a heavy workload as usual (six-plus in seven straight games).

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Matthew Stafford, QB: SIT
 » Ameer Abdullah, RB: SIT
 » Theo Riddick, RB: SIT
 » Golden Tate, WR: START
 » Marvin Jones, WR: START
 » Kenny Golladay, WR: SIT
 » Eric Ebron, TE: SIT
 » Lions D/ST: SIT

Matthew Stafford avoided breaking his hand last week against the Ravens, but per head coach Jim Caldwell, Stafford's hand is sore and badly bruised, and there are questions about how it will impact his ability to throw. This would be a terrific spot for Stafford in fantasy, as the Bucs still allow the third-most passing yards per game despite Brett Hundley amassing a whopping 84 against them last week. If Stafford's status turns around before the game I'd be more open to starting him. Theo Riddick and Tion Green found the end zone last week, but I still want no parts of the Lions backfield on my fantasy teams. Odds are Ameer Abdullah returns from his neck injury as well, further clouding this group's outlook. Golden Tate posted a solid outing against the tough Ravens secondary, hauling in eight of his 10 targets for 69 yards. Marvin Jones delivered as well, bringing in four of his eight looks for 90 yards. Both will be strong plays this week against the Bucs secondary, even if Stafford's hand isn't 100 percent. Eric Ebron and Kenny Golladay aren't getting the necessary volume to be considered startable in fantasy. The Lions are struggling to rush the passer with only three sacks over their last three games. I'd look elsewhere for a streaming defense this week.

 » Jameis Winston, QB: STREAM
 » Doug Martin, RB: SIT
 » Peyton Barber, RB: FLEX
 » Mike Evans, WR: FLEX
 » DeSean Jackson, WR: FLEX
 » Cameron Brate, TE: STREAM
 » O.J. Howard, TE: SIT
 » Buccaneers D/ST: STREAM

Jameis Winston looked OK in his first game back from a shoulder injury, completing 21-of-32 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Those in deeper leagues could stream him against a Lions defense that has been shredded by Joe Flacco and Case Keenum the last two weeks, though there are likely better, less-turnover-prone options available. Doug Martin remained in the concussion protocol Monday, putting his status in question. Even if he does return, it'd stand to reason that the team will give Peyton Barber more opportunities after he put together a fantastic performance against the Packers last week (27 touches, 143 total yards). That was the first 100-yard rushing game by a Buccaneers back all year, and he should be able to find success against a Lions defense allowing 163 total yards per game to opposing backs over their last four. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson pulled disappearing acts in a great matchup last week, combining for a mere four catches for 57 yards on nine targets. They'll be risky starts with Winston back under center, especially if his erratic play from last week carries over here against a decent Detroit secondary. With Winston back at quarterback, Cameron Brate is back in the mix as a streaming tight end. All six of his touchdown receptions and all of his top yardage outputs have come with Winston under center. The Buccaneers defense could be in nice streaming choice this week, especially if Matthew Stafford misses this game with his hand injury. Even if he doesn't Stafford's throwing hand is injured and that could create grip issues, increasing the odds of turnovers coming the Buccaneers way. Plus, Stafford's been sacked three-plus times in four straight games as his offensive line battles through injuries.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Derek Carr, QB: STREAM
 » Marshawn Lynch, RB: FLEX
 » Michael Crabtree, WR: START
 » Amari Cooper, WR: SIT
 » Jared Cook, TE: SIT
 » Raiders D/ST: SIT

Derek Carr has thrown just one touchdown pass in seven of his last nine games, and the only time he's scored more than 16 fantasy points in that span was ... against the Chiefs. I'm a bit hesitant about rolling out Carr, but Michael Crabtree is back from his one-game suspension and the Chiefs just suspended their top cover corner, Marcus Peters, for this game. Carr should offer at least a decent floor. Marshawn Lynch has seen 19 and 29 touches over the last two weeks, and could factor in heavily here as well. The Chiefs defense was gashed by the Jets for 157 yards on the ground and two total touchdowns by the backs (one rushing, one receiving). With Peters out and the Chiefs passing defense already a vulnerability, Michael Crabtree should be in a great position for fantasy. Amari Cooper (concussion, ankle) still looks like a bit of a longshot to play, so Crabtree could be absolutely pummeled with targets. Jared Cook's wild inconsistency as a player has reared its ugly head of late, making him very hard to trust with no teams on byes. The Raiders defense could barely muster any fantasy production against the Geno Smith-led Giants last week, so there's a 0 percent chance I trust them against the Chiefs potentially resurgent offense.

 » Alex Smith, QB: START
 » Kareem Hunt, RB: FLEX
 » Tyreek Hill, WR: FLEX
 » Travis Kelce, TE: START
 » Chiefs D/ST: SIT

Alex Smith and the passing attack got back on track last week, which is great news as they head into a plus matchup with a Raiders secondary allowing the 10th-most passing yards per game (251.3) and a 20-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Tyreek Hill dropped 6-125-1 on the Raiders the last time these teams played and remains a mismatch for the slow corners in the Oakland secondary. Travis Kelce leads tight ends in every statistical category save touchdowns, where he trails Jimmy Graham by one. He's a strong start as usual, and the Raiders did just allow a big game to Evan Engram last week (7-99-1). Kareem Hunt is the lone question mark on this offense. He saw just 12 touches in last week's score-fest and produced a measly 63 yards. It's perfectly OK to bench him if you have the running back depth. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3 and if Charcandrick West returns Hunt could lose some passing down work again. The Chiefs defense is a mess and cannot be used in fantasy.

San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Jimmy Garoppolo, QB: STREAM
 » Carlos Hyde, RB: START
 » Marquise Goodwin, WR: START
 » Trent Taylor, WR: FLEX PPR
 » George Kittle, TE: SIT
 » 49ers D/ST: SIT

The Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco got off to a nice start last week, and while he didn't post massive fantasy totals or even score a touchdown, he proved he could guide the offense quite well. This week's matchup for Jimmy G is far more favorable, and he's a solid streaming option for the week. The only quarterback to not finish as a top-10 scorer against them since their Week 7 bye is Joe Flacco. Carlos Hyde has lost some receiving work with a real quarterback under center, but is still the lead back and handled 20 touches last week. The Texans are allowing over five yards per carry to opposing backs over the last month, which could bode well for Hyde's upside. Matt Breida popped up with 13 touches last week, but that's not volume worth chasing with the playoffs here. Marquise Goodwin was a wide receiver more people needed to be paying attention to weeks ago, and his outlook is even better with Garoppolo under center. The duo connected on all eight attempts last week for 99 yards, and Goodwin is poised to perform again versus Houston's struggling secondary. Trent Taylor is worth a look in PPR leagues after popping up for a six-catch, 92-yard outing. In his three starts, Garoppolo has funneled roughly 24 percent of his passes to his slot receivers (Taylor, Julian Edelman), so this likely isn't a one-week blip for the rookie. George Kittle and Garrett Celek may have usable weeks in the future, but right now they're splitting up playing time and targets too evenly to be trusted. You could stream the 49ers against Texans because of Tom Savage, but there are likely higher upside pickups remaining on the waiver wire.

 » Tom Savage, QB: SIT
 » Lamar Miller, RB: FLEX
 » DeAndre Hopkins, WR: START
 » Will Fuller, WR: FLEX
 » Stephen Anderson, TE: STREAM
 » Texans D/ST: SIT

If you're truly, truly desperate you could talk yourself into streaming Tom Savage. He was able to pick on the Texans poor secondary last week (365 yards, TD, INT), and six of the last seven quarterbacks to face the 49ers have thrown for multiple touchdown passes against them. I wouldn't recommend it, but the potential is there for a decent floor. Over the last month Lamar Miller is averaging just shy of 19 touches and just over 77 total yards per game, offering a nice floor as a low-end flex play. The 49ers run defense was one of the league's worst statistically but has stiffened up the last two weeks (36 carries, 111 yards, 3.1 ypc). That could also be a product of the offenses/running games they faced, though, as the Seahawks committee is uninspiring and the Bears offense, in general, has stalled recently. Miller should be a solid flex play. DeAndre Hopkins should continue to get showered with targets, especially after Bruce Ellington landed on injured reserve this week. Ellington was second on the team in targets since its bye, so plenty of opportunities will be up for grabs, though Will Fuller could absorb some, as he's expected to return to the field after missing several weeks with a rib injury. While many of the targets will flow to Hopkins/Fuller, there's a chance Stephen Anderson becomes a bigger focal point as well. The tight end out of Cal had a career day last week, catching five of 12 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers had allowed a tight end receiving touchdown in five straight games before the Bears' inept offense broke that streak. Will Fuller (ribs) could return this week. I'm not overly optimistic about his playing time right out of the gate, though, and would be hesitant to start him. The Texans defense has just two games with more than six fantasy points in the eight games since J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus went down with injuries. I'd look elsewhere for a fantasy streamer.

Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Brett Hundley, QB: SIT
 » Jamaal Williams, RB: START
 » Aaron Jones, RB: SIT
 » Jordy Nelson, WR: SIT
 » Davante Adams, WR: FLEX
 » Randall Cobb, WR: SIT
 » Packers D/ST: STREAM

I'm off the Brett Hundley streaming train. In a perfect matchup last week, Hundley somehow managed just 84 passing yards in a win. He adds some Konami code appeal with his rushing ability, but there have been too many disaster games to justify the risks of starting him. Jamaal Williams has improved as the season has gone along, putting together back-to-back games with 120-plus scrimmage yards and at least one touchdown. While Aaron Jones returned to action last week, he saw just one carry (a game-winning, 20-yard touchdown run). Jones could figure in more this week, but it'd make sense for the Packers to let him slowly return with Williams playing so well. I'd trust Williams but leave Jones on the bench this week. Jordy Nelson hasn't crossed 40 receiving yards in six straight games. Davante Adams is the only Packers wide receiver worth starting. He owns 27.3 percent of Hundley's targets in his six starts and has led Green Bay in receiving in each of the last four games. The Packers defense got back on track thanks to the returns of Clay Matthews and Kenny Clark, notching seven sacks and one turnover. While the Browns did get a boost offensively with Josh Gordon back, they're still a target to stream against as they rank dead last in turnovers.

 » DeShone Kizer, QB: DEEP STREAM
 » Isaiah Crowell, RB: FLEX
 » Duke Johnson, RB: FLEX
 » Corey Coleman, WR: SIT
 » Josh Gordon, WR: START
 » Browns TEs: SIT
 » Browns D/ST: SIT

DeShone Kizer has some streaming appeal against the Packers this week, but only in deeper leagues. The Packers just placed rookie cornerback Kevin King on IR, and have allowed five of the last seven quarterbacks to face them to post top-10 fantasy numbers that week. Isaiah Crowell was stringing together some solid fantasy outings, but now has 44 or fewer total yards in two of his last three games. He'll be a solid flex this week, though, as the Browns figure to remain competitive with the Packers at home, which will keep Crowell on the field more. Duke Johnson's touch total didn't dip too much last week (nine touches, 11 total targets/touches), but his production did, as he mustered just 12 total yards. He can still be flexed in PPR formats, though, as no team has allowed more receptions (33) or receiving yards (271) to opposing backs over the last month than the Packers. Corey Coleman was a volume monster ... until Josh Gordon returned to action. It doesn't appear likely that this passing offense with a young, erratic quarterback under center can sustain two fantasy wideouts. Which is why I'd start Gordon over Coleman after he saw a whopping 11 targets last week and became just the second wideout to post 85 or more yards against the Chargers this year (the other was Odell Beckham Jr.). The Browns tight ends still sit in a committee, though David Njoku could merit more fantasy consideration soon. For now, I'd sit him and stream elsewhere. The Browns defense has just two sacks and no turnovers in their last two games. Brett Hundley could present an easier target, but this unit feels like a risky streamer at best.

Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

 » Mitchell Trubisky, QB: SIT
 » Jordan Howard, RB: START
 » Tarik Cohen, RB: SIT
 » Dontrelle Inman, WR: SIT
 » Bears D/ST: SIT

Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 180-plus yards exactly once as the Bears starting quarterback. Jordan Howard has posted back-to-back soul-crushing fantasy outings, with 52 combined yards in that span. The Bengals could be a get-right spot, as they're allowing just over four yards per carry over the last month, and, well, the Bears have no other offensive options. The matchup would be nice for a pass-catching/satellite back, as the Bengals have allowed the second-most receiving yards to the position over the last four games, but Tarik Cohen's touch totals are too inconsistent to trust. Over his last six games he's handled the rock six, four, 13, two, five and one times. Dontrelle Inman will be a nice piece in this offense once the rest of the wideouts are healthy but isn't startable here. And, that about does it for the Bears. Moving on.

 » Andy Dalton, QB: SIT
 » Giovani Bernard, RB: FLEX
 » A.J. Green, WR: START
 » Tyler Kroft, TE: STREAM
 » Bengals D/ST: SIT

Andy Dalton has two-plus touchdown passes in four straight games and hasn't thrown an interception since Week 7. Only Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady have more touchdown passes in their last four games than Dalton. The Red Rifle is the QB9 in fantasy in that span, and is a decent streamer here, as the Bears defense loses some of its luster on the road. With Joe Mixon suffering a concussion on Monday night, it seems like he'll be a long shot to play on Sunday (he missed practice Wednesday). That makes Giovani Bernard a strong RB2 play as the featured back for Cincy. He racked up 96 yards on 15 touches last week and will be in a good spot against a Bears defense that's allowed 445 rushing yards over their last four games. We're starting A.J. Green every week and that's really not a question, but if you need more encouragement don't forget he's a historically better performer on the road, averaging 93.6 yards and .65 touchdowns per game versus 70.1 yards and .51 touchdowns per game at home. Tyler Kroft hasn't posted more than 30 yards in a game since Week 9, but he has two touchdowns in his last three games. Tight end streamers could roll the dice with Kroft, though the Bears have allowed just three touchdowns to tight ends all year.

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET on CBS

 » Case Keenum, QB: STREAM
 » Latavius Murray, RB: START
 » Jerick McKinnon, RB: SIT
 » Stefon Diggs, WR: START
 » Adam Thielen, WR: START
 » Kyle Rudolph, TE: START
 » Vikings D/ST: SIT

The reigning NFC Player of the Month kept on cooking in December, as Case Keenum completed over 83 percent of his passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Keenum's lowest fantasy performance in his last five games is QB13, but he'll have a tough test (again) on the road against the Panthers. Their defense is still a stout unit, but cracks are showing. They've allowed 288 passing yards per game since their bye, with four passing touchdowns and no interceptions. The Panthers defense has also been more generous on the ground, allowing 5.2 yards per carry over their last three games. Latavius Murray has been a consistent fantasy force since Minnesota's bye, averaging 81 rushing yards and one touchdown per game. He's a solid start this week. I'm more concerned about Jerick McKinnon, as he's been a far less efficient runner than Murray and the Panthers linebackers have great speed to track him outside on passing routes. He's scored just once since the team's bye and has posted fewer than 60 scrimmage yards in each of those games as well. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs disappointed in what seemed like a great matchup with Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole out, but Keenum spread the ball around last week, limiting their ceilings. Six wide receivers to face the Panthers in the last four weeks have crossed 60-plus yards, and three have gone for 100-plus, so there's reason to believe in either Thielen or Diggs hitting it big this game. No team has allowed fewer receiving yards to tight ends than the Panthers, but with five touchdowns allowed on just 62 targets, their 8.1 touchdown rate ranks as a bottom-10 mark in the league. If you're starting Kyle Rudolph, you're likely banking on a touchdown, and he's scored three in his last two games. Cam Newton has been sacked just six times in his last five games and has thrown one interception in that span as well. On the road, the Vikings defensive ceiling feels very, very low.

 » Cam Newton, QB: SIT
 » Christian McCaffrey, RB: FLEX
 » Jonathan Stewart, RB: SIT
 » Devin Funchess, WR: START
 » Greg Olsen, TE: SIT
 » Panthers D/ST: SIT

Cam Newton has been a top-15 fantasy quarterback or better in each of his last five games thanks to his rushing ability, as he's amassed 304 rushing yards and two scores in that span. Through the air, he's averaging just 179 yards per game with seven touchdowns and one pick. I'd consider streaming the position over starting Newton this week, as Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow Devin Funchess, and the Vikings defense, in general, allows the fewest rushing yards to quarterbacks in the league. Jonathan Stewart missed practice this week with a foot injury, and if he does play must run into the teeth of the league's second-best run defense. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 96 yards on 20 carries against this squad last week, but the Panthers don't boast as good of a run-blocking line as the Falcons, so I'd be concerned about Stewart's outlook. Christian McCaffrey can likely keep his value afloat as a pass-catching option out of the backfield. He's second on the team in targets over their last four games and has scored four times in that span. Devin Funchess has been a revelation this season, but draws a tough matchup with Xavier Rhodes likely shadowing him in coverage. It's a strength versus strength matchup here. Since Week 5, the Vikings are allowing just 88 yards per game to wide receivers lined up out wide, with four touchdowns and three interceptions. However, since the Kelvin Benjamin trade, Newton has a 137.3 passer rating when targeting Funchess out wide as they've connected on 21 of 31 attempts for 346 yards, three touchdowns and zero picks. I'd err on the side of starting Funchess here, but expectations should naturally be tempered. Greg Olsen was a full participant in practice and looks set to return. He's a risky tight end play, as we've already seen him reaggravate his foot injury and leave a game since coming off IR. I'm not playing the Panthers defense against the white-hot, mistake-free Vikings offense.

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