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USATSI

Fantasy Football is all about the matchups. Even though you drafted your team with certain hopes and intentions, your weekly lineup decisions shouldn't be determined by the order you picked your players in. You need to check who your players play and make sure you've got the right guys in -- and the wrong guys out.

It's too early to be absolutely sure on which matchups will be easy and which ones will be tough, but we can take some educated guesses based on healthy personnel, defensive schemes, track records and key details of offenses. The things we know can help us minimize the impact of the things we don't know. This should lead to better decisions being made.

We'll go through every game and highlight the players who aren't obvious starts and sits (because you don't need to be told to start Justin Jefferson). You should feel more comfortable starting or sitting players based on the information given, and feeling comfortable with your Fantasy lineup before the games start is the best feeling in the world.

It's also important to have a keen eye for matchups dictated by the remaining schedule. I am now updating my projected strength of schedule rankings every week over at SportsLine. My objective is to break down how the schedule affects every Fantasy relevant player for the upcoming four weeks, the playoff stretch and the entire season. You'll also be able to find my key takeaways on which players you should buy low, sell high and more trade advice.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 9:30 am ET •
BUF -5.5, O/U 48.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
JAC Jacksonville • #16
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ BUF BUF -5.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS QB
1st
PROJ PTS
15.7
QB RNK
12th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
943
RUYDS
101
TD
4
INT
2
FPTS/G
16.4
It stings to call Lawrence a dicey Fantasy start because he has potential for greatness, but he's got more upside than all but about 10 quarterbacks this week. Buffalo is savvy when it comes to defending the pass, so I can't say they'll fall off just because star cornerback Tre'Davious White won't play, but I wonder just how effective its pass rush will be without Greg Rousseau and with a sub-100 percent Von Miller (if he plays). Lawrence is a decent starter but I'd rather roll with Anthony Richardson, Jordan Love and Justin Fields.

LAST WEEK: Can't blame drops this time. With his top receiver blanketed thanks to a heavy dose of man coverage, and with a favorable game script, Lawrence didn't have to do too much to help the Jaguars roll past the Falcons. His TD throw off-schedule to Ridley was awesome, but Lawrence set season-lows in pass attempts (30) and throws of 10-plus Air Yards (20% rate). It's worth noting that Week 4 was the first time all year a defense chose to play significant man coverage snaps against the Jaguars. 

THIRD DOWNS: Stunningly, Lawrence has completed just 50% of his throws here; only Geno Smith has a worse rate among qualifying quarterbacks. Lawrence is averaging 4.4 yards per attempt with a 6.9-yard Average Depth of Target (ADOT) on the money downs, both ranking bottom-six in the league. Only one pass has been dropped on third down. It's been a drain on his Fantasy production. 

PRESSURE: Lawrence is neither getting good pass protection nor thriving while under pressure. Statistically he's a mix of average and bad with his 45.7% completion rate, 6.7 yards per attempt and 14.3% off-target rate when defenders get near him. But the worst number is his EPA per dropback of minus-0.72; only Jimmy Garoppolo, Deshaun Watson and Ryan Tannehill are worse there. That means he's hurting his team more than helping when pressured. And to tie in this point with the prior one, he also happens to be among the least-blitzed quarterbacks on third downs this year. 

BILLS: Lost top cornerback Tre'Davious White to a torn Achilles last week which means some combination of Christian Benford, Dane Jackson and Kaiir Elam (who had been benched for the first four games) will work at outside cornerback with Taron Johnson in the slot. That looks good, but the Bills pass rush is among the fiercest in football with a top-10 pass rush pressure rate (38.2%) without blitzing much (15.3% blitz rate is second-lowest in football). Unfortunately, pass rush terror Greg Rousseau won't play for the Bills, lowering their dominance in this area. 

Flex Starter (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #13
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs JAC BUF -5.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS WR
11th
PROJ PTS
12.6
WR RNK
31st
YTD Stats
REC
12
TAR
18
REYDS
220
TD
3
FPTS/G
13
Until his role changes, Davis will be the same kind of Fantasy option every week -- one big play and he's a stud, one or two misses and he's a dud. The Jaguars have done well against deep-ball receivers but not enough to the point where benching Davis is a good idea. He's toward the top of the flex mix ahead of Tank Dell, Tutu Atwell, Christian Watson and Jerry Jeudy.

LAST WEEK: Kept playing up to his boom/bust ceiling by catching a long touchdown. That's three straight games with a score. It was also his third game out of four with four or fewer targets. 

BOOM/BUST INDEED: Davis has a massive ADOT of 16.8 yards (top-10 among 96 receivers with at least 10 targets this season), but he also has a minuscule target share of 13.6% and a target per route run rate of 13.4% (86th out of those 96 receivers). He's clearly a role player with a big-time skill-set that isn't leaned on too much. 

JAGUARS: Statistically are top-three in catch rate allowed to wideouts on throws of 15-plus Air Yards (29.4%) with seven passes defensed, but dead-last in yards per catch (43.8!) and YAC/reception (15.0!) on those passes that are completed. They have done a nice job staying close in coverage on those throws. 

ZONE COVERAGE: Jacksonville ranks fifth in zone coverage rate (78.5%) and figures to play a lot of it to keep eyes on Josh Allen and deter him from throwing deep. They did the same to Patrick Mahomes in Week 2. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
ATL -2, O/U 41.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #31
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL ATL -2 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
2nd
PROJ PTS
12
RB RNK
26th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
181
REC
8
REYDS
68
TD
1
FPTS/G
9.7
I genuinely believe Pierce will become a quality Fantasy starter in the near-term, but his matchup is a challenge to begin with and his offensive line makes his outlook even tougher to buy into. For now he's among the TD-needy running back tier who might only give 13 or 14 PPR points even if he does score (which no one has done against Atlanta). He's more than fine as a bye-week replacement RB (or a RB who you kind of have to start because you're thin at the position) but I'd prefer Breece Hall, Isiah Pacheco and Rhamondre Stevenson over Pierce.

LAST WEEK: Had a touchdown called back on a short designed screen and two more runs from 10 yards or closer get blown up. But at least he began to separate from the other Texans rushers and finish with 24 carries and a catch for over 100 total yards, even if the runs weren't efficient. 

FILM: Pierce's vision and burst helped him on plays outside of the tackles and in the screen game. He also did an admirable job fighting for extra yards play after play. Houston's doing a great job utilizing him in spite of its offensive line issues, but those issues do show up frequently anytime he ran between the tackles. 

INSIDE/OUTSIDE: In total Pierce had 4.7 yards per run on outside plays with two explosive plays and 2.8 yards per run on inside plays with zero explosives in Week 4. On the season he's been a full yard worse on outside runs and about the same on inside runs, so perhaps he and the Texans are improving on those edge plays.

FALCONS: Have run hot and cold against the run but they've ultimately been good by virtue of their 3.8 rushing average and zero rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs this season. They gave up just three runs of 10-plus yards to RBs in their past three games (all against Jahmyr Gibbs, none to Travis Etienne or A.J. Dillon). They've also held backs to 2.7 yards per carry on edge runs while yielding 4.3 yards on carries between the tackles. 

FALCONS: Have not allowed more than 8 non-PPR/11 PPR points to any running back so far this season. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decision)
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #13
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL ATL -2 O/U 41.5
OPP VS WR
8th
PROJ PTS
11
WR RNK
27th
YTD Stats
REC
16
TAR
24
REYDS
267
TD
2
FPTS/G
14
Dell's upside for one huge catch keeps him in play as a middle-of-the-pack flex, but you should be willing to consider other receivers with safer floors and nearly as much upside. And if the game is low-scoring or a one-sided win for Houston (don't laugh, they just did it last week), it further lowers Dell's ceiling. I'd rather start Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson and Adam Thielen.

LAST WEEK: The Texans didn't need him! Houston built a nice lead thanks to its defense and held on without having to throw the ball a ton. 

FILM: The Steelers really emphasized not getting beat deep by Dell, often using a safety over the top to his side of the field to deter C.J. Stroud from even thinking about throwing at him. It worked out for the Steelers because Dell had zero deep targets, and it worked for the Texans because Nico Collins beat soft coverage a bunch including on a 24-yard deep ball (Dell drew triple coverage!) and on his long touchdown score (Dell got a safety to cheat over to his side). 

FALCONS: Should be able to deploy the same type of defensive coverage with a safety cheating over to Dell's side of the field. They could also stick outside cornerback A.J. Terrell on Collins and make things a little harder on the Texans. Terrell shadowed a receiver for the first time this season in Week 4, contributing to Calvin Ridley's modest day. It ultimately would mean multiple bodies on Dell.

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #8
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU ATL -2 O/U 41.5
OPP VS TE
18th
PROJ PTS
7.6
TE RNK
13th
YTD Stats
REC
11
TAR
21
REYDS
121
TD
0
FPTS/G
5.8
If Coach Smith is right, then holding on to Pitts in Fantasy makes sense. But it's hard to see the good in his game so far this season beyond him finding holes in zone coverage. Jonnu even has more red-zone targets than Pitts (by one, three to two). The matchup could create some receiving opportunities, so maybe he catches five passes for 50 yards, but that's not anything to be excited about. I'd rather start Jake Ferguson, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ATL Atlanta • #81
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU ATL -2 O/U 41.5
OPP VS TE
18th
PROJ PTS
5.2
TE RNK
24th
YTD Stats
REC
15
TAR
20
REYDS
179
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.2
I feel like Smith is doing what Pitts is supposed to do: get open and make plays after the catch. The hope is we keep seeing that for Smith, especially if the game is competitive like most Falcons games tend to be. He certainly hasn't done anything to lose his role. I don't mind chancing it with Smith as a streaming tight end, though I just don't have the conviction to start him over Pitts.

 LAST WEEK: Was the second time in three weeks where Smith outproduced Pitts, but the first time it was so lopsided. The difference in snaps played and routes run is marginal -- Pitts did more of both -- but Smith is taking advantage of shorter routes with a quarterback who doesn't like to challenge downfield all that much. What's more, Smith averaged more yards per catch not just in Week 4 but also in Week 2, and he was behind Pitts by less than a yard in Week 3 when both had at least eight targets. 

FILM ON PITTS: There's no change in his explosiveness whatsoever. He's running at a slower-than-expected pace, but the Jaguars still paid him plenty of attention defensively, creating a double-whammy that left him without many targets. His longest opportunity was a deep ball from Desmond Ridder that was well-placed and perfectly leapt for by Pitts, but he couldn't secure it to the ground, nor was he separated from cornerback Tyson Campbell at all. Pitts was best on shorter routes against zone coverage. 

ARTHUR SMITH: Said this week that Pitts isn't at 100%, adding " there are certain things, you see him, and he's doing really well right now and there are certain things that he can't [do well]. It's been a journey back. He's going to get there."

FILM ON SMITH: From what I see, Smith is running shorter routes and is getting open faster than Pitts. That's earned him some targets from Ridder, who seemed to have better timing with Smith than Pitts. Smith is not drawing any kind of tight coverage like Pitts either, mostly because he's staying closer to the line of scrimmage. But after the catch Smith has been a handful, breaking three tackles just last week and picking up extra yards with it. He's not fast, but he's faster than Pitts, and for at least last week and Week 2 it changed the calculus for how the Falcons divvied up targets. 

TEXANS: Have had a bundle of troubles with tight ends, giving up an 84% catch rate and 6.76 YAC/reception to the position, both bottom-six in the league. That includes allowing an 89% catch rate on 18 total targets to Colts and Jaguars' tight ends in Weeks 2 and 3 for 9.9 yards per catch and 7.2 YAC/reception. These numbers were a byproduct of the amount of zone coverage they played against both teams, leaving the short middle of the field open. Houston has played the third-most zone coverage of any team this year and should do so again. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
PIT +4, O/U 38
Flex Starter in PPR (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
BAL Baltimore • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
We've come to love (or hate) Ravens-Steelers games for their tough defense and low-scoring battles. That might hurt Flowers' chances of scoring -- it will probably take a little luck, which isn't necessarily too big of an ask given how the Steelers secondary has played recently. If you start Flowers, you're counting on the Steelers run defense staying strong and the Ravens using Flowers to create solid plays as a run-game extension and/or you're hoping for a splash play. That makes him a risky flex with a much safer floor in PPR than half- or non-PPR. In the catch-counting formats I'll start him over Tank Dell, the Broncos WRs, Jordan Addison and George Pickens.

FLOWERS: Has seen his target share increase in competitive Ravens games (not like Week 4's blowout win) and especially when the Ravens run game isn't overly efficient (Weeks 1 and 3). Of his 29 targets, 18 have been on throws of 3 or fewer Air Yards and half of those have been WR screens.

STEELERS: Run defense has improved considerably over their past two games, giving up just 3.5 yards per tote and 2.22 yards after contact per run against the Raiders and Texans. That could open up more targets for Flowers.

STEELERS: Haven't seen many WR screens but the ones they've defended have yielded a pathetic 13.75 YAC/reception. This is an exploitable play for Flowers.

DEEP BALL: The Steelers haven't been so hot here either, allowing 16 of 33 targets of 15-plus Air Yards to be completed for 22.5 yards per catch and for three touchdowns. This is an exploitable play for Flowers, who has caught 4 of 5 deep passes for a sizzling 136 yards.

HISTORY: In five career games against Pittsburgh, Lamar Jackson has thrown four career touchdowns. At least all of them went to his wideouts. All were in the red zone, none were on deep throws and none were on WR screens. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #22
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -4 O/U 38
OPP VS RB
12th
PROJ PTS
9.3
RB RNK
30th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
210
REC
4
REYDS
34
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.1
The Steelers' lack of scoring opportunities really crushes the upside for Harris, who admittedly has improved this season and could be on his way to being a reliable RB2. The Ravens have been pretty good against the run but they can give up some numbers. Harris is a volume-based back who is at best a low-end starting option given everything that's going on. I'd rather start Breece Hall, Rhamondre Stevenson, Dameon Pierce and Jaleel McLaughlin (if Javonte Williams sits out).

LAST WEEK: Harris had his first game with over 100 total yards against the Texans and averaged 5.1 yards per rush, just shy of the season-high he technically had on six carries against the 49ers in Week 1. A 32-yard reception helped him cross the triple-digit barrier. 

HARRIS: This might shock you, but Harris is averaging 4.3 yards per run this year with a 12.2% explosive run rate. Would you believe the explosive run rate, which reflects the frequency of his 12-plus-yard runs, is fifth-best among 44 qualifying running backs?! He's also 13th in avoided tackle rate and top-10 in yards after contact per carry at 3.53. 

TOUCHDOWNS: Harris has zero. Somehow it gets worse: He has one carry inside the 15-yard line. The Steelers have run the second-fewest red-zone plays (18, one more than New England) and second-fewest plays inside the 5-yard line (two, one more than New England). The Steelers have played four games! This is nuts. 

RAVENS: Have yet to allow a rushing score to a running back this year. They've been otherwise solid against RBs, holding them to 4.0 yards per carry on the season and roughly league-average in other metrics including missed tackles (15). But just three players have averaged over 4.0 yards per carry: Joe Mixon (4.5 yards per run, didn't have 100 total yards, didn't score), Zack Moss (4.1 yards per run, ran for 122 yards on 30 carries and caught a touchdown) and Pierre Strong (9.8 yards per carry, most of it coming in garbage time last week). 

HISTORY: Harris had over 120 total yards and a touchdown in a Week 17 win in Baltimore last year. He also scored on them with exactly 50 total yards against them in at home in Week 14. He has posted at least 10 non-PPR points in 3 of 4 career games. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
DET -9.5, O/U 45
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CAR Carolina • #6
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET DET -10 O/U 45
OPP VS RB
5th
PROJ PTS
9.9
RB RNK
25th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
158
REC
15
REYDS
81
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.7
If you start Sanders, you're hoping he finds room for a few long plays, perhaps through the air, and a touchdown. I definitely buy into the Lions run defense to keep Sanders grounded, and his playing time seems to be slipping away. I'd rather start Jahmyr Gibbs, Dameon Pierce and Najee Harris.

LAST WEEK: His playing time hit a season-low 43% of the snaps as he continued losing third-down work to Chuba Hubbard. It hasn't crushed his reception totals at all but it's notable that his only game with more than four grabs came with Andy Dalton under center. Sanders also played just 31% of the Panthers' second-half snaps, a big-time change after his second-half snaps were a lot closer to Hubbard's in Weeks 2 and 3. 

SANDERS: His yards per carry has tumbled like a bowling ball downstairs this season, going from 4.0 against the Falcons to 3.1 against the Saints to 2.7 against the Seahawks to 1.5 against the Vikings. Tough matchups? Sure, even including the Vikings. Doesn't mean it's not a good look. 

NOT SURPRISINGLY: Sanders has two runs of 12-plus yards through four games -- and neither went more than 15 yards. It's not all on him -- the offensive line for the Panthers barely gave him any daylight last week (and for much of the year) and defenses aren't yet scared of getting beat by Bryce Young's arm.

LIONS: Are a tough matchup, giving up 2.9 yards per rush to running backs on the season. That ranks top-three, as does their yards before contact allowed (0.49) and runs of 10-plus yards allowed (three). Forgive them for the 2.38 yards after contact per rush allowed -- that's only fifth-best in the league. Only Kenneth Walker, on the strength of two touchdowns, has had more than five non-PPR and nine PPR points against these Lions. 

LAST YEAR: Detroit was pretty strong against the run last year when they went into Carolina and got absolutely pummeled by the Panthers run game (which included Chuba Hubbard). Coach Dan Campbell knows it -- he accepted responsibility for that loss last year claiming the Lions "were not emotionally ready to go." They should be this time around. Besides, it's a different coaching staff in Carolina and, clearly, a different run game. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DET Detroit • #16
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CAR DET -10 O/U 45
OPP VS QB
4th
PROJ PTS
20.8
QB RNK
11th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
1029
RUYDS
12
TD
7
INT
3
FPTS/G
19.6
Any quarterback with upside is a better pick than Goff, who shouldn't have to do too much to help the Lions pull down a win. There will be temptation on his part to test Jameson Williams on deep throws, and no doubt there will be opportunities for Sam LaPorta and Josh Reynolds (and Jahmyr Gibbs, hopefully), but it's more likely Goff has a modest game at home with a couple of scores and maybe 225 yards. I'll give him the nod over Dak Prescott and Joe Burrow, but Jordan Love, Trevor Lawrence, Josh Dobbs and C.J. Stroud all have more potential to help you win.

LAST WEEK: After an interception, Goff marched downfield and got the Lions a touchdown, then gave way to David Montgomery to pound the Packers into submission. He had his lowest number of pass attempts (28) and yards (210) this year, and threw just one touchdown for the third time in four games. 

PANTHERS: At 27.9% are dead last in pass rush pressure rate through four weeks. The only game this season when they had some pressure on a quarterback was against the Seahawks, who have a beat-up offensive line. The Lions offensive line is near full strength and have allowed Goff to be sacked five times through four games. 

QUARTERBACKS: Have failed to top 20 Fantasy points against the Panthers this season. That includes Kirk Cousins last week, who only threw 19 times in a win (and had two touchdowns but just 13 Fantasy points). Only twice has a quarterback thrown more than TWENTY passes against Carolina. 

RUNNING BACKS: Have clobbered the Panthers. For the first three weeks of the year a rusher had at least two touchdowns against the Panthers. Last week no Vikings running back did, but Alexander Mattison (5.6) and Cam Akers (8.0) each had uncharacteristically high rushing averages. Keep in mind: The Vikings have basically operated like they are allergic to running the ball UNTIL they played the Panthers. 

GOFF: Played one game last year without Amon-Ra St. Brown. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns with an interceptions in a mad come-from-behind effort against the Seahawks, who won the game 48-45. It's unlikely the Panthers will force the issue on the scoreboard like the Seahawks did last season. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
NE -1, O/U 40
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #38
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NO NE -1 O/U 40
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
13.2
RB RNK
26th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
164
REC
12
REYDS
87
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.8
The workload is nice for Stevenson, but this feels like a week where he once again won't do too much with it. He's still a decent start ahead of Najee Harris, Khalil Herbert and Jahmyr Gibbs but I'd rather chance my lineup with someone who has upside like Jaleel McLaughlin (if Javonte Williams sits out) or Alexander Mattison.

FILM: The numbers don't quite match the talent -- Stevenson is a capable runner with great vision, balance and power to go with good speed. He struggled on lateral runs last week and his line failed him plenty on north-south runs. Game script kept him from finding a lot of work last week (one fourth-quarter touch). 

THIS SEASON: Stevenson has at least 16 touches in every game, which is good. Unfortunately he has yet to total 100 yards and has been under 70 yards three times, which is definitely the opposite of good.

STEVENSON: The Patriots front five has gone through all kinds of issues and as a result have contributed to Stevenson averaging 0.98 yards before contact per rush this season. That ranks 29th out of 44 qualifying running backs. And if you think that's bad then consider his yards after contact per rush average of 1.75, which is dead-last among those same 44 qualifiers.

EXPLOSIVE RUNS: Stevenson has one (1) explosive carry of 12 or more yards. It was against Miami. It went 12 yards. This is a big change from 2022 when he had 21 explosive runs and an explosive run rate of 10%, which was eighth-best. 

RECEIVING: Is averaging 4.0 targets per game and catching 75% of them but is getting just 7.3 yards per catch and has one (1) explosive catch of 16 or more yards. That one went for 32 yards against the Eagles in Week 1. Since then his longest reception has been for seven yards. 

SAINTS: Are sixth-best in rushing average to RBs (3.6) and are top-10 in basically every single run defense metric you could think of, including missed tackles with just nine on the year. The only rusher to exceed 10 Fantasy points against them, PPR or not, was Derrick Henry in Week 1. He had 13 PPR points. No one's run for a touchdown on them either. 

SAINTS: Aren't quite as impressive against running backs through the air, but they're not awful. Figure them as league average across the board except in YAC/reception (8.53), but that was due to a massive catch-and-run by Henry in Week 1. Since Week 2 their YAC/reception has been 5.94, sixth best in that span with zero explosive pass plays allowed to RBs. So they're pretty good. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
MIA -11, O/U 48.5
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIA Miami • #31
Age: 31 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG MIA -11 O/U 48.5
OPP VS RB
23rd
PROJ PTS
16
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
249
REC
13
REYDS
115
TD
7
FPTS/G
22.4
If you're starting Mostert, you're hoping he hasn't fumbled away his half of the touches he's had over the past two weeks AND can have the chance at scoring. Miami is capable of giving Mostert more short-yardage work out of the blue, but their actions over the past two weeks suggest Achane is their preferred back near the goal line. Understand the risks in starting Mostert as a No. 2 RB, who could be dog-house bound with another fumble. He's behind Isiah Pacheco and Breece Hall in my rankings but ahead of Jahmyr Gibbs, Dameon Pierce and Najee Harris. Achane is clearly far ahead of Mostert.

LAST WEEK: Before he fumbled the ball away twice, Mostert was splitting reps with De'Von Achane in a way that was unfavorable for him. Before the Dolphins got inside the 10-yard line Mostert had a 16-to-9 edge, then Achane played every single snap inside the 10. Then after Mostert's second fumble of the half, Mostert played just nine of the remaining 35 snaps including nothing near the end zone. Coach Mike McDaniel preached the importance of his offense not having "self-inflicted wounds" immediately after the game.

LAST TWO WEEKS: Achane played all but two snaps inside the 10-yard line for Miami, so that seems like a big part of his role that will stick. As for third downs, Mostert has a one-snap edge over Achane at 6 to 5, which means they're splitting those valuable touches. Overall the targets have favored Mostert only because he had more of them in Week 3 against Denver (7 to 4). 

GIANTS: Are about to get run over. Their 4.3-yard rushing average they've allowed is a shade worse than league average but they rate poorly in rushing touchdowns allowed (five), rushes of 10-plus yards allowed (14) and missed tackles on runs (24, fourth-worst in football). 

DOLPHINS:  Have split the workload pretty evenly despite the snap shares morphing in Achane's favor. Last week Achane had 11 touches to Mostert's 10. The week before Achane had 22 to Mostert's 20. The week before that ... Achane wasn't a thing and Mostert had 19 touches to Salvon Ahmed's six (Achane had none). At least we can say over the past two weeks that the Dolphins have used both backs rather evenly in touches, even though WHERE they've gotten them haven't been as equal. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 1:00 pm ET •
IND +1, O/U 42.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
TEN Tennessee • #10
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ IND TEN -2 O/U 43
OPP VS WR
25th
PROJ PTS
11.6
WR RNK
30th
YTD Stats
REC
18
TAR
31
REYDS
216
TD
0
FPTS/G
9.9
It's been cool to bench Hopkins so far this season but we're staring at a terrific matchup for him to take advantage of, just as other receivers have as recently as last week (Puka Nacua). I think he'll continue to see high-value targets near the end zone and, hopefully, a small uptick in targets. I'd start him as a No. 2 receiver over Terry McLaurin, any Broncos wideouts and any Packers wideouts.

LAST WEEK: Was so close to having a monster game. He was the designed target on a trick play and saw the ball fall just past his outstretched hands in the end zone. He also had two targets inside the 10-yard line (his first two of the season) and two end-zone targets including the aforementioned trick play (his first two of the season). The heavy dose of targets inside the 10 and into the end zone are positive signs that the Titans are trying to get him going as a playmaker. 

FILM: Hopkins might be 31 years old but he moved really, really well, creating separation with outstanding footwork and having just enough speed to stay a step ahead of defenders. He got open on a handful of third-down plays when he didn't get a target last week. 

TANNEHILL: Is the top problem Hopkins has right now. Hopkins' 38-yard deep-ball catch last week could have been as many as 50 yards if Tannehill hit him in stride, and the gimmick-play touchdown would have obviously been a massive point-getter had Tannehill been slightly more on-target there. There was even a target into the end zone that was a miscommunication between Hopkins and Tannehill. On the season Tannehill has a 13% off-target rate but over the past two games that number has ballooned to 18%, which is ... yikes. 

TITANS: The second problem Hopkins has right now is a Titans offense that's stayed true to their run-first preference -- at least when they win. On the year they're throwing the ball 54.6% of the time, 10th-lowest, but in their wins they've thrown the ball 46.4% of their snaps. In losses they've thrown 64.4% of the time. The Colts are one-point home favorites, which means at minimum the game should be competitive, which does not help the pass-run ratio outlook. 

COLTS: Are a frozen yogurt sundae of a dream matchup for Hopkins. On the season outside receivers like Hopkins have caught 72.3% of their targets for 12.7 yards per catch against the Colts. The catch rate is bottom six, the yardage rate is top-12, but the Colts defense leads the NFL in missed tackles on passing plays with 10. Indianapolis also lost their top outside corner, Dallis Flowers, to a torn Achilles. They'll roll with rookies JuJu Brents (80% catch rate allowed) and Jaylon Jones (played two snaps this season) along with already-benched second-year corner Darrell Baker (TD allowed in each of first two games) as outside cornerbacks. 

PASS RUSH: Rank fifth-worst in pass-rush pressure rate and seventh-worst in blitz rate AND might be without edge rusher Kwity Paye. The Titans are helped by the return of rookie guard Peter Skoronski and tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Tannehill could have more time to throw accurately. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 4:05 pm ET •
ARI +3, O/U 44.5
Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CIN Cincinnati • #9
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI CIN -3 O/U 44.5
OPP VS QB
25th
PROJ PTS
20.8
QB RNK
19th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
728
RUYDS
3
TD
2
INT
2
FPTS/G
8.9
Look, if there's a matchup Burrow could piece together a decent stat line in, this would be it. Or Denver. Or Chicago. You get the gist. The Cardinals pass rush shouldn't be too dangerous and Burrow, now over a month into his season, figures to eventually show some signs of improvement with his health. In no way is he a must start, and there's plenty of good reason to go with Trevor Lawrence, Russell Wilson, C.J. Stroud and even Joshua Dobbs over him, but there's some mild appeal that should at least keep him in lineups over Dak Prescott and Daniel Jones.

LAST WEEK: Looked like a quarterback playing on one leg. Burrow didn't get much into his throws, didn't challenge downfield much, got the ball out as fast as he could and was sensitive to pass rush pressure. Even when the game was in garbage time Burrow couldn't get much going. 

AIR YARDS LAST WEEK: Burrow was 1 for 4 on throws of 10-plus Air Yards and 0 for 2 on throws of 15-plus Air Yards. 

AIR YARDS THIS SEASON: Burrow has been 11 for 38 on throws of 10-plus Air Yards and 2 for 22 on throws of 15-plus Air Yards. 

TOUCHDOWNS: Burrow has thrown just two scores this season. Both came against Baltimore in Week 2, both were throws inside the five-yard line, both were to Tee Higgins. That's it. Even his red-zone stats are unfathomable -- he's completed 7 of 15 passes in the red zone. At least 9 of those 15 throws went into the end zone. 

PASS RUSH: Bengals opponents have started to sniff out Burrow's issues and have come after him. The Browns and Titans had a pass rush pressure rate between 38& and 42% in their wins over Cincy with high blitz rates (at least 31% each). Compare that to the Rams and Ravens, who barely brought pressure or blitzes and either lost or nearly lost to the Bengals. 

CARDINALS: Are dead-last in blitz rate this season (14%) and third-to-worst in pass rush pressure rate (28%). They actually had nine sacks after Weeks 1 and 2 but have had three since against the Cowboys and 49ers. Arizona seems to prefer using just four rushers to affect the quarterback, something that should be helpful to Burrow this week. 

CARDINALS: Rank eighth-worst in completion rate allowed (69.8%, though that was boosted heavily by Brock Purdy's 95% completion rate last week), and are bottom-five in both yards per catch (11.7) and missed tackles on pass plays (49!). 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 4:05 pm ET •
LAR +4, O/U 50.5
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #88
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR PHI -4.5 O/U 50.5
OPP VS TE
23rd
PROJ PTS
9.3
TE RNK
12th
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
19
REYDS
88
TD
0
FPTS/G
5.5
Goedert is a distant third in targets on the Eagles for a reason -- he's not explosive in the least and the Philly offense is much more concerned with its explosive components. It shouldn't be lost on Fantasy managers that since Swift became a staple in the Eagles offense, Goedert has taken a backseat. There's always still a shot he scores from short range, but you know how the Eagles like to run the ball when they're near the goal line. I'd rather start Jake Ferguson and Zach Ertz in all formats as well as Kyle Pitts and Cole Kmet in non-PPR.

THREE WEEKS IN A ROW: With seven or fewer targets, Goedert has failed to get even 50 yards receiving. His target volume dipped from seven in Weeks 2 and 3 to four in Week 4. Goedert had the same amount of targets as D'Andre Swift. 

NICK SIRIANNI: The Eagles coach again said "[w]e need to get him the football," citing that plays designed for him wound up going to other Eagles because of how defenses played Goedert. 

FILM: If there's something teams are doing to take away Goedert, I didn't see it on any of his nine third-down routes last week. Goedert still looked sluggish in his movements and didn't run a ton of deeper routes, though there were a couple where he did get open but Jalen Hurts had better opportunities elsewhere. 

LAST WEEK: On the plus side, two of his targets were in the red zone and a third was a deep contested catch for 17 yards. On the downside, he dropped that fourth target on a short throw. 

GOEDERT: Has three red-zone targets and zero end-zone targets this season. 

RAMS: Got stung for two touchdowns to tight ends at Indy last week, one on a 35-yard play where Mo Alie-Cox got matched up with  DE-turned-OLB Mike Hoecht. The other was a five-yard toss to Andrew Ogletree, who ran past Hoecht off the snap for an easy touchdown grab. These guys aren't considered primary tight ends like Goedert, though, so it's unlikely the Rams would cover Goedert the same way as they covered them (which is to say, they barely did). 

BEFORE WEEK 4: The Seahawks, Bengals and 49ers tight ends, including George Kittle, combined for eight non-PPR/19 PPR Fantasy points over three games against the Rams. L.A.'s pass stats against tight ends were much better before the Colts laid some numbers on them. 

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 4:25 pm ET •
MIN +4, O/U 52.5
Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #3
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -4 O/U 52.5
OPP VS WR
10th
PROJ PTS
9.8
WR RNK
34th
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
20
REYDS
185
TD
2
FPTS/G
10.9
While the Vikings are almost guaranteed to throw a ton against the Chiefs, rolling with Addison remains a risk because he's not the definitive No. 2 target, nor is the matchup any good for him. He's a flex at best who I'd sit for Romeo Doubs, Gabe Davis and Christian Watson.

LAST WEEK: Total disaster. In a gamescript that actually gave Minnesota a chance to -- gasp! -- run the ball, Kirk Cousins barely threw the ball and Addison went catchless on one target. There was also a major reduction in snaps played, down to 58%. His season-low was 56% from Week 1. 

MATCHUP: With the Vikings capable of running the ball, the offense went with heavier formations. Backup tight end Josh Oliver played about as many snaps as he did in Week 1 and third tight end Johnny Mundt saw a season-high 17% of snaps. Week 4 was the first time all year the Vikings DIDN'T throw the ball on at least 69% of their snaps. 

THIRD MAN: Last week did affirm that Addison may actually be the No. 3 wide receiver in the offense behind Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn, but even with the donut Addison still has a five-catch lead on Osborn on the season with 68 more yards gained. 

THIS WEEK: You can bank on the Vikings reversing course against the Chiefs. Two of the past three offenses against Kansas City wound up throwing at least 71% of their snaps. The team that didn't? Chicago, who was so badly blown out by halftime that they ran the ball 55% of their second-half snaps just to get out of Arrowhead. 

CHIEFS: Have been stout against receivers all season long, ranking top-five in catch rate allowed (53.4%) and YAC/reception allowed (2.96), and sixth-best in yards per catch given up (11.1). Even if you take out the Bears game the Chiefs have yielded a 56.8% catch rate and 2.93 YAC/reception with a 10.9 receiving average to the Lions, Jaguars and Jets. Drill down even further and they're great against outside receivers like Addison in terms of catch rate (45.8%) and YAC/reception (2.86), but they have allowed 15.0 yards per catch specifically to outside receivers. It's the only saving grace Addison has.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 4:25 pm ET •
DEN -1.5, O/U 43
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -1.5 O/U 43
OPP VS WR
24th
PROJ PTS
13.5
WR RNK
15th
YTD Stats
REC
21
TAR
36
REYDS
225
TD
2
FPTS/G
13.9
Is the matchup so easy that Zach Wilson will have tons of time in the pocket to make perfect throws? That's tough to bank on simply because Wilson has rarely thrown the ball with precision. But I like Garrett Wilson's chances of seeing a lot of targets and coming through with at least a couple of big plays against a defense that has been tied in knots for the past eight quarters. I'd start Wilson over Gabe Davis, Jakobi Meyers and any Broncos wideouts.

LAST WEEK: A breakout of sorts as Wilson caught 9 of 14 targets to boost his PPR score, but he ultimately wound up with 60 receiving yards, his second-highest amount of the season. Wilson was real close to cashing in a 29-yard touchdown but Zach Wilson was off-target with the throw. 

ZACH WILSON: Of the 36 targets Garrett Wilson has seen from Zach Wilson, 11 of them (31%) have been uncatchable. That doesn't include another three incompletions that were either thrown late or predetermined that defenses were able to sniff out. 

SILVER LINING? Garrett Wilson is clearly the alpha of the passing game, collecting at least twice as many targets this season than anyone else on the Jets. 

THE REAL SILVER LINING: The Jets will take on a Broncos defense that has been awful to watch. No defense has allowed a higher catch rate (85.1%) or scored a worse Defensive EPA per drop back (minus-0.79) collectively to wide receivers than the Broncos. And after yielding an 86.7% catch rate ad 20.8 yards per catch to the Dolphins in Week 3, Denver turned around and let up a 92.9% catch rate and 15.6 yards per catch to the Bears in Week 4! Even top cornerback Pat Surtain has allowed a high-for-him 63% completion rate this season. Surtain allowed four catches for 56 yards over six targets in his coverage last week. It does not help that Denver's pass rush has been practically non-existent. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DEN Denver • #3
Age: 35 • Experience: 12 yrs.
I chose to drop Wilson in my rankings because this should be one of his toughest matchups of the season, and his reliance on outside receivers and the deep ball are at risk given this matchup. We might see a much more subdued and boring version of Wilson's game, which means he could very well wind up with a stat line like Mahomes had against the Jets last week. I'd rather start Jared Goff, Trevor Lawrence, Joshua Dobbs and C.J. Stroud.

LAST WEEK: Was the second time in three games Wilson had 28-plus Fantasy points. It helped that he played a bad Bears defense with a beat-up secondary. His other high-score game? Week 2 against the Commanders, where he had 92 yards and a Hail Mary touchdown in the final 0:48 to boost his score an extra 9.7 Fantasy points (he still had 22.2 points without it).

THE JETS: Have given up over 16 Fantasy points to a quarterback ONCE all season -- Dak Prescott in Week 2. The other three they faced, including Josh Allen in Week 1 and Patrick Mahomes last Sunday, were under 16 Fantasy points.

PASS RUSH: The Jets tend to get to the quarterback without blitzing (19.5% blitz rate is bottom-five), getting some pressure on 41.6% of their snaps so far this year, which is third-best in the league. And it's been consistent -- their only "low" game was at Dallas and they still bugged Prescott 32.5% of the time. That's a lot.

O-LINE: Denver's front five allows the sixth-highest pass rush pressure rate this year at 39.5%. The Bears had pressure on 32.3% of their dropbacks against Denver last week, their second-highest of the season (they did blitz a bunch).

WILSON: His numbers when pressured don't look bad over the course of the season, but they're weighted by his numbers against the Raiders in Week 1. In his past three games when he threw a lot against Washington, Miami and Chicago, Wilson completed 56.4% of his passes when pressured for 8.0 yards per attempt with a better-than-most 5.1% TD rate and a great off-target rate of 2.6%. Of those numbers, only his off-target rate is somehow better when pressured than not pressured; the rest are all much better when he has time. He shouldn't have much time this week.

DEEP BALL: The Jets are also pretty good versus throws of 15-plus Air Yards, giving up just a 40.7% completion rate with four interceptions and an in-context low number of 23.1 yards per grab (seventh-best). Wilson ranks top-10 among quarterbacks in completion rate (50%) and yards per attempt (17.2) with the second-lowest off-target rate (12.5%) on those long throws but is below league-average in overall attempts. His numbers are also inflated because of that Commanders game and the Hail Mary he hit on.

VS. OUTSIDE WRs: The Jets allow the second-highest catch rate to perimeter guys (79.4%), but they're top-five in yards per catch (10.7), ADOT (10.38) and completions allowed of 20-plus yards (three, which is best in NFL). Outside guys have also seen the third-fewest targets because teams know not to attack there.

WILSON: 50 of his 132 passes (38%) have gone to outside receivers this year. Seven of his nine touchdowns have headed that way too. This is a problem for Wilson.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Sun, Oct 8 at 8:20 pm ET •
SF -3.5, O/U 45
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
DAL Dallas • #87
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
The only reason to give Ferguson the nod is because he's a safety valve for Prescott to lean on. It's a volume play where you're counting on Ferguson to catch six or seven balls and average around 10 yards per catch. It makes him much more appealing in PPR than non-PPR, which is why I'm OK starting him over Dallas Goedert and Kyle Pitts.

LAST WEEK: Was the benefactor of Dak Prescott taking what the Patriots defense gave him, mostly utilizing Ferguson as a short-area target to fire the ball to when the pressure was quick off the snap. But there were a couple of throws where Prescott read the defense well and found Ferguson for pretty good gains. All told Ferguson led the Cowboys with seven targets and seven catches for 77 yards in three quarters of work.

THIS WEEK: The 49ers figure to unleash its pass rush on Prescott with zone coverage behind it, which only makes sense given how Prescott has handled the pass rush pressure this year. It should mean more short throws for Ferguson.

49ERS: Are tops in football in catch rate allowed to tight ends (48.6%) and YAC/reception allowed (1.29 yards). They're also top-five in yards per catch (7.1). These numbers are even more amazing when you realize tight ends have averaged 8.8 targets per game against the Niners this season, third-most in football. Tyler Higbee and Darren Waller were completely humbled, but Zach Ertz had 11 PPR points last week and nearly caught a touchdown. Pat Freiermuth did catch a touchdown in Week 1 to earn him seven PPR points. 

Sit Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #13
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
It's safe to expect Purdy to feel a lot of pressure against the Cowboys, and throwing in man coverage behind it could create some havoc that could speed up Purdy. He's been so consistent and the 49ers are so loaded, but this is just one of those rare matchups where there's too much downside to buy into Purdy. After ranking him high early in the week I've moved him behind Anthony Richardson, Jordan Love and Trevor Lawrence, but still ahead of Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott and Daniel Jones.

LAST WEEK: Purdy's been a find ever since the 49ers put him on the field but last week he executed their offense flawlessly. Seriously -- he missed on one throw. And for the second time this season, Purdy threw a pass that was ruled a lateral for a touchdown, robbing his Fantasy managers of precious points. Of course, it helped that he played Arizona, a defense that has taken a step back in pressuring quarterbacks.

PURDY: Has hit at least 20 Fantasy points in 8 of his 9 regular-season starts, and it really should be 9 for 9 because of that first touchdown that was ruled a lateral back in Week 2. If you include the two playoff games he completed, Purdy has delivered at least 20 in 9 of 11 games. And in 5 of those 9 he hit at least 23 Fantasy points including each of his past two games.

COWBOYS: Dallas' defense lost top cornerback Trevon Diggs and they're still red hot. They lead the league in pass rush pressure rate this season (55.6%) and they're in the top-10 in blitz rate (31.9%). It's that pressure that's helped the Cowboys rank in the top-five in completion rate allowed (57.4%), passing touchdowns allowed (two) and missed tackles on pass plays (just five, that's best in football). Only Joshua Dobbs, who ran for 55 yards, has scored double-digit Fantasy points against the Niners (18 points). Not that the Cowboys have been tested much -- Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson and the Patriots QBs are the other guys they've man-handled.

O-LINE: San Francisco has allowed a pass rush pressure on 36.4% of their snaps, which sounds like a lot but it's just a shade worse than league average. That number is weighted by the Giants' decision to blitz on 84.6% of Purdy's dropbacks in Week 2, creating an inflated pass rush pressure rate. Despite the Giants' efforts, Purdy still threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns in a game he didn't have Brandon Aiyuk in.

COWBOYS: Have become one of the most aggressive defenses in the league, ranking third from the bottom in zone coverage snaps. And truthfully, the only quarters they've actually played heavy zone have been at the end of blowout wins over the Giants and Jets. If they keep that up they'd look completely different than in their playoff meeting against Purdy in January when they played heavy zone for nearly 86% of their snaps.

PURDY: Has been sensational against both man and zone coverages this season. His completion rate and yards per attempt are noticeably higher against zone, but four of his five passing touchdowns have come versus man coverage. However, Purdy's been at his worst when pressured (like most quarterbacks), completing 48.6% of his throws for 5.6 yards per attempt with a gaudy 18.9% off-target rate.

LAST YEAR IN THE PLAYOFFS: The Cowboys pressured Purdy on 48.5% of his drop backs despite blitzing just 21.2% of the time. Purdy completed 65% of his throws but struggled mightily with 214 yards passing and no touchdowns.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Mon, Oct 9 at 8:15 pm ET •
LV +1, O/U 44.5
Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #10
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
The Raiders' track record against QBs and Love getting Aaron Jones and Christian Watson back without snap limits are what provides the most optimism here. The return of guard Elgton Jenkins helps, too. Love has upside to get back to 25-plus Fantasy points like he had in Weeks 1-3. I'd start him over Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Jared Goff.

LAST WEEK: Obviously the Lions pass rush was too much for him and the Packers offensive line in the first half. Motown especially played a lot of zone coverage early and Love still threw into the teeth of it. He calmed down in the second half and took more of what the Lions gave him and really got into a groove before making a bad read on a miscommunication with Romeo Doubs for his second interception.

A POSITIVE? Despite the turmoil last week, Love had season-bests in completion rate (63.9%) and off-target throws (11.1%) while still averaging a hefty 9.5 ADOT, which was his second-lowest on the year but still above league average.

FILM: I remember pointing out in the preseason that Love was late on a few of throws. That was the case in Week 4, but the bigger issue was passes sailing high on him because he was putting too much of his body into his throws. Combine those things with his penchant for attacking deep and it's no wonder he had a bad game. But there's something else -- Love was pass rush ignorant, meaning he didn't let the Lions' pressure scare him, even if it did wind up overwhelming him for some early-game sacks.

RAIDERS: Deserve credit for trying -- in the past two weeks they lead the NFL in pass rush pressure rate and are 10th in blitz rate. Playing weaker offensive lines in Pittsburgh and L.A. have helped boost those numbers, but quarterbacks are still finding success to the tune of 13.9 yards per catch and 7.07 YAC/reception over those two games, both bottom-three in the league. And, both quarterbacks the Raiders played in Weeks 3 and 4 each posted at least 22 Fantasy points (Kenny Pickett, Justin Herbert without his second-best receiver and without his top running back).

RAIDERS: The hunch is the Raiders will keep bringing the blitz and play a lot of gutsy man coverage behind it. They've been playing more man coverage in two of their past three games and have really only moved to heavy zone against the Broncos in Week 1.

LOVE: Has been a mixed bag against man coverage -- his completion rate has been terrible at 39.4%, but his touchdown rate has been outstanding (12.1%). Plus more man coverage and more blitzing could result in more rushing for Love, which he's shown he's willing to do.

Start 'em
10.0-7.00
6.99 - 5.01
5.00 - 0
Sit 'em
Thu, Oct 5 at 8:15 pm ET •
WAS -6, O/U 44.5
Bust Candidate (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #1
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS WAS -6 O/U 44.5
OPP VS QB
23rd
PROJ PTS
17.3
QB RNK
10th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
861
RUYDS
134
TD
8
INT
5
FPTS/G
20.4
This isn't that big of a step-up in competition for Fields, but it is for his offensive line. The deep-ball opportunities are a huge plus if Fields has good protection like he had last week. But if the short-week preparation doesn't scare you a little, his lack of rushing should since we're effectively starting him only for his passing chops. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. Anthony Richardson and Jordan Love have more potential than Fields this week, but guys like Russell Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, Dak Prescott and Jared Goff don't. You just might not have a better option than Fields.

LAST WEEK: Posted his first-ever game with four passing touchdowns and over 300 yards against a Broncos defense that was devoid of a serious pass rush or pass coverage skills through the first three quarters. By the fourth quarter the Broncos were generating heavy pressure and Fields finished 5 of 11 for 50 yards and no touchdowns with two turnovers.

FILM: For three quarters Fields looked terrific firing downfield from clean pockets with plenty of great reads and accurate throws along with a play or two where he manipulated defenders with the threat of him running only to throw over their heads, including on Kmet's short touchdown. His off-target rate was literally 0.0%. But by the fourth only some plays were fine -- on others he either was pressured, threw off his back foot, threw with too much velocity or wasn't on the same page as his target. His off-target rate in the fourth was 9.1%, which was closer to what he had averaged in his first three games (13.6%). 

BRONCOS: Have allowed season-best Fantasy numbers to each of the past three quarterbacks they've played this season. They're a terrific matchup for anybody right now. Remember this when we talk about the Jets. 

COMMANDERS: Sport a slightly below-average pass rush pressure rate thanks to only one game all year with a rate over 30% (52.7% at Denver, and Wilson still had a great game even if you take away a Hail Mary touchdown catch). They rank seventh in sacks (13) and 13h in pressures (53), which again floats around league average. 

BEARS: Rank league-worst in pass rush pressure rate allowed at 47.4% of their snaps -- nearly one out of every two drop backs is pressured. Bringing back guard Teven Jenkins might help a little, but they're still a struggling unit. 

DEEP BALL: Washington ranks bottom-five in attempts, yards per catch and touchdowns allowed on pass plays of 15-plus Air Yards over the past three weeks. This is an area Fields can exploit -- he's tied for the most touchdowns on throws of 15-plus Air Yards this season than Fields with four and is around league-average in completion rate, attempts per game and Expected Points Added (EPA) per drop back. 

LAST SEASON: Washington got a season-best 57.1% pass rush pressure rate on Fields and blitzed him on 40.5% of his drop backs. Fields had one passing touchdown and one interception and still had nearly 20 Fantasy points because he ran for 88 yards. 

RUSHING: Fields followed up a Week 3 game with seven designed runs with just two designed runs in Week 4 for two total yards. On the season he's totaled 28 rushes for 134 yards and a score. 

Sneaky Sleeper (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #14
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CHI WAS -6 O/U 44.5
OPP VS QB
31st
PROJ PTS
21.3
QB RNK
14th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
961
RUYDS
82
TD
5
INT
5
FPTS/G
16.1
The Commanders like limiting Howell's pass attempts in general -- he's only thrown over 31 times in high-scoring shootouts like in Weeks 2 and 4. While there's potential for that on Thursday, it's not a certainty. Howell could just as easily put up nominal stats to help the Commanders bring home a win. With upside an issue, think of Howell as a sleeper with 20-point potential. I'd rather start Jordan Love, Jared Goff or Justin Fields, but taking Howell over Dak Prescott and Joe Burrow isn't crazy given their matchups and/or situations.

LAST WEEK: Bounced back from a horrid four-INT loss in Week 3 to complete nearly 71% of his throws for 290 yards with one touchdown and a very clutch 40 rushing yards at Philly. This was the most efficient game of his young career, but it was also the busiest game of his career as he threw 41 passes and ran six times. Playing into overtime helped his cause.  

HOWELL: Has one game out of five as a pro with multiple passing touchdowns, and two others with one rushing and one passing score. 

BEARS: Are one of the easiest matchups for a quarterback. They rank in the bottom-seven in completion rate allowed (70.1%), yards per catch allowed (12.2), Yards After Catch per reception (YAC/reception) allowed (6.26, second-most) and missed tackles (52). One more factor: Chicago ranks poorly in pass rush pressure rate, blitz rate and has just two sacks all season. 

HOWELL: When not pressured has completed 73.8% of his throws for 7.2 yards per attempt with a 9.7% off-target rate. None of these are particularly impressive -- they're all about league-average -- but that's still a plus for Howell considering this week's matchup. 

PASS ATTEMPTS: Through four weeks the Bears are seeing an average of 31.8 pass attempts against them per game. Even in a game the Bears led for much of last week, the Broncos tried just 28 throws. On the flip side, three of the four quarterbacks Chicago faced found three touchdowns on their limited throws. 

Start Him (Lineup Decisions)
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #17
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CHI WAS -6 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
19th
PROJ PTS
15.2
WR RNK
21st
YTD Stats
REC
21
TAR
26
REYDS
212
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.1
The Commanders may wish to win this one with a big dose of the run game (Brian Robinson is a must-start), but if the Bears put up any offense at all, McLaurin will be in position to put up nice numbers. He's a low-end WR2 worth the nod over George Pickens, Zay Flowers, Drake London and Jahan Dotson.

PAST THREE WEEKS: McLaurin has led all Commanders wide receivers in targets and all Commanders players in receptions. He's the No. 1 guy, and his big Week 4 game (8-86-0 with an offensive fumble recovery for a touchdown) would have been even bigger if Sam Howell had better ball placement on a deep pass McLaurin was open for. 

BEARS: Are expected to play again without top outside cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Eddie Jackson. Not that those two absences led to a bonanza from Broncos receivers; Russell Wilson spread the ball around. But if McLaurin remains the target leader then he'll have the best shot at a big game. Rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith figure to line up across from McLaurin the most. 

MATCHUPS: Each top-target earning wide receiver that plays mostly outside (like McLaurin) has found at least 10 PPR points in every game against the Bears. That includes Rashee Rice in Week 3 (7 targets, 5-59-0), Courtland Sutton in Week 4 (5 targets, 3-27-1), Romeo Doubs in Week 1 (5 targets, 4-26-2) and Mike Evans in Week 2 (8 targets, 6-171-1). Note that these receivers combined to catch 18 of 25 targets (72%) against Chicago.