2023 Week 12 Deep Dive Recap

Week 12 of the 2023 season is in the books- what does it mean for fantasy, find out in our deep dive recap! This article breaks down each game, giving you the numbers and commentary to give you the information going into the final stretch of the fantasy season.

GB @DET
  • There were a number of big developments in this game, & I’d say the two biggest of those came on the Green Bay side of things. First, you have back-to-back statement games from first year starter Jordan Love. That’s two games in a row with multiple TD passes to zero interceptions, & that’s no fluke when watching the tape. Love is playing as confident as ever in his young career & is slinging it to guys with very promising arm talent. Love has now recorded north of a 67% completion% in 3 of his last 4 games. The offense is being drawn up very well & Love is effectively getting the ball into his playmakers hands. Love is looking like a back-end QB1 down the stretch, & a steady QB2 for those in Superflex leagues if nothing else.
  • Speaking of playmakers…..I just another bowl of Christian Watson koolaid y’all! I’ve been vocal about the tantalizing potential Watson brings to the table, & he put that on full display on Thanksgiving, showcasing his ability to win in deep, contested catch situations. The difference for Watson comes in winning those opportunities, & it’s great to see him ascend alongside Love. It’s also worth noting that Jayden Reed out-targeted & out-touched Christian Watson in this game. Reed is a locked-in Flex play throughout the rest of the year with his dynamism & touch share.
  • On the Lions side of things, it’s mostly business as usual on arguably the most predictable fantasy offense in the NFL, so I’ll keep this portion short. Jared Goff struggled with pressure all day from Green Bay’s front, but was more than effective for fantasy managers with a 332 yards, 2 TD game. The targets were distributed per usual, with Amon-Ra St. Brown further cementing his status as a WR1 with a 9 catch, 95 yard performance on a team-leading 11 targets. You had Sam LaPorta mix in for his typical 5ish catches, Jahmyr Gibbs with his range of 3-6 receptions, & Jameson Williams with a deep reception to somewhat salvage his day for managers desperate to fill a Flex spot. LaPorta maintains mid-tier TE1 status & an every-week starter in fantasy rest of season.
  • Finally, the RB usage is what you expect as well, with David Montgomery taking the majority of ground work & seeing the TD, whereas Gibbs was efficient with his carries & useful enough via the pass to provide PPR managers with a really sturdy floor. & this is the floor for Gibbs, so he’s a locked in starter every week at RB (as if you needed me to tell you that). I insist that DMont maintains RB1 status moving forward as a guy I have on nearly all of my teams (he’s been 6th in PPG if you include De’Von Achane). Hopefully my Twitter/X followers heeded my advice to buy low when he was hurt!
WAS @DAL
  • Let’s start Cowboys here, where Dak Prescott is quickly looking like one of the hottest QBs in the league, & someone with weekly QB1 appeal. You can thank that in large part – shockingly – by what Mike McCarthy is doing on offense. The Cowboys are doing an excellent job of protecting Prescott & allowing him to hit both deep to intermediate targets with great accuracy. Unfortunately for CeeDee Lamb managers on this day, that wasn’t felt as much in his statline as it likely should’ve been. Lamb was missed on at least 3 deep targets, at least one of which would’ve gone for a TD. His day was nonetheless salvaged with a late TD, but for those who could have used a monster game from him, it was a day mostly of missed opportunities. Much better days to come with his role in this offense, & you don’t need me to tell you that you’re firing him up as a massive-upside WR1 play every week.
  • Beyond that, there’s really only two other names worth discussing for fantasy purposes here. Don’t look now, but Tony Pollard is starting to heat up for a Cowboys offense that really needed it. That is now back to back games of over 5 YPC, which Pollard hadn’t done since September against a miserable Cardinals rush defense. He’s starting to look like his old explosive self & is quietly contributing big time in the receiving game with 11 targets over the last two games. If we start to see that explosion translate more to the receiving game, Pollard could be in for some big spike weeks upcoming. Next on the docket is a vulnerable Seattle run defense playing on the road, one which is also susceptible to receiving backs. Fire him up with confidence. Finally, Brandin Cooks is getting exciting usage in his opened up offense as well, & deserves weekly Flex consideration in soft, shootout matchups. He’s a likely bench for me against Seattle, however.
  • On the Commanders side, the fantasy story for me is just how disappointing Terry McLaurin has been in an offense that leads the NFL in pass attempts. That’s now 3 games in a row where Terry has failed to exceed 50 yards or record a TD. The good news is that the usage is still clearly there with 11 targets on the day, but McLaurin has become much more of a Flex play than a WR2 in tougher matchups. On the flip side, I think it’s about time we talk about Curtis Samuel being one of the most underrated skill position players in the league. That’s easy to do after his best game of the year, but Samuel stepped up in a big way with a team-leading 9 catches, 100 yards, on 12 targets. Kudos to savvy managers who started him as he took on a massive role with the talent of the Cowboys perimeter defenders locking up the boundary WRs. Samuel is obviously more of a Flex consideration than anything else moving forward, but it’d be nice to see Washington really utilize him rest of season. He’s a free agent after this year, & I’d consider him a potential buy-low after the season in Dynasty formats.
  • I’ll make this quick & to the point. You’re not worried about Brian Robinson at all. This was a really difficult matchup on the road I’d expect him to return to more of a high-end RB2 in the upcoming matchup with Miami. It is worth noting, however, that his target share took a massive hit with the return of Antonio Gibson. Hence me saying more of a RB2 than RB1 moving forward.
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SF @SEA
  • There is a lot wrong in Seattle right now. It’s worth noting that the absence of RB Kenneth Walker & RT Abraham Lucas is clearly impacting this offense, but this unit still has too much talent to be this bad. Geno Smith has proven that he can be a really solid QB when everything around him is working, but if his OLine struggles he looks lost more often than not. He’s a matchup play only in 1QB leagues & a guy you’re hopefully playing matchups with even in Superflex leagues. It would not surprise me to see Drew Lock starting games for the Seahawks should they continue to struggle through this brutal stretch of games (@DAL, @SF, vPHI). Lock may be worth an add in deep 2QB leagues.
  • Geno’s performance of course bled over into his receiving group, with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, or Jaxon Smith-Njigba combining for just over 100 yards. Metcalf in particular has been a disappointment this season, & that is really highlighted on his tape as he too often loses contested catch situations for a big bodied WR. He’s a sell high for me in Dynasty formats after his next big game (likely not this week against Dallas). The only Seattle pass catcher I’d consider starting this week is JSN, & that’s for the same reasons I shouted Curtis Samuel in the last game. Dallas is most susceptible to the slot, & Pete Carroll publicly said the rookie needs to be more involved moving forward, so I’d consider him to be a fringe Flex play this week. You’re likely not benching DK, but you’re not excited about the floor here.
  • For San Francisco, the story is just how unstoppable this offense is when they have the whole band together. It really is a tall task for any defense to be asked to stop Trent Williams & Christian McCaffrey & Deebo Samuel in the run game, while simultaneously worrying about Brandon Aiyuk & George Kittle in the passing game. The rookie Devon Witherspoon played a fairly inspiring game here, but that was about it for the Seahawks defense. CMC was dominant on the ground, consistently turning 1 or 2 yard gains into 8-12 yard gashes. It was great to see Deebo be heavily involved here, though managers of Brandon Aiyuk & George Kittle have to be frustrated with the anticipated & largely unpredictable touch split in future games. That was felt here for Aiyuk & Kittle, though the former was able to salvage his day for fantasy managers with a deep TD. You’re starting all of these 49ers every week, but expect some frustrating floor games along the way.
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MIA @NYJ
  • For the first Black Friday game, the Dolphins handled business as they should for the most part. The pleasantly unexpected element to this game for Miami was their ability to effectively funnel targets to their two most talented playmakers in Tyreek Hill & Jaylen Waddle. The two combined for over 200 yards of Tua’s 243 yards despite a stingy matchup against Sauce Gardner & DJ Reed. As you know, Tyreek is likely the WR1 overall, but Waddle is a guy who has been largely disappointing considering his draft cost. You’re cautiously firing him up as your WR2 more likely than not, but I’d expect more low-end WR2 to Flex production moving forward.
  • Away from the air, Raheem Mostert continued to look like the clear-cut RB1 for Miami. Jeff Wilson did start to get mixed in quite a bit more with 11 carries, but Mostert was the guy who Mike McDaniel leaned on to close out the game after Darrynton Evans coughed up a late 4th quarter fumble. Mostert proceeded to double his yardage total on the day, including a massive 34 yard TD to close out the game. He’s looking like an every week RB start until further notice. Wilson becomes a strong bench stash with upside to produce as a Flex start, plus massive upside should the injury prone Mostert go down.
  • On the Jets side, it continues to be a story of wasted talent. Breece Hall continues to flounder running behind an abysmal OLine, though PPR managers will gladly take him salvaging his day with 7 receptions. Garrett Wilson continues to flash his talent, but prior to a late 4th quarter TD, fantasy managers were likely expecting another dud performance. Both players are really risky starts moving forward, though the talent alone commands Flex consideration every week.
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NO @ATL
  • I’m not wasting any time here people. The top story is the Bijan Robinson spike game we’ve all been waiting for. I’ve been waiting for distinct vindication over my aggressive ranking of Bijan during draft season, & he certainly delivered with 19 touches for 123 yards & 2 TDs. The fact Tyler Allgeier & Cordarrelle Patterson still combined for more carries is certainly frustrating (mob shakes collective fists at Arthur Smith). That said, Bijan’s increased usage is to be expected & his schedule down the stretch is salivating. It’s going to be a fun playoff ride with Bijan as your starting RB.
  • While Desmond Ridder & Kyle Pitts remain borderline useless in fantasy (seriously, I’d hate to see myself starting either of them even in the deepest of leagues), Drake London was still able to capitalize on a strong 35% target share. While that number is a great sign of things to potentially come, it’s still worrisome that the Falcons only needed 20 passes here, with two of those resulting in turnovers. London remains more of a Flex play than WR2 moving forward.
  • The major development for New Orleans was the alpha WR1 usage for Chris Olave. Despite leaving this game early with a head injury, Olave erupted in Atlanta for 114 yards on 7 receptions. His massive target share before departing in the 3rd quarter is an incredible sign of things to come, & I’m once again hoping my Twitter/X followers took my advice on buying low here. Olave could become the WR1 managers expected down the stretch.
  • Beyond that, Derek Carr remains a useful albeit uninspiring 2QB play with an empty 300+ passing yards here. Taysom Hill bounced back with some increased usage in this game (7 carries, 2 receptions), but with the Saints failing to score a TD all day, it was hard to get a read on Hill’s usage beyond that. He remains a low-end TE1 with the random spike week potential. I’d prefer to be starting someone else in most situations.
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PIT @CIN
  • Even with Jake Browning starting for a suddenly inept Cincinnati offense, the Steelers really can’t make anything look easy, can they? Despite the best offensive performance from this offense quite literally since Matt Canada took over play-calling, Pittsburgh was only able to convert that into 1 TD. That said, the clear storyline here is the insane reemergence of Pat Freiermuth, who easily led the team in receptions (9), yards (120), & targets (11). Kenny Pickett has struggled throwing outside the hashmarks & this is the first game with new OC Eddie Faulkner, which gives hope this could be a trend. Freiermuth managers should feel great with him as a TE1 moving forward.
  • Despite claims that we’d see more Jaylen Warren sans Canada, Najee Harris continued to stake his claim as the teams RB1 on the ground, outpacing Warren 16 carries to 13. That said, he earned it. It’s not usually fun to watch (sorry Najee) but Harris admittedly looked like the better back on Sunday, consistently churning out tough yards & exploiting holes. Warren, meanwhile, struggled to the tune of 3.8 YPC & a fumble. It’s the first time Najee has outgained Warren by YPC since October 1st, so I’d still rather have Warren straight up moving forward. Both should be useful, low-end RB2 types moving forward.
  • There’s not a whole lot to say here for Cincinnati. Browning is mostly who we thought he was. The Bengals OLine is getting further exploited without Joe Burrow. Ja’Marr Chase was able to redeem his day some for hopeful fantasy managers, but it’s worth noting half of his production came on two broken-play type passes that typically won’t result in a catch. You could argue that’s just how good Chase is, but I’d bet against those plays more weeks than not. He’s looking like more of a boom/bust WR2 moving forward, & I don’t hate the idea of “selling high” after a fairly normal Ja’Marr statline.
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CAR @TEN
  • There is frankly not a lot of fantasy appeal to be had in this matchup, so I’ll likely keep this brief. Bryce Young continues to be a desperation play even in deep 2QB formats. The Panthers 50/50 split at RB is largely neutering both RBs values, but it’s clear you’d rather have Chuba Hubbard than Miles Sanders at this point. He at least has Flex appeal with his receiving upside & overall better effectiveness. Despite the stinker from Adam Thielen, you’re not sitting him moving forward as one of the highest targeted WRs in the NFL.
  • For Tennessee, it’s primarily about Derrick Henry, who broke out of a mini slump for 76 rushing yards & 2 TDs. It was still mostly a grind for Henry in this one, & the outlook isn’t promising for him in any game where the Titans expect negative game script (most of them). If you trade deadline is still open, I’d recommend selling high. I don’t think his fantasy playoff schedule is nearly as appealing as many would lead you to believe. Finally, the Tennessee pass game isn’t funneling targets or generating enough yards to feel good about any of the associated assets in your fantasy lineups, most notably DeAndre Hopkins.
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TB @IND
  • First & foremost, I am overdue for an apology to Rachaad White. When he’s not effectively running the ball (usually), he’s making up for it with elite receiving upside. When he’s not contributing in the receiving game, he’s breaking out in the rushing game, as he did in this game with 100 yards on just 15 carries. White has already stamped his claim as one of the best fantasy values of the season this year, & will be a case study as I reevaluate my process in the offseason. He was an “avoid” for me this year in the RB deadzone as an inefficient rusher, but it’s clear I underestimated that receiving upside buoying his value.
  • Beyond that, Mike Evans continues to shine as the Buccaneers clear alpha WR1 amidst offseason debate that Chris Godwin would claim that role with Baker Mayfield under center. Instead, Godwin has faded into WR3/4 obscurity whereas Evans is a high-ceiling WR2 play every week. He, too, represents a draft day steal, as he already has 9 TDs on the season.
  • For the Colts, Jonathan Taylor looked like the RB1 ox that fantasy managers were hoping he’d be coming off injury this season. I shied away from drafting him myself, but it’s clearly paying dividends for those who did. Well…..it was paying dividends. It’s just been reported that JT is set to miss multiple weeks with a hand injury. Expect Zack Moss to reassume serious RB1 appeal behind a good OLine, with a series of appealing matchups up ahead.
  • To the passing game, you have Michael Pittman earning whatever paycheck is coming to him with another massive volume game (10 catches for 107 yards). Surprisingly, rookie Josh Downs matched him with 13 targets to lead the team, but was only able to convert his into an empty 5 catches for 43 yards. Pittman is a rock solid WR2 rest of season & a guy I have on a ton of my teams. Downs lives in that Jayden Reed territory as a high-upside WR3 type in PPR.
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NE @NYG
  • As with most matchups between two ugly teams, I’ll keep this short (by the way, crazy to be calling the Patriots an ugly team, but here we are Bostonians). This just in: Mac Jones is really, really bad. It’s sad, frankly, considering how proficient he legitimately looked in his rookie season. It’s clear a mix of bad offensive coaching & arguably league worst supporting talent absolutely sunk any QBs ability to succeed in this environment. That said, I guess Bailey Zappe is worth an add in deep 2QB leagues?
  • Oh, hello Rhamondre Stevenson. It’s really nice to see you erupt again. Rham dominated this beat up Giants DLine sans Dexter Lawrence. He rewarded managers in all formats with 98 yards (brutal for leagues with 100 yard bonuses), 5 receptions, & 1 TD. Like Derrick Henry, he’s primarily going to be a matchup dependent RB2 moving forward, & not someone I’d feel great about beyond a Flex spot most weeks.
  • For the Giants, the only thing to really talk about here is the emergence of Jalin Hyatt. A polarizing prospect coming out of Tennessee, I was personally a big fan considering his ability to stretch the field & create space, two valuable skill sets in today’s NFL. Hyatt did exactly that on Sunday, looking like a legit WR1 with a tremendous aDOT on his way to his first 100 yard game on only 6 targets. He’ll be held back some by this offense of course, but Hyatt has late-season Christian Watson-like appeal. He’s absolutely worth a roster spot & should be one of the top adds of the week in many leagues.
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JAX @HOU
  • First things first, CJ Stroud is an absolute stud. He was my QB1 entering the NFL Draft, & he has not disappointed in the slightest in his first season with last year’s worst team in the AFC. Congratulations to any manager who landed him as he’s been a no-doubt QB1 & should remain as such moving forward with these Texans weapons.
  • About those weapons. Tank Dell is so freaking good & if you roster him in Dynasty you have to be over the moon (I know I am!). Still, he surprisingly disappeared for the most part in the 2nd half despite a ton of production via the pass still happening. The beneficiary of this was Nico Collins, who may have reestablished himself as the alpha WR1 on this team, leading the way with 7 catches for 109 yards, 1 TD, & 9 targets. The reality is I expect Tank & Nico to largely alternate WR1/2 type weeks as Stroud finds the mismatch. This week it was Nico, but you’re not mad about Dell’s 16 PPR points. Both guys are here to stay in fantasy lineups. Finally, I should mention that Devin Singletary remains a locked & loaded Flex play & should not be removed from your lineup, even with Dameion Pierce back. His role in the pass game is far too valuable in this offense (7 targets).
  • For the Jaguars, let’s start with the bad. What a DUD from Travis Etienne. Despite a litany of opportunities, Etienne mostly struggled to the tune of 2.8 YPC on 20 carries. He was stuffed on multiple goal line attempts & didn’t really break free for any chunk gains until the 4th quarter. Thankfully he salvaged his day in PPR leagues some with 7 points through the air.
  • Speaking of the air, it continues to look as though Calvin Ridley is the preferred WR1 on this team despite some midseason disappearing acts. Ridley still isn’t running routes as crisp as he once was, but it’s clear he’s the preferred redzone target for Trevor Lawrence with multiple endzone targets resulting in 1 TD & a 2-point conversion. Christian Kirk, meanwhile, continues to fade into more of a fringe Flex play moving forward. His day was saved by an end-of-half heave from Lawrence for 57 yards. The volume is there for Evan Engram (8 targets here), but the aDOT is so bad that he’s become more of a bottom-end TE1 at best.
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CLE @DEN
  • An ugly game as expected for the Browns offense, who really couldn’t find a rhythm under Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who continues to look like a bench asset at best in 2QB leagues. The plus with DTR under center is that he has been peppering David Njoku with targets. Njoku has recorded a whopping 33 targets over the last 3 weeks, eclipsing 50 yards in each of those contests. The TD production hasn’t been following that, which can be expected in a struggling Cleveland offense, but that volume gives him an atypically sturdy floor at the TE position.
  • The Browns continue to deploy their RBs in a fashion that largely vultures both players value, though you’d clearly rather roster Jerome Ford than Kareem Hunt considering his explosiveness & preference in the passing game, but neither is more than a fringe Flex play. Amari Cooper continues to struggle without Deshaun Watson, as he watched Njoku, Elijah Moore, & rookie Cedric Tillman outproduce him in this one. I wouldn’t feel good about rostering any of these WRs, though Tillman suddenly has serious appeal in Dynasty formats. I’m buying.
  • For the Broncos, it continues to be about the markedly improved play from Russell Wilson. He looked vintage again in this one with a stellar tightrope TD pass to Adam Trautman. This was the toughest fantasy matchup out there, & Russ still provided trusting fantasy managers with a borderline QB1 finish.
  • In other quick hitters, Courtland Sutton continues to operate as the clear WR1 here, though the volume simply isn’t enough to provide a ceiling for much more than low-end WR2 status. Marvin Mims looks promising but sparingly used (same crap different air freshener), whereas Jerry Jeudy is shaping up as a massive draft bust once again. It’ll be interesting to see who signs him this offseason, so it might be a nice time to buy low in Dynasty. Javonte Williams continues to be a decent low-end RB2 play, but he’s seeing a lot of valuable work siphoned by Samaje Perine (1 RZ TD in this one).
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LAR @ARI
  • The obvious headline here is the return of Kyren Williams, who immediately reestablished himself as a league-winning RB1 on the season. The Rams wasted no time getting him involved to destroy the Cardinals defense to the tune of 204 all purpose yards on 22 touches. Kyren looked as explosive as ever & should be an every week RB2 play moving forward with his versatility & clear preference as RB1 in a good offense.
  • It’s clear Cooper Kupp was not 100% in this game, as the Rams frequently deployed him as a decoy on really short, possession type routes. That resulted in an ugly 18 yard day on only 5 targets despite Matthew Stafford putting up 229 yards. Puka Nacua paced the team with 8 targets with Kupp hobbled, but Stafford missed him badly on several deep targets that would’ve really changed the look of his 4 catch, 27 yard day. Feel good if you have Puka moving forward as a low-end WR2 play in better game script. Kupp, meanwhile, is looking like a prayer in starting lineups until we see him regain explosiveness. It’s not a fun time to be relying on him, but it should get better each week I imagine.
  • For the Cardinals, Kyler Murray continues to be a pleasant sight for patient fantasy managers who stashed him until his return. The Rams were able to effectively take away his rushing ability in this one, but Kyler will nonetheless maintain QB1 status moving forward.
  • At the skill positions, the offense was primarily funneled through Marquise Brown & Trey McBride, which is a great sign for their rest of season outlook. Hollywood can be fired up as a high-end Flex play moving forward with spike weeks on the horizon as Kyler’s preferred target. McBride is quickly establishing himself as an every week TE1 & a massive steal for any Dynasty and/or Redraft manager that took my advice to buy low upon the Zach Ertz McBride is very talented & is seeing elite usage in this offense. Worth noting that Greg Dortch once again saw 9 targets in this game plus a TD. He’s a sneaky Flex play in deep PPR leagues.
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KC @LV
  • It’s clear that Patrick Mahomes follows me on Twitter/X, because as soon as I posted something about the Chiefs offense being broken, something awoke the bear & unleashed hell on this Raiders defense. Despite the run game mostly getting bottled up by the Raiders front, Mahomes came out slinging with 298 yards, pleasantly in large part to rookie Rashee Rice, who was seriously due for a spike game. It’s clear Mahomes heard the pleas from Chiefs fans to get the promising rookie more involved, & he answered the call with 8 catches for 107 yards on 10 targets. All of those figures represent a career-high for Rice, which is a great sign after a disappointing loss for the Chiefs the week prior. Feel great about Rice in Dynasty & cross your fingers for more WR2 weeks in Redraft.
  • For the Raiders, they were competitive early in this one as the Chiefs could not slow down Josh Jacobs on the ground & Aiden O’Connell was delivering timely deep passes to Davante Adams & Jakobi Meyers. Unfortunately, the majority of their production came in the 1st Half, with the Chiefs largely clamping this offense in the 2nd. It was another meh game from Adams, but Meyers continues to give you sneaky Flex appeal.
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BUF @PHI
  • What a game this was, & a story all too common for the Bills this season as they drop another close one late in the game. The two best QBs in fantasy continued to look elite in this one, with Jalen Hurts & Josh Allen combining for 9 TDs & 146 rushing yards. That is massive production on the ground & is giving managers of those QBs a huge edge in their matchups. These QBs are among the biggest advantages in fantasy this season.
  • DeVonta Smith continues a somewhat bizarre trend of outproducing AJ Brown when Dallas Goedert is missing from the lineup here. He once again led the team with 106 yards & a TD, & it’ll be very interesting to see what his role looks like with Goedert’s return looming. Managers are obviously hopeful he will maintain this high-end WR2 like play, but I’d expect Brown & Smith to largely alternate spike weeks. Brown is a known squeaky wheel, & he will get the grease sooner than later.
  • Finally, both James Cook & D’Andre Swift have cemented themselves as useful, albeit risky RB2 types this season. Cook didn’t have major efficiency on the ground here, but was often used in the passing game which gives him a great floor. Swift continues to be efficient, but the volume largely isn’t there & he’s getting vultured at the goal line by his QB.
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BAL @LAC
  • The Ravens didn’t look great again here, but they continue to grind out wins with a variety of different ways they can beat teams. Lamar Jackson has struggled some of late, & it’s fair to wonder how much that ankle injury might be bothering him (you’ll often see him limping after rushing). Isaiah Likely was immediately thrust into the spot of top target in this one, leading the team with 40 yards. Oddly enough, all of those yards came in the 1st half, but Likely was a few penalties & misthrows away from an even bigger day. I’d feel very good about firing him up as a TE1 moving forward. Zay Flowers saved his day with a big rushing TD to close things out, but it was mostly a really disappointing game from the Ravens WRs against a Chargers defense that had been awful against the position.
  • The big development from this game for Baltimore was the continued increased usage for Keaton Mitchell. This was the first game in which he truly operated as the team’s RB1, though he mostly split touches with Gus Edwards. That said, the juice is clearly there & the Ravens seem intent on squeezing. Mitchell may lack consistency with his lack of a clear redzone role, but his speed & usage in the receiving game presents the opportunity for a massive spike out of your Flex spot. Kudos to any manager who snagged him.
  • For the Chargers, my big takeaway is the continued ineffectiveness of Austin Ekeler. It has to be a major red flag for fantasy managers that their league-winning 1st round pick is clearly operating at less than 100%. Albeit against a stingy Baltimore run defense, Ekeler didn’t show any of the explosion we’ve come to expect from him, though he continued to run hard between the tackles. It’s panic time for fantasy managers, though I’m hopeful Ekeler will continue to ramp up & be the guy we expect down the stretch.
  • The only other story here is the continued elite play from Keenan Allen. He’s a matchup-proof top 5 WR in PPR with his insane volume. I’ll likely say this every week, but Keenan was the player I banged the drum loudest for this draft season, & he’s carrying me to the playoffs in most leagues. Hopefully you did the same!
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CHI @MIN
  • & finally we have the Monday Night game, which was mostly a circus to watch as Joshua Dobbs recorded 4 interceptions & Justin Fields had two crucial late-game fumbles of his own. This game was almost nothing but missed opportunities for both teams, with Jordan Addison missing out on a big night with a barely-missed 50+ yard target to open the game, a dropped pass, & a miscued wide open deep pass that had TD written all over it. Brutal for anyone who needed the points. Fields maintains QB1 upside every week with his rushing ability, we just have to hope the Bears don’t call the type of insanely conservative offense for him as they did in this one. Superflex managers should be on high alert following Kevin O’Connell’s comments that the team will consider a QB change. I doubt they move off Dobbs this week, but Jaren Hall might be a useful stash in 2QB leagues that are desperate for another arm.
  • I’m sure many fantasy managers were expecting an emergence game from Khalil Herbert here sans D’Onta Foreman, but he was facing the leagues #1 run defense when playing at home (2.6 YPC coming into the game) & they shut him down. The telling part here is the Bears insistence on getting rookie Roschon Johnson more involved. Roschon frankly hasn’t looked great with limited work this year, but he’s shown to be a reliable pass catcher & offers a shred of Flex appeal moving forward. Herbert should be left on benches until this situation clears up.
  • Final note for this week. DJ Moore continues to operate as a borderline fantasy WR1 when Justin Fields is in the game. There’s been a decent mix of YAC opportunities & deep targets for DJ, & he’s clearly the go-to guy when the Bears need a play. He should continue to carry teams that roster him into the playoffs.
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Image Credit: Rich Barnes – USA TODAY Sports