NFL Game Previews: Steelers-Colts Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Steelers-Colts Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Indianapolis, o/u 39 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

It kind of sums up the Steelers' season that last week Najee Harris finally woke up, the team scored a season-high 30 points, and they still lost because they couldn't contain Samaje Perine. Kenny Pickett's 65.4 percent completion rate has been strong for a rookie, but it comes with an atrocious 3:8 TD:INT and 6.0 YPA, so the jury's still out on whether he's the QB of the future. Having him under center isn't doing Diontae Johnson any favors — he's still looking for his first touchdown of the year, and at least when Mitch Trubisky was running the show he was getting target volume. Johnson's gone from 33 targets the first three games of the season, and a 21-196-0 line, to a 13-119-0 line on 19 targets in the last three. That's not what Pittsburgh gave him an extension in the offseason to deliver. The defense has been torched by the best — the Bills, Eagles and Bengals each lit up the Steelers for at least 35 points — but it's had some success against lesser offenses, and T.J. Watt seems 100 percent healthy again. Whatever wins they get down the stretch will probably have to come in low-scoring slugfests.

The Colts came oh so close to making Jeff Saturday 2-0 as a head coach, but the defense forgot to account for Jalen Hurts' running ability on the Eagles' final drive last week. Oops. Jonathan

Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Indianapolis, o/u 39 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

It kind of sums up the Steelers' season that last week Najee Harris finally woke up, the team scored a season-high 30 points, and they still lost because they couldn't contain Samaje Perine. Kenny Pickett's 65.4 percent completion rate has been strong for a rookie, but it comes with an atrocious 3:8 TD:INT and 6.0 YPA, so the jury's still out on whether he's the QB of the future. Having him under center isn't doing Diontae Johnson any favors — he's still looking for his first touchdown of the year, and at least when Mitch Trubisky was running the show he was getting target volume. Johnson's gone from 33 targets the first three games of the season, and a 21-196-0 line, to a 13-119-0 line on 19 targets in the last three. That's not what Pittsburgh gave him an extension in the offseason to deliver. The defense has been torched by the best — the Bills, Eagles and Bengals each lit up the Steelers for at least 35 points — but it's had some success against lesser offenses, and T.J. Watt seems 100 percent healthy again. Whatever wins they get down the stretch will probably have to come in low-scoring slugfests.

The Colts came oh so close to making Jeff Saturday 2-0 as a head coach, but the defense forgot to account for Jalen Hurts' running ability on the Eagles' final drive last week. Oops. Jonathan Taylor has been the one leading the team's resurgence, piling up 231 rushing yards and two TDs since Saturday took over, though that probably owes something to the new guy reminding the offensive line that they're supposed to be one of the better units in the league. They're not out of the playoff race yet, but the Colts have road games against the Cowboys and Vikings after this, which likely will move them into "looking ahead to 2023" mode. The big question is whether Matt Ryan will be in next year's plans. He has another season on his contract, and he hasn't been all that terrible. More important, the Colts might not have a high enough draft pick to land one of the top draft picks in next year's class unless they trade up. Running it back with this roster mostly intact seems like a terrible idea, but maybe they talk themselves into a mulligan for 2022 ("We'll get Shaquille Leonard back next year and everything will be fine!")

The Skinny

PIT injuries: RB Jaylen Warren (questionable, hamstring), C Mason Cole (questionable, foot), RG James Daniels (questionable, groin), K Chris Boswell (IR, groin), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (questionable, hamstring), CB William Jackson (IR, back)
IND injuries: C Ryan Kelly (questionable, shoulder), DE Kwity Paye (questionable, ankle), DE Yannick Ngakoue (questionable, back), DT DeForest Buckner (questionable, ribs), LB Leonard (IR, back)

PIT DFS targets: Steelers DST $2,900 DK / $3,600 FD (IND t-31st in sacks allowed, t-31st in giveaways)
IND DFS targets: Ryan $5,200 DK / $7,100 FD (PIT 31st in passing yards per game allowed, 30th in YPA allowed, 32nd in passing TDs allowed)

PIT DFS fades: Steven Sims $3,000 DK / $5,000 FD (IND second in DVOA vs. WR3)
IND DFS fades: Taylor $7,900 DK / $8,800 FD (PIT fifth in YPC allowed, t-3rd in rushing TDs allowed), Mo Alie-Cox $2,600 DK / $4,500 FD and Jelani Woods $2,500 DK / $4,400 FD (PIT fourth in DVOA vs. TE)

Key stat: IND 30th in red-zone conversions at 43.3 percent; PIT t-15th in red-zone defense at 54.8 percent

The Scoop: Harris totes up 80 yards and a score. Pickett throws for 210 yards and gets picked off twice. Taylor manages 60 yards and a touchdown. Ryan throws for 240 yards and a TD to Michael Pittman. Colts 20-13

Green Bay (+7) at Philadelphia, 46.5 – Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST

After showing a flicker of life in the second half against the Cowboys a couple weeks ago, things went back to normal for the Packers in Week 11 against the Titans as they lost their sixth game in the last seven. Christian Watson posted his second straight multi-TD game and seems like Aaron Rodgers' new favorite toy, but nothing else is working consistently for Green Bay. Aaron Jones keeps alternating big games with duds, and Allen Lazard has proven pretty conclusively this season he's not a viable WR1, no matter how often Rodgers tries to force the ball to him. The defense has slid back into irrelevance, and the Lions are the only team the unit's been able to hold to less than 23 points since the beginning of October. The Packers are still on the fringes of the wild-card picture, but their closing schedule also features games against the Dolphins and Vikings in addition to this one against the Eagles. At 4-7, they'd need to go 5-1 just to finish above .500, which means losing no more than one of those games against playoff-caliber opponents.

That said, Philly has looked vulnerable lately. After losing their first game of the year two weeks ago (and to Washington, ugh), they barely escaped Indianapolis with a win in Week 11, needing a late bit of heroics from Jalen Hurts to do it. The Eagles still have the best record in the league, so it's not like the sky is falling in, but it does seem like they're having a midseason lull, at least on offense. (The defense has given up more than 21 points only once since Week 1.) Three of A.J. Brown's four lowest yardage games have come in the last three weeks, and his 10-126-1 line on 17 targets over that stretch is curiously low. The wideout did suffer a minor ankle injury during the loss to the Commanders, so maybe that's a factor. With Dallas Goedert now on IR, though, they need Brown to step back up if they're going to start stomping teams again rather than barely squeaking out victories.

The Skinny

GB injuries: WR Romeo Doubs (out, ankle), LT David Bakhtiari (questionable, knee), LB De'Vondre Campbell (doubtful, knee), EDGE Rashan Gary (IR, knee), CB Eric Stokes (IR, ankle)
PHI injuries: TE Goedert (IR, shoulder), DE Derek Barnett (IR, knee)

GB DFS targets: none
PHI DFS targets: Eagles DST $3,400 DK / $4,800 FD (third in sacks, first in takeaways)

GB DFS fades: Rodgers $5,800 DK / $7,000 FD (PHI third in passing DVOA, second in passing yards per game allowed, first in YPA allowed), Lazard $5,800 DK / $6,300 FD (PHI second in DVOA vs. WR1), Watson $5,000 DK / $6,500 FD (PHI first in DVOA vs. WR2)
PHI DFS fades: DeVonta Smith $6,100 DK / $6,700 FD (GB third in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: PHI t-4th in red-zone conversions at 71.4 percent; GB 13th in red-zone defense at 54.3 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 60s, 13-15 mph wind, 10-55 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Jones gains 80 combined yards and a TD, while AJ Dillon adds 50 yards. Rodgers throws for 220 yards and a touchdown to Robert Tonyan. Miles Sanders busts out for 130 scrimmage yards and two scores, one rushing and one receiving. Hurts throws for 270 yards and two more TDs, both to Brown (who tops 100 yards). Eagles 34-14

Denver at Carolina (+2.5), o/u 36 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Objectively, the Texans are the worst team in the NFL by record. Subjectively, the Broncos have lost twice to the woefully incompetent Raiders, and I can't imagine trusting them to beat anyone, even Houston. Denver's won just once in its last seven, and while three of those losses came in overtime, it's not like the team was taking juggernauts down to the wire. The Broncos are averaging 14.9 points a game in that stretch (and again, they've had three extra quarters in which to get points), and while they move the ball in fits and spurts and get a big play now and then, it never seems to result in consistent scoring drives. Russell Wilson's produced multiple TDs once all year, and he's on pace for an incomprehensibly low 12 passing touchdowns on the season. That's a month's worth for Patrick Mahomes. Coach Nathaniel Hackett has run out of easily fireable scapegoats on his coaching staff, so Melvin Gordon got cut because clearly his fumbling was the big problem. More carries for Latavius Murray and his 3.3 yards per carry as a Bronco will fix everything.

The Panthers are also at three wins, and their Wheel of Quarterbacks has finally landed on Sam Darnold. There's really no reason to think he'll play any better than Baker Mayfield or PJ Walker, but at least coach Steve Wilks is providing his guys with the illusion of change. It's the running game that's been driving the offense lately, though. Carolina has yet to lose in regulation when D'Onta Foreman rushes for more than 100 yards, which is a pretty smart way to build some job security. The defense has been doing a Jekyll and Hyde bit all season, holding five opponents to less than 20 points but allowing 37 or more three times. The Broncos are, to put it politely, unlikely to join that second group.

The Skinny

DEN injuries: RB Javonte Williams (IR, knee), RB Chase Edmonds (IR, ankle), RB Mike Boone (IR, ankle), WR Jerry Jeudy (out, ankle), WR KJ Hamler (out, hamstring), WR Tim Patrick (IR, knee), LT Garett Bolles (IR, leg), EDGE Randy Gregory (IR, knee), CB Ronald Darby (IR, knee)
CAR injuries: QB Walker (doubtful, ankle), WR Terrace Marshall (questionable, shoulder), TE Ian Thomas (questionable, illness), C Pat Elflein (IR, hip), LB Cory Littleton (out, ankle)

DEN DFS targets: none
CAR DFS targets: none

DEN DFS fades: none
CAR DFS fades: Darnold $4,900 DK / $6,400 FD (DEN third in passing yards per game allowed, second in YPA allowed, first in passing TDs allowed), DJ Moore $5,000 DK / $6,200 FD (DEN third in DVOA vs. WR1)

Key stat: CAR 32nd in third-down conversions at 28.0 percent; DEN fourth in third-down defense at 34.1 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 60s, 9-11 mph wind, 25-70 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Murray leads the DEN backfield with 60 yards and a TD. Wilson throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to Courtland Sutton. Foreman grinds out 70 yards. Darnold throws for 220 yards and a score to Marshall. Broncos 17-13

Tampa Bay at Cleveland (+3.5), o/u 43 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Bucs are the only team in the NFC South that's not below .500 and not underwater in its point differential, but the Vikings they ain't. Tom Brady's boys did win their last two games before their bye, but that was more due to the defense stepping up than the offense getting its act together — though Brady did post season highs in completion percentage and YPA against the Seahawks in Week 10. Rachaad White also took advantage of a Leonard Fournette hip issue to post his first career 100-yard game, and with Fournette still not 100 percent healthy after the bye, White could get another chance to shine. This isn't quite a Tony Pollard-Ezekiel Elliott situation yet (for one thing, Fournette's contract is a lot more reasonable) but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the fresh young legs maintain a bigger role in the backfield even after the vet heals up. The receiving corps is mostly healthy aside from Russell Gage, so if the Bucs are ever going to get hot, lock up the division title and seem like a threat to make some noise in the playoffs, now's the time.

Jacoby Brissett's likely final start for the Browns looks like it's going to come in classic Shores of Lake Erie conditions, wet and windy and miserable, and that's a fitting metaphor for his tenure as the No. 1 QB too. He did lead Cleveland to a win over Cincinnati in Week 8, but that's about his only notable achievement. Brissett's numbers were ultimately about what everyone expected, but the defense's early season collapse and the passing game's lack of upside with him under center has led to a 3-7 record and basically no chance at the playoffs. (That said, even if Deshaun Watson takes over at 3-8, the Browns' remaining schedule only features a couple tough matchups. Watson running the table and the team somehow being on the edges of the wild-card conversation going into the final weekend isn't a completely ridiculous idea.) Nick Chubb's poor performance last week against the Bills dropped him to fourth in the race for a rushing crown, and while the Bucs' front seven has a fearsome reputation, they did get gashed for a 100-yard game by D'Onta Foreman not too long ago. If Cleveland's going to have a chance of stealing this one, Chubb's going to have to get dirty.

The Skinny

TB injuries: RB Fournette (doubtful, hip), WR Gage (out, hamstring), LG Aaron Stinnie (IR, knee), LG Luke Goedeke (out, foot), C Ryan Jensen (IR, knee), NT Vita Vea (questionable, foot), EDGE Shaquil Barrett (IR, Achilles), S Logan Ryan (IR, foot)
CLE injuries: QB Watson (out, suspension), C Nick Harris (IR, knee), C Ethan Pocic (IR, knee), LB Anthony Walker (IR, quadriceps), CB Greg Newsome (out, concussion)

TB DFS targets: Fournette $5,800 DK / $7,200 FD and White $5,100 DK / $6,400 FD (CLE 32nd in rushing DVOA, 28th in YPC allowed, 30th in rushing TDs allowed)
CLE DFS targets: none

TB DFS fades: none
CLE DFS fades: David Bell $3,300 DK / $4,900 FD (TB fourth in DVOA vs. WR3), Browns DST $2,700 DK / $3,200 FD (t-28th in takeaways, TB t-1st in sacks allowed, t-2nd in giveaways)

Key stat: CLE 15th in third-down conversions at 40.9 percent; TB ninth in third-down defense at 38.4 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 50s, 14-16 mph wind, 70-80 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: White leads the TB backfield with 90 yards and a TD. Brady throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to Mike Evans. Chubb manages 80 yards and a score. Brissett throws for 210 yards and runs in a TD of his own. Buccaneers 20-17

Baltimore at Jacksonville (+4), o/u 43.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Ravens have won four straight and sit one game up on the Bengals in the AFC North, a situation which already makes their Week 18 meeting looking like it could be the biggest game of the final weekend, assuming Cincinnati keeps pace. After looking brutal in the early going, Baltimore's secondary has completely turned things around, with Tom Brady the only QB to post big yardage against it since the beginning of October. The same can't be same about the offense, though. After averaging 33 points a game in the first three weeks, Lamar Jackson and company have averaged only 21.3 points since, never topping 27. That's what happens when your QB's one reliable target, Mark Andrews, gets banged up, though the unit's problems pre-dated the tight end's injury issues. Jackson's averaged just 175.4 passing yards in those last seven games with a 6:5 TD:INT, and with only rushing TD during that stretch he hasn't made up the difference with his legs. Baltimore has a soft closing schedule prior to that meeting with Cincy, so the division is theirs for the taking, but if they continue have trouble putting points on the board the job of clinching a playoff spot could become a lot harder than it needs to be.

The Jaguars are weird, man. There's just no other way to say it. They're 3-7 on the year but somehow have a positive point differential thanks to a 1-6 record in one-score games. They're basically the anti-Giants. Coming out of their bye, the Jags are mostly healthy and well rested, at least. Travis Etienne has become the focal point of the offense, averaging 117 scrimmage yards in the last six games, and there's plenty more meat on that bone if he starts seeing more consistent usage as a receiver. The young defense is still trying to figure things out, which likely plays into the team's inability to close out close games. No unit in the league has missed more tackles per game, and while a pass rush led by the other Josh Allen and Travon Walker is sixth in hurry percentage, it's 30th in sack percentage. Doug Pederson has them more or less pointed in the right direction, though, which is a pretty monumental achievement considering where Jacksonville was a year ago. If I had to place a bet on the 2023 Coach of the Year, he'd be a very tempting choice.

The Skinny

BAL injuries: RB J.K. Dobbins (IR, knee), RB Gus Edwards (questionable, hamstring), WR Rashod Bateman (IR, foot), WR Devin Duvernay (questionable, hamstring), WR Demarcus Robinson (questionable, hip), LT Ronnie Stanley (out, ankle), LT Ja'Wuan James (IR, Achilles), CB Kyle Fuller (IR, knee), S Marcus Williams (IR-R, wrist), S Kyle Hamilton (questionable, knee)
JAC injuries: WR Calvin Ridley (out, suspension), LG Ben Bartch (IR, knee), CB Shaquill Griffin (IR, back)

BAL DFS targets: Jackson $8,000 DK / $8,200 FD (JAC 31st in passing DVOA), Andrews $6,500 DK / $7,300 FD (JAC 32nd in DVOA vs. TE)
JAC DFS targets: none

BAL DFS fades: none
JAC DFS fades: Jaguars DST $2,500 DK / $3,800 FD (t-29th in sacks, BAL t-fourth in giveaways)

Key stat: JAC 12th in third-down conversions at 42.1 percent; BAL t-2nd in third-down defense at 32.8 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 70s, 12 mph wind, 5-15 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Edwards leads the BAL backfield with 90 yards and a score. Lamar throws for 230 yards and a touchdown to Andrews while running in a TD of his own. Etienne manages 70 combined yards. Trevor Lawrence throws for 260 yards and two touchdowns, finding Christian Kirk and Evan Engram. Ravens 24-23

Houston (+13) at Miami, o/u 46.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Davis Mills' second-year regression finally proved to be too much even for Lovie Smith, and the QB was benched this week in favor of Kyle Allen. Allen's career numbers aren't really a whole lot better than Mills', to be honest, but he seems a little more capable of stretching the field, so the switch could be good news for those with Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins shares. Dameon Pierce investors, too. It's not like this team is going to stop digging holes the passing game will need to  climb out of. Last week's loss, in which the Commanders sold out to stop Pierce and held him to eight rushing yards on 10 attempts, made it glaringly obvious the Texans needed to present some kind of threat through the air. Houston's still almost certainly headed for the first overall pick in 2023 — their closing schedule includes playoff-caliber opponents like the Cowboys, Titans and Kansas City in addition to this week's clash with the Dolphins, and even their "easy" matchups are more underachievers than actually bad clubs — so the job for the coaching staff is to get a decent offense in place they can drop C.J. Stroud into, or whoever they end up making the new face of the franchise.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Miami sat atop the AFC East by virtue of their Week 3 win over Buffalo, but this could be a division where the lead changes hands constantly right up until the end. The Dolphins won four straight heading into last week's bye, and after barely getting bye the Steelers to begin that streak they have been absolutely wrecking defenses, averaging 35 points over their last three victories. Tua Tagovailoa's numbers over that stretch (76.5 percent completion rate, 9:0 TD:INT, 9.9 YPA) are off the charts, continuing an MVP-quality campaign. No, seriously, look at his numbers on the season. They're silly. The only thing keeping him out of the conversation  alongside Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, etc. is that his performance when he's been on the field has been overshadowed by the drama surrounding his concussion absences. Tyreek Hill's got a legitimate chance to lead the NFL in scrimmage yards, a rare feat for a wideout, and Jaylen Waddle — as the clear No. 2, mind you — is on pace for about 1,500 receiving yards and double-digit TDs. Is it too much to ask to get a Kansas City-Miami matchup in the playoffs, if not the AFC championship game?

The Skinny

HOU injuries: C Justin Britt (NFI-R, personal), DE Jonathan Greenard (IR, calf), CB Derek Stingley (out, hamstring)
MIA injuries: RB Raheem Mostert (doubtful, knee), LT Terron Armstead (questionable, toe), LG Liam Eichenberg (IR, knee), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (IR, triceps), LB Jerome Baker (questionable, hip), CB Byron Jones (PUP-R, Achilles), S Brandon Jones (IR, knee)

HOU DFS targets: Chris Moore $3,800 DK / $5,500 FD (MIA 28th in DVOA vs. WR3), Jordan Akins $2,700 DK / $4,600 FD (MIA 28th in DVOA vs. TE)
MIA DFS targets: Jeff Wilson $5,900 DK / $7,700 FD (HOU 31st in rushing DVOA, 32nd in rushing yards per game allowed, 29th in YPC allowed, 28th in rushing TDs allowed), Hill $8,800 DK / $9,200 FD (HOU 32nd in DVOA vs. WR1)

HOU DFS fades: none
MIA DFS fades: none

Key stat: MIA seventh in red-zone conversions at 67.6 percent; HOU 14th in red-zone defense at 54.5 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the mid-80s, less than 10 mph wind, 1-5 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Pierce bangs out 70 yards and a score. Allen throws for 270 yards and a touchdown to Teagan Quitoriano. Wilson leads the MIA backfield with 100 yards and a TD, while Myles Gaskin also gets into the end zone. Tua throws for 310 yards and two touchdowns, both to Tyreek (who tops 100 yards). Dolphins 31-20

Chicago (+4.5) at N.Y. Jets, o/u 39.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Bears are 3-8 with Justin Fields on pace to be the best rushing QB in league history. Take him out of the equation, and they might be, I dunno, minus-1 and 12? The math kind of breaks down. That's the scenario Chicago's facing, though, as Fields attempts to play through torn ligaments in his non-throwing shoulder. Gee, good thing his style of play doesn't result in a lot of contact. To be clear, from the outside I think the Bears' coaching staff is incompetent at best for even considering risking him when all the team has to play for is 2023 draft position, but inside the locker room I'm sure there are guys dreaming of sneaking into a wild-card spot with a miraculous closing stretch, and inserting Trevor Siemian under center would certainly feel like throwing in the towel. Really, though, if you're praying for a miracle, the difference between a 0.1 percent chance and a 0.01 percent chance is effectively meaningless. There's probably a Cole Kmet/coal is his stocking riff here somewhere too given the TD run the tight end was on with Fields, but I'm only begrudgingly accepting having to hear Mariah Carey everywhere when I leave the house. I'm not doing Christmas jokes until December.

The dominoes continue to tumble for the Jets as a result of the Breece Hall injury. The team had averaged 30.3 points a game in the three weeks prior to him blowing out his knee. In the four games since, including the one in which he got hurt, the Jets have averaged 14 a game. It was a tough stretch for Zach Wilson — they faced the Patriots twice and the Broncos and Bills once each, all arguably top-5 pass defenses — but it also made it clear to Robert Saleh and the coaching staff that Wilson simply wasn't ready for the level of competition he's likely to face in the playoffs, and without Hall to take the pressure off, the team can no longer afford to have the second-year QB learn on the job. Bah gawd, is that Mike White's music? White also isn't good but still has a bit of cache left from that 400-yard game against the Bengals last year. (Everyone seems to have forgotten White's four-INT game against the Bills a couple weeks later.) At 6-4, the Jets are still very much in it for either the AFC East title or for a wild card, but they can't afford to give away any more wins. Saleh needs to figure out the quarterback situation, and fast, or a promising campaign is going to slip through their fingers. Between the defense, a healthy Hall, and maaaybe a Saleh reunion with Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason, 2023's still looking pretty bright, though, no matter how 2022 turns out.

The Skinny

CHI injuries: QB Fields (questionable, shoulder), RB Khalil Herbert (IR, hip), C Lucas Patrick (IR, toe), C Doug Kramer (IR, leg), CB Kyler Gordon (out, concussion), S Jaquan Brisker (out, concussion)
NYJ injuries: RB Hall (IR, knee), LT Duane Brown (questionable, shoulder), RG Alijah Vera-Tucker (IR, triceps), RT Mekhi Becton (IR, knee), RT George Fant (IR-R, knee), RT Max Mitchell (IR-R, knee)

CHI DFS targets: none
NYJ DFS targets: Michael Carter $5,400 DK / $6,200 FD and James Robinson $5,200 DK / $6,200 FD (CHI 29th in rushing yards per game allowed, 32nd in rushing TDs allowed), Corey Davis $4,200 DK / $5,500 FD (CHI 31st in DVOA vs. WR1), Jets DST $3,300 DK / $5,000 FD (t-4th in sacks, CHI t-31st in sacks allowed)

CHI DFS fades: Fields $7,400 DK / $8,500 FD or Siemian $4,900 DK / $6,300 FD (NYJ fifth in passing DVOA, t-2nd in passing TDs allowed), Equanimeous St. Brown $3,200 DK / $5,000 FD (NYJ fourth in DVOA vs. WR2)
NYJ DFS fades: none

Key stat: NYJ 16th in red-zone conversions at 55.2 percent; CHI 27th in red-zone defense at 66.7 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the high 40s, less than 10 mph wind, 15-70 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: David Montgomery grinds out 60 yards. Siemian starts and throws for 230 yards and two TDs, finding Kmet and Darnell Mooney, but he also gets picked off twice. Carter leads the NYJ backfield with 90 scrimmage yards, but Robinson vultures a touchdown. White isn't a savior but he does enough, throwing for 250 yards and a score to Garrett Wilson. Jets 20-14

Cincinnati at Tennessee (+1.5), o/u 42.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Joe Burrow and the Bengals survived a scare last week against the Steelers and have now won four of their last five, but cracks are showing in the formula that got them to the Super Bowl last season. The offense is fine — Cincy's scored at least 30 points in all four of those wins — but it's the defense that's getting worse and not better as the season rolls on. The Bengals have given up at least 30 twice in the last three games, and to teams that sent out Jacoby Brissett and Kenny Pickett under center. Even the Baker Mayfield-led Panthers hung 21 on them. Injuries in the secondary are part of the problem, but the pass rush has also taken a step back from 2021. With the offense losing big names too — Ja'Marr Chase has a chance of returning for this one, but Joe Mixon's now sidelined — it's entirely possible this team fades out of the playoff race given a merciless gauntlet of a closing schedule that features six teams currently in playoff spots, and the Browns as their seventh opponent.

The Titans have won seven of eight, and in their one loss they took Kansas City to overtime, so it's fair to say they could be the hottest team in the NFL. They still get no respect, of course. Part of it is an old-school offense that set its season high with only 27 points last week, and part of it is a general proclivity for tight, low-scoring affairs — until last week's game against the Packers, a Titans contest hadn't come in with more than 40 points since Week 4. There are reasons to think that formula could change a bit down the stretch, though. Derrick Henry may be back atop the NFL leader board in rushing yards where he belongs, but Ryan Tannehill has looked a lot more frisky since returning from an ankle injury, posting a 65.1 percent completion rate, 4:1 TD:INT and 9.3 YPA the last two games. The sample's too small to draw any real conclusions, but 2022 first-round pick Treylon Burks is coming off his first career 100-yard game and looks the part of a future WR1, and that gives the offense a balance it was lacking earlier in the year. With the AFC South title all but locked up already, the Titans can focus on taking the measure of some elite December competition (they face the Eagles to begin the month and the Cowboys to end it) and seeing how they stack up.

The Skinny

CIN injuries: RB Mixon (out, concussion), WR Chase (questionable, hip), CB Chidobe Awuzie (IR, knee) 
TEN injuries: LT Taylor Lewan (IR, knee), C Ben Jones (questionable, concussion), K Randy Bullock (questionable, calf), DE Jeffery Simmons (questionable, ankle), EDGE Harold Landry (IR, knee), EDGE Denico Autry (out, knee), CB Caleb Farley (IR, back), CB Kristian Fulton (questionable, hamstring)

CIN DFS targets: Burrow (TEN 30th in passing yards per game allowed, t-28th in passing TDs allowed), Tee Higgins (TEN 32nd in DVOA vs. WR2)
TEN DFS targets: Burks (CIN 31st in DVOA vs. WR2)

CIN DFS fades: Samaje Perine (TEN first in rushing DVOA, second in rushing yards per game allowed, third in YPC allowed, first in rushing TDs allowed)
TEN DFS fades: none

Key stat: CIN first in red-zone conversions at 75.0 percent; TEN 10th in red-zone defense at 53.6 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the mid-50s, 14-15 mph wind, 1-5 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Perine gets held to 60 sc rimmage yards. Burrow throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Chase, Higgins (who tops 100 yards) and Tyler Boyd once each. Henry rumbles for 120 yards and a score. Tannehill throws for 240 yards and a score to Robert Woods. Bengals 27-20

Atlanta (+4.5) at Washington, o/u 41.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Falcons are a half-game back of the Bucs for the NFC South lead, but it's fairer to stay Tampa Bay is letting them hang around rather than Atlanta is doing much to stay in the hunt. Coach Arthur Smith is adamant that Marcus Mariota is his QB, despite the fact Mariota's failed to reach 200 passing yards in seven of the last eight games. He's basically a cheap Justin Fields knockoff, only he's not doing anywhere near enough on the ground to make up for his limitations through the air. Cordarrelle Patterson remains dangerous, scoring on a kickoff return last week, but he hasn't reached 60 scrimmage yards in three consecutive games since recovering from a knee injury. Kyle Pitts is also now on IR, so an underpowered attack that has been held to 17 points or less in three of its last five outings has one fewer player the other team needs to pay any attention to.

The Commanders are far and away the least impressive six-win team in the league — for one thing, they're the only ones in the red in point differential — but that doesn't change the fact that they're in the wild-card hunt in the NFC after winning five of their last six. Taylor Heinicke has been under center for four of those victories as he continues to build his Tebow-like reputation as a "winner" despite pretty underwhelming numbers. The real key to Heinicke's success has been his defense, which has held seven consecutive opponents to 21 points or less after coughing up an average of 26.8 points over the first four weeks of the season. Really, aside from Terry McLaurin there's nobody who moves the needle in this offense, but if the defense finds another gear once Chase Young is back in action, the Washington attack won't need to put up pinball numbers. If it regresses, though ... well, Carson Wentz is right there, even if his higher upside comes with the downside of gut-punch INTs at the worst possible moments.

The Skinny

ATL injuries: RB Damien Williams (IR, ribs), RB Caleb Huntley (questionable, ankle), TE Pitts (IR, knee), LG Jalen Mayfield (IR-R, back), LG Elijah Wilkinson (IR, knee), LG Matt Hennessy (IR, knee), LG Chuma Edoga (questionable, knee), CB Casey Hayward (IR, shoulder)
WAS injuries: QB Wentz (IR-R, finger), RB J.D. McKissic (IR, neck), TE Logan Thomas (questionable, ribs), C Chase Roullier (IR, knee), C Wes Schweitzer (IR, concussion), DE Young (questionable, knee), LB Cole Holcomb (IR, foot), CB Benjamin St-Juste (out, ankle) 

ATL DFS targets: Olamide Zaccheaus $3,600 DK / $5,300 FD (WAS 30th in DVOA vs. WR2)
WAS DFS targets: none

ATL DFS fades: MyCole Pruitt $2,500 DK / $4,700 FD and Anthony Firkser $2,500 DK / $4,100 FD (WAS second in DVOA vs. TE)
WAS DFS fades: none

Key stat: ATL eighth in red-zone conversions at 61.8 percent; WAS 12th in red-zone defense at 54.1 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the high 40s, 9-11 mph wind, 65-85 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Patterson picks up 90 combined yards and a touchdown. Mariota throws for 200 yards and two scores, one each to Drake London and Zaccheaus. Brian Robinson leads the WAS backfield with 60 yards and a TD. Heinicke throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to McLaurin. Falcons 21-20

L.A. Chargers at Arizona (+4.5), o/u 47.5 – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST

If the Chargers don't end up turning things around and fall short of the playoffs, there will really be no one to blame but the Injury Fairy. Other teams have been missing more bodies, but the Bolts' injuries have been like surgical strikes to key areas of the roster. Keenan Allen was able to return last week, at least, but all that did was keep the team within a field goal of Kansas City, who are now three games ahead of Los Angeles in the AFC West and have already swept the season series against the Chargers. In other words, it's wild card or bust. Austin Ekeler is maybe the only reason they still have a pulse, averaging more than 100 scrimmage yards the last seven games with 11 total TDs. Even Justin Herbert's been struggling — last week was the first time he'd managed a YPA over 7.0 since Week 4 — but again, when your top wideouts are Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter rather than Mike Williams and Allen, there's only so much a QB can do.

The Cardinals are 4-7 and probably should be out of the playoff picture if there were any justice in the world, but no one seems to want to take control of the NFC West. Colt McCoy started the last two games while Kyler Murray nursed a hamstring strain and looked like a 36-year-old backup, but he was at least smart enough to feed DeAndre Hopkins every chance he got and picked up a win against the Rams. Murray figures to be back this week, and while his 6.0 YPA is actually worse than what McCoy managed under center, the finger of blame there points squarely at the play-calling. Maybe Kliff Kingsbury wises up this week with all his main din-and-dunk options (Zach Ertz, Rondale Moore) out and Marquise Brown potentially back, but I wouldn't count on it, if for no other reason than the offensive line is missing four starters and Murray will probably need to get rid of the ball quickly. Considering that the woeful Rams are the only team the defense has managed to keep below 30 points in a while, though, the Cards will need all the yards and points they can get.

The Skinny

LAC injuries: WR Williams (out, ankle), LT Rashawn Slater (IR, biceps), K Dustin Hopkins (IR, hamstring), EDGE Joey Bosa (IR, groin), CB J.C. Jackson (IR, knee), CB Michael Davis (questionable, knee), S Nasir Adderley (doubtful, thumb)
ARI injuries: RB Darrel Williams (IR, hip), WR Brown (IR-R, foot), WR Moore (out, groin), WR Greg Dortch (questionable, thumb), TE Ertz (out, knee), LT D.J. Humphires (out, back), LG Justin Pugh (IR, knee), C Rodney Hudson (IR, knee), RG Will Hernandez (IR, chest), CB Byron Murphy (out, back)

LAC DFS targets: Ekeler $8,500 DK / $8,800 FD (ARI t-26th in rushing TDs allowed, 30th in passing DVOA vs. RB), Gerald Everett $4,400 DK / $5,200 FD (ARI 31st in DVOA vs. TE)
ARI DFS targets: James Conner $6,600 DK / $7,000 FD (LAC 30th in rushing DVOA, 30th in rushing yards per game allowed, 32nd in YPC allowed), A.J. Green $3,400 DK / $5,300 FD (LAC 30th in DVOA vs. WR3)

LAC DFS fades: Allen $6,100 DK / $7,300 FD (ARI first in DVOA vs. WR1)
ARI DFS fades: Brown $5,300 DK / $7,000 FD (LAC second in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: LAC are 29th in net yards per play at -0.79; ARI is 31st in net yards per play at -0.96

The Scoop: Ekeler jets for 120 combined yards and a receiving TD. Herbert throws for 300 yards and a second score to Everett while running in a touchdown of his own. Conner responds with 90 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. Murray throws for 260 yards and TDs to Hopkins and Trey McBride. Cardinals 31-30

Las Vegas (+3.5) at Seattle, o/u 47.5 – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST

Laugh at the Raiders all you want, but they swept the Broncos and beat the Texans, so they must only be the third-worst team in the league. Right? The offense is running on fumes and hasn't scored more than 22 points since that Houston game, and while the solution probably isn't to have Derek Carr throw it even more often to Davante Adams, that seems to be the only plan Josh McDaniels has. Vegas has seven offensive TDs in its last four games, and Adams has five of them. If Raiders fans want something root for down the stretch, that's their best bet: Adams' career high for touchdowns in a season is 18 in 2020, and the NFL record is Randy Moss' 23 from 2007 with the Patriots (with, hmm, McDaniels as the offensive coordinator). It's not like anything else is working.

The Seahawks had a bye week to lick their wounds and crawl back from Germany after a fairly embarrassing loss to the Bucs, but they remain tied with the 49ers atop the NFC West at 6-4. Geno Smith remains amazing and still leads the league in completion percentage, just a hair ahead of Tua Tagovailoa (who's just a hair ahead of Smith in TD:INT.) He won't be in the MVP conversation unless he does some really unbelievable things down the stretch, but you might as well hand him the Comeback Player of the Year Award now. Kenneth Walker's coming off his worst performance since taking over as the starter, but that floor game resulted in 72 scrimmage yards, which isn't too bad. Seattle's essentially running the offense Pete Carroll always wanted but couldn't seem to find consistently the last few years, leaning heavily on his run game but with a very efficient passing game he can call on when necessary. The defense may also have turned a corner, allowing 17.4 points a game in its last five. Seattle's heading into a stretch of three consecutive games against three-win teams (the Rams and Panthers after the Raiders), so they need to make hay here if they're going to stay in the playoff picture.

The Skinny

LV injuries: RB Josh Jacobs (questionable, calf), WR Hunter Renfrow (IR, oblique), TE Darren Waller (IR, hamstring), LT Kolton Miller (questionable, shoulder), LB Divine Deablo (IR, forearm)
SEA injuries: RB Rashaad Penny (IR, ankle), S Jamal Adams (IR, knee)

LV DFS targets: Jacobs $7,700 DK / $8,700 FD and Ameer Abdullah $4,600 DK / $4,700 FD (SEA 28th in rushing yards per game allowed, 31st in passing DVOA vs. RB), Foster Moreau $3,400 DK / $5,400 FD (SEA 29th in DVOA vs. TE)
SEA DFS targets: Smith $6,000 DK / $7,600 FD (LV 32nd in passing DVOA, 26th in passing TDs allowed), Marquise Goodwin $3,500 DK / $5,400 FD (LV 31st in DVOA vs. WR3)

LV DFS fades: Keelan Cole $3,000 DK / $4,700 FD (SEA first in DVOA vs. WR3), Raiders DST $2,600 DK / $3,400 FD (32nd in sacks, 32nd in takeaways)
SEA DFS fades: none

Key stat: SEA ninth in third-down conversions at 43.1 percent; LV 29th in third-down defense at 46.4 percent

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the mid-40s, less than 10 mph wind, 25-30 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Jacobs plays, but Abdullah surprisingly leads the LV backfield with 80 combined yards and a receiving touchdown. Carr throws for 260 yards and a second score to Moreau, while Adams tops 100 yards. Walker racks up 130 scrimmage yards and two TDs. Smith throws for 290 yards and three touchdowns, finding Goodwin, DK Metcalf (who tops 100 yards) and Travis Homer. Seahawks 35-20

L.A. Rams (+14.5) at Kansas City, o/u 44 – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

Well, here we go. The Super Bowl Champion Rams — proud owners of the worst record in the NFC West and staring at the possibility of having to hand over a top-5 pick in the 2023 draft to the Lions — will give Bryce Perkins, an undrafted quarterback out of Virginia in 2020, his first career start and have him match up against Patrick Mahomes. I mean, talk about your ultimate no-pressure assignments. Perkins has been in Sean McVay's system that entire time, mostly on the practice squad, and his scouting reports out of college highlighted an athletic dual-threat QB who needed to work on his throwing mechanics if he was going to make it in the NFL. In theory, he's had the time and the coaching to fix some of that, so who knows, right? Perkins won't have Cooper Kupp to throw to, and even some of the other Rams downfield options are banged up, so at least on the Los Angeles' part this could wind up looking like a preseason box score (it's Lance McCutcheon SZN baybee!). Oh, in case you thought the problems were only on offense, the defense has given up 27 points in consecutive weeks to Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton. Yikes.

Kansas City's won four straight, has all but locked up the AFC West title, and with the AFC East teams tearing each other apart, Andy Reid's boys might even be the favorites for the No. 1 seed come playoff time. It's been a minute since Mahomes hung 40-plus on anyone, which is an ominous sign for the Rams defense, and the front office's decision to replace Tyreek Hill's quality with quantity in the wide receiver seems to be paying off. Mecole Hardman on IR? Recent pickup Kadarius Toney hurt again? No worries, there's still Skyy Moore and Justin Watson. The emergence of rookie RB Isiah Pacheco helps too, and Travis Kelce is coming off his second game this season with at least three TDs, so Mahomes still has more options than a defense can account for. Kansas City's own point prevention efforts have been hit or miss, but they can out-score anybody.

The Skinny

LAR injuries: QB Matthew Stafford (out, neck), WR Kupp (IR, ankle), WR Allen Robinson (questionable, ankle), TE Tyler Higbee (questionable, knee), LT Joe Noteboom (IR, Achilles), LT Ty Nsekhe (questionable, ankle), LG David Edwards (IR-R, concussion), LG Matt Skura (questionable, knee), C Brian Allen (questionable, thumb), RG Tremayne Anchrum (IR, leg), RG Logan Bruss (IR, knee), RG Chandler Brewer (IR, knee), S Jordan Fuller (IR, hamstring)
KC injuries: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (IR, ankle), WR Hardman (IR, abdomen), WR Toney (out, hamstring), LG Joe Thuney (questionable, ankle), S Juan Thornhill (questionable, calf)

LAR DFS targets: Robinson $5,500 DK / $6,800 FD (KC 30th in DVOA vs. WR1)
KC DFS targets: none

LAR DFS fades: Rams DST $2,300 DK / $3,300 FD (t-28th in takeaways, KC t-3rd in sacks allowed)
KC DFS fades: Pacheco $5,500 DK / $6,300 FD (LAR fourth in rushing yards per game allowed, fourth in YPC allowed), Watson $3,000 DK / $5,000 FD and Moore $3,000 DK / $5,400 FD (LAR third in DVOA vs. WR3)

Key stat: KC first in third-down conversions at 51.7 percent; LAR t-18th in third-down defense at 40.5 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the mid-40s, 7-10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Kyren Williams leads the LAR backfield with 70 scrimmage yards and a TD. Perkins throws for less than 200 yards but does run for one score and throw a second to (say the line, Bart!) McCutcheon. Pacheco grinds out 60 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes throws for 340 yards and four TDs, hitting JuJu Smith-Schuster (who tops 100 yards) twice and Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling once each. Kansas City 38-24

New Orleans (+9.5) at San Francisco, o/u 43 
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

The Saints have yet to win consecutive games this season, which probably doesn't bode well here after they rocked the Rams last week. Andy Dalton has mastered the art of turning in a big performance just when it seems like his starting job might be in jeopardy, or maybe the vulnerable secondaries have just been evenly dispersed throughout New Orleans' schedule. Either way he's still running the show while Jameis Winston cools his heels. Chris Olave is on track for a 1,200-yard rookie season, but Alvin Kamara had gotten strangely quiet, failing to reach 100 scrimmage yards in three straight without finding the end zone in any. In fact, he's only scored a touchdown in one game all year — he just happened to score three of them that week, which has disguised the problem a bit if you just look at his season-long numbers. The defense hasn't kept an NFL offense to less than 20 points all year, even if it did shut out the Raiders, so the offense can't afford to keep functioning with its most talented player taking on a supporting role.

Have the Niners finally put it all together? They're won three consecutive games, two in decisive fashion, and those early season losses to the likes of the Bears and Broncos seem like a distant memory. Those are the same three games in which Christian McCaffrey has seen a full workload, but while he's been fine, he hasn't been dominant, averaging 110.7 scrimmage yards and a touchdown per game. OK, that's better than just fine, but the expectations were jacked sky high when he joined a Kyle Shanahan offense. Maybe the best is yet to come. Instead it's been Jimmy Garoppolo (73.2 percent completion rate, 8.6 YPA, 6:0 TD:INT) and the defense (13.3 points per game allowed) and the defense leading the way, and that's certainly a formula that works too.

The Skinny

NO injuries: RB Mark Ingram (questionable, knee), WR Michael Thomas (IR, toe), LT Trevor Penning (IR, toe), LG Andrus Peat (questionable, triceps), C Erik McCoy (IR, calf), DE Cameron Jordan (questionable, orbital), LB Pete Werner (out, ankle), CB Marshon Lattimore (questionable, abdomen), CB Bradley Roby (IR-R, ankle)
SF injuries: QB Trey Lance (IR, ankle), WR Deebo Samuel (questionable, hamstring), DT Arik Armstead (doubtful, foot), CB Emmanuel Moseley (IR, knee), CB Jason Verrett (IR, Achilles)

NO DFS targets: Rashid Shaheed $3,000 DK / $5,100 FD (SF 32nd in DVOA vs. WR3)
SF DFS targets: Jauan Jennings $3,100 DK / $5,600 FD (NO 29th in DVOA vs. WR3), 49ers DST $4,000 DK / $4,700 FD (t-4th in sacks, NO t-31st in giveaways)

NO DFS fades: Kamara $7,300 DK / $7,100 FD (SF third in rushing DVOA, first in rushing yards per game allowed, first in YPC allowed, first in passing DVOA vs. RB)
SF DFS fades: George Kittle $5,300 DK / $6,200 FD (NO first in DVOA vs. TE) 

Key stat: SF fifth in third-down conversions at 46.4 percent; NO t-11th in third-down defense at 38.8 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the mid-60s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Kamara gets held to 60 combined yards. Dalton throws for 280 yards and three TDs, hitting Olave (who tops 100 yards) twice and Jarvis Landry once, but he also gets intercepted twice including a pick-six by Jimmie Ward. CMac erupts for 140 scrimmage yards and two scores, one rushing and one receiving. Garoppolo throws for 240 yards and a second touchdown to Samuel. 49ers 31-21

Buffalo at Detroit (+9.5), o/u 54.5 – Thursday, 12:30 p.m. EST

Did the Bills even bother going home after last week's win over the Browns at Ford Field, or did they just stay in Detroit and do touristy stuff like visit the Motown Museum? The AFC East remains a dogfight as all four teams have six or seven wins, so nobody can afford a misstep. (Buffalo's also 0-2 in division games, which could come back to haunt it.) Josh Allen continues to take it easy in practice as he plays through his elbow injury, and his numbers since the Bills' bye (60.5 percent completion rate, 7.4 YPA, 4:6 TD:INT in four games) are decidedly not MVP-worthy, but it's the defense's slide that should be the bigger worry. Before its Week 7 bye, the unit allowed 13.5 points and just less than 300 yards a game; since then, those numbers have ballooned to 23.3 and 396.3, respectively, and it's not like they've faced elite offenses during that stretch. The Bills still have the talent to outscore the opposition even with those higher targets, but with Allen not 100 percent healthy, that task becomes a lot more difficult.

The Lions have won three straight, including back-to-back road victories, and while a division title is probably off the table (they're four games back of the Vikings with seven to play), a big second half could get them into the wild-card conversation. Dan Campbell seems to have decided Jamaal Williams is his guy regardless of D'Andre Swift's health, a reasonable call when Williams is leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns and has five games with multiple scores. The veteran has already set a career high in rushing yards, and his 12 rushing TDs is even more remarkable when you consider he came into 2022 with a total of 13 in his prior five campaigns. Amon-Ra St. Brown could also be about to get some real help downfield — DJ Chark made a cameo appearance last week as he recovers from an ankle injury, while 2022 12th overall pick Jameson Williams is closing in on his pro debut. The defense has also had its two stingiest performances points-wise during that winning streak, though it's still routinely coughing up 400-plus yards a game, so that had more to do with Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones not being able to cash in their opportunities. Given Josh Allen's sudden penchant for red-zone INTs, you can't exactly be sure their luck will run out.

The Skinny

BUF injuries: C Mitch Morse (questionable, elbow), DE Greg Rousseau (out, ankle), LB Tremaine Edmunds (out, groin), S Micah Hyde (IR, neck)
DET injuries: WR Josh Reynolds (questionable, back), WR Chark (questionable, ankle), WR Williams (NFI-R, knee), WR Quintez Cephus (IR, foot), LG Jonah Jackson (questionable, concussion), C Frank Ragnow (questionable, foot), RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (IR, back), RG Tommy Kraemer (IR, back), RG Evan Brown (questionable, ankle), DE Romeo Okwara (PUP-R, Achilles), DE Josh Paschal (questionable, knee), CB Jeff Okudah (doubtful, concussion), S Tracy Walker (IR, Achilles)

BUF DFS targets: Allen $8,000 DK / $9,500 FD (DET 28th in passing yards per game allowed, 32nd in YPA allowed), Devin Singletary $5,700 DK / $6,900 FD (DET 31st in rushing yards per game allowed, 30th in YPA allowed, 31st in rushing TDs allowed)
DET DFS targets: none

BUF DFS fades: none
DET DFS fades: Kalif Raymond $4,100 DK / $5,500 FD (BUF fifth in DVOA vs. WR3), Brock Wright $2,900 DK / $4,600 FD (BUF third in DVOA vs. TE)

Key stat: BUF second in third-down conversions at 50.0 percent; DET 32nd in third-down defense at 50.0 percent

The Scoop: Singletary gallops for 110 combined yards and two touchdowns. Allen throws for 310 yards and two TDs, hitting Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis (who tops 100 yards) while also running in a score of his own. Jamaal Williams responds with 70 yards and a TD. Jared Goff throws for 280 yards and two scores, finding St. Brown and Swift. Bills 35-27

N.Y. Giants (+9.5) at Dallas, o/u 45.5 – Thursday, 4:30 p.m. EST

Winner gets Odell Beckham? The Giants are 7-1 in one-score games this season but 0-2 when they can't keep it close, with both those losses coming in their last three games — including last week's home stinker against Detroit. It's no coincidence that Saquon Barkley had his two least productive games of the season in those losses, failing to reach 60 rushing yards in either while combining for a 5-22-0 line on 10 targets through the air, though which is cause and which is effect could be debated. Fun fact: the Giants are 0-7 against the Cowboys with Saquon starting in the backfield, including a Week 3 loss earlier this year, though that's less surprising when you look at the team's overall futility in recent years against Dallas. Daniel Jones has become an effective game manager, but ask him to do too much and he reverts to his old ways, throwing multiple picks against the Lions for the first time all season even as he topped his prior season high for passing yards by 124. His receiving corps is getting thinned out again too, as rookie Wan'Dale Robinson tore an ACL last week. The Giants may have little choice but to start giving Kenny Golladay a real role in the offense ... or back the Brink's truck up to Odell's house.

Both these teams are two games back of the Eagles in the NFC East, and with Philly showing some warts lately, whoever comes out on top on Thanksgiving will be the ones who have to keep the pressure up down the stretch. The Cowboys bounced back from their disappointing second half at Lambeau by absolutely humiliating the Vikings, and last week was the first time both halves of the roster clicked at the same time — Dallas has hung 40-plus points on two of its last three opponents while holding two of the last four to single-digit points, which are two terrifying trends for the rest of the conference if they start to become a habit. Tony Pollard's four-game hot streak has produced 573 scrimmage yards and six total TDs, and while Ezekiel Elliott won't be sidelined completely, Pollard still saw more touches in Week 11, which should be how the workload is divided. I mean seriously, Dallas averages more than 35 points a game with him in the lead role. This is a no-brainer. Dak Prescott hasn't really been unleashed since returning to action either, at least not the way he was to begin the 2021 campaign, but he has reeled off three consecutive games with multiple TDs, and it might only be a matter of time before he pops. Perhaps having a shiny new Beckham to throw to would help. Facing a team down its top two corners certainly can't hurt. Micah Parsons and company will also get to tee off against a Giants offensive line missing at least three starters and which could be down to a fifth-stringer at left guard. I have this one being semi-close, but Brian Daboll is really going to have to crank up the smoke and mirrors for that to happen.

The Skinny

NYG injuries: WR Robinson (IR, knee), WR Sterling Shepard (IR, knee), TE Daniel Bellinger (out, eye), LT Andrew Thomas (questionable, illness), LG Shane Lemieux (out, toe), LG Ben Bredeson (IR, knee), LG Joshua Ezeudu (out, neck), LG Tyre Phillips (questionable, neck), C Jon Feliciano (out, neck), RT Evan Neal (out, knee), DE Azeez Ojulari (IR, calf), CB Adoree' Jackson (out, knee), CB Fabian Moreau (out, oblique), S Xavier McKinney (NFI-R, hand), S Dane Belton (questionable, shoulder)
DAL injuries: WR James Washington (IR, foot), LT Tyron Smith (IR, knee), DE DeMarcus Lawrence (questionable, foot), LB Parsons (questionable, knee), CB Jourdan Lewis (IR, foot), S Donovan Wilson (questionable, illness)

NYG DFS targets: none
DAL DFS targets: Dalton Schultz $3,800 DK / $5,800 FD (NYG 30th in DVOA vs. TE)

NYG DFS fades: Jones $5,500 DK / $7,500 FD (DAL second in passing DVOA, first in passing yards per game allowed), Giants DST $2,400 DK / $3,500 FD (DAL t-1st in sacks allowed, t-2nd in giveaways)
DAL DFS fades: none

Key stat: NYG t-17th in third-down conversions at 40.6 percent; DAL seventh in third-down defense at 34.6 percent

Head-to-head record, last five-plus years: 10-1 DAL, average score 29-18 DAL, average margin of victory 12 points. DAL is 8-1 in the last nine meetings on home turf, with NYG's only win in Dallas during that stretch coming in Week 1 of 2016. Victor Cruz scored his last NFL touchdown in that one

The Scoop: Barkley grinds out 70 combined yards and a score. Jones throws for 250 yards and a touchdown to Darius Slayton but gets picked off twice and sacked five times. Pollard carves out 120 scrimmage yards and a TD, while Elliott adds 50 yards. Prescott throws for 270 yards and two scores, finding Schultz and CeeDee Lamb. Cowboys 24-17

New England (+2.5) at Minnesota, o/u 42.5 
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. EST

The Patriots lurk one game back of the Bills and Dolphins in the AFC East, so if Buffalo stumbles in the early game, New England will be playing to move into a tie. The Pats have won three straight and five of six, though last week's last-minute punt return to break a 3-3 tie was so ridiculously improbable I'm not entirely sure I didn't dream it. Chaos season! The defense has been the story, as it so often is for Bill Belichick's crew, and they've held consecutive opponents to three points each. It was the Colts and Jets, but still. Only one team has scored more than 17 against the Pats in their last six, and that was in the Justin Fields game, so that's not exactly a formula other offensive coordinators can copy. You'd certainly like to see Mac Jones showing a little more spark, but given the state of the offensive line, they can live with him simply minimizing his mistakes and letting Rhamondre Stevenson and the defense rumble.

It kind of felt like the Vikings' bubble burst last week in that rout at the hands of the Cowboys, but then again they felt like a team of destiny the week before when they beat the Bills, so maybe hasty overreactions aren't the best approach. Minnesota still appears to be cruising to its first NFC North title since 2017 and still has an impressive array of weapons on offense, even if Kirk Cousins didn't have any time to find them against Dallas. The loss of left tackle tackle Christian Darrisaw is potentially huge, especially with Matthew Judon coming to town, but at least this time the coaching staff has a week to account for it rather than scrambling to address it mid-game. I mean, there's no way this team could go on a huge second-half losing streak and hand the division over to the Lions or (gulp) the Packers, right?

The Skinny

NE injuries: WR DeVante Parker (questionable, knee), LG Isaiah Wynn (out, foot), C David Andrews (questionable, thigh), RT Marcus Cannon (IR, concussion), RT Yodny Cajuste (questionable, calf)
MIN injuries: LT Darrisaw (out, concussion), CB Cameron Dantzler (IR, ankle), S Lewis Cine (IR, leg)

NE DFS targets: Jones $5,100 DK / $6,500 FD (MIN 31st in passing yards per game allowed, 31st in YPA allowed)
MIN DFS targets: Vikings DST $3,100 DK / $4,000 FD (t-3rd in takeaways, NE 29th in giveaways)

NE DFS fades: none
MIN DFS fades: Cousins $5,600 DK / $7,400 FD (NE first in passing DVOA, fourth in passing yards per game allowed), Justin Jefferson $8,200 DK / $8,600 FD (NE fourth in DVOA vs. WR1)

Key stat: MIN 21st in third-down conversions at 37.9 percent; NE ninth in third-down defense at 36.9 percent

The Scoop: Stevenson gathers in 80 scrimmage yards and a TD. Jones throws for 260 yards. Dalvin Cook gets held to 80 combined yards. Cousins throws for less than 200 yards and a touchdown to Adam Thielen. Patriots 16-10


Last week's record: 9-5, 6-8 ATS, 11-3 o/u
2022 regular-season record: 86-77-1, 69-90-5 ATS, 82-81-1 o/u
2021 regular-season record: 174-97-1, 146-125-1 ATS, 125-143-4 o/u
Lifetime record: 1374-846-8, 1074-1082-72 ATS, 817-868-31 o/u (o/u not tracked in 2015)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
IDP Analysis: Week 12 Review
IDP Analysis: Week 12 Review
Backfield Breakdown: Week 12 Running Back Usage & Week 13 Waivers Preview
Backfield Breakdown: Week 12 Running Back Usage & Week 13 Waivers Preview
Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Steelers at Colts
Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Steelers at Colts
Monday Night Football Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds and Best Bets
Monday Night Football Picks: Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Odds and Best Bets