TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)
QB: Derek Carr (OAK, $32)
Not only should this matchup against the Patriots be a shootout, but New England doesn’t have a formidable pass rush. That should result in Carr having plenty of time to let plays develop downfield, and he should make a number of big connections to his talented receiver corps. It also helps that Oakland hasn’t had a strong rushing attack, so we could see him throw the ball nearly 50 times like he did when averaging 365 yards in recent games against the Chiefs and Bills. Although he’s shown plenty of downside this year, he has elite upside when the matchup is right, and this one certainly qualifies.
RB: Alex Collins (BAL, $18)
When the Ravens are involved in a close game, Collins is all but assured a major role in the offense. Despite traveling to Green Bay, the Packers are extremely unlikely to pull out to a big lead with Brett Hundley running the offense, which should lead to Collins seeing at least 15 carries with the potential for more. Many fantasy owners may be concerned about Danny Woodhead’s return to the offense, but he’s the clear passing-down specialist, which should have no impact on Collins’ fantasy potential. For a player averaging over five yards per carry on the season, receiving heavy volume – which he’s only really had twice this season – puts him in position to crush his salary.
WR: Michael Crabtree (OAK, $28)
If Carr’s going to fill the air with footballs in a potential shootout with the Patriots, there should be plenty of production for Crabtree as well. It would seem that New England would look to limit the big-play potential of Amari Cooper, and if that’s the case, Crabtree could easily post a multi-TD performance, which is something he’s done multiple times in the past. However, many fantasy owners will be off him in tournaments, as he’s yet to exceed 83 yards in a game with only one multi-TD effort this season. Facing one of the most generous defenses in the league against opposing wide receivers, this is a great week to use Crabtree.
QB: Eli Manning (NYG, $30), Jared Goff (LAR, $28)
RB: Alvin Kamara (NO, $26), Adrian Peterson (ARI, $23), Dion Lewis (NE, $20)
WR: Amari Cooper (OAK, $25), Sterling Shepard (NYG, $26), Jeremy Maclin (BAL, $17)
TE: Marcedes Lewis (JAC, $14), Jared Cook (OAK, $20)
DST: Detroit Lions ($19), New Orleans Saints ($18)
CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)
Alex Smith (KC, $38)
Although Smith has had a number of amazing fantasy performances this year, he’s been leveling off a bit since Week 8. However, he’s yet to throw fewer than 30 passes in a game since Week 3, so he should continue to air out the football enough to give him a solid floor. What makes his prospects better is that he’s facing a Giants defense with plenty of off-field drama, and that’s not going to help them if and when they fall behind this week. Not only could this defense start checking out, they’re in the bottom five already in terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs. Smith has a great balance of floor and upside this week.
Jordan Howard (CHI, $27)
Since losing Haloti Ngata earlier in the season to an injury, the Lions have been a defense to exploit on the ground. Even Isaiah Crowell had a solid game against them last week. As a result, they’re in the bottom 10 in fantasy production allowed to running backs. In addition, Chicago head coach John Fox hardly needs an invitation to run the football, as he’s made that the centerpiece of his offense, and he’ll run the ball even when trailing. With at least 19 touches in just about every game since Week 3, Howard’s in position to easily challenge the 100-yard mark with a solid chance to find the end zone. He should have little trouble providing value this week.
LeSean McCoy (BUF, $34)
After a brutal schedule in the first half of the season, McCoy draws another favorable matchup against a Chargers’ defense that’s consistently been gashed by opposing RBs, at least until they somehow shut down Leonard Fournette last week. That said, McCoy’s had at least 23 touches in most of his games since Week 4, so he’s always a bet to receive exceptional volume. It’ll also help his cause that the Bills are in better position to throw the ball since adding Kelvin Benjamin and Deonte Thompson while getting Charles Clay back from injury. The added weapons should open up things a little more for McCoy, who was consistently facing defenses that sold out to stop him over the first half of the season. His volume should provide a great floor for him and his situation should give him added upside.
Alshon Jeffery (PHI, $23)
Jeffery’s been averaging almost nine targets a game over his last four contests, and after scoring three times over his last two, he looks to have finally gained some chemistry with Carson Wentz. Coming out of the Eagles' bye week, he’ll have a great matchup against a Dallas secondary that’s in the bottom 10 based on production allowed to wide receivers. Look for Jeffery to continue seeing heavy volume, and he should be in position to easily earn value as he continues his hot streak.
Jarvis Landry (MIA, $29)
With Landry’s Week 11 opponent, the Buccaneers, allowing the most receptions to opposing wide receivers on the season, this is looking like a fantastic spot for the Dolphins primary possession receiver. Not only does Tampa Bay give up a boatload of catches, but they’re at the very bottom of the league in terms of fantasy production allowed to the position. On the year, Landry’s been targeted at least 10 times in all but a couple games, and he’s also found the end zone four times in his last six games. He’s clearly in a spot to succeed this week.
Doug Baldwin (SEA, $28)
Not only is Baldwin averaging 10 targets a game over the last month, he’s been on a roll as well. He’s posted at least 92 yards three times over his last four games while scoring twice during that span. He continues to be a difficult matchup for defenses, as he runs a large number of his routes from the slot, where he usually avoids the opponent’s top CBs. There’s nothing intimidating about facing the Falcons and their middle-of-the-road pass defense this week, especially after Baldwin posted 80 yards and a TD against them when he faced them in last year’s playoffs.
Travis Kelce (KC, $31)
Going into last week’s bye, Kelce had scored in three straight games. If that’s not enough of a reason to start him, a more compelling reason to use him is that he’ll be facing the Giants, who have allowed the most TDs to TEs this season (nine), while also allowing the third most fantasy points to the position this year. If that’s still not enough of a reason to use him, he’s caught at least seven passes in four of his last six games. As long as affording his salary isn’t an issue, this is one of the best player situations of the week.
Jacksonville Jaguars ($22)
You probably don’t need a ton of analysis here. The Jags should take an early lead, which will force the Browns to go to a very pass-heavy approach for much of this contest. Once that happens, one of the worst QB situations in the league will face arguably the NFL’s best secondary and pass rush. The result should be another big fantasy day for this excellent defense.
QB: Carson Wentz (PHI, $37), Jay Cutler ($31)
RB: Jerick McKinnon (MIN, $24), Kareem Hunt (KC, $34)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, $30), Brandin Cooks (NE, $28)
TE: Zach Ertz (PHI, $28), Tyler Kroft (CIN, $16)
DST: Chicago Bears ($13), Arizona Cardinals ($15)