QB – Baker Mayfield
Considering the fact that Mayfield threw for four touchdowns the last time Cleveland played Cincinnati, a repeat performance isn’t out of the question. Things haven’t gotten better for the Bengals defense, despite a decent performance against a subpar Oakland Raiders offense last week.
RB – Sony Michel
Michel’s last few weeks haven’t inspired much confidence, but he’s faced a couple tough opponents during that stretch. The touches have been there, with 50 carries over three weeks. This week, he has a good matchup against Buffalo. The Bills are tied for second-most rushing touchdowns allowed this year with 15.
RB – Jordan Howard
With 54 carries over his last three weeks, Howard is in a good position to be productive against San Francisco. The 49ers have given up a rushing touchdown in four consecutive weeks. With Nick Mullens likely to struggle against the Bears defense, Howard should get plenty of work in during an easy win for Chicago.
WR – Robby Anderson
After injuries, Anderson is the Jets last legitimate weapon. He’ll be needed in order for Sam Darnold to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Anderson has touchdown receptions in each of the last two weeks and faces a defense that has allowed 20 touchdown catches to receivers, second-most in the league this season.
WR – Doug Baldwin
Baldwin has four touchdown catches over the last four games he’s played. It’s a crucial time for Russell Wilson to be connecting with his favorite pass-catcher, as the Seahawks will have to contend with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Baldwin should see a healthy number of targets.
WR – Allen Robinson
The 49ers have given up the most touchdown catches to wide receivers with 22 allowed. They’ve given up eight touchdowns to that position over the last four weeks. There’s going to be plenty of scoring by the Bears offense, Robinson will get his.
TE – David Njoku
It’s been an underwhelming season for anyone dealing with Njoku. However, one of his few good games came against the Bengals. Njoku had five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in week 12. Cincinnati has given up nine touchdowns to tight ends, tied for most in the league.
FLEX – Evan Engram
With the position being very unproductive, Engram’s recent success could be crucial in championship fantasy matchups. He has 11 catches for 152 yards over the last two weeks, and should continue to be heavily used with Odell Beckham Jr still out of action. The Indianapolis Colts are one of only two teams that have given up over 1,000 yards receiving to tight ends this year.
QB – Tom Brady
Brady’s downswing in production will not be helped by the absence of Josh Gordon or a matchup with the league’s best pass defense. Only one of the Bills last four opponents has gotten over 200 yards passing. With as bad as their season has gone, they remain a force against any quarterback they face.
RB – Jaylen Samuels
Fantasy players may be congratulating themselves on a speedy pickup of Samuels made a few weeks ago when James Conner’s injury problems first emerged. However, he’ll have to stay on the bench this week. The New Orleans Saints have the league’s best run defense, allowing just 79.1 yards per game.
RB – Mark Ingram
The Steelers aren’t too far behind the Saints in run defense, sixth overall and presenting a bad matchup for any running back. Ingram get’s touches, but splitting time with Kamara still puts a cap on that productivity. He won’t be a good start against Pittsburgh.
WR – Mike Evans
The Cowboys have only given up 10 receiving touchdowns to the position, tied for fourth-fewest in the league. Evans hasn’t caught a touchdown since week 11, losing redzone targets to Adam Humphries, Chris Godwin, and Cameron Brate. Now, Desean Jackson is back, further blurring the picture.
WR – Robert Woods
I just can’t bring myself to trust Woods against a decent secondary with his lack of a red zone punch. Woods is only tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns among wide receivers. That list includes a number of players who have missed time, unlike Woods. Todd Gurley is expected to play, and likely to absorb touchdowns like he usually does.
WR – Sterling Shepard
Even with Beckham out, Shepard has fallen behind Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley in target priority. Also, the Colts are pretty stout against wide receivers, giving up the second-fewest yards to the position. They’re second only to Buffalo in that category. Not a good matchup for a guy who hasn’t eclipsed 50 yards receiving since Week 7.
TE – George Kittle
It’s tough to trust Kittle when facing an elite defense that will make stopping him a priority. Benching Kittle is a tough call, but the right one. The Bears haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end since Week 8.
FLEX – Jamaal Williams
Williams takes the starting job in Green Bay’s backfield with Aaron Jones on injured reserve. But he won’t have much productivity against the Jets. They’ve allowed just 67 yards rushing to running backs over the last two weeks. Expect the Packers to spend their time taking advantage of the Jets’ more glaring weaknesses in the secondary.