Tua Tagovailoa (vs New York Giants)
Tagovailoa has been playing excellent football as of late, and he could be getting back DeVante Parker. Jaylen Waddle is also red hot and the playcalling is meshing well with Tagovailoa’s strengths. Don’t let last week’s result fool you, the Giants played bend but don’t break defense and got bailed out by some terrible Jalen Hurts decisions, a Boston Scott fumble, and a Jalen Reagor drop.
Taysom Hill (vs Dallas) **Thursday**
The odds are stacked against Hill, who is playing without his starting offensive tackles and Alvin Kamara, and with probably the worst wide receiver group this side of Detroit. He’s also playing with a painful foot condition that has kept the team from starting him earlier. He could still hit as a running quarterback, especially against a Cowboys team that couldn’t get off of the field against the Broncos running game a month ago. If the Saints really commit to the run, Hill could hit.
Matt Ryan (vs Tampa Bay)
The Falcons lost 48-25 to the Bucs in the first matchup and the game wasn’t as close as the score. Even with a resurgent pass defense, the Falcons are likely to be playing from behind, so Ryan could approach the 46 attempts and 300 yards he had in the first matchup. Mac Jones and Jacoby Brissett have both hit 275 yards and two scores against the Bucs this year with modest passing attacks.
Tyrod Taylor (vs Indianapolis)
Taylor has the likelihood of a garbage time game script on his side in this one. The Colts beat the Texans 31-3 in the first matchup this year, one that came when Taylor was sidelined by a hamstring injury. Rookie Davis Mills threw the ball 43 times in that game, so that should give you an idea of how much of the offense could be on Taylor’s shoulders. He could get a lot of scrambles in against prevent defenses, and unlike some games this weekend, it will be played in excellent conditions.
Tevin Coleman (vs Philadelphia)
Coleman was the lead back against the Texans in the win last week. His fantasy results weren’t exciting, but the Jets did get two rushing scores - they just went to Zach Wilson and Austin Walter. The Eagles offense might be limited by Jalen Hurts ankle injury and they lost to an uninspiring Giants team last week, so the Jets could be competitive again this week, which would lead to a healthy workload for Coleman.
Watch to make sure that Zack Moss is expected to be a healthy scratch for the second straight week. If so, Singletary and Breida become more intriguing plays this week because the Monday night game is forecast to be played in high winds and potentially wintry (snow/sleet) conditions. Bill Belichick is also likely to try to get the Bills to run or alternatively force Josh Allen to throw into tight coverage. If Brian Daboll’s game plan embracing zigging when the opponent is set up to stop the zag, the Bills running backs should have big roles.
Rhamondre Stevenson (at Buffalo)
The Patriots are much better equipped to lean on the run than the Bills, which is why you should consider Stevenson this week even though he was a letdown in a rout last week. The Bills tapped out against the Colts running game two weeks ago - at home, and the Patriots are surely going to challenge the front seven that wilted against Jonathan Taylor. Stevenson’s speed/size/power combination could wreak havoc against the Bills this week.
Rex Burkhead (vs Indianapolis)
With David Johnson banged up, and possibly out, and Royce Freeman not having the trust of the coaches, Burkhead should have as many touches as he can handle against the Colts. He is game script proof as a viable three-down and no huddle back, and could also rack up receptions if the Texans are forced to throw more to try to make up a huge deficit in the second half.
Tony Pollard (at New Orleans) **Thursday**
Pollard has been a consistent producer of modest but high efficiency output on limited volume so far this year, but his volume could grow against the Saints Thursday night. Ezekiel Elliott is battling a knee injury that was rumored to have the team considering shutting him down for a bit earlier this year. Jerry Jones shot down those rumors and said Elliott would have a “serious” load, but if this game gets out of hand - as most recent Saints games have - Pollard should be in for mop up duty. The Saints defense also seemed to wilt in the second half last week and allowed a screen pass score to Matt Breida, which is the kind of play that Pollard has been used on this year.
Sony Michel (vs Jacksonville)
Darrell Henderson is taking a quad strain into Week 13. He is expected to play, but he could always aggravate the injury during the game. The Rams should be able to beat the Jaguars handily at home, which would open up second half opportunity for Michel in another path to possible value for him this week if you’re desperate.
Josh Reynolds (vs Minnesota)
Reynolds posted a 3-70-1 line in his first game reunited with Jared Goff, and he has been integrated into the offense as a full-time player over the last two weeks. The Lions will likely have to pass a lot with their penchant for losing game scripts and the likely loss of D’Andre Swift, who is a big part of their credible running game. Reynolds led the team’s wide receiver group in targets last week in only his second game with the team.
Russell Gage (vs Tampa Bay)
Gage should be a frequent target for Matt Ryan in a game that will require him to pass a lot to keep up with Tom Brady. The Falcons should be focused on Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson and concede the short passes to Gage, who could rack up a big score in PPR leagues simply because the team is likely to throw 35-40 times or more against the Bucs stout run defense. The Bucs also just lost their slot corner Mike Edwards to a suspension for violating the league’s covid rules.
Curtis Samuel (at Las Vegas)
Samuel could be used more this week as he came out last week without any obvious aggravation or setback of the groin injury that ruined the first half of his 2021 season. It looks like J.D. McKissic will be sidelined by the concussion that he suffered on Monday night, and Samuel makes sense as an option in the short passing game and as a more frequent runner out of the backfield to fill the hole.
Marvin Jones Jr (at Los Angeles Rams)
Jones is a sleeper by default this week because the Jaguars are likely to have to put the ball in Trevor Lawrence’s hand against a Rams offense that will probably be able to move the ball at will. James Robinson is banged up and may not be as effective even if he does play, and Dan Arnold was just sidelined for the season, so the target tree may get narrower and focus on Jones, who had one of the plays of the week on a one-handed sprawling grab against the Falcons.
Beasley and Meyers both make sense as featured targets in a game that could feature high winds and a wintry mix of precipitation. The Patriots are likely to play two safeties deep to take away any notion Josh Allen has of passing downfield, and Mac Jones is going to take the high percentage safe option, which is unlikely to be Nelson Agholor or Kendrick Bourne on downfield passes. Meyers and Beasley can consistently get open in the short zones, which will be important in this AFC East showdown.
James O’Shaughnessy (at Los Angeles Rams)
Dan Arnold was about the most reliable option in the Jaguars passing game, so it’s possible that O’Shaughnessy picks up where Arnold left off. He had 6-48 in the season opener and left the Week 2 game with an injury that sidelined him until last week, when he finished with 3-29. The Rams had given up touchdowns to tight ends in three straight weeks before facing the Packers (without Robert Tonyan Jr) last week, including scores to Geoff Swaim and Brevin Jordan.
Brevin Jordan (vs Indianapolis)
Jordan has emerged as the top tight end for the Texans in his rookie year, and just in time for a game against the Colts that should feature a lot of Tyrod Taylor pass attempts. The Colts had no answer for Rob Gronkowski last week and they had allowed either a touchdown or at least 5-67 to the opponent’s top tight end in the four games previous, including scores allowed to Geoff Swaim and Ryan Griffin. In the first matchup, Texans tight ends accounted for 6-49 against the Colts in a 31-3 loss.
Foster Moreau (vs Washington)
Moreau is in line to start against the Football Team this week with Darren Waller missing the first two practices of the week despite having three extra days off following a Thanksgiving win over Dallas. Moreau posted a 6-60 line with a touchdown in his first start this year, and he’ll face a Washington offense that just allowed a 5-37-1 line to Gerald Everett last week.