Taysom Hill (vs Atlanta) **Monitor Status**
Hill is no sure thing to go on Sunday, but if he does his rushing ability enhanced fantasy ceiling will be even higher because of the matchup. Hill put up 25+ point fantasy games in both of his matchups with the Falcons last year and should at least be well-rested and healthy after sitting out a month with a concussion.
Tyrod Taylor (at Miami)
Taylor was a strong fantasy QB1 in his game and a half before going out with a hamstring injury and should pick up right where he left off against a vulnerable Dolphins pass defense. Trevor Lawrence and Matt Ryan have passed for over 300 yards over the last three games and only Lawrence and Mac Jones in his NFL debut have failed to throw for multiple scores against the Dolphins this year.
Mike White (at Indianapolis) **Thursday**
White is an obvious sleeper choice, but might still be overlooked because he’s playing on Thursday. It is entirely possible that the Mike LaFleur offense is functional and just needed a competent quarterback like White to make it work and produce fantasy points. The Colts defense isn’t imposing and might allow White to increase the possibilities that this is his job for the rest of the season. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for multiple scores in 6 of 8 games against the Colts this year, with only Davis Mills and Jimmy Garoppolo failing to do it.
Ty Johnson (at Indianapolis) **Thursday**
Johnson has caught at least five balls for at least 65 yards in each of the last two games, which just happens to coincide with Mike White taking over as quarterback after Zach Wilson went down. It’s possible that throwing to the running back will remain a central part of the offense now that the quarterback is running the plays as designed.
Zack Moss (at Jacksonville)
Moss has a shot at scoring at least once in what should be an easy game for the Bills. He has scored in every game that the Bills have won by 20 or more and Moss also had a season high six catches last week. Expect him to also get carries to run out of the clock if the Bills cruise to victory as expected.
Peterson, McNichols, and D’Onta Foreman will sort out the backfield through merit, but one would assume that Peterson will be the best early down runner and McNichols the best passing down back. One or both could be a good start, depending on whether the Titans defense can slow down the Rams offense. If the Titans fall behind, it will be a McNichols night, but if the Titans are competitive, Peterson could easily rack up 20 carries, and he is fresh playing against a Rams defense that hasn’t had a bye yet.
A.J. Dillon (at Kansas City)
Dillon actually led the Packers backfield in carries last week, and he could do it again this week as the Packers will likely lean on the run to hide Jordan Love in his first NFL start. The Chiefs have given up at least 89 total yards to a back in every game this year and they should be tired coming off of a Monday night nailbiter win over the Giants.
Derrick Gore (vs Green Bay)
Gore looked good in his debut and could earn even more work as the Chiefs look to grind out long drives to protect their achilles heel defense. Gore ran inside with burst and toughness that kept the offense on schedule and took advantage of two high safety looks that take away the big play for Patrick Mahomes II in the passing game.
Mark Ingram II (vs Atlanta)
Ingram didn’t do much in his return to the Saints last week, but looked spry on his receptions and strong enough on carries against the Top 5 Bucs run defense. The Falcons, on the other hand, have allowed a score to a running back in every game this year but one. Ingram could get more work than expected since he allows the Saints to play Alvin Kamara more split out as a receiver. The Saints could also have a lead to salt away with the running game in the second half. If Taysom Hill starts, that will put even more stress on the Falcons run defense, which will open lanes for Ingram.
Tony Pollard (vs Denver)
Pollard is explosive and just needs more work to put up fantasy numbers that will make his teams happy. That could come this week via a game script that sees the Cowboys blow out the Broncos team that just traded away their best defensive player, or because the Cowboys top three wide receivers are all less than 100%, opening the door for Pollard to be a bigger part of the passing game this week.
Mike White threw for over 400 yards last week against a pass defense that had just frustrated Lamar Jackson. Crowder and Moore put up their best numbers of the year and we may learn Thursday night that is just the new normal as long as the Jets aren’t facing an imposing defense. Moore is producing on limited snaps, which creates the possibility that he could breakout if the coaches decide to use him more this week.
Zach Pascal (vs New York Jets) **Thursday**
Pascal will be the clear #2 receiver in a Colts pass offense that should be able to move the ball with ease against the Jets. He has a high floor as a full-time player with T.Y. Hilton, and Pascal got 8 targets last week even with Hilton playing over 40% of the snaps.
Hunter Renfrow (at New York Giants)
The loss of Henry Ruggs III will take away the vertical dimension for the Raiders pass offense, but it could result in more targets for Renfrow, who should dodge any extra attention with Darren Waller running routes in the middle of the field. The Giants play bend but don’t break defense that allowed a multitude of short targets to Tyreek Hill last week.
Tajae Sharpe (at New Orleans)
Sharpe is for teams that have to dig deep, but he might be the #1 target in the Falcons pass offense if the Saints emulate the Panthers and put Marshon Lattimore, their #1 corner, on Kyle Pitts the way Carolina put Stephon Gilmore on Pitts last week. That would leave Sharpe with a much better matchup on the outside. Sharpe tied for the team lead in targets with six last week.
Rondale Moore (at San Francisco)
Moore will be catching passes from Colt McCoy or a hobbled Kyler Murray, but he could also be among the clear top two receivers with A.J. Green on the covid list and DeAndre Hopkins battling a hamstring issue that had him in and out of the game last week. Moore could hit a season high in targets and snaps and he had 97 total yards and five catches in the first matchup with the 49ers this year.
Van Jefferson (vs Tennessee)
The Titans have given up multiple scores to opposing wide receivers in 5 of 8 games this year, and two of the games that they didn’t were against a hurt Carson Wentz and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jefferson is now a full-time player and primary deep threat with DeSean Jackson’s release, which may promote him sleeper status soon enough.
Cedrick Wilson (vs Denver)
Watch the status of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, as Wilson could be a top three receiver or better for the Cowboys against the depressed Broncos defense. Wilson also threw one of the prettiest passes of the season last week and is otherwise announcing his presence as one of the best receivers in the league that is not starting.
Tyler Conklin (at Baltimore)
Conklin has already had a few fantasy relevant games this year, and he is set up for a good result against the Ravens. The Vikings could be playing from behind against the rested and revitalized Ravens offense, which would push up Kirk Cousins pass attempt number. The Ravens have already allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year, and no team has posted less than 4-45 from the tight end position when facing them this year.
Jared Cook (at Philadelphia)
The Eagles have given up six touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the last six games, with T.J. Hockenson posting 10-89 last week in the one game that didn’t feature an opposing tight end score. Tommy Tremble, O.J. Howard, Jody Fortson, and Foster Moreau all scored against Philadelphia, and Dalton Schultz scored twice, so Cook should be up to the task.
Pat Freiermuth (vs Chicago)
Freiermuth graduated to 78% snap share last week with Eric Ebron out, and he has seven targets in each of the last two games. Ebron is likely to miss this week, giving Freiermuth a huge opportunity coming off of a game when he snagged the game winner over a defender on a fourth down that is sure to build trust with Ben Roethlisberger.
Albert Okwuegbunam (at Dallas)
Noah Fant is on the covid list, so his status for this weekend is iffy. Even if he wasn’t repeated penalties by Fant and the return of Okwuegbunam from injury was threatening to shake up this tight end situation anyway. The Cowboys have already allowed four scores to opposing tight ends this year and two other games over 50 yards to Tyler Conklin and Evan Engram in games where they didn’t allow a score.