Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (vs Cincinnati)
Tannehill shouldn’t really be a sleeper after his strong postings the last two weeks, but we’ll use this column to draw attention to his exploits. Since Treylon Burks has been back, Tannehill has been an excellent passer. The Titans are taking advantage of defenses that are keyed on Derrick Henry. Cincinnati’s offense should get Ja’Marr Chase back this week, so the Titans may have to open up their offense to keep up with the Bengals.
Daniel Jones, NY Giants (at Dallas) **Thanksgiving**
Jones lost Wan’Dale Robinson last week, but he still threw for well over 300 yards with the ragtag group the Giants have put together at wide receiver and tight end. The Cowboys defense is punishing, but their aggressiveness should open up running lanes for Jones and give him chances to make big plays as a runner. The offense should fall on Jones' shoulders if the Giants fall behind the red hot Cowboys early.
Mike White, NY Jets (vs Chicago)
Every time we have seen Zach Wilson sit, the Jets pass offense has come alive. Corey Davis will probably be back this week to bolster the wide receiver group, and the Chicago defense has been one of the worst in the league since trading away their two best front seven defenders. White flashed his weekly ceiling last year with a 405-yard, three-touchdown performance last year vs. Cincinnati.
Bryce Perkins, LA Rams (at Kansas City)
We know that Matthew Stafford won’t start Sunday, but we still don’t know John Wolford's status after he missed last week with a neck injury. If Wolford can’t go, Perkins will have some intrigue in 2QB/Superflex leagues. He posted good numbers as a runner and wasn’t overwhelmed as a passer against the Saints. The Chiefs offense is clicking, so Perkins would have a good chance to face some garbage time defense if he gets the start.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay (at Cleveland)
Leonard Fournette isn’t a sure thing to go on Sunday, the team has said they will go with the hot hand at running back, and White looked better than Fournette going into the bye. Whether it’s via White being the hotter hand, Fournette sitting, or Fournette playing but just not being very effective (or limited due to injury), White’s breakout game could be incoming against a Browns defense that let the Bills running game go off for 164 yards last week.
Latavius Murray, Denver (at Carolina)
It probably won’t be pretty, but Murray should dominate touches in the Broncos backfield in a game they should win because they are facing Sam Darnold. Murray has shown enough to be the team’s three-down back, if only because none of the other healthy backs on the roster have even taken a snap with the offense in a game yet. Murray won’t be efficient, but cheap PPR points and touchdown opportunities should be there for the taking.
Michael Carter, NY Jets (vs Chicago)
Carter is part of the long list of players who should benefit from Zach Wilson getting benched. Carter had 8-67, 9-95, and 4-43 receiving stat lines last year when White took the majority of the quarterback snaps and he also scored as a runner in two of those games. The Jets can’t seem to make up their mind about how they want to use James Robinson, so Carter is the best play in this backfield.
Damien Harris, New England (at Minnesota) **Thanksgiving**
Harris looked stronger and more efficient than Rhamondre Stevenson as a runner last week in his return from a hamstring injury. He was only in on 24% of the snaps, so that should go up this week, and his touches should go up as well. Harris seemed to be the preferred goal-line option before he got banged up this season, so don’t be surprised if he gets the call over Stevenson on goal-to-go plays.
The Rams unceremoniously let Darrell Henderson go this week (Jacksonville claimed him), leaving Williams and Akers as the last men standing in the backfield. Williams is the better pass catcher and PPR league option, while Akers should get the majority of the early down carries, and he has a better shot at scoring. If you have to scrounge on the waiver wire for a back this week, one of these Rams options should be there.
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