Every site has a fantasy football rankings column. None of them will be as charted up on a Thursday afternoon up as this one. I'll go position-by-position with the charts, matchup notes, film, and injury nuggets that I view as worth your time.
A battle between having the highest team total vs. the Texans (somehow) allowing the fewest points to opposing fantasy QBs. My gut leans Mahomes, who needs monster games to pull back ahead in the MVP race.
The Bears' 2nd-highest neutral run rate allowed means we should expect a balanced approach from Philly this week. For Hurts, that's okay. He can run if you haven't heard.
The weather for Saturday night: "Snow in the evening will diminish to a few snow showers overnight. Low 26F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 60%. About one inch of snow expected." That plays to the Bills' strengths, but Buffalo's neutral pass rate has dropped to 7th after being top-2 for most of the past 2 seasons.
The Chargers are 1st in neutral pass rate. Offenses facing the Titans are 1st in neutral pass rate. You do the math. Also,,,,
The Titans are missing: DE Denico Autry, CB Kristian Fulton, S Amani Hooker, CB Tre Avery, LB David Long (IR), CB Elijah Molden (IR), CB Lonnie Johnson (IR), CB Caleb Farley (IR), LB Zach Cunningham (IR), and other depth players on defense.
Even with RT Terrence Steele on IR, Dak Prescott should have all the time he needs for a bounceback game. Jacksonville's defense is 31st in adjusted sack rate, and teams facing Jacksonville choose to pass in neutral situations at top-8 rates. With Trevor Lawrence playing the best ball of his career right now, this has shootout potential. Let's ride.
I'm a weekly team total guy, and the Vikings are 3rd in implied points. The Colts will be without two starting CBs, including quality slot corner Kenny Moore, while the Vikings will return LT Christian Darrisaw (concussion) and potentially C Garrett Bradbury (back). Bullish.
It seems like Tee Higgins (hamstring) and Tyler Boyd (finger) will "play". Alright.
With a full week's rest, Fields is likely to return to rare leevls of designed runs, especially with Darnell Mooney (IR) and Chase Claypool (out) hurt. This will be a tough task given the Eagles' defense (2nd in adjusted sack rate) and Fields propensity to hold onto the ball (32nd in adjusted sack rate. Still, it's hard to fade these elite rushing numbers.
Shootout potential despite the tough matchup. Dallas offense is sweet, and both offenses are top-10 in neutral pace. TLaw is balling right now. We discussed him in length here.
There is a notable QB cliff in this range, so I'm rolling with Rodgers here for a few reasons. First, the team total (23.25 points) is higher than any of the remaining QBs, probably because his skill group is healthy with Romeo Doubs even returning. Second, the Rams defense is unlikely to maintain their already mid numbers with multiple starting defensive linemen injured, including Aaron Donald. With the Packers still mathematically alive, there is still hope for an explosive 2- or 3-touchdown outing.
A battle between a borderline top-5 offense and a borderline top-5 defense.
Things have broken Brady's way on the injury font. Stud RT Tristan Wirfs (ankle) is questionable after DNP-limited-limited practice, and the entire skill group is off the injury report. The Bengals defense is missing EDGE1 Trey Hendrickson and slot CB Mike Hilton, too. In a week without a strong mid tier of QBs, Brady is looking slightly better.
The Ravens defense has turned into a pass funnel with their LB play vastly improving. Offenses facing Baltimore are choosing to pass in neutral situations at top-6 rates. However, both of these offenses are bottom-8 in neutral pace.
Patriots CB Jalen Mills is out, but we're still waiting on news regarding Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. From coach Josh McDaniels, "One more day of practice will be good for us...we'll see how today goes and make a good choice."
Tyler Huntley cleared concussion protocol (almost too) quickly.
No DeVante Parker or Jakobi Meyers (most likely), but with Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and Damien Harris (quad) both questionable, the Pats may pass more than usual.
The weather for Saturday night: "Snow will taper off and end this evening but skies will remain cloudy late. Low 26F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches. Heavier amounts in persistent snowbands." The cold and snow combined are bad enough to effect scoring, play volume, and yardage counts, but the wind is in check and any pre-game photos could over exaggerate the on-field conditions where they'll clear a large chunk of snow. Still, adjustments are warranted. I'd pay close attention to what the Underdog Fantasy Pick'em lobby projects each player. That'll be close to a market consensus.
The team total dropped from about 25ish points to 22is points based on pessimism surrounding Mike White's status.
D.J. Moore (knee) is questionable.
He's probably going to be ruled out after Wednesday's DNP (concussion). Brett Rypien is the backup.
He'll play a majority of the snaps, but Jeff Driskel is mixing in.
There's a chance that the Steelers rotate QBs with both Trubisky and Mason Rudolph splitting reps in practice all week.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Austin Ekeler - He'll have to catch passes because nobody runs against the Titans' No. 2 fantasy RB defense. The good news: Ekeler is pretty, pretty good at this receptions thing.
Derrick Henry - No Dontrell Hilliard meant a season-high 24 routes for Dehember last week. The Chargers are missing S Derwin James, likely DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, EDGE Joey Bosa (IR), CB J.C. Jackson (IR), DT Christian Covington (IR), DT Austin Johnson (IR), DT Otito Ogbonnia (IR), and other depth players on defense.
James Conner - Nobody has his snap share, and Colt McCoy is a check down artist, leading to a very healthy role for Conner. And the haters won't admit that Conner has looked pretty good since his injury. Potential league winner.
Miles Sanders - He is one of "My Guys" this week. The Bears' 2nd-highest neutral run rate allowed means we should expect a balanced approach from Philly this week.
Dalvin Cook - He hasn't been very good this year, but Cook is one of "My Guys" this week.
Alvin Kamara - No Mark Ingram, but man, this offense and Kamara himself hasn't look great for more than a month.
Joe Mixon - In his return from concussion, Mixon had his fewest expected half PPR points of the year because Samaje Perine earned a legit role while Mixon was sidelined. I'm lowering Mixon expectations for now.
Ezekiel Elliott - See RB8 Tony Pollard.
Kenneth Walker - He was left off the injury report after a full practice and should be relied upon heavily in a near must win game against their division rivals. The issue is the set-back risk and the Seahawks' below-average 20.0 implied points.
Isiah Pacheco - He is one of "My Guys" this week. Houston is allowing the most fantasy points to RBs. Game script suggests a "Pacheco game", especially with Kansas City ranking top 5 in expected half PPR points to their RBs this month. I don't remember seeing the Chiefs rank that highly under Mahomes. Jerick McKinnon, meanwhile, will play most pass downs and still mixes in during goal line. It's very much a 2-RB committee.
Jamaal Williams - No DT Quinnen Williams (DNP all week) would be very helpful here.
Jerick McKinnon - See RB20 Isiah Pacheco, and we discussed him in length here.
Devin Singletary - With snowy cold conditions expected, Singletary could benefit as (still) the Bills top early-down rusher.
J.K. Dobbins - We discussed him in length here.
Rhamondre Stevenson (Questionable) - We're in Patriots RB hell again. Damien Harris (quad) is out, while Stevenson is questionable after going DNP-DNP-limited with an ankle injury suffered last Monday. This is a must win game, so the Patriots look like they'll risk it with Stevenson (J.J. Taylor wasn't called up from the practice squad). If Stevenson is too injured to play, here is how Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong mixed in last week:
Tyler Allgeier - Post-Bye Rookie Bump.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Justin Jefferson - No CB Kenny Moore or Brandon Facyson for the Colts.
Davante Adams - No CB Jalen Mills for the Pats.
Ja'Marr Chase - No CB Jamel Dean for the Bucs.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - He can avoid Sauce Gardner by staying in the slot.
Tyreek Hill - He has a lower-leg injury but was limited-full to start the week. The Dolphins lowly team total and the potential of a defensive blueprint against Miami knock Tyreek slightly down from his elite WR1 status this week.
Mike Williams - He is one of "My Guys" this week. The Chargers are 1st in neutral pass rate. Offenses facing the Titans are 1st in neutral pass rate. You do the math.
CeeDee Lamb - Jacksonville is a relative pass funnel.
Keenan Allen - The Chargers are 1st in neutral pass rate. Offenses facing the Titans are 1st in neutral pass rate. You do the math.
A.J. Brown - Chicago is a relative run funnel.
Tee Higgins (Questionable) - He was a full participant on Friday. We have to trust that.
Garrett Wilson - Assumes Corey Davis (concussion) is out, which consolidates top-5 WR fantasy usage to Wilson, inconsistent Elijah Moore, and slot-only Braxton Berrios. The problem suddenly is the QB, with Zach Wilson back.
Chris Godwin - We discussed him in length here.
Terry McLaurin - No CB Adoree' Jackson for the Giants.
Amari Cooper - He's playing through an injury (DNP-DNP-limited), so I'm moving him down lower than usual. The good news is that he was left off of the final injury report.
Michael Pittman - He is one of "My Guys" this week.
Jerry Jeudy - No Russell Wilson (concussion), but Courtland Sutton (out), Kendall Hinton (out), and KJ Hamler (IR) are out. Pop quiz: Who is the Broncos new No. 2 WR? (Spoiler alert: Who is "Brandon Johnson"?)
Marquise Brown - We discussed him in length here.
D.J. Chark - We discussed him in length here.
Donovan Peoples-Jones - Baltimore is a relative pass funnel and Amari Cooper remains on the injury report (hip). DPJ has improved as an all-around player this year, too. We discussed him in length here.
Adam Thielen - No CB Kenny Moore or Brandon Facyson for the Colts.
Chris Moore - Assumes Nico Collins (DNP) and Brandin Cooks (limited) are out.
Elijah Moore - See WR12 Garrett Wilson.
DJ Moore (Questionable) - He went full-full-limited in practice this week, so his last practice was a downgrade. Moore was also wearing a non-contact jersey. There is no floor here.
Jauan Jennings - Nearing full-time snaps with Deebo Samuel out.
Mack Hollins - We'll see if Hunter Renfrow or Darren Waller play.
Robert Woods - No Treylon Burks (concussion).
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine - No Treylon Burks (concussion).
Tyler Boyd (Questionable) - He was limited on Wednesday, and when asked if he'll play this week, Boyd said, "Yeah. It's just a finger. I'm good." Fair enough.
Equanimeous St. Brown
Julio Jones - DNP-DNP-limited in practice.
Kadarius Toney (Questionable) - Limited all week.
Romeo Doubs (Questionable)
Richie James (Questionable)
Brandon Johnson - He's on the Broncos!
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Mark Andrews - Getting Tyler Huntley back is notable.
Evan Engram - We discussed him in length here.
Cole Kmet - No Darnell Mooney (IR), Chase Claypool (out), or backup TE Trevon Wesco (out) this week.
Pat Freiermuth - His snap rate has dropped due to injury recently.
Jeff Driskel - Eligible as a TE on Yahoo (at least), Driskel has a Taysom Hill profile but with even more work. Last week, he played on half of the Texans plays, most of which at legit QB, none of which in garbage time as the Texans were actually playing the Cowboys close. The coaching staff said this QB rotation will continue, giving Driskel "break the slate" potential at a worthless position. Pick him up if he's available right now. If something happens to Davis Mills, Driskel would be the biggest cheat code in fantasy.
Hunter Henry - No DeVante Parker or Jakobi Meyers.
Chigoziem Okonkwo - Discussed him in length here. In short, re-set expectations if Treylon Burks (out) returns, as the Titans would use less 12-personnel where Chig has been balling out of. But that's a problem for another day.
Foster Moreau - Darren Waller is eligible to play. Will he suit up? There's noise behind the scenes here with Waller.
Juwan Johnson (Questionable) - He was limited all week.
The defenses of the week are the Eagles, Packers, Commanders, Chiefs, Saints, Broncos, Bills, 49ers, Bills, Browns, and Panthers. Lots of good options this week.
To me, this is the most beatable DFS game out there, as drafters too often go off the default rankings. Simply add one or two players who are commonly undrafted to get a unique DFS team. And of course, stack. I truly believe my readers/followers would enjoy the game theory (and the edge) of this contest.