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.
Without T.J. Watt, the Steelers have been a league average defense. It's no surprise to see the Bills with the highest projected team total. Stacking Josh Allen this week will be come down to availability. Jamison Crowder (IR), Jake Kumerow (week-to-week), Isaiah McKenzie (concussion protocol), Gabe Davis (ankle), and Dawson Knox (foot/hamstring) are all dealing with something.
We discussed him here, with all-22 film. In short, he's very good at football. As for the matchup, we can more-or-less throw out all previous matchup data against these Raiders, as their defensive scheme has completely 180'd under a new defensive coordinator. Even while going through their own scheme changes, Mahomes has the Chiefs offense 1st in EPA per dropback. For fantasy the issue is a flattened out target tree. All are boom-bust until there's clearer usage separation.
The Cardinals are dead last in adjusted sack rate and the Eagles have plenty of OL depth to mask their own injuries. There are no matchup concerns here, particularly for Dallas Goedert. Arizona is (and has been) getting murked by opposing tight ends (for years).
Tom Brady (shoulder/finger) was limited on Wednesday. The good news is all of his skill players are healthy (aside from Cameron Brate), and the Falcons defense remains pretty iffy even with aggressive DC Dean Peas calling the shots. Atlanta is 27th in adjusted sack rate.
Cincinnati's defense is the best in percentage of series that end in a touchdown or first down. They are very well coached, even if their pass rush isn't getting home right now. Lamar Jackson needs a healthy Rashod Bateman (DNPx2) to overcome this tough on-paper matchup. In his 5 games against DC Lou Anarumo, Lamar is averaging 201.8 passing yards with a 9/2 TD/INT ratio, though he has added *checks notes* 81.0 rushing yards.
The Chargers might have something in 3rd-string rookie LT Jamaree Salyer, but he'll be challenged by Myles Garrett this week. We'll learn more about how the Chargers OL can hold up this week in a tougher matchup. Even if it's bad, I'm betting on Herbert just figuring it out. Cleveland's defense has miscommunication issues in the back half all year. It's worth monitoring the skill player options here, too. Keenan Allen (DNPx), Gerald Everett, and Josh Palmer are all banged up.
Offenses facing the Ravens are choosing to pass in neutral situations at the 3rd-highest rate in the NFL, and it's lead to allowing the most fantasy points to opposing QBs. I don't understand why the Bengals' team total only sits at 22.75 points. I'm betting against that low-ish projection with this Burrow ranking.
The matchup is difficult on paper -- the efficiency likely won't be great -- but there are some positives deep in here. Offenses facing the Eagles have chose to pass at the 2nd highest rate, and the Eagles own offense is 4th in neutral pace. Kyler should have a bunch of pass attempts at home as 5.5-point underdogs.
The Vikings are projected for the 7th-most points of the week, so Kirk has to be a fringe fantasy QB1.
It's a great matchup. The Texans are 22nd in passing EPA allowed on defense and play at the 6th-fastest rate in neutral situations on offense. Expect a bounce-back game here for all Jaguars now that weather isn't a concern. They are 8th in team total this week.
Offenses facing the Chiefs are choosing to pass at the highest rate in the NFL, leading Kansas City's defense to No. 27 against fantasy QBs. We should expect the Raiders offense to get better month-after-month in a notoriously difficult Josh McDaniels' scheme. I like Carr's chances in projected garbage time as 7-point road dogs.
It takes a lot for Rodgers to be a fantasy QB1 because his offense is 29th in neutral pace and 26th in neutral pass rate, but his skill group and OL are healthier than they were a few weeks ago. The Packers are 11th in team total this week. Of note, offenses are choosing to run against the Packers at the 5th highest rate. Start A.J. Dillon this week.
Stuck in a disorganized offense that's 28th in neutral pace and 19th in neutral pass rate, it's hard for Wilson to be an every-week fantasy QB1. I worry about this coaching staff on a short week, but the Colts defense is beatable. They're 24th in passing EPA allowed and play the scheme (single-high shell) that Russell Wilson has historically feasted on. It's a neutral situation in general. We'll see if the Broncos pass more sans Javonte Williams (ACL/LCL).
Stylistically, there aren't many differences between Tua Tagovailoa (out) and Teddy... and the Dolphins healthy 24.0-point team total suggests the betting markets don't see a massive downgrade in general. Teddy is a pro's pro and has the weapons to win isolated matchups against the Jets' No. 29 passing EPA defense, one that can be exposed by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in single-high structures.
Their mediocre team total paints a different picture, but the Rams have looked horrendous partially because of a broken OL that is 29th in adjusted sack rate. Facing Micah Parsons and the Cowboys' No. 1 adjusted sack rate defense certainly won't help this week. Do the Rams have enough weapons aside from Cooper Kupp to move the ball? I'm less convinced. I'm surprised the Rams have a 24.25-point team total here.
Jameis Winston (back) didn't practice Wednesday, and Dalton did just enough in Week 4 to not rush him back. Largely because of matchup, the Saints are 5th in implied points this week. What can go wrong???
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We discussed him here, with all-22 film. Goff will likely be without Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark, and D'Andre Swift again this week, but unlike last week, the Patriots are a near lock to play slow and run the ball.
The Chargers are getting gashed on the ground again (No. 28 rushing EPA), so Brissett will primarily be asked to come back in garbage time, not establish things early.
It's hard for multiple pass catchers and Garoppolo himself to be fantasy relevant when the offense is 30th in neutral pace and 31st in neutral pass rate this season.
The Commanders are very bad on defense without Chase Young, but Tannehill has to overcome the Titans' No. 31 neutral pace and No. 30 neutral pass rate offense, this time without WR Treylon Burks and LT Taylor Lewan.
No Kyle Pitts (out) drastically hinders this passing offense, and nobody even bothers trying to run against this stout Bucs run defense. Mariota will need garbage time scrambles to make it out alive as a QB2 this week, and even those will be difficult against these speedy linebackers.
The Ringer Fantasy Football Show has a bit comparing Navy's passing stats to the Bears. That's elite stuff.
A matchup of two bottom-5 neutral pace offenses makes Wentz a difficult QB2 sell this week. He looks far less comfortable behind an OL that's missing interior linemen Chase Roullier, Wes Schweitzer, and Tyler Larsen right now. Washington is now 30th in adjusted sack rate.
We discussed him here, with all-22 film. In short, he looked better than usual but still had too many negative plays behind a very iffy OL. The matchup this week is straightforward. Miami will bring the house with a banged up secondary, allowing the Jets WRs to have one-on-one matchups. If Wilson can handle the pressure, he'll be fine. If he can't, this will be a long day. The betting markets have the Jets 22nd in implied team total. Lastly, the Jets have had a lower neutral pass rate in all Wilson starts compared to Flacco/White Guy starts (see above). It's something to monitor.
The Colts' No. 18 neutral pace and No. 16 neutral pass rate will climb with Nyheim Hines swapping in for Jonathan Taylor at RB. The bad news is Ryan looks as bad as ever behind a surprisingly weak OL (No. 26 in adjusted sack rate). It's a bad time to be facing a top-5 defense on the road on Thursday Night Football. Broncos CB1 Pat Surtain might be the best coverage corner in the NFL already.
It's been a fun story, but Rush on the road against Aaron Donald is none of my business.
The team total implies Mac Jones (limited Wednesday) is going to play, but we'll see if that actually happens. Brian Hoyer (DNP Wednesday) remains in the concussion protocol, so Bailey Zappe could draw his first start.
We discussed him here, with all-22 film. Even if he's better than Mitchell Trubisky, this isn't the matchup to get cute. The Bills are top-5 in all defensive metrics against the pass.
It's been a struggle, and I respect the Jaguars defense.
This is a run-heavy offense even when Jones is healthy. He'll be playing on a sprained ankle against a defense that invites the run. Offenses facing the Packers have the 2nd highest neutral run rate.
Someone could lose their job after this game.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Nick Chubb - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Alvin Kamara - He's been bad, but Kamara claims to be healthy now and more importantly, the Saints are 5th in team total this week. This is the week to set up a sell high. He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Dalvin Cook - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Leonard Fournette - For the first time, the Bucs used Rachaad White in non-garbage time in a sorta 2-for-1 drive rotation. This was necessary as the Bucs are dead last in rushing EPA and White provides a completely different skillset on the perimeter. What's extremely bullish for White long-term is that the Bucs are already comfortable using him in all situations, not just in a particular role. He played passing downs and scored a goal-line TD last week. For now, Fournette still projects well, but make sure White is rostered everywhere. He could be a late-season league winner.
Jamaal Williams - Get hyped with this video.
Josh Jacobs - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Melvin Gordon - We all said he'd have top-10 RB appeal if Javonte Williams missed, and I won't let a few fumbles get in the way of that thinking here. Mike Boone really struggled last week (video), and Latavius Murray can't know this offense this quickly. If there's a time to run away with the job, it's now. Broncos OC said he'd "obviously" be the bellcow.
Devin Singletary - His usage is up (23.8 & 11.8 expected half PPR in last two games) because Zack Moss and James Cook are struggling, and this week, the Bills have major issues at WR/TE with Dawson Knox (out), Jake Kumerow (out), Jamison Crowder (out), and Isaiah McKenzie (questionable) all banged up. He should catch a bunch of passes again.
James Robinson - We discussed him here.
Breece Hall - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Damien Harris - Eruption spot. Look at the damn matchup chart.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
A.J. Dillon - We discussed him here.
Rashaad Penny - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Tyler Allgeier - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
David Montgomery (Questionable) - Not convinced he's truly healthy.
Antonio Gibson - This assumes Brian Robinson is active.
Mike Boone - See RB14 Melvin Gordon.
Rachaad White - See RB7 Leonard Fournette or listen here.
Cam Akers - I think he's been very bad in all phases.
Chase Edmonds - He's dead last with -2.09 rushing yards over expected per carry. The next closest, -0.83, per NextGenStats.
Caleb Huntley - See RB31 Tyler Allgeier.
Brian Robinson Jr. (Questionable)
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Justin Jefferson - We discussed him here, with all-22 film. Bears CB1 Jaylon Johnson (quad) hasn't practice this week.
Davante Adams - The WR2 overall in usage, Adams has been relatively unlucky on deep targets and red zone targets. Those will even out, especially in year one of a notoriously complicated offense. I'm very optimistic here.
Mike Williams - This assumes Keenan Allen (DNPx2) is out. Gerald Everett and Joshua Palmer are also on the injury report.
Tyreek Hill (Questionable)
Christian Kirk - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Jaylen Waddle (Questionable)
Michael Pittman - We're swapping more passes with a harder matchup this week.
CeeDee Lamb - Expect some Jalen Ramsey.
Drake London - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Chris Olave - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Chris Godwin - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
DK Metcalf - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Gabe Davis - We discussed him here, with all-22 film. In short, we need full practices (check) this week to trust him. He shouldn't have played on that ankle last week. And now we have Dawson Knox (out) and Isaiah McKenzie (questionable) banged up, too. Oh, and Steelers outside CB Ahkello Witherspoon (DNP all week) and S Terrell Edmunds (DNP-limited with concussion) could miss. Last note, the other outside CB Cameron Sutton (groin/hamstring) was limited all week. He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Allen Lazard - What if Aaron Rodgers' WR evaluation is better than yours? We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Questionable) - He's expected to play suddenly, but ARSB only was DNP-DNP-limited in practice this week. Those are predictive of decoy/inefficient game play. Risk-reward here.
Joshua Palmer - Full practice on Friday.
Garrett Wilson - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Tyler Boyd - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
Robert Woods - No Treylon Burks (foot).
Isaiah McKenzie (Questionable) - Progressing through concussion protocol. Would be a great matchup vs. a man-heavy defense if he's cleared.
Josh Reynolds - He has 13.5 and 14.6 expected half PPR points in the last two weeks with the injuries at WR. This assumes ARSB is in, but isn't at full health.
Zay Jones - Still limited in every practice.
Devin Duvernay - This assumes Rashod Bateman is out.
George Pickens - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Jarvis Landry - Still limited in every practice.
Russell Gage (Questionable) - Still limited in every practice.
Jakobi Meyers (Questionable) - Still limited in every practice.
Rondale Moore (Questionable) - With A.J. Green expected back, we're unsure if Moore sticks in 2-WR sets or goes back to his slot-only role. There is no floor here. At least slot CB Avonte Maddox is out.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Read the player notes above. Rankings below are half PPR.
Zach Ertz - He's one of My Guys this week (video).
T.J. Hockenson - We discussed him here, with all-22 film.
Dalton Schultz - He's practicing in full this week.
Irv Smith Jr.
Hunter Henry - No Jonnu Smith.
Logan Thomas (Questionable) - He was added to the injury report on Friday. Never a good sign. I'd rank John Bates around here if Thomas is out.
Isaiah Likely - More usage if Rashod Bateman is out.
The defenses of the week are the Vikings, Packers, 49ers, and Bills, with the Titans, Broncos, Bucs, Jaguars, and Cowboys all in play, too.
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. Here are my downloadable rankings. Save this as a CSV, change "ID" to "id", and upload them on the Rankings tab on Underdog desktop. Good luck!
Column is here.