This is my favorite weekend of the year – turkey, pie, beer and football! Oh, and fantasy playoffs are just around the corner as well! Be sure to check for waiver wire pickups first thing tomorrow (Thursday) morning and set your lineups at the same time because we have three Thursday games this week.
Take a look at the players we like and don’t like this weekend. Happy Turkey Day to all and enjoy stuffing your face with copious amounts of food and beer and hopefully you have a successful fantasy football week as well!
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Car
I am not sure a week ever goes by where McCaffrey shouldn’t be on the ‘Studs’ list. He leads the league in touchdowns (16), all-purpose yards per game (155.4) and rushing yards per game (102.1). He ranks 6th in receptions (68), and is in the top 50 in terms of receiving yards per game as well (53.3). Oh, and he gets to go up against a Redskins defense which ranks 28th in rushing yards allowed per game (137.6) and has nothing to play for.
Michael Thomas, WR, NO:
Not surprising, but for the 2nd week in a row Thomas lands on this list. He leads the NFL in targets (124), receptions (104 and yards (1,242). Through 11 games, he is on pace for 180 receptions and 1,807 yards receiving, despite playing half the season with a backup quarterback. To put that in perspective, the NFL record for receptions is 143 (Marvin Harrison, 2002), and the record for receiving yards is 1,964 (Calvin Johnson, 2012). Though he won’t win the award, he is a legitimate MVP candidate and should get some votes. This week, he gets a Falcons defense which ranks 27th in passing yards allowed per game (266.4) and yards per attempt (8.2) and has surrendered 22 passing touchdowns while compiling the 3rd least sack total (18).
Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR:
Kupp is coming off a season ending ACL injury as a rookie, and despite a terrible season from his quarterback, is putting up a huge season. Kupp ranks 6th in targets (104), t-7th in yards (880, t-8th in receptions (67), and is 4th in yards after catch (452). He is on pace for 97 receptions, 1,280 yards and seven touchdowns and this week gets a Cardinals defense which ranks dead last in passing yards allowed per game (297.5), passing touchdowns surrendered (29), opponent’s completion percentage (71.1%) and opponents quarterback rating (113.0).
Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
Mahomes is not having the same MVP season he had in 2018, but despite his injuries, he still ranks 2nd in QBR (76.9) and yards per attempt (8.7), 3rd in passing yards per game (312.0), 5th in quarterback rating (110.0), and is t-8th in touchdowns (19). Mahomes will matchup this week against the Raiders, who have a pass defense which ranks 31st in passing touchdowns surrendered (26), 30th in yards per attempt (8.4), 29th in opponents quarterback rating (104.8), and 28th in passing yards allowed per game (266.8),
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oak:
Jacobs is having a great rookie season. He is on pace for more than 1,600 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. He ranks 5th in rushing yards (957) and gets a porous Chiefs defense which surrenders 5.1 yards per carry (31st) and 143.1 rushing yards per game (30th). Jacobs should have no problem surpassing 1,000 yards on the season during his matchup this week.
From The GetSportsInfo Podcast:
Joe Mixon, RB, Cin:
With Ryan Finley behind center, the Bengals were forced to run the ball and it seems to have helped get Mixon back into form. Combine that with the fact that Andy Dalton is back as the starting quarterback and you may think this would be a good week to start Mixon. Not so fast my friend! The Bengals have the Jets this week and the Jets surrender a league low 78.1 yards per game and league low 3.0 yards per carry. As a result, Mixon will likely see less touches and his touches will be less effective than they have been over the last three games.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Bal:
This is going to come as a surprise to most and may result in some unfounded ‘Jackson hater’ claims, but hear me out. The guy has to have a bad game at some point, right? The Niners possess an elite defense which gives up a league low 248.0 total yards per game. They have three defensive lineman who were drafted in the top 17 over the past few years and also lead the league in sacks (44) and passing yards allowed per game (136.9). I think the Niners defense will be able to keep Jackson in the pocket and force him to throw it…which plays right into the hands of the league’s best pass defense. At least that is what I think – Jackson may prove me to be an idiot.
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Det:
Scarborough, on the proverbial ‘streets’ just two weeks ago, has put up back-to-back solid performances and been a bright spot for many fantasy owners the past two weeks, putting up 153 yards, one touchdown and averaging 4.8 yards per carry. That being said, his next three matchups are not favorable – especially with Matthew Stafford still out. The Lions next three games are against the Bears, Vikings and Bucs who rank 7th, 6th and 2nd respectively in terms of rushing yards per game.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Hou:
Hopkins is not having the elite season we have come to expect. Despite ranking 2nd in targets and receptions, he ranks 11th in terms of receptions and is averaging just 10.4 per reception – more than three yards less than his career 13.6 average. This week, he gets Bill Belichick and the Patriots and you can guarantee the Patriot’s number one goal will be to shut down Hopkins. Don’t bench him, but don’t look for him to lead your team to victory this week.
Any Steelers Pass Catchers:
They were here last week with Mason Rudolph going against the Bengals and their league worst defense, so they are here again with Devlin “Duck” Hodges at the helm with a backup center and going against a formidable Browns defense – even without Myles Garrett. Hodges did OK in relief of Rudolph last week, but 79 of his 118 yards (and his only touchdown), came on one broken coverage play. Outside of that play, he was 4/10 for just 39 yards….against the Bengals! In his only start this season, he put up just 132 yards. Translation, even if JuJu is back, I wouldn’t be starting anyone who catches passes for the Steelers this week.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, NYJ:
Thus far, Bell has been a terrible signing for the Jets, ranking 17th in rushing yards (557) and 46th in yards per carry (3.2) and has yet to put up more than 70 rushing yards in a single game this season. In fact, only one player – Kalen Ballage (1.9) – is averaging less per carry than Bell…that includes all runners (starters, backups, etc.). However, he goes against the Bengals this week. The Bengals have the worst run defense in the league, giving up 166.4 yards per game and he has had success in the past against the Bengals. The Jets are playing well the last few weeks, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Bell breaks 100 yards rushing for the first time this season.
Nick Foles, QB, Jax:
Since returning from injury, Foles has played pretty well, averaging more than 280 yards, 47.5 attempts, and completing nearly 70% of those passes. He has good weapons and a friendly matchup this week against the Buccaneers and their 31st ranked passing defense.
Darius Slayton, WR, NYG:
Even with Sterling Shepard returning to the lineup, Slayton saw seven targets, which tells me he will have a role in the Giants offense down the stretch. Over his last two games, Slayton has 21 targets, pulling in 14 of those for 188 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants passing game should be able to make some plays against a Packers defense which ranks in the bottom ten in terms of passing yards allowed per game (255.0) and yards per attempt (8.2).
Adam Thielen, WR, Min:
Keep in mind, Thielen is still listed as questionable and doesn’t play until Monday night, so start him at your own risk. That being said, I think he will play and Kirk Cousins has been tearing it up without Thielen, add Thielen back and the Vikings should have a good passing game against the Seahawks 29th ranked pass defense.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cle:
Mayfield has had a forgettable sophomore season, but he is playing well of late. Over his past four games, he has nine total touchdowns and just one interception, including a three touchdown performance just two weeks ago against this same Steelers defense.