Look, football is fun. Fantasy football is fun. But, at a certain point, if you want to be REALLY good at this, you have to take it at least a little bit seriously. When you watch these games, watch them with intent. Before the game even starts, think about what kind of info you can gain here. What you MIGHT see that could give you an advantage over your opponent. WINNING is fun. The good news is that I already did all the work and I’m going to let you know in advance what I’M looking for. So let’s look together.
*All times below are Eastern Standard Time*
Buccaneers @ Eagles - Thursday 8:20 PM (Recap)
Buccaneers - Antonio Brown has been the best wide receiver on the Bucs. Yet he’s still not playing all the snaps. Not even close. They ran 75 snaps this week and Mike Evans played 70. Antonio Brown played 37. That’s the crazy part - he could have even higher upside.
Dolphins @ Jaguars - Sunday 9:30 AM
Dolphins - Another London game - fun on the east coast, maybe not the west coast. In week 4, Malcolm Brown played 35 snaps to 12 for Myles Gaskin. Last week however, Myles Gaskin played 37 and had a monster game while Malcolm Brown only played five snaps. Is Gaskin entrenched now or is this another nightmare for fantasy?
Jaguars - This team traded a guy they picked in the first round to get their hands on Dan Arnold. Last week he ran 32 routes which was second to Marvin Jones and ahead of Laviska Shenault. Is Dan Arnold going to be the real deal here? Or just another mediocre tight end among many?
Vikings @ Panthers - Sunday 1:00 PM
Vikings - It’s all about Dalvin Cook. Anytime you have a situation where the starter has been getting banged up but the backup comes in and performs well, you have to become at least a little concerned that they might eventually just split the work. It hasn’t happened before but that’s a nightmare scenario.
Panthers - Every time Tommy Tremble touches the football he seems to score. But he only ran 16 routes out of 43 available ones. The team seems to want to use a lot of three wide receiver sets so his usage within the next game or two will determine if he’s going to be anything.
Packers @ Bears - Sunday 1:00 PM
Bears - Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Cole Kmet have all surprisingly gotten good deployment the last two weeks. But that doesn’t matter when you only throw 20 times. I’m not sure the Bears can throw only 20 times against the Packers so I’m excited to see what that actually looks like.
Texans @ Colts - Sunday 1:00 PM
Texans - For one game, it looked like Anthony Miller was going to be the second target after Brandin Cooks. But then they released him. Chris Conley plays the outside snaps while Chris Moore is a player David Culley brought with him from Baltimore. Can anyone step up?
Colts - Two weeks in a row, Mo Alie-Cox provided the best tight end production here. But two weeks in a row he didn’t run the most routes (Kylen Granson week 4 then Jack Doyle week 5). Will they ever truly unleash the beast?
Rams @ Giants - Sunday 1:00 PM
Rams - This is a bit of a “last stand” for Tyler Higbee in my eyes. The Giants are one of the league’s worst teams vs. the tight end, consistently letting the position gouge them. If Higbee doesn’t produce this week, I’m not sure when he will.
Giants - There are a lot of interesting questions with the injuries going on but the most exciting one has to be Kadarius Toney. He has provided some much needed electricity for this team two weeks in a row. Was that just a flash in the pan or is he going to be this year’s breakout rookie.
Chiefs @ WFT - Sunday 1:00 PM
Bengals @ Lions - Sunday 1:00 PM
Bengals - There is nothing scarier than a running back who isn’t 100% and is playing through an injury. Last week Mixon played less than 20 snaps but bailed you out with a touchdown. The word is he gets a full workload but we’ve seen that fall through in the past. Scary stuff.
Lions - TJHockenson came out with a bang to start the season - three early games with 8, 9, 11 targets. But an injury and some interesting game scripts have caused him to taper off a bit as of late. Is Hock going to be the high end tight end we hoped? Or just another “one of many”?
Chargers @ Ravens - Sunday 1:00 PM
Chargers - Donald Parham has caught touchdowns in back to back games now yet is still running fewer routes than Jared Cook. This week Mike Williams is banged up - do we finally see a full Parham game? Or is he just a dyno stash.
Ravens - Any time a rookie makes his debut, I’m intrigued. Let’s see what Rashod Bateman can do.
Cardinals @ Browns - Sunday 4:05 PM
Cardinals - We get to see one game here with no Maxx Williams before Zach Ertz rolls into town. We’ll get a really good glimpse at what the Christian Kirk vs. Rondale Moore slot battle looks like this week.
Browns - David Njoku had himself a MONSTER day last week. He also ran more routes than Austin Hooper which he has not done in most weeks. Though it was only 21 routes to 18. This team has not been a favorable one for pass catchers but maybe Njoku can put together some consistency moving forward.
Cowboys @ Patriots - Sunday 4:25 PM
Cowboys - Huge test for Dalton Schultz this week. The Patriots have been one of the best teams in the league vs. the tight end the last couple years - they have not allowed 100+ yards or 2 TDs to a tight end since 2018. Schultz can prove he’s the real deal this week. Or not.
Patriots - With Damien Harris banged up and Brandon Bolden allowing a sack last week, this is a chance for Rhamondre Stevenson to maybe carve himself out a role. The Patriots rarely use a single back but, if they ever did, he would be in line for big production.
Raiders @ Broncos- Sunday 4:25 PM
Raiders - Early in the season, Henry Ruggs and Brian Edwards played the big snap shares with Hunter Renfrow platooning from the slot. Now they all are kind of on even footing with Renfrow producing. Can he keep this momentum going?
Broncos - This is all about the Javonte Williams vs. Melvin Gordon battle. Javonte has looked good with the ball in his hands. He would make things a lot easier for himself if he would stop giving up sacks like he did last week. Watch to see if Javonte can earn the trust back in the pass game.
Seahawks @ Steelers - Sunday 8:20 PM
Seahawks - This is an easy one. Geno Smith actually looked pretty decent last week at the end of the game. But this is a whole different beast in Pittsburgh. Are we going to have to abandon ship on Seahawks players?
Steelers - JuJu Smith-Schuster is out after having surgery. The sneaky guy to watch here might be the versatile Ray-Ray McCloud. Typically a special teamer, his snaps have crept up in recent weeks even with Juju out there. Could be a sneaky deep league add - especially if your league has any sort of points for return yards too.
Bills @ Titans - Monday 8:15 PM
Bills - Most teams can only support two fantasy relevant pass catchers at most (unless the third is a running back). Stefon Diggs will be one. The biggest target battle here is between Emmanuel Sanders and Dawson Knox. Unless Cole Beasley comes back out of the wood work.
Titans - All eyes have to be on Julio Jones here. He’s getting a little too old at this point to be fighting through injuries. Is Julio still Julio?