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NFL Matchups - Week CC Preview

Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints

Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome(New Orleans)Sun. 1-20 @ 3:05 pm ESTOver/Under: 57

   Weather

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3.5), Sunday, 3:05 pm EST.

Last Meeting (11/4/18, Week 9): Jared Goff threw for 391 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Todd Gurley rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Brandin Cooks caught six passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Drew Brees threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns. Alvin Kamara rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Michael Thomas caught 12 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown.

Los Angeles Rams

Jared Goff - Goff threw for 186 yards versus the Cowboys. Goff played the game manager role as the Rams forced the ball down the Cowboys defense’s throat via the run game. He should have had a better line as Cooks dropped a touchdown early in the game. He has a very nice matchup versus a New Orleans defense allowing the second most points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Todd Gurley - Gurley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries versus the Cowboys. Gurley looked great versus a typically tough run defense in Dallas. However, he shared carries with C.J. Anderson , who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries versus the Cowboys. This was likely more to do with Gurley returning from injury and the line being so effective that Howard Bender could have run for 100 yards in the game. The Saints have had a great run defense all year, allowing the third fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, but Gurley is still a pretty safe start this week.

Robert Woods - Woods caught six passes for 69 yards versus the Cowboys. Woods once again led the tea in catches, targets and receiving yards. He continues to be the top receiver in the passing game, but was unable to get much in the way of fantasy points because of the game script. That should change this week versus one of the league’s worst slot corners in P.J. Williams .

Brandin Cooks - Cooks caught four passes for 65 yards versus the Cowboys. Unfortunately, Cooks dropped a touchdown in the endzone early in the game and the offensive game plan never gave him another chance to redeem himself. He gets a matchup with Marshon Lattimore , who has been very good this season, so Cooks is a risky play.

Josh Reynolds - Reynolds caught one pass for nine yards versus the Eagles. Reynolds suffered along with the rest of the passing options. He has a decent matchup here versus Eli Apple , but he is a boom or bust play at best.

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees - Brees threw for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception versus the Eagles. Brees struggle early in the game, but bounced back for a nice day versus Philadelphia. He gets a rematch versus the Rams secondary that he torched earlier in the season, but their defense is now healthy and intact. I prefer Goff to Brees in most formats due to price and the probability that Goff is lesser owned.

Alvin Kamara - Kamara rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries versus the Eagles. Kamara would have had a bigger day if not for a penalty that nullified a touchdown. Kamara has been fantastic all year, but the Rams are pretty good against receiving backs, allowing just the fourth fewest receiving yards to running backs this season. Kamara is still a nice high upside play.

Mark Ingram - Ingram rushed for 53 yards on nine carries versus the Eagles. Ingram ran hard, but didn’t get enough touches to be relevant versus the Eagles. Ingram should get a chance to rebound a bit here as the Rams can struggle versus the run. The Rams gave up the eighth most rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns to opposing backs this season, so ingram is a sneaky play this week.

Michael Thomas - Michael Thomas caught 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown versus the Eagles. Thomas continues to be a workhorse in the passing game for the Saints. In the last matchup with the Rams, Thomas had a field day versus Marcus Peters . I would expect the Rams to change it up and put Aqib Talib on him as a shadow, but the Rams don’t shadow very often. Thomas should get a ton of targets no matter who is guarding him though.

Ted Ginn Jr.- Ginn was clearly the #2 receiver in the offense last week in spite of hauling in only three passes. While Tre’Quan Smith is the better talent, Ginn is more trusted by Brees and the Saints. He is a boom or bust play, but if Talib does shadow Thomas, that means Peters will see a lot of Ginn and Peters has given up a ton of big plays this year.

Prediction: The Rams win 27-20.

New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Venue: Arrowhead Stadium(Kansas City)Sun. 1-20 @ 6:40 pm ESTOver/Under: 56

   Weather

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3), Sunday, 6:40 pm EST.

Last meeting (10/14/18, Week 6): Patrick Mahomes threw for 352 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Kareem Hunt rushed for 80 yards on 10 carries. Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Tom Brady threw for 340 yards and a touchdown. Sony Michel rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Rob Gronkowski caught three passes for 97 yards.

New England Patriots

Tom Brady - Brady threw for 343 yards and a touchdown versus the Chargers. In a game where the Patriots scored 41 points, Brady had a good, but not great day as the run game vultured almost all the scores. That is unlikely to repeat and the Chiefs allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year. Brady should be in line for a nice day. 

Sony Michel - Michel rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries versus the Chargers. Michel was the workhorse for the Patriots offense versus the Chargers. This was the breakout fantasy owners had been waiting for, but unfortunately season long players missed out. He should get a ton of work again versus a Chiefs defense that allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season, but he is unlikely to have nearly as good a game as he did last week.

James White - White caught 15 passes for 97 yards versus the Chargers. White led the team in targets on route to a huge day in PPR formats. White has become the outlet for Brady as the Patriots are down receiving options with Josh Gordon suspended. The Chiefs gave up the sixth most receiving yards and most receiving touchdowns to running backs this year, so White is a nice play once again.

Julian Edelman - Edelman caught nine passes for 151 yards versus the Chargers. Edelman is clearly the only wide receiver on this offense that Brady and you can trust. He should be highly targeted once again versus a burnable Chiefs defense.

Phillip Dorsett - Dorsett caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown versus the Chargers. Dorsett was more productive that Chris Hogan in this one which could mean that he has replaced Josh Gordon in the offense… or it could mean nothing as the Patriots are hard to predict. Dorsett has a role which is a good sign, but he is a boom or bust option.

Rob Gronkowski - Gronkowski caught one pass for 25 yards versus the Chargers. Gronk was once again not a big part of the game plan versus the Chargers. He gets a Chiefs defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season, but it is hard to trust him even with this kind of matchup.  

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes - Mahomes threw for 278 yards, but added a rushing touchdowns versus the Colts. Mahomes didn’t have a great fantasy day, but he was impressive once again versus the Colts. The Chiefs didn’t need to air it out a bunch in the blowout, so that kept the passing game tampered down a bit. However, this matchup with New England looks like a shoot out on paper, so he should be ready for another big day.

Spencer Ware - Ware did not play versus the Colts. Ware is questionable this week, but appears to be on track to play after practicing Wednesday. This muddles the waters a bit for the Chiefs backfield as Ware and Williams may split the workload. Williams is the better bet after the way he has played down the stretch though.

Damien Williams - Williams rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries versus the Colts. Williams look great versus a tough Chargers defense. Williams may lose work to Ware if he returns, but should still be the man in the passing game and get enough carries to be interesting in most formats.

Tyreek Hill - Hill caught eight passes for 72 yards and rushed for a 36 yards touchdown versus the Colts. Hill continues to be the lead wide receiver for Mahomes and the Chiefs made a point of getting him the ball. Hill is a dynamic receiver and should avoid a lot of Stephon Gilmore out of the slot.

Sammy Watkins - Watkins caught six passes for 62 yards versus the Colts. Watkins looked good in his return to the field and had a decent day versus Indy. However, Watkins will likely see a ton of Stephon Gilmore , who has been one of the league’s best corners this season. Fade.

Travis Kelce - Kelce caught seven passes for 108 yards versus the Colts. Kelce is a huge part of the passing game for Kansas City and Mahomes continues to rely on him. The Patriots did a good job holding Kelce from beating them in their matchup earlier this season, but it is hard to believe that they can repeat that versus the league’s best tight end.

Prediction: The Chiefs win 40-30.

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