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NFL Matchups - Week DR Preview

Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Venue: Arrowhead Stadium(Kansas City)Sat. 1-12 @ 4:35 pm ESTOver/Under: 57

   Weather

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5), Saturday, 4:35 pm EST.

Last meeting (10/30/16): The Chiefs won 30-14. Nick Foles threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Charcandrick West rushed for 52 yards on 14 carries. Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Luck threw for 210 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Luck also led the team in rushing with 60 yards on nine carries. Donte Moncrief caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. 

Indianapolis Colts 

Andrew Luck - Luck threw for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The Colts jumped out to an early lead and the Colts leaned on the running game and their defense to close out the Texans. Luck has been fantastic this season with 14 multi touchdown games. He gets a Chiefs defense the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. He is a good bet to have a big day in Kansas City.

Marlon Mack - Mack ran for 148 yards and a touchdown versus the Texans. Mack has been fantastic this season since returning from injury. He gets a Chiefs defense that allows the third most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and the Colts will likely want to use the run game to help keep the Chiefs offense off the field.

T.Y. Hilton - Hilton caught five passes for 85 yards versus the Texans. He started off quickly, but as the Colts took a commanding lead, he took a backseat to the running game. This game has the makings of a shootout, so Hilton should be heavily involved.

Dontrelle Inman - Inman caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown versus the Texans. Inman did all of his work in the first half, but like Hilton, he took a backseat as the Colts pulled away. He has clearly established himself as the #2 wide receiver in the offense and should have plenty of work versus a poor Kansas City defense.

Eric Ebron - Ebron caught three passes for 26 yards and a touchdown versus the Texans. Like the rest of the passing game, Ebron wasn’t a factor in the second half due to game script. Ebron has been one of the most consistent tight ends in fantasy and has a nice matchup versus the Chiefs that have allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this year.

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes - Mahomes was the #1 player in fantasy in 2018. He averaged just over 26 points per game and never had a game with less than 26 fantasy points. There were a few struggles down the stretch, but he has had two weeks to prepare for this game and there is no reason to think he is anything less than the top QB option this week.

Spencer Ware - Ware is expected to play this week after missing the last three weeks of the season with injury. That being said, Damien Williams was great in his absence and the two backs could share the workload. Ware has some upside, but there is risk as well.

Damien Williams - In Ware’s absence, Williams averaged 22.7 points per game over the last three games of the season. With Ware returning, Williams is likely to lose a lot of the work, but he is the superior receiving back meaning there will be a good size role for him nonetheless.

Tyreek Hill - On the back of Mahomes’ breakout season, Watkins had a fantastic season. He had 13 games with double digit fantasy points, with eight of those being 20+ point efforts. Even if Watkins returns this week, Hill is the top receiver in the NFL’s most powerful offense and is one of the top receivers in the league this week.

Sammy Watkins - Watkins is highly questionable this week. Watkins hasn’t played since before the Week 12 bye and has only practiced in a limited capacity as of this writing. There is a ton of upside, but he seems unlikely to reach it even if he plays.

Travis Kelce - Kelce has been the league’s best tight end this season in a year when both the records for yards (George Kittle ) and catches (Zach Ertz ) by a tight end were broken. He is the top receiving threat for Mahomes and faces a Colts defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season. He is the week’s top tight end play this week.

Prediction: The Chiefs win 30-24.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum(Los Angeles)Sat. 1-12 @ 8:15 pm ESTOver/Under: 49.5

   Weather

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (-7), Saturday, 8:15 pm EST.

Last Meeting (10/1/17): The Rams won 35-30. Jared Goff threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Todd Gurley rushed for 121 yards on 23 carries and caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Dak Prescott threw for 252 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Dez Bryant caught five passes for 98 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott - Prescott threw for 226 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Prescott played a safe and conservative game in the victory over the Seahawks, but he has quietly put up a very good season this year. Since the bye week, he has put up double digit fantasy points in each game except one. The Rams defense was shaky towards the end of the season, but with two weeks to prepare for this game, they will likely be dialed in for Dak. While the Rams will likely stack the box to try and slow down Zeke, Prescott is still an uninspiring play in LA this week.

Ezekiel Elliott - Elliott rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries versus the Seahawks. Elliott continues to be the workhorse in the Cowboys offense. He gets a Rams defense that can struggle versus the run, allowing the eighth most rushing yards to running backs this season. The Cowboys will feed him a ton to keep the Rams offense off the field.

Amari Cooper - Cooper caught seven passes for 106 yards versus the Seahawks. Cooper had a nice bounceback effort in his first playoff game for Dallas. He will have a tough matchup versus Aqib Talib , but he should get plenty of with Cole Beasley likely limited and Allen Hurns out this week.

Cole Beasley - Beasley will try to make a go of it this week after suffering a high ankle sprain. However, typically miss multiple weeks after an injury such as this, so expecting much from the slot man is foolhardy.

Michael Gallup - Gallup caught two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown versus the Seahawks. With Beasley and Hurns both hurt last week, Gallup figures to find a bigger role in the passing game. That didn’t translate to much last week, but the target share in what could be a high scoring affair makes him and interesting play that should be low owned otherwise.

Los Angeles Rams

Jared Goff - Goff struggled after the Rams bye week, but bounced back in Week 17 for a huge day versus the 49ers. He gets a Cowboys defense allowing the 10th fewest points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but with Gurley back, expect the Cowboys to stack the box, leaving Goff with some nice down the field opportunities.

Todd Gurley - Gurley was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice, but conventional wisdom says he should be able to go versus the Cowboys. Gurley was the best fantasy running back this season, but faces a tough test in the Dallas defense that allowed the sixth fewest points per game to opposing running backs. That being said, he is an elite player that will get a ton of run if on the field. If he can’t go, C.J. Anderson would be the next man up, but would likely be highly owned against a tough run defense.

Robert Woods - Week 17 was a bust for Woods, but prior to that he had put up 15 straight games with double digit fantasy points. He is the top receiver in the offense with a pretty safe floor and nice upside. He will see a ton of Anthony Brown out of the slot, which is a much better matchup than Byron Jones . Woods is a great play this week.

Brandin Cooks - While Woods avoids Byron Jones , Cooks will see him the majority of the game. This is bad news for Cooks who went from being a safe receiver with a ton of upside before the bye to a boom or bust guy down the stretch. This matchup will make it tough for him to continue being anything other than a boom or bust option again. I am fading him.

Josh Reynolds - At the end of the season, Reynolds stepped up for the Rams. He averaged seven targets and over 13 fantasy points per game over the last three games. He won’t be highly owned in this one either, so he is a nice cheap play.

Prediction: The Rams win 33-18.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots

Venue: Gillette Stadium(Foxborough)Sun. 1-13 @ 1:05 pm ESTOver/Under: 47

   Weather

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-4), Sunday, 1:05 pm EST.

Last Meeting (10/29/17): The Patriots won 21-13. Philip Rivers threw for 212 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Melvin Gordon rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown. Travis Benjamin caught five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. Tom Brady threw for 333 yards and a touchdown. Dion Lewis rushed for 44 yards on 15 carries. James White caught five passes for 85 yards.

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers - Rivers only threw for 160 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Rivers played the role of a game manager as the Chargers took an early lead over the Ravens. He will likely have to do more versus the Patriots. New England has been much better versus the run than the pass this season, so look for Rivers to bounce back.

Melvin Gordon - Gordon rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries versus the Ravens. The Ravens were the second best team versus the run this season, so it was a tough game. He also got injured in the contest, but was able to gut it out. He gets a Patriots defense that has allowed the Ninth fewest points per game to opposing running backs, so this is another tough one on top of all the injuries.

Keenan Allen - Allen caught six passes for 37 yards versus the Ravens. Allen was locked down most of the game and the Chargers didn’t air it out much anyhow. This isn’t as nearly a tough matchup and Allen should continue to be a target monster.

Tyrell Williams - Williams has only had one double digit fantasy game out of his last six outings. At this point he isn’t worth rostering especially since he is facing a matchup with Stephon Gilmore , who has been one of the league’s best corners this year.

Mike Williams - Williams caught two passes, including a two-point conversion versus the Ravens. In spite of the lackluster line, it is clear that Williams is back to being the #2 receiver in the offense. He should get enough targets versus J.C. Jackson to be an interesting play versus the Patriots.

Hunter Henry - Henry has been taken off of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and is eligible to play. He tore his ACL before the start of the season, so it seems unlikely he will play in this one, but if he does, he would be extremely cheap and low owned with a ton of upside.

New England Patriots

Tom Brady - Brady bounced back in Week 17 with a four touchdown performance versus the Jets. The Chargers been much better versus the pass than the run this year, so I would expect to see the Patriots pound the ball on the ground with their stable of running backs. Brady has obvious upside, but there are safer options with a ton more upside this week.

Sony Michel - The overall fantasy numbers have not been great, but Michel has been the bellcow in the offense the majority of the season when he has been on the field. He is a strong runner, but the Patriots using so many different backs puts a huge damper on the upside of Michel. He is a risky play, but will likely be under-owned and he could have a decent day versus a Chargers defense that can be soft up the middle.

James White - The end of the season has not nearly been as productive for White as the first nine weeks, but this is a great matchup for White. No team allowed more receiving yards to running backs as the Chargers this season and White is the top receiving back in this offense. I love White this week.

Rex Burkhead - Since returning from injury, Burkhead has only one double digit fantasy game. He will be involved in the offense, but it is unlikely that he will be involved enough to make a major impact.

Julian Edelman - Edelman has been the top receiver for Brady since coming back from suspension. He has scored at least 12+ fantasy points in every game this season except one. He has a very safe floor, but also nice upside in the offense.

Chris Hogan - With Josh Gordon gone, Hogan led the Patriots in targets in Week 17. Hogan has been extremely disappointing this season, so there no telling if he is finally ready to put it together, but this would be super ironic for him to breakout here and suck all the suckers back in for next season.

Rob Gronkowski - Gronk has been very disappointing this season, but in spite of that he still has a ton of upside. However, with the teams left in the playoffs, Gronk is not a top three tight end this week, just a boom or bust play.

Prediction: The Chargers win 24-20.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints

Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome(New Orleans)Sun. 1-13 @ 4:40 pm ESTOver/Under: 51

   Weather

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-8), Sunday, 4:40 pm EST.

Last Meeting (11/18/18, Week 11): The Saints won 48-7. Carson Wentz threw for 156 yards and three interceptions. Josh Adams rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Golden Tate caught seven passes for 48 yards. Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns. Melvin Ingram rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Tre’Quan Smith caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.

Philadelphia Eagles

Nick Foles - Foles threw for 266 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the victory over the Bears. Foles struggled early on in the game, but bounced back to put the Eagles in the position to upset Chicago. Foles still has some of that magic left over from last season and he gets a Saints defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so Foles is a decent play this week.

Wendell Smallwood , Josh Adams , Darren Sproles - Once again, the Eagles used a weird running back committee versus the Bears. Sproles led the team in carries and Adams was only on the field for one snap during the game. While it appears Adams has fallen out of favor, there is no telling who will be the lead back this week. The Saints have been great versus the run anyhow, allowing the third fewest points per game to opposing running backs this year, so none of these guys very interesting.

Alshon Jeffery - Jeffery continues to be the top receiver in the Eagles offense with Foles under center. He had a tough matchup, but he still grabbed six catches for 82 yards. He has another tough matchup versus Marcus Lattimore, but should still get plenty of targets and opportunities.

Nelson Agholor - After two has back-to-back 20+ point games, Agholor was back to being the fourth option in the passing game versus the Bears. However, he does get a nice matchup versus Eli Apple , who has struggled in coverage since being traded to the Saints. This is boom or bust, but a worthy gamble.

Golden Tate - Tate finally had a nice game for the Eagles since Foles took over for Carson Wentz . He was second on the team in targets and scored the only receiving touchdown. He has a fantastic matchup this week versus P.J. Williams , who has been one of the league’s worst corners covering receivers out of the slot. Tate is a really nice play that shouldn’t be highly owned, but there is obviously some risk considering how he had been ignored by Foles previously.

Zach Ertz - Ertz caught five passes for 52 yards versus the Bears. It wasn’t a big game for Ertz, but it was nice to see his target share increase after being virtually ignored in Week 17. The Saints have been decent versus the tight end, so it isn’t a great matchup, but he is still a top three option.

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees - Brees did not play in Week 17 as the Saints had the #1 seed wrapped up. He has been an inconsistent scorer in the latter part of the season as the Saints focus on the run game, but the Eagles are very weak against the pass and much stringer versus the run. There is risk of being disappointed, but at worst, Brees should be able to have a decent game and the upside is very high if the Eagles can stop the running game. 

Alvin Kamara - Kamara sat out Week 17 as well. However, Kamara was a great fantasy player this season, with only one game with less than 10 fantasy points and seven games with over 20. He will be heavily involved in both the passing game, where the Eagles have allowed the sixth most receiving yards to running backs this season.

Mark Ingram - Ingram had a huge Week 17 with both Kamara and Brees out. That is unlikely to repeat as the Eagles have been great against the run this year allowing the fifth fewest rushing yards to running backs this year. Ingram is an easy fade.

Michael Thomas - With Brees sitting out, Thomas had his worst game of the season. He should bounce back no problem versus an Eagles defense that has been torched through the air this season.

Tre’Quan Smith - Smith had his best game as a pro when he played the Eagles in Week 11. However, until Week 17, he really struggled after that explosion versus Philadelphia. There is no telling what will happen with Smith, who has been a non-factor much of the season, but the ceiling is sky high and the floor is an absolute zero.

Prediction: The Saints win 31-24.

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Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt expects Newsome to take a step forward in his second season, Ricky Henne of the Chargers' official site reports.
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Dobbs is facing competition from Mason Rudolph for the backup quarerback job, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Rudolph is competing with Joshua Dobbs for the No. 2 role at quarterback, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Driskel is facing competition from rookie Ryan Finley for the backup quarterback job, Laurel Pfahler of the Dayton Daily News reports.
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