What are some games to look at this week? Well, there are a lot of them. But for the purposes here, we are not looking at games, but instead, matchups. Whether they be exploitable matchups, like a tight end against Arizona. Or a scary one, like a quarterback against a team out for revenge, we have both of those covered here. So let us move past any idol chat and get right to some players to look at or avoid. Depending if you are trying to win or trying to tank for Burrow or Tua.
Smile Upon Us:
Gerald Everett (TE, LAR) What better matchup can you have than being a tight end against the Cardinals? None is the answer. This is the exact reason Everett is a must start this week. Arizona has given up over 100 yards to the likes of Greg Olsen and even T.J. Hockenson this season. Everett will have a field day in this matchup.
Even with the Cardinals coming off a bye, the issues they have covering the position is not going to be fixed. The thought was that with Patrick Peterson coming back, they could start rolling more coverage to the tight end and stop them. This has not been the case. The defense is just not good enough to hold up.
This game, although a division battle, should be a higher scoring affair. These are the types of games you want players in. Everett is one of those players as he could finish as a top five fantasy play this week.
Russell Gage (WR, ATL) Even in a loss Sunday against the Buccaneers, it was clear Russell Gage has a role in the Falcons offense. With 76 yards on eight catches, it is clear Matt Ryan is going to be looking his way with the run game in shambles. On a short week and facing the Saints stout run defense, it will again be imperative for Atlanta to make hay in the pass game.
Whether or not Marcus Lattimore is back for this tilt, Gage will not get his coverage. This will clearly go to Julio Jones and possibly Calvin Ridley. This leaves Gage matched up against one of the other corners. A group who just gave up over 100 yards and two touchdowns to D.J. Moore. Sure, Moore is better than Gage, but Ryan is better than Kyle Allen. He will get the ball to the open man. And for a lot of the game, this player should be Gage.
Miles Sanders (RB, PHI) Oh baby! The Eagles get the true pleasure of playing the Dolphins this week. The 31st ranked run defense giving up 148 yards per game which just got gashed by both Cleveland running backs in Week 12. Not only did Nick Chubb have over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown, but Kareem Hunt added in another 50 yards and a touchdown in both the pass and run game. The term many like to use is a run funnel, but the Dolphins are just a funnel. Both the pass and run defense rank in the bottom third of the league. But with Carson Wentz struggling and possibly hindered by a hand injury, the ball will fall in the lap of Sanders in this one.
Sanders has shown in the past two weeks, even in bad team games, his ability to be a good running back. He has the running ability and the receiving chops to do big things. Especially against a Dolphins team in what should be a get right game for Philadelphia. If the Eagles cannot get it going against a team giving up 31 points a game, they need to shut it down and cancel the rest of the season.
Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE) This one could get ugly. Not because the Steelers have a good defense, which they do, but because of the emotions of the game just two weeks ago. Baker led the Browns to an improbable win. But this will be a different beast. Mainly a duck.
With Devlin Hodges behind center, the Steelers should be a much better offense. This will allow the defense time to rest a bit more. This means good things for Minkah Fitzpatrick and the defense. And bad things for the Browns quarterback.
Mayfield has 320 yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins. But as explained above, who doesn’t.
Pittsburgh comes into this game on a mission. Not only for revenge, (yes, another revenge game in the NFL) but also to firmly entrench themselves in the wild card picture. They would love nothing better than to remain there at the expense of the hated Browns.