Lamar Jackson has essentially been given the key to the organization at this point, so I am not concerned with his playing time unless he really struggles. He gets the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a home game that the Ravens need to win for their playoff chances. Lamar has proven to have a really nice floor and this is probably the best spot that he has had all year to show off his upside. I think that Lamar has the ability to run for close to 100 yards here. A rushing TD would put him heavily in the mix for the best QB on the week.
Tom Brady gets a matchup vs. the Steelers this week, which is a pretty polarizing topic. Here are the things I have heard about Brady this week. He’s old, struggles against the blitz, and struggles on the road. Guess what? The spot is too good for me to pass up. We know that the Patriots want to win this game to inch up closer to home field advantage for the playoffs. They also are facing another team who needs to win, forcing them to be in a competitive game. The Patriots are one of the best offenses in football in terms of scheme and the Steelers are exploitable over the middle of the field. This is why the Pats have had their number for years and I don’t expect it to change here.
The debate this week is between Saquon and Zeke. I’ll take Zeke just due to the safety that I am getting when it comes to motivation. For the second week in a row, OBJ is not playing for the Giants. I can only think that this is extremely precautionary. The Giants shouldn’t want to win this game and if they don’t want to win, they should limit Barkley. I don’t EXPECT that to be the case, but that is a nice tiebreaker for me. Zeke’s matchup is better, his recent passing game usage is actually better as well, and he is just a lock for 25 touches here.
Joe Mixon is in a great fantasy spot vs. the Raiders putrid rushing defense. Mixon is also a very capable receiver. Without A.J. Green and Andy Dalton, we should see Mixon get more short passes than we did early in the season, which should increase his already nice floor. I think Mixon is a great floor/ceiling guy this week.
Jaylen Samuels is my favorite cheap guy in this game with the Patriots. Samuels is not the same runner as James Conner or Le’Veon Bell, but he is a really good receiving back. I expect the Steelers to be trailing in this game, opening up Samuels to make things happen in the passing game. It is possible that the Pats play a pretty deep coverage to stop Juju and Antonio from beating them, which would help Samuels even more.
Julian Edelman is one of my favorite plays on the entire slate from a matchup standpoint. The Steelers defense is notorious for leaving a lot of safeties and linebackers in coverage on slot receivers. This was very noticeable when they played Keenan Allen recently. Edelman and the Pats have been exploiting that for years, making Edelman a fantastic option. He should see double-digit catches if this is a close game throughout.
Randall Cobb is a pretty sneaky play on this slate going up against an elite defense. Cobb was the clear #2 option for the Packers last week, running 35 routes compared to 24 and 20 for their rookie receivers. Cobb should lineup vs. the Bears backup corner McManus, who is one of the worst players in the league. Compound that with this elite defense and I think we should see cobb get a lot of action to attack the weakness of the Bears.