Baker Mayfield is in a great spot vs. one of the worst defenses in the league. The Browns have faced the Bengals already this year and it produced Baker’s best career game, throwing for 4 TDs in a blowout victory. I think that this could very well be a repeat performance here. Honestly, that game was so easy that Baker didn’t really get the chance to reach his ceiling. Maybe the Bengals put up some resistance, forcing Baker to air it out more than just 26 times.
Dak Prescott is in a nice matchup vs. the Buccaneers. Dak and Amari Cooper have had massive splits vs. different defensive schemes in their career and this Bucs team plays a lot of man, which is both players’ preference. Man coverage allows Amari to beat corners with his elite route running, while Dak can throw to receivers that he knows are open. Man coverage also opens teams up to giving up QB runs, which Dak can take advantage of.
Taylor Heinicke is dirt cheap on most sites and is competent. The strange thing about Heinicke that is really just an unknown at this point is how aggressive he will be. Heinicke was a great short passer at Old Dominion, but was said to lack arm strength. Now, we see the Panthers bringing him in to throw the hail marys. Has he improved his arm strength a lot? We don’t know, but if he has, he may not be that bad of a QB.
Ezekiel Elliott is once again my favorite RB play on the slate from a raw points standpoint. Zeke gets a horrible Bucs’ defense in a situation that also benefits the QB and WR1. I expect the Cowboys to lead most of the game here, which also bodes well for Zeke. I think he sees another 25 touches this week, which should produce plenty of fantasy value.
Jaylen Samuels is an intriguing GPP play in a high total spot vs what has been an outstanding defense. When assessing the Saints’ defense, there are 2 things that lead me to believe that Samuels should see a lot of targets. The Saints’ rush defense has been really good all season long, so I don’t think the plan will be similar to last week. The Saints’ recent scheme change is extremely intriguing in the secondary. They have been using a bracket coverage against (usually) the best wide receiver. Now that can be Juju or Antonio, but the other guy will get shadowed by Marshon Lattimore, a great shadow corner. Both of these receivers should be in relatively bad matchups, which should open up more targets for guys over the middle of the field.
Tevin Coleman, Jamaal Williams, and Elijah McGuire are all backs taking over as the lead guy this week. McGuire has been featured already, but we have seen both William’s and Coleman’s counterparts get banged up recently. We assume that all 3 will see significant work this week. The safety of this work is likely
DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas are the clear top guys for me this week. Thomas faces the Steelers, who have been extremely poor vs the slot this season. Thomas is an elite receiver that lines up in the slot more than every other Saints’ receiver. Hopkins faces a horrible secondary in a game that should allow him to be a threat all day long. Hopkins should see multiple end zone targets and he is incredible at converting those targets into points.
Robby Anderson is the clear value play on most sites. These cheap guys are usually low-ceiling players, but Anderson is not that at all. Anderson see a very high average depth of target and he should be able to get behind this Packers’ defense. Anderson has the target floor you are looking for in a cheap player, but also the ceiling of an expensive WR. I think that 120 yards and 2 TDs is very much in play, which is something we can rarely say about guys in this range.