By Alex Kurpeski
Though this weekend’s slate of games has become slightly less exciting due to the injury suffered by Calvin Ridley on TNF there will still be plenty of fantasy points to be had this weekend. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at what we can expect in each game on the schedule for Sunday.
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Pittsburgh at Baltimore, CBS 1:00 p.m.
In this battle of division rivals, defense will be the name of the game. An argument could be made for both Baltimore and Pittsburgh to be called the best defense in the league, so this contest should go a long way towards determining which unit is most worthy of that moniker. Ultimately, it will come down to whether the Steelers blitz-heavy defense can overwhelm Lamar Jackson without letting him get free. As for Pittsburgh’s offense, their goal should be controlling the clock without getting “too cute” on offense. If Baltimore’s secondary can get their hands on the ball, the Steelers defense could find themselves with their backs against the wall.
✔ Starts: Eric Ebron, Diontae Johnson
✘ Sits: J.K Dobbins, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, Ben Roethlisberger
New England at Buffalo, CBS 1:00 p.m.
One has to think that one of these two teams will finish the season with the AFC East crown. The Patriots defense may be able to counter Josh Allen pretty well in this matchup, as Cam Newton makes for a good scout team version of Allen. The same can be said for Buffalo, as Allen has most likely been used to study Newton. This should be a hard-hitting battle between two defensive-minded teams.
✔ Starts: Cole Beasley, Jakobi Meyers, James White, John Brown
✘ Sits: Zack Moss, Damien Harris, Damiere Byrd
Tennessee at Cincinnati, CBS 1:00 p.m.
This game has “Derrick Henry” written all over it in bold red ink. The Bengals defense stands no chance in this contest, however Joe Burrow will have a good chance to put up garbage time numbers. Coming off of a loss, expect to see the angry Titans ball out.
✔ Starts: Corey Davis, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Adam Humphries
✘ Sits: Gio Bernard
Las Vegas at Cleveland, FOX 1:00 p.m.
The OBJ-less Browns host the Raiders in a matchup between playoff hopefuls. Expect both teams to run the ball early and often, with most of the targets in the passing game heading towards Jarvis Landry and Darren Waller.
✔ Starts: Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Hunter Renfrow
✘ Sits: Henry Ruggs, David Njoku, Derek Carr
Indianapolis at Detroit, CBS 1:00 p.m.
Stafford vs. Rivers in the battle of the “is he a Hall of Famer?” quarterbacks. The Colts defense will look to shut down the surging Lions offense, while Detroit’s defense will look to capitalize on Rivers’ turnover prone play. Once again, I’m loving Jonathan Taylor in this matchup.
✔ Starts: D’Andre Swift, Zach Pascal, Philip Rivers, Nyheim Hines
✘ Sits: T.J Hockenson, Matt Stafford, Marvin Jones, Jack Doyle, Kerryon Johnson
Minnesota at Green Bay, FOX 1:00 p.m.
We saw how this went before, and that time it was a home game for Minnesota. Prepare for a high scoring affair.
✔ Starts: Aaron Rodgers, Robert Tonyan, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
✘ Sits: Kirk Cousins, Irv Smith
NY Jets at Kansas City, CBS 1:00 p.m.
Set featured image✔ Starts: Mecole Hardman, Le’Veon Bell, Braxton Berrios, Jeff Smith
✘ Sits: Sam Darnold, Frank Gore, La’Mical Perine, Chris Herndon, Denzel Mims
LA Rams at Miami, FOX 1:00 p.m.
In Tua Tagovailoa’s first career NFL start the Dolphins will face perhaps the scariest defense in the NFL. Needless to say, this is not a great week to start any Dolphins players.
✔ Starts: Darrell Henderson, Tyler Higbee, Mike Gesicki
✘ Sits: Devante Parker, Preston Williams, Myles Gaskin, Tua Tagovailoa, Jared Goff
LA Chargers at Denver, CBS 4:05 p.m.
While some would perceive this as a cakewalk for the Chargers, others wouldn’t be so sure. The Broncos are a well coached team with some solid weapons on offense. This should be a close game, but I think LA will prevail.
✔ Starts: Melvin Gordon, Justin Jackson
✘ Sits: Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, Josh Kelley
New Orleans at Chicago, FOX 4:25 p.m.
This is a trap game for New Orleans, especially if they take the Bears lightly.
✔ Starts: Jimmy Graham, Anthony Miller
✘ Sits: Latavius Murray, Drew Brees, Nick Foles
San Francisco at Seattle, FOX 4:25 p.m.
Can Jimmy G keep pace with Mr. Unlimited? I’m not so sure.
✔ Starts: Jimmy Garoppolo, JaMychal Hasty, Brandon Aiyuk, DeeJay Dallas
✘ Sits: Jeff Wilson, Travis Homer, Greg Olsen
Dallas at Philadelphia, NBC 8:20 p.m.
What is it with SNF and the NFC East?
✔ Starts: Carson Wentz, Travis Fulgham, Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz, Boston Scott
✘ Sits: Ben DiNucci, Corey Clement