Lamar Jackson, Ravens (vs. Jaguars): Jackson is the start of the week. The Jaguars are allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and the third-most rushing yards per game in the NFL. Jackson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns last week. He should have another big rushing game on Sunday.
Justin Herbert, Chargers (vs. Raiders): Herbert posted 23.44 fantasy points against the Raiders earlier this season. In addition, the Raiders defense gave up 44 points to the Colts last week and 43 points to the Falcons two weeks prior. Herbert is a safe start this week.
Sleeper: Jalen Hurts, Eagles (vs. Cardinals)
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins (vs. Patriots): It is tempting to start Tagovailoa. He scored 27.04 fantasy points against the Chiefs last week, but he should avoided in a matchup with the Patriots. The Patriots are allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Tagovailoa has faced one top-five fantasy defense this season, the Rams. He was held to a mere 5.72 fantasy points in that game.
Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. Rams): Darnold has thrown only five touchdowns all season, and he is facing the Rams, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. This is a clear nightmare matchup.
J.K. Dobbins, Ravens (vs. Jaguars): The Jaguars are allowing the third-most rushing yards per game this season. Meanwhile, Dobbins is the clear number one back in the league’s leading rushing offense. On paper, this is as good as it gets.
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers (vs. Cowboys): The Cowboys are really struggling to stop the run. This season, they have allowed a league-high 2,115 rushing yards. Raheem Mostert is dealing with an ankle injury, and he missed Wednesday’s practice. If Mostert misses Sunday’s game, Jeff Wilson will have a lot of upside in this matchup, and he would be a must-start. If Mostert does play, Wilson should still receive his fair share of touches. He had a total of 33 touches over the past three games with Mostert in the lineup. In that scenario, Wilson would still be an intriguing flex option.
Sleeper: Gus Edwards, Ravens (vs. Jaguars)
Giovani Bernard, Bengals (vs. Steelers): Unfortunately, Bernard could not even take advantage of his matchup against the Cowboys last week. He had only three carries for eight rushing yards and three receptions for 15 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine each recorded double-digit carries. It is hard to trust Bernard as a fantasy option at this point, especially against the Steelers defense.
Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs (vs. Saints): Bell has only one double-digit fantasy point performance this season. In addition, he had a season-low two carries last week. There is not much upside here.
Cooper Kupp, Rams (vs. Jets): The Jets are obviously a favorable fantasy matchup. They gave up 40 points to Seahawks last week and that included four passing touchdowns. Kupp could be in store for a big game.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers (vs. Falcons): Evans is third in the NFL in red zone targets. He should get in the end zone this Sunday against the Falcons, who are allowing the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Sleeper: Devin Duvernay, Ravens (vs. Jaguars)
DeVante Parker, Dolphins (vs. Patriots): Parker suffered a hamstring strain last week against the Chiefs; he is currently listed as questionable. If he does play, he will still face a tough matchup in the Patriots, who are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. In addition, he has not built a strong rapport with Tagovailoa. Since Tagovailoa took over at quarterback, Parker has only two double-digit fantasy point performances, and he has not had a 100-yard game.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals (vs. Eagles): Let’s take a look at Kirk’s past three games:
Week 12 at Patriots: 3 receptions, 19 yards
Week 13 vs. Rams: 1 reception, 2 yards
Week 14 at Giants: 3 receptions, 14 yards
That is far from inspiring, and there’s no indication that Kirk is in store for a big bounce-back game.
Evan Engram, Giants (vs. Browns): The Browns are allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Engram has shown the ability to take advantage of favorable matchups in the past. He had six receptions for 129 yards against the Bengals in Week 12. I expect him to have another big game this Sunday.
Sleeper: Irv Smith Jr., Vikings (vs. Bears)
Zach Ertz, Eagles (vs. Cardinals): I am listing Ertz as a sit for the second straight week. He had only two receptions for eight yards against the Saints; he was seventh on the team in receiving yards that game. It is clear that Ertz’s role is limited right now. As a result, he is simply not a strong option moving forward.