NFL Game Previews: Saints-Buccaneers Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Saints-Buccaneers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

New Orleans (+3.5) at Tampa Bay, o/u 40.5
Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

The Saints have gone marching right out of the playoff race, dropping three of their last four in mostly embarrassing fashion. Making matters worse, the Eagles have their 2023 first-round pick – although to be fair, it was dealt as part of last year's draft-day shuffling that saw New Orleans turn Philly's 16th overall pick into Washington's 11th overall pick, which netted them Chris Olave. Olave's efforts haven't stopped the Saints from scoring 13 points or less in those three losses though, and while you'd think that would be enough to cost Andy Dalton his starting job, Dennis Allen appears to have decided Dalton's his ride or die. It might help if Alvin Kamara could get going, as he's averaged just 61.5 scrimmage yards over those four games and hasn't gotten into the end zone, but it's hard to tell if Kamara's lack of success is because defenses don't fear Dalton and can crowd the line, or if defenses can focus on containing the passing game because they don't fear Kamara right now. (The real answer is probably that they don't fear OC Pete Carmichael, who looks a little lost without Sean Payton.) Seriously though Dennis, it's Revenge Week. Give Jameis Winston his shot.

Apparently a 5-6 record gets you a division lead these days. Pfft. I'd blame the TikTok generation or whatever, but that's hard to do when the team in question has a 45-year-old QB.

New Orleans (+3.5) at Tampa Bay, o/u 40.5
Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

The Saints have gone marching right out of the playoff race, dropping three of their last four in mostly embarrassing fashion. Making matters worse, the Eagles have their 2023 first-round pick – although to be fair, it was dealt as part of last year's draft-day shuffling that saw New Orleans turn Philly's 16th overall pick into Washington's 11th overall pick, which netted them Chris Olave. Olave's efforts haven't stopped the Saints from scoring 13 points or less in those three losses though, and while you'd think that would be enough to cost Andy Dalton his starting job, Dennis Allen appears to have decided Dalton's his ride or die. It might help if Alvin Kamara could get going, as he's averaged just 61.5 scrimmage yards over those four games and hasn't gotten into the end zone, but it's hard to tell if Kamara's lack of success is because defenses don't fear Dalton and can crowd the line, or if defenses can focus on containing the passing game because they don't fear Kamara right now. (The real answer is probably that they don't fear OC Pete Carmichael, who looks a little lost without Sean Payton.) Seriously though Dennis, it's Revenge Week. Give Jameis Winston his shot.

Apparently a 5-6 record gets you a division lead these days. Pfft. I'd blame the TikTok generation or whatever, but that's hard to do when the team in question has a 45-year-old QB. Last week's OT loss to the Browns – coming out of Tampa's bye, no less – may not end up costing the Bucs anything, but it is one more mediocre performance on the pile. Their last two wins, one-score escapes against the Rams and Seahawks, weren't all that impressive, and this is a team that couldn't find a way to beat the Steelers or Panthers. Tom Brady's 8.9 YPA against Seattle got people's hopes up, but it was one game in a sea of 4.8's, 5.7's, and 6.1's. The run defense isn't what it once was, Mike Evans somehow hasn't scored a TD since Week 4... nothing's working right now for the Bucs, except the fact that they're in the woeful NFC South. At this point, they seem destined for the No. 4 seed, and a home wild-card date with the second-best team in the NFC East where they'll be the underdogs. Yeah yeah, Brady mystique, chip on his shoulder, whatever. This isn't a guy who seems like he's going to flip the switch back to Hall of Fame mode any time soon.

The Skinny

NO injuries: WR Rashid Shaheed (questionable, back), WR Kevin White (questionable, illness), WR Michael Thomas (IR, toe), TE Juwan Johnson (out, ankle), C Erik McCoy (IR, calf), LB Pete Werner (questionable, ankle), CB Marshon Lattimore (questionable, abdomen), CB Bradley Roby (questionable, concussion)
TB injuries: WR Russell Gage (questionable, hamstring), TE Cameron Brate (questionable, illness), LG Aaron Stinnie (IR, knee), C Ryan Jensen (IR, knee), RT Tristan Wirfs (out, ankle), DT Vita Vea (questionable, foot), EDGE Shaquil Barrett (IR, Achilles), CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (questionable, quadriceps), S Antoine Winfield (questionable, ankle), S Logan Ryan (IR-R, foot), S Mike Edwards (questionable, hamstring)

NO DFS targets: none
TB DFS targets: Julio Jones $5,400 DK / $7,000 FD (NO 30th in DVOA vs. WR3), Buccaneers DST $4,800 DK / $9,500 FD (t-3rd in sacks, NO t-31st in giveaways)

NO DFS fades: Shaheed $1,400 DK / $6,500 FD (TB fourth in DVOA vs. WR3), Saints DST $4,200 DK / $8,000 FD (32nd in takeaways, TB t-2nd in sacks allowed, t-1st in giveaways)
TB DFS fades: Brate $3,000 DK / $5,500 FD and Cade Otton $1,800 DK / $7,500 FD (NO first in DVOA vs. TE)

Key stat: NO t-16th in third-down conversions at 40.0 percent; TB ninth in third-down defense at 37.4 percent

Head-to-head record, last five-plus years including playoffs: 8-4 NO, average score 28-21 NO, average margin of victory 13 points. NO has won four straight meetings in Raymond James Stadium and had won seven straight regular-season games before TB's 20-10 victory in Week 2

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the high 60s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Kamara cobbles together 70 combined yards while Taysom Hill vultures a score. Dalton throws for 230 yards and a TD to Olave. Leonard Fournette gains 60 yards and a touchdown while Rachaad White adds 50. Brady throws for 260 yards and a TD to Julio. Buccaneers 23-20

Pittsburgh at Atlanta (+1), o/u 42 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Steelers have won two of their last three, a mini-surge that's as much due to the return of T.J. Watt steadying the defense as it is to a soft spot in their schedule. Kenny Pickett's been his usual low-wattage self (ahem) during that stretch, averaging barely 210 passing yards a game with a 6.4 YPA and just two total TDs (one through the air, one on the ground), but the crucial difference is that he hasn't committed a turnover. Given Pittsburgh's current roster, that's about as close to a winning formula as the team's going to find — a stingy defense and few mistakes by the offense will allow it to steal a victory now and then. Najee Harris got banged up again just as he seemed to be rounding into form, but rookie Jaylen Warren (who missed last week's game) has a 5.0 YPC on the year and could do some interesting things if he sees decent volume — in the only game this season in which he saw double-digit touches, he produced 77 scrimmage yards on nine carries and three catches.

At 5-7, the Falcons are hilariously still very much in the running for the NFC South title, so they can't afford to give away games like this if they're going to keep the dream alive. Atlanta's lost three of their last four, though, dropping games to the likes of Carolina and Washington, and they didn't score more than 17 points in any of those losses. Kyle Pitts' season-ending injury is more of a hypothetical setback than an actual one given his numbers, but it remains baffling that a coach like Arthur Smith, who got value out of tight ends like Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith when he was offensive coordinator in Tennessee, somehow forgot about Pitts this season. The fact that MyCole Pruitt, another Titans refugee, immediately caught a TD as soon as Pitts was on the shelf is also, well, let's just say curious. Cordarrelle Patterson hasn't seen more than 14 touches during that four-game stretch, and if you aren't getting the ball in his hands, it's fair to wonder from where Smith thinks the yards and points are going to come.

The Skinny

PIT injuries: RB Harris (questionable, oblique), RB Benny Snell (questionable, knee), C Mason Cole (questionable, foot), K Chris Boswell (IR, groin), DE Larry Ogunjobi (questionable, toe), LB Myles Jack (questionable, knee), EDGE Watt (questionable, ribs), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (questionable, hamstring), CB William Jackson (IR, back)
ATL injuries: RB Damien Williams (IR, ribs), TE Pitts (IR, knee), LG Elijah Wilkinson (IR-R, knee), LG Jalen Mayfield (IR-R, back), LG Matt Hennessy (IR, knee), LG Chuma Edoga (questionable, knee), CB Casey Hayward (IR, shoulder)

PIT DFS targets: George Pickens $5,100 DK / $6,700 FD (ATL 30th in DVOA vs. WR2)
ATL DFS targets: Marcus Mariota $5,400 DK / $6,800 FD (PIT 30th in passing yards per game allowed, 31st in passing TDs allowed)

PIT DFS fades: none
ATL DFS fades: none

Key stat: ATL ninth in red-zone conversions at 61.1 percent; PIT 17th in red-zone defense at 55.9 percent

The Scoop: Harris plays, but Warren leads the PIT backfield with 80 combined yards. Pickett throws for 220 yards and a touchdown to Diontae Johnson but gets picked off twice. Patterson racks up 90 scrimmage yards and a score. Mariota throws for 250 yards and a TD to Drake London. Falcons 17-10

Denver (+8.5) at Baltimore, o/u 38.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

If the regular season has ended last week, the Russell Wilson trade would have cost the Broncos the third overall pick in the 2023 draft. Woof. Nathaniel Hackett is part of the problem to be sure, but it isn't the whole story. The Athletic has an interesting breakdown of Wilson's issues after the Raiders loss — the TLDR is that he doesn't have the mobility he once did and is working behind an offensive line he doesn't trust, so he's bailing on plays too early because he can't buy time the way he used to, but he hasn't actually changed his own approach to compensate. To put it another way, his 9.1 intended air yards per attempt is right in line with his career numbers, but his 3.4 completed IAY per attempt has cratered. He's still looking to chuck it deep, but either isn't letting routes develop and is rushing his throws, or he gives up on them entirely and checks it down. Hackett's in over his head trying to find a solution, and handing play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak isn't the answer either. This offense needs a complete overhaul, and it needs Wilson to buy in to a new philosophy, or things are going to get a lot messier in Denver.

The Ravens falling victim to the Rise of Trevor Lawrence last week didn't immediately cost them the top spot in the AFC North, but they're clinging to a lead over the Bengals by the head-to-head tiebreaker. Lamar Jackson's back to doing real damage with his legs, recording either 80-plus rushing yards or a TD in three consecutive games, but his 7:5 TD:INT in his last eight has put a firm ceiling on the offense's potential. It doesn't help that he has no one but Mark Andrews (when healthy) to target. Rashod Bateman's effectively been out of the picture since Week 4, and Devin Duvernay hasn't reached 60 receiving yards once in that time. It's fair to say he's not a WR1. The running game should get a boost soon from J.K. Dobbins, but given his recent troubles staying healthy it's tough to expect him to deliver consistent production. Baltimore does have a favorable schedule the rest of the way (two against Pittsburgh, one more against Cleveland and a home game against Atlanta) before facing Cincy in Week 18 in what could be a winner-take-all division battle, but they might have to grind out wins that are closer than they need to be to get there.

The Skinny

DEN injuries: RB Javonte Williams (IR, knee), RB Chase Edmonds (IR, ankle), RB Mike Boone (IR-R, ankle), WR Courtland Sutton (questionable, illness), WR Jerry Jeudy (questionable, ankle), WR KJ Hamler (out, hamstring), WR Tim Patrick (IR, knee), LT Garett Bolles (IR, leg), LG Dalton Risner (questionable, shoulder), RT Billy Turner (IR, knee), DE Dre'Mont Jones (questionable, illness), EDGE Randy Gregory (IR, knee), CB Ronald Darby (IR, knee)
BAL injuries: RB Dobbins (IR-R, knee), WR Bateman (IR, foot), LT Ronnie Stanley (questionable, ankle), CB Marlon Humphrey (questionable, ankle), CB Kyle Fuller (IR, knee), S Marcus Williams (IR-R, wrist)

DEN DFS targets: none
BAL DFS targets: Ravens DST $4,000 DK / $4,500 FD (t-2nd in takeaways, DEN 29th in sacks allowed)

DEN DFS fades: Latavius Murray $5,300 DK / $6,400 FD (BAL second in rushing yards per game allowed, third in YPC allowed)
BAL DFS fades: Jackson $7,800 DK / $8,200 FD (DEN third in passing yards per game allowed, first in YPA allowed, t-1st in passing TDs allowed, third in rushing yards allowed to QB)

Key stat: DEN 30th in third-down conversions at 28.2 percent; BAL second in third-down defense at 32.6 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the low 40s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Murray leads the DEN backfield with 50 yards. Wilson throws for 230 yards and a TD to Sutton. Gus Edwards bangs out 70 yards and a touchdown. Jackson throws for less than 200 yards but does hit Andrews for a score. Ravens 14-13

Green Bay at Chicago (+4), o/u 43.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Part of me would like to give props to Aaron Rodgers for refusing to give up on the season, but let's face facts, the Packers are not making the playoffs. They're 4-8, a division title is already out of reach, and they're three games back of the final wild-card spot with five to play. Only the Bears, Rams and Cardinals have a worse point differential in the NFC. It ain't happening. The best thing Rodgers could do for Green Bay would be to use his broken thumb and banged-up ribcage as perfectly viable excuses to sit down and let the team see what it has in Jordan Love, but it looks like that won't happen this week. If there was anything scary about the Chicago pass rush I'd be tempted to predict the decision will get taken out of his hands some time in the second quarter, but they're tied for last in sacks and are dead last in QB knockdown percentage, so he's probably safe in the pocket Sunday. With both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon less than 100 percent healthy too, you know visions of being the heroic, wounded warrior leading his team to victory are running through Rodgers' head, even if it's ultimately a fairly meaningless win.

The Bears have lost five straight and eight of nine and currently hold the No. 2 pick in the 2023 draft, so the pressure is mounting on the organization to decide if Justin Fields is their guy or not. The offense stumbling to just 10 points without him last week isn't really a point in his favor, as it's not like Trevor Siemian was a viable alternative, but Fields' own shoulder injury is a big complication. It's to his non-throwing shoulder, but it'll be tough to evaluate him as a passer if his mechanics are messed up the rest of the way — not that passing has been his strong suit in his career. Losing Darnell Mooney doesn't help the situation, either. If he's contact-shy the injury could also curtail his running, at which point you kind of have to ask why the Bears would bother sending him out there at all. Heck, with former Packer Tim Boyle now the backup, I'd be tempted to just let Boyle go for the revenge game and try to lock up that draft position, but then again, putting the final nail in Green Bay's playoff coffin would have some appeal for Chicago too given how the rivalry's been going lately.

The Skinny

GB injuries: RB Jones (questionable, shin), RB Dillon (questionable, quadriceps), WR Romeo Doubs (questionable, ankle), LT David Bakhtiari (out, appendix), LG Elgton Jenkins (questionable, knee), LB De'Vondre Campbell (questionable, knee), EDGE Rashan Gary (IR, knee), CB Eric Stokes (IR, ankle), S Darnell Savage (questionable, foot)
CHI injuries: QB Siemian (IR, oblique), RB Khalil Herbert (IR, hip), WR Mooney (IR, ankle), C Lucas Patrick (IR, toe), C Doug Kramer (IR, leg), RT Riley Reiff (questionable, back), CB Kyler Gordon (out, concussion), S Eddie Jackson (IR, foot), S Jaquan Brisker (out, concussion)

GB DFS targets: Rodgers $5,800 DK / $7,100 FD (CHI 31st in passing DVOA, 31st in YPA allowed), Christian Watson $5,200 DK / $6,500 FD (CHI 32nd in DVOA vs. WR1)
CHI DFS targets: David Montgomery $6,200 DK / $7,000 FD (GB 32nd in rushing DVOA, 31st in rushing yards per game allowed, 29th in YPC allowed)

GB DFS fades: none
CHI DFS fades: Equanimeous St. Brown $3,200 DK / $4,900 FD (GB first in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: GB t-16th in third-down conversions at 40.0 percent; CHI 31st in third-down defense at 48.9 percent

Head-to-head record, last five-plus years: 10-1 GB, average score 27-17 GB, average margin of victory 12 points. GB has won seven straight meetings

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the mid-30s, 13-14 mph wind, zero percent chance of snow

The Scoop: Jones leads the GB backfield with 80 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers throws for 240 yards and two TDs, finding Watson and Randall Cobb. Montgomery gallops for 120 scrimmage yards and a score. Fields throws for less than 200 yards but does run for 60 and a TD. Packers 24-23

Jacksonville at Detroit (+1), o/u 51.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Has Trevor Lawrence finally figured it out? Is this the third time I've asked that question this season? It's hard to overlook his numbers the last three games — 76.9 percent completion rate, 7.5 YPA, 6:0 TD:INT — but he was also working with favorable game scripts and against less than imposing secondaries, so the jury's still out for me. Then again, he's facing Detroit this week, so there's little reason to think the good times won't keep rolling. Zay Jones and Christian Kirk have taken turns lately producing 100-yard performances, but Travis Etienne's surge hit a speed bump when his foot began bothering him again. The Jags don't seem worried, but we'll see what his usage is like Sunday. The defense hasn't kept anybody to less than 20 points since Houston in Week 5 — that includes powerhouse offenses like Denver, Indianapolis and the Giants — but Lawrence might be getting to a point where he can keep pace.

The Lions couldn't close the deal last week against the Bills, ending their three-game winning streak, but they remain the most fun team to watch in the league. The defense has coughed up more than 400 yards in four of the last five, and while the offense has calmed down a little, Detroit's still scored more than 30 on five occasions this year — more than Kansas City, Buffalo or Philly. NFL rushing touchdown leader Jamaal Williams has gotten into the end zone seven times in the last five games, keeping a presumably healthy D'Andre Swift marginalized in the offense, while Amon-Ra St. Brown is back to being ridiculous, posting a 26-317-1 line on 29 targets the last three games. First-year offensive coordinator Ben Johnson deserves a lot of credit, especially considering the dizzying array of bad head coaches he spent his career under prior to Dan Campbell (Joe Philbin, Adam Gase and Matt Patricia have combined for one winning season.) Maybe it was a case of Johnson learning everything not to do.

The Skinny

JAC injuries: RB Etienne (questionable, foot), RB Darrell Henderson (questionable, illness), WR Jones (questionable, chest), WR Calvin Ridley (out, suspension), LG Ben Bartch (IR, knee), CB Shaquill Griffin (IR, back), S Andre Cisco (questionable, shoulder)
DET injuries: WR Jameson Williams (NFI-R, knee), WR Quintez Cephus (IR, foot), RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (IR, back), RG Tommy Kraemer (IR, back), RG Evan Brown (out, ankle), DE Romeo Okwara (PUP-R, Achilles), DE Charles Harris (IR, groin), S Tracy Walker (IR, Achilles)

JAC DFS targets: Etienne $6,400 DK / $8,000 FD (DET 30th in rushing yards per game allowed, 31st in YPC allowed, 31st in rushing TDs allowed)
DET DFS targets: Brock Wright $2,800 DK / $4,400 FD and James Mitchell $2,600 DK / $4,200 FD (JAC 30th in DVOA vs. TE)

JAC DFS fades: Jaguars DST $2,700 DK / $3,900 FD (t-28th in sacks, DET t-2nd in sacks allowed)
DET DFS fades: none

Key stat: DET t-2nd in red-zone conversions at 71.4 percent; JAC 19th in red-zone defense at 56.8 percent

The Scoop: Etienne looks 100 percent healthy, piling up 110 yards and two touchdowns. Lawrence throws for 280 yards and a score to Kirk, who tops 100 yards. Williams answers back with 70 yards and a TD. Jared Goff throws for 300 yards and two touchdowns, hitting St. Brown (who also tops 100 yards) and Mitchell and engineering a game-winning field goal drive in the final minute. Lions 30-27

Cleveland at Houston (+7), o/u 47 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

I hope the Texans bring in Bruce Buffer for this one, because IIIIIIIT'S TIME. Deshaun Watson makes his Browns debut this week, and if you don't think making sure he was available for this game was part of the negotiations regarding his suspension, I envy your innocence. Of course, he's taking over a 4-7 team that's somehow behind the Raiders in the wild-card standings, but hey, he's getting paid. It will be fascinating to see how he fits in Cleveland. Until now this has been Nick Chubb's offense, and considering Watson hasn't seen real game action since Jan. 3, 2021 (a wild 41-38 loss to the Titans), it would be unfair to expect him to come out firing. On the other hand, revenge game and all that. The Browns have yet to win back-to-back games this season, and in the grand scheme of things this result only matters for 2023 draft slotting, but all things considered it's hard to imagine them blowing this one.

Speaking of draft slotting, the Texans are starting to get comfortable in that top spot. Nobody else has fewer than three wins and they're 1-9-1, and after this they have a stretch of three consecutive matchups with playoff competitors. Houston's scored 17 points or less in five consecutive games, and shockingly the switch to Kyle Allen at quarterback didn't do much to change their fortunes. Allen also won't have Brandin Cooks to throw to, though he doesn't leave the kind of hole in the passing game you might expect. The veteran wideout had 166 yards and two TDs in Watson's final game as a Texan, which is one more touchdown than he's scored in all of 2022. Dameon Pierce has also hit a wall, but it's not like defenses are stacking the box against him — he's faced eight-man fronts just 18.89 percent of the time, which is about half the rate of Derrick Henry. It's fair to wonder if the rookie is playing hurt after back-to-back games in single-digit rushing yards, but he hasn't shown up on the injury report in about a month.

The Skinny

CLE injuries: TE David Njoku (out, knee), C Ethan Pocic (IR, knee), LB Anthony Walker (IR, quadriceps)
HOU injuries: RB Rex Burkhead (questionable, concussion), WR Cooks (out, calf), C Justin Britt (NFI-R, personal), DE Jonathan Greenard (IR, calf), CB Derek Stingley (out, hamstring)

CLE DFS targets: Chubb $8,000 DK / $9,600 FD (HOU 30th in rushing DVOA, 32nd in rushing yards per game allowed, t-28th in rushing TDs allowed), Amari Cooper $6,400 DK / $7,800 FD (HOU 31st in DVOA vs. WR1)
HOU DFS targets: Pierce $5,900 DK / $6,500 FD (CLE 31st in rushing DVOA, 30th in rushing TDs allowed), Phillip Dorsett $3,000 DK / $4,900 FD (CLE 29th in DVOA vs. WR2)

CLE DFS fades: none
HOU DFS fades: none

Key stat: HOU 31st in third-down conversions at 28.1 percent; CLE t-10th in third-down defense at 38.5 percent

The Scoop: Chubb churns out 120 yards and two scores. Watson throws for 250 yards and a touchdown to Cooper. Pierce bounces back with 80 yards and a TD. Allen throws for 230 yards and two scores, finding Dorsett and Nico Collins. Browns 27-24

N.Y.  Jets (+3) at Minnesota, o/u 44.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

I mean, of course Mike White went off for three TDs and more than 300 yards last week. Sometimes the narrative is so perfect, even reality has to fall in line. I don't think one game will have a big impact on Zach Wilson's future with New York — that'll depend way more on Wilson than anything White does in his place — but having a viable offense alongside Robert Saleh's defense certainly makes the Jets look more like a team that can scare somebody in the playoffs, not just one that will sneak into a wild-card spot and simply be happy to be there. Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore both seemed to get on the same page as White pretty quickly, and while that might leave Corey Davis out in the cold, the Jets can get out of his contract with a minimal dead cap hit in the offseason. The backfield might seem a little threadbare at the moment, but rookie Zonovan Knight took advantage of his opportunity last week to set a Jets record with 103 scrimmage yards in his NFL debut, and he has a name made for NYC sports section headlines ("ZONOVA-!").

The Vikings took care of business at home against the Patriots on Thanksgiving to go 3-0 against the AFC East and will look to complete the sweep. Kirk Cousins is coming off his best performance of the season, while Justin Jefferson posted his seventh 100-yard game of 2022 — not bad against a Belichick defense. They could even clinch the NFC North title this week (all they need is a better result than the Lions). Statistically, Minnesota remains very mid, but nobody cares about analytics when you're winning. The defense has surrendered more than 400 yards in three consecutive games and allowed 26 or more points in four of five since the Vikings' bye, but the offense has scored 33 or more in three of the last five, so for now it's all working out. That's also the formula for a first-round playoff upset at the hands of a wild-card team, but let's let them book their ticket to the postseason first before raining on their parade.

The Skinny

NYJ injuries: RB Breece Hall (IR, knee), RB Michael Carter (doubtful, ankle), LT Duane Brown (questionable, shoulder), RG Alijah Vera-Tucker (IR, triceps), RT Mekhi Becton (IR, knee), RT George Fant (IR-R, knee) 
MIN injuries: LT Christian Darrisaw (out, concussion), CB Cameron Dantzler (IR, ankle), S Lewis Cine (IR, leg)

NYJ DFS targets: Mike White $5,400 DK / $6,900 FD (MIN 32nd in passing yards per game allowed, 32nd in YPA allowed)
MIN DFS targets: none

NYJ DFS fades: none
MIN DFS fades: none

Key stat: NYJ 16th in red-zone conversions at 54.8 percent; MIN 26th in red-zone defense at 64.5 percent

The Scoop Knight leads the NYJ backfield with 80 yards and a TD. White throws for 270 yards and two touchdowns, finding Wilson and Tyler Conklin. Dalvin Cook manages 70 scrimmage yards and two scores, one rushing and one receiving. Cousins throws for 240 yards. Jets 21-17

Washington at N.Y. Giants (+2.5), o/u 40.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

This is a battle for the basement in the NFC East, but the loser will still be above .500 after this game. Madness. The Commanders have won three straight and are 5-1 with Taylor Heinicke under center, and while he's getting all the credit, he's really just along for the ride. The defense has completely turned its season around during that stretch, allowing only 16.8 points and less than 270 total yards a game with a plus-5 turnover differential (it was minus-5 during their first six games of the year.) They've done that without getting a single snap from Chase Young, too. Brian Robinson posted his first career 100-yard game last week, and his 4.2 YPC in the last three games is downright palatable compared to his 3.3 mark in his first five NFL games. Washington isn't necessarily a good team, but they're a scrappy one, and as long as they keep piling up takeaways they can hang with anybody. Just ask the Eagles.

The Giants are headed in the opposite direction, losing three of their last four, and it's no coincidence that those three losses came when the defense gave up its three highest point totals of the season. Daniel Jones has reduced his turnovers in 2022, but he's still not actually generating a lot of offense, even once you include his contributions as a runner. Maybe he improves further with another year under Brian Daboll, or maybe he doesn't get the chance because the front office decides he isn't worth either a long-term deal or a franchise tag. (It's at least suggestive that the team had extension talks with Saquon Barkley and others during the bye week, but not Jones.) To be fair, he's also been working with a swiss cheese wide receiver group all year, but that situation's not going to improve this week.

The Skinny

WAS injuries: QB Carson Wentz (IR-R, finger), RB Antonio Gibson (questionable, foot), RB J.D. McKissic (IR, neck), C Wes Schweitzer (IR-R, concussion), C Chase Roullier (IR, knee), RG Trai Turner (out, ankle), DE Young (questionable, knee), LB Cole Holcomb (IR, foot), CB Benjamin St-Juste (out, ankle)
NYG injuries: WR Darius Slayton (questionable, illness), WR Richie James (questionable, knee), WR Sterling Shepard (IR, knee), WR Wan'Dale Robinson (IR, knee), TE Daniel Bellinger (questionable, eye), LG Ben Bredeson (IR- R, knee), LG Shane Lemieux (out, toe), LG Joshua Ezeudu (out, neck), C Jon Feliciano (questionable, neck), DE Azeez Ojulari (IR-R, calf), CB Adoree' Jackson (out, knee), CB Fabian Moreau (questionable, oblique), S Xavier McKinney (NFI-R, hand), S Dane Belton (questionable, shoulder)

WAS DFS targets: Logan Thomas $2,900 DK / $5,000 FD (NYG 32nd in DVOA vs. TE)
NYG DFS targets: none

WAS DFS fades: none
NYG DFS fades: Bellinger $3,200 DK / $4,700 FD (WAS third in DVOA vs. TE)

Key stat: WAS 20th in red-zone conversions at 53.1 percent; NYG fifth in red-zone defense at 48.8 percent

Head-to-head record, last five years: 6-4 NYG, average score 23-20 NYG, average margin of victory 10 points. The last three season series have been sweeps, with WAS winning both games in 2021 but NYG taking the prior two series

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the low 40s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Robinson gains 70 yards. Heinicke throws for 250 yards and two TDs, finding Thomas and Terry McLaurin. Barkley racks up 90 yards and a score. Jones throws for 210 yards and runs in a touchdown of his own. Giants 20-14

Tennessee (+5.5) at Philadelphia, o/u 44.5 – Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

The Titans remains comfortably atop the AFC South, but it's the only comfortable thing about this team. Throw out their Week 2 rout at the hands of Buffalo, and Tennessee has scored 16 to 24 points every game this season while allowing 10 to 22. Talk about having no margin for error. Ryan Tannehill is enjoying a nice little resurgence since returning from an ankle injury, posting a 64.9 percent completion rate, 9.1 YPA and 4:1 TD:INT the last three games, but Derrick Henry has scored only one touchdown in that stretch (and averaged more than 105 scrimmage yards, but still) so it may not be a trade-off with which Mike Vrabel is satisfied. This is a roster designed to grind out wins, but there isn't really a Plan B if things go off script. Treylon Burks has shown flashes of being a big-play threat, but the rookie isn't enough by himself.

The Eagles have won consecutive games since letting a possible undefeated season slip through their fingers against the Commanders, but one-score wins over the Colts and Packers aren't exactly reassuring. The glass half full viewpoint is that Philly showed multiple ways to win close games, as the defense carried the day against Indy while the offense erupted for 40 points against Green Bay, but the glass half empty viewpoint says that inconsistency is a warning sign. (Personally, I think beating the Texans by only 12 was the first red flag.) Jalen Hurts has suddenly stopped chucking it up, averaging just 172.3 passing yards the last three games with a 6.6 YPA, but Miles Sanders and the ground attack have been carrying the load. Given a Tennessee run defense that might be the best in the league, it could be time to flip that split back around, and maybe even let A.J. Brown be the co-main event on this Revenge Week card.

The Skinny

TEN injuries: LT Taylor Lewan (IR, knee), DE Jeffery Simmons (questionable, ankle), EDGE Harold Landry (IR, knee), EDGE Denico Autry (out, knee), LB Zach Cunningham (IR, elbow), CB Caleb Farley (IR, back)
PHI injuries: TE Dallas Goedert (IR, shoulder), DE Derek Barnett (IR, knee), DE Robert Quinn (out, knee), S C.J. Gardner-Johnson (out, abdomen) 

TEN DFS targets: none
PHI DFS targets: DeVonta Smith $6,200 DK / $6,800 FD (TEN 28th in DVOA vs. WR2), Eagles DST $3,800 DK / $4,600 FD (t-3rd in sacks, first in takeaways)

TEN DFS fades: Tannehill $5,200 DK / $6,600 FD (PHI second in passing DVOA, second in passing yards per game allowed, second in YPA allowed); Robert Woods $4,300 DK / $5,600 FD (PHI first in DVOA vs. WR1); Burks $4,600 DK / $6,100 FD (PHI second in DVOA vs. WR2)
PHI DFS fades: Sanders $6,200 DK / $7,200 FD (TEN first in rushing DVOA, third in rushing yards per game allowed, second in YPC allowed, first in rushing TDs allowed)

Key stat: TEN 27th in third-down conversions at 36.7 percent; PHI 15th in third-down defense at 39.1 percent

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the low 40s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Henry booms out 100 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill throws for 220 yards and a score to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Sanders manages 60 yards. Hurts erupts for 330 yards and three scores, hitting Brown (who tops 100 yards) twice and Smith (who also tops 100 yards) once, while also running in a TD of his own. A T.J. Edwards fumble return to the house rounds things out. Eagles 35-20

Seattle at L.A. Rams (+7.5), o/u41.5 – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST

Last week's loss to the Raiders hurt, and not just because it was, y'know, the Raiders. Seattle now sits a game back of the 49ers in the NFC West and a half-game behind the Commanders for the final wild-card spot, and while there's still plenty of time to climb back into the playoff picture, the Seahawks aren't exactly trending in the right direction. They've now given up 40 or more points to two different opponents this season, and the Saints came within a whisker of making it three. Geno Smith and the offense have been more than willing to get into slugfests, scoring more than 30 five times, but he needs at least a little help on the other side of the ball. Or from his running game – Kenneth Walker's managed just 43 rushing yards over the last two games, although the rookie's compensated with two rushing TDs last week and a career-high 55 receiving yards the week before. Smith's averaged over 292 passing yards with an 8.4 YPA and 6:2 TD:INT over his last three though, so while it's not the approach Pete Carroll wants to take, letting Geno cook is the best one he's got right now.

I'm say the Rams have bottomed out, but I don't actually believe it. The defense that held Kansas City under 30 points last week is now without Aaron Donald, so yeah, things can get worse. Donald joins Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, and multiple offensive linemen on the shelf, but when the post-mortem on this season gets written it should be remembered the team was sucking while all those guys were healthy. The Rams have effectively re-defined Super Bowl hangover in 2022 and aren't going anywhere, but for some reason Sean McVay is giving John Wolford, who will never be anything more than a career backup, the start over Bryce Perkins, who probably isn't an NFL quarterback but at least can produce some yards with his legs and has some sort of upside if it turns out he is. It doesn't matter all that much, as they have no one to throw it to – even preseason darling Lance McCutcheon is hurt, sad eyes emoji – but it's the principle of the thing, you see.

The Skinny

SEA injuries: RB Rashaad Penny (IR, ankle), S Jamal Adams (IR, knee), S Ryan Neal (questionable, elbow)
LAR injuries: QB Stafford (out, neck), WR Kupp (IR, ankle), WR Robinson (IR, foot), LT Joe Noteboom (IR, Achilles), LG David Edwards (IR-R, concussion), C Brian Allen (questionable, thumb), RG Tremayne Anchrum (IR, leg), RG Logan Bruss (IR, knee), DE Donald (out, ankle), LB Ernest Jones (questionable, back), CB Troy Hill (questionable, groin), S Jordan Fuller (IR, hamstring)

SEA DFS targets: none
LAR DFS targets: Kyren Williams $5,200 DK / $5,500 FD and Cam Akers $5,100 DK / $6,200 FD (SEA 29th in rushing yards per game allowed, 31st in passing DVOA vs. RB), Ben Skowronek $3,500 DK / $5,100 FD (SEA 32nd in DVOA vs. WR2)

SEA DFS fades: Kenneth Walker $7,000 DK / $8,100 FD (LAR fourth in rushing yards per game allowed, fourth in YPC allowed), Marquise Goodwin $3,700 DK / $5,300 FD (LAR fifth in DVOA vs. WR3)

LAR DFS fades: Tutu Atwell $3,200 DK / $5,200 FD (SEA first in DVOA vs. WR3)

Key stat: SEA 10th in third-down conversions at 42.4 percent; LAR 22nd in third-down conversions at 40.8 percent

Head-to-head record, last five years including playoffs: 8-3 LAR, average score 26-19 LAR, average margin of victory 10 points. LAR have won four straight home meetings in the series

The Scoop: Walker picks up 70 yards and a TD. Smith throws for 280 yards and three touchdowns, one each to Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Deejay Dallas. Williams leads the LAR backfield with 80 combined yards and a score. Wolford throws for under 200 yards and gets picked off twice. Seahawks 31-10

Miami (+4) at San Francisco, o/u 46.5 – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST

The KC-Cincinnati matchup is viewed as the marquee matchup in the late window, but honestly, this is the one I'll be watching. (Well, I'll be bouncing back and forth, but you know what I mean.) The Dolphins have won five straight to stay atop the AFC East, and in a week of revenge games, there might be no better one than Mike McDaniel (and Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert) facing their former boss in Kyle Shanahan. Tua Tagovailoa has led the team to 30 or more points in four straight, but this will be his biggest test since facing the Bills in Week 3, especially since he'll be missing his two starting tackles while facing Nick Bosa. Tua's numbers over that stretch are absurd, though – 317 passing yards a game, 72.4 percent completion rate, 9.5 YPA, 10:0 TD:INT.

Not that it's been bad against the pass. The Niners are a game up on the Seahawks in the NFC West, and they're won four straight thanks to that defense not allowing any points in the second half during that stretch. In case you're having trouble wrapping your head around that, I'll re-phrase it. The last team to score a second-half point against San Francisco was Kansas City in Week 7. The Rams, Chargers, Cardinals and Saints... all blanked after the half. (New Orleans also got blanked in the first half last week, which makes it pretty tough to win.) Basically, if the Niners have taken a lead into intermission over the last month, the game was over. Christian McCaffrey continues to mildly disappoint, managing "only" 381 scrimmage yards and three TDs over those four games, but a sore knee is at least partially to blame. It might be time for another Shanahan special, whether it's Jordan Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price, Tevin Coleman or, heck, Kyle Juszczyk having a big game out of nowhere.

The Skinny

MIA injuries: LT Terron Armstead (doubtful, pectoral), LG Liam Eichenberg (IR, knee), RT Austin Jackson (out, ankle), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (IR, triceps), CB Byron Jones (PUP-R, Achilles), S Brandon Jones (IR, knee)
SF injuries: QB Trey Lance (IR, ankle), RB Elijah Mitchell (out, knee), WR Deebo Samuel (questionable, quadriceps), LT Trent Williams (questionable, back), RG Spencer Burford (questionable, ankle), CB Emmanuel Moseley (IR, knee), CB Jason Verrett (IR, Achilles)

MIA DFS targets: Trent Sherfield $3,300 DK / $5,100 FD (SF 31st in DVOA vs. WR3)
SF DFS targets: George Kittle $5,000 DK / $6,200 FD (MIA 29th in DVOA vs. TE)

MIA DFS fades: Wilson $6,100 DK / $6,800 FD and Mostert $5,500 DK / $6,000 FD (SF second in rushing DVOA, first in rushing yards per game allowed, first in YPC allowed, first in passing DVOA vs. RB)
SF DFS fades: none

Key stat: SF t-5th in third-down conversions at 45.7 percent; MIA 24th in third-down defense at 41.7 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the high 50s, less than 10 mph wind, 20-30 percent chance of rain

The Scoop: Mostert leads the MIA backfield with 60 yards, while Wilson adds 50 and a TD. Tagovailoa throws for 280 yards and three scores, hitting Tyreek Hill (who tops 100 yards) twice and Jaylen Waddle once. McCaffrey dashes for 90 combined yards and a touchdown, while Juszczyk also gets into the end zone. Jimmy Garoppolo throws for 260 yards and two scores, finding Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. 49ers 31-28

Kansas City at Cincinnati (+2), o/u 52.5 – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

Did these two teams meet in the playoffs last year or something? I hadn't heard. Kansas City's just about locked up another AFC West crown, and so far the only two teams to beat them this season are the Bills and (checks notes) wait, the Colts? That can't be right. Andy Reid's crew has won five straight, averaging 29.4 points a game while allowing only 18.8 during that streak, which is a pretty solid formula. Patrick Mahomes has thrown for more than 300 yards in six straight games with an 8.6 YPA and 14:6 TD:INT, but Travis Kelce has been his only consistent target as the whole "acquire a bunch of hard-to-cover speedsters who are cheaper than Tyreek Hill" approach has been working well. The defense has also held three of its last four opponents to 17 points or less, but it was the Rams, Jags and Titans, so don't get too excited. K.C. remains in the driver's seat for the top seed in the AFC, and their closing schedule after this one can be charitably described as 'creampuff' – two games against the Broncos and one each against the Texans and Raiders, plus a Week 16 visit from Seattle that might provide a bit of a challenge. In other words, the biggest threat to Mahomes' run at Peyton Manning's NFL record for passing yards in a season might be him getting rested in Week 18... unless he's already got it by then.

The team on the other side of this matchup isn't too shabby either, though. The Bengals are behind the Ravens in the AFC North on a tiebreaker and have won five of their last six. The Cincy offense has been roaring, reaching the 30-point mark in four of those six games as Joe Burrow has posted his own impressive run – 71.1 percent completion rate, 8.5 YPA, 14:3 TD:INT and over 307 passing yards a game. Oh, he's run for three TDs during that stretch too. The fact that Ja'Marr Chase has missed four of those games makes Burrow's performance even more remarkable, and the QB didn't miss a beat when Joe Mixon was sidelined last week either, although Samaje Perine stepped up in a big way in Mixon's absence. Chase looks like he's on track to return Sunday, but the key to Burrow's success hasn't been his weapons but his time in the pocket. He's been sacked only four times in the last three games as the Bengals' offensive line has finally started to get its act together. Kansas City's tied for fifth in sacks and is third in pressure rate, but Cincy's line held against T.J. Watt and the Steelers a couple weeks ago. Let's see if they can do it again versus Chris Jones and company.

The Skinny

KC injuries: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (IR, ankle), WR Kadarius Toney (out, hamstring), WR Mecole Hardman (IR, abdomen), LG Joe Thuney (questionable, ankle)
CIN injuries: RB Mixon (questionable, concussion), WR Chase (questionable, hip), LB Logan Wilson (questionable, illness), CB Chidobe Awuzie (IR, knee)

KC DFS targets: Marquez Valdes-Scantling $4,100 DK / $5,800 FD (CIN 31st in DVOA vs. WR2)
CIN DFS targets: none

KC DFS fades: none
CIN DFS fades: Bengals DST $2,400 DK / $3,000 FD (t-28th in sacks, KC t-2nd in sacks allowed)

Key stat: CIN t-2nd in red-zone conversions at 71.4 percent; KC 32nd in red-zone defense at 70.6 percent

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the low 40s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop Isaiah Pacheco leads the KC backfield with 80 yards and a score. Mahomes throws for 320 yards and three touchdowns, hitting JuJu Smith-Schuster, MVS and Kelce. Mixon plays and racks up 120 scrimmage yards and two TDs, one rushing and one receiving. Burrow wins the first battle, throwing for 340 yards and three more touchdowns – two to a returning Chase, who tops 100 yards, and one to Hayden Hurst. Bengals 41-31

L.A. Chargers at Las Vegas (+1.5), o/u 50.5 – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

Stop me if you've heard this one before, Bolts fans. If the regular season had ended last week the Chargers would have been the bubble boys, just missing a wild-card berth despite squeaking out a win in Arizona. Since a three-game winning streak to begin October they've gone 2-3 as an offense missing its top two wideouts couldn't consistently climb out of the holes the defense was digging. Justin Herbert's been doing his best, but he's fallen below a 6.0 YPA in five of the last six games, which seems inconceivable but is bound to happen when a running back leads the team in targets. Not that anyone with Austin Ekeler PPR shares is complaining – over those six games, he's averaging nearly 11 targets a game and has amassed 524 scrimmage yards and seven TDs. Keenan Allen returned a couple weeks ago but hasn't yet gotten back to his usual target volume, leaving Ekeler to carry the load. That's going to have to change if the Chargers are going to make a late push, but this may not be the week it happens with three offensive linemen sidelined, and Herbert potentially needing to get rid of the ball quickly before Maxx Crosby is up in his grill.

Leave it to the Raiders to mess up a perfect opportunity to grab a high pick. Two straight overtime wins over Denver and Seattle, the latter coming when Josh Jacobs did his best Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode impression on an 86-yard game-winning TD, suddenly have Las Vegas with four wins and on the verge of dropping out of the top 10 in the 2023 draft entirely, Jacobs' record-setting performance last week didn't come without a cost, of course, because that's been the story of the Raiders' season. He played through a calf injury but may have aggravated it on that final gallop, putting his availability for this one in question. Derek Carr's thrown multiple TDs in four straight games, some of them even to players who aren't Davante Adams, but his job gets a lot tougher if Jacobs is replaced by unproven rookie Zamir White and journeyman kick returner/passing down back Ameer Abdullah. The Broncos are the only team the defense has kept below 24 points lately, so the Raiders will probably need all the points they can get here.

The Skinny

LAC injuries: WR Mike Williams (out, ankle), LT Rashawn Slater (IR, biceps), C Corey Linsley (out, concussion), RT Trey Pipkins (out, knee), K Dustin Hopkins (IR, hamstring), LB Drue Tranquill (questionable, illness), EDGE Joey Bosa (IR, groin), CB J.C. Jackson (IR, knee), S Nasir Adderley (questionable, thumb)
LV injuries: RB Jacobs (questionable, calf), WR Hunter Renfrow (IR, oblique), TE Darren Waller (IR, hamstring), LB Denzel Perryman (questionable, wrist), LB Divine Deablo (IR, forearm), CB Anthony Averett (IR, toe)

LAC DFS targets: Herbert $7,200 DK / $8,100 FD (LV 32nd in passing DVOA, 29th in YPA allowed), Ekeler $8,500 DK / $9,200 FD (LV 32nd in passing DVOA vs. RB), DeAndre Carter $3,900 DK / $6,200 FD (LV 32nd in DVOA vs. WR3)
LV DFS targets: Jacobs $7,900 DK / $9,500 FD (LAC 28th in rushing yards per game allowed, 32nd in YPC allowed), Keelan Cole $3,000 DK / $4,800 FD (LAC 29th in DVOA vs. WR3)

LAC DFS fades: none
LV DFS fades: Mack Hollins $4,600 DK / $5,900 FD (LAC third in DVOA vs. WR2), Raiders DST $2,500 DK / $3,100 FD (t-31st in sacks, t-30th in takeaways)

Key stat: LAC ninth in third-down conversions at 43.0 percent; LV 28th in third-down defense at 45.5 percent

Head-to-head record, last five-plus years: 7-4 LAC, average score 25-20 LAC, average margin of victory eight points. Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by a single score, including LAC's 24-19 win in Week 1

The Scoop: Ekeler romps for 130 combined yards and two TDs, one rushing and one receiving. Herbert throws for 280 yards and two more touchdowns, finding Allen and Carter. Jacobs plays and piles up 90 yards and a score. Carr has a big game, throwing for 320 yards and three TDs – one each to Adams (who tops 100 yards), Foster Moreau and Cole – but a late INT ends the Raiders' comeback bid. Chargers 34-28

Indianapolis (+11) at Dallas, o/u 43.5 – Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST

I'm sure this looked like a fine choice for a prime time matchup back when the schedule was made, but right now it's hard to understand what a Colts game is doing in this spot as opposed to KC/CIN or MIA/SF. Indy's shown a little more life with Jeff Saturday at the helm, but only a little. The offense has failed to top 17 points in two straight games and five of the last six, and that's with a healthy Jonathan Taylor finding the end zone in each of the last three weeks and averaging over 118 scrimmage yards. The passing game is a mess though, which is perhaps not surprising given that assistant QB coach Parks Frazier is calling plays for the first time in his life, at any level. Matt Ryan maybe offers the offense some stability, but that stability has resulted in barely 210 passing yards a a game, a 6.7 YPA and a 2:1 TD:INT. The defense has been entirely credible all year – no team has yet put up 400 total yards in a game against the Colts or done better than 27 points, and they've faced Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts – but all that's gotten them is some close losses and a 4-4-1 record in one-score games. (Wait, does a tie count as a one-score game?)

Both those high-water marks against the Indy defense are going to be in danger here, as the Cowboys come in absolutely humming. They've won four of their last five (and probably should have won the fifth in Green Bay, instead letting it slip away in OT), averaging 33.8 points and 416.2 yards of offense during that stretch – including four straight with 400-plus. Every button offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is pushing right now is working, and he's back to looking like the next boy genius in the Sean McVay mold. The scary part is, the unit may not have peaked. Dak Prescott's thrown multiple TDs in four straight games but also has five INTs during that time. Ezekiel Elliott missed time, but since returning he's scored three TDs in two games and seems entirely comfortable being the 1B thunder to Tony Pollard's 1A lightning. And even if Odell Beckham doesn't end up coming aboard, James Washington is still close to coming off IR and giving Prescott another option. That's before talking about Micah Parsons and the league's best pass rush leading a defense that has held four different opponents to 10 points or less this year, including the Vikings and Lions, or the fact that Dallas might yet get Tyron Smith back at left tackle before the end of the season. Never underestimate Mike McCarthy's ability to mess up a good thing, but right now, this is a legit Super Bowl contender.

The Skinny

IND injuries: TE Jelani Woods (questionable, quadriceps), RT Braden Smith (out, illness), LB Shaquille Leonard (IR, back), CB Kenny Moore (out, shin)
DAL injuries: WR Michael Gallup (questionable, illness), WR Washington (IR-R, foot), LT Smith (IR, knee), CB Trevon Diggs (questionable, illness), CB Jourdan Lewis (IR, foot)

IND DFS targets: none
DAL DFS targets: Dalton Schultz $4,100 DK / $6,000 FD (IND 28th in DVOA vs. TE), Cowboys DST $3,900 DK / $5,000 FD (first in sacks, IND 32nd in sacks allowed, t-31st in giveaways)

IND DFS fades: Ryan $5,200 DK / $6,800 FD (DAL first in passing DVOA, first in passing yards per game allowed)
DAL DFS fades: Noah Brown $3,400 DK / $5,100 FD (IND second in DVOA vs. WR3)

Key stat: IND 28th in third-down conversions at 36.0 percent; DAL fifth in third-down conversions at 34.0 percent

The Scoop: Taylor gains 90 yards and a touchdown. Ryan throws for 220 yards but gets sacked five times and picked off twice, one of which Diggs returns to the house. Pollard jets for 100 combined yards, while Zeke adds 60 yards and a score. Prescott throws for 260 yards and two TDs, hitting Schultz and CeeDee Lamb. Cowboys 28-16

Buffalo at New England (+4), o/u 43.5 – Thursday, 8:20 p.m. EST

The Bills have won two straight since that OT loss to the Vikings, but one-score victories over the likes of the Browns and Lions don't inspire a lot of confidence. The team has lost its early season swagger, but despite Josh Allen's sore elbow, it's been the defense and not the offense that's been the issue. Buffalo's averaged 26.6 points in five games since its bye, only a small step back from the 29.3 points the team was averaging the first six weeks. The defense, however, has gone from allowing 13.5 points a game to 23.6. The return of Tre'Davious White — he played just 15 snaps last week in his first action of the year — should help, but letting Jacoby Brissett throw for 324 yards and three TDs against you seems like a problem it'll take more than one player to fix. Stefon Diggs remains Allen's only truly reliable weapon, and he's working on a Cooper Kupp-like streak of seven consecutive games with either 90-plus receiver yards, a touchdown, or both, but the supporting cast is more than sufficient. Whether the Bills can climb back to the top of the AFC East, or will be stuck in the wild-card mix, will depend on the defense returning to form.

Last week's loss in Minnasota did the Patriots no favors — if the playoffs started this week, they'd be on the outside looking in. In fact, if they miss the postseason, they'll have the NFC North to thank/blame as they went 1-3 against a division that currently features only one team with a winning percentage over .364. Like the Bills, it's the defense that hasn't been living up to its reputation, at least not consistently. New England has given up three points or less in three games this season, but also 33 or more in three. Mac Jones at least is getting into a groove, completing at least two-thirds of his passes in four consecutive games and topping a 9.0 YPA in both games since the team's bye. Rhamondre Stevenson, however, is doing his best Devin Singletary impression, getting solid yards but not much else. Over that same four-game span, he's averaged 78.5 scrimmage yards but has found the end zone only once, and that coming through the air. An injury-wracked offensive line has been part of the problem, but with Damien Harris sidelined, Stevenson's got to do it all by himself out of the backfield.

The Skinny

BUF injuries: LT Dion Dawkins (out, ankle), LT Tommy Doyle (IR, knee), DE Von Miller (out, knee), S Micah Hyde (IR, neck)
NE injuries: RB Harris (out, thigh), WR Jakobi Meyers (questionable, shoulder), LT Trent Brown (questionable, illness), LG Isaiah Wynn (out, foot), C David Andrews (questionable, thigh), RT Marcus Cannon (IR, concussion), RT Yodny Cajuste (questionable, calf), CB Jalen Mills (questionable, groin)

BUF DFS targets: Bills DST $5,200 DK / $10,000 FD (t-2nd in takeaways, NE t-27th in giveaways)
NE DFS targets: Meyers $7,200 DK / $11,500 FD (BUF 28th in DVOA vs. WR1), Patriots DST $3,200 DK / $9,000 FD (second in sacks, BUF 30th in giveaways)

BUF DFS fades: Allen $12,200 DK / $17,500 FD (NE third in passing DVOA, eighth in YPA allowed), Isaiah McKenzie $6,800 DK / $9,500 FD (NE third in DVOA vs. WR3)
NE DFS fades: Stevenson $10,400 DK / $14,000 FD (BUF third in rushing DVOA, seventh in rushing yards per game allowed), Nelson Agholor $4,800 DK / $6,500 FD (BUF sixth in DVOA vs. WR3), Hunter Henry $4,600 DK / $6,500 FD (BUF second in DVOA vs. TE)

Key stat: NE 31st in red-zone conversions at 38.7 percent; BUF fourth in red-zone defense at 48.6 percent

Head-to-head record, last five years including playoffs: 7-4 NE, average score 21-20 NE, average margin of victory 15 points. BUF is 4-1 overall and 2-0 at Gillette Stadium over the last two seasons, including a 47-17 home win in last year's wild-card round

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the mid-30s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of snow

The Scoop: Singletary gains 70 combined yards. Allen throws for 230 yards and runs for 40, hitting Gabe Davis for a TD. Stevenson manages 60 scrimmage yards. Jones throws for 250 yards and a score to Meyers but also tosses a pick-six to White that proves to be the difference. Bills 17-16

Past Performance:
Last week's record: 8-8, 8-7-1 ATS, 7-9 o/u
2022 regular-season record: 94-85-1, 77-97-6 ATS, 89-90-1 o/u
2021 regular-season record: 174-97-1, 146-125-1 ATS, 125-143-4 o/u
Lifetime record: 1382-854-8, 1082-1089-73 ATS, 824-877-31 o/u (o/u not tracked in 2015)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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