Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
All signs point to a massive game for Watson. The Raiders are the second-worst team in the league against opposing wide receivers, and their pass rush is not dangerous enough to force Watson into making bad throws. Las Vegas has this as the highest-scoring game of the week, and I would be shocked if it didn't deliver as such. Look for Watson to get about 300-plus passing yards in this game, with a good chance at 30-40 rushing yards and two or three passing TDs.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Before you dismiss this idea, hear me out. Tampa's run defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season (ranked fourth-best), and they even held Christian McCaffrey to under 40 rushing yards both times they faced him this season. The Bucs will do everything they can to contain Derrick Henry, which means that the best way for the Titans to win this game is through the air. Enter Ryan Tannehill, who played well in his first start, giving the Titans the balanced attack that they have been seeking. I don't think that Tannehill is going to have a huge breakout game, but he should be able to provide his fantasy owners 250-plus passing yards and two TDs, which would be a terrific fantasy floor.
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
This pick might seem counter-intuitive. The NFL has a sneaky way of tricking you into thinking one thing and then seeing another thing happen. To wit, it makes all the sense in the world that Jacoby Brissett will have another fine game against the weak Broncos secondary. However, I get the feeling that the Colts are going to flip the switch this week and try to establish the run with Mack and give him 20-25 carries. Don’t forget that the Broncos gave up over 250 yards rushing to the Jaguars just a few weeks ago. I am sure Frank Reich has watched plenty of tape on that game as he helped to design this week’s offensive scheme.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
Without a doubt, Mitchell Trubisky has had an epically disappointing season as the Bears QB. Last week, they fell behind by so much that they had to abandon their running game and were throwing the ball in garbage time to keep the score respectable. This week should be a completely different story as the Chargers have been very generous in giving up tons of rushing yards to the Steelers and Titans in the past two weeks. I think the Bears will try to avoid Trubisky throwing the ball by establishing the run with Montgomery, which should give him a great shot at his first 100-yard rushing game.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Ito Smith has already been ruled out for Week 8 with a concussion, leaving Freeman as the clear option for 20-25 touches. Add in the fact that Mohamed Sanu was traded to the Patriots this week, and there should be even more passing targets available for Freeman. There is also a chance that Matt Ryan ends up playing in this game. If Ryan tries to give it a go with his bad ankle, he will need to find Freeman on many short patterns out of the backfield. This is as good a matchup as we can hope for with Freeman—take advantage of it.
DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Guess which team is ranked 30th against WR2s? That's right, the Falcons! And there has been no worse CB in football than Isaiah Oliver, who has been used as a turnstile by almost every WR he has faced this season. In what should be a very high-scoring game, I think Metcalf will be able to use his size and speed advantage over Oliver to the tune of 80 yards and a TD. Lock him into your lineups Visionary Style!
John Brown, Buffalo Bills
Without question, Brown has been one of the best offseason pickups by any franchise. Brown gives the Bills a legitimate WR1 who can get open against top CBs. The Eagles are the worst team in the NFL against opposing wide receivers, and none of their CBs can match Brown’s speed downfield. The Eagles have a very tough front seven, so I expect Josh Allen to pass way more than usual. Brown should see at least six to seven targets and has an excellent chance for a long-distance TD.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Last week, I watched as Marvin Jones had the greatest day of his career with 10 catches for 93 yards and four TDs. I was a little annoyed at myself for not recommending him, considering that Xavier Rhodes was covering Golladay. However, this week, I think the tables turn, and Golladay becomes the receiver to watch as the Lions take on the Giants. There’s a good chance that Golladay is matched up with rookie CB Deandre Baker. This is a plus-matchup for Golladay as he has a five-inch size advantage, plus a 30-pound weight advantage. If Matt Stafford opens up the offense, as I expect he will with no Kerryon Johnson, Golladay could have a multi-TD game.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Many fantasy analysts (including myself) use the points-against statistic when analyzing weekly matchups. Often that statistic is dead-on in how well a team will perform, but occasionally it is way off—as in the case this week. Statistically thus far this season, the Buffalo Bills are the third-best team in the NFL against opposing tight ends. But who have they played? Buffalo has faced the Jets (without Herndon), Giants, Bengals, Patriots, Titans and Dolphins. The only decent TE out of that bunch is Evan Engram, who had six catches in that game. So, my best recommendation is to overlook the stats and use Ertz with full confidence.
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
I think that Kerryon Johnson's injury is going to dramatically change the Lions offense from a run-first scheme to a short passing offense. In the two games that the Lions have played since their bye week, Hockenson has had seven receptions on 11 targets. The Giants have always struggled to cover tight ends, and this week should be a high-scoring affair with little defense played. Don't be shocked to find Hock in the end zone on Sunday.
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