Every year there are undoubtedly going to be some fantasy regrets that you have to man up to and endure. For me, one of them was drafting Kenneth Walker II, only to drop him about 3 weeks into the season. I knew Rashaad Penny’s injury history and knew that Walker was going to be a top-tier handcuff. While I did drop Walker for Jeff Wilson Jr, which worked out okay, keeping Walker would have been even better. But, I’m still reeling from the biggest regret I had this past week. For context, my opponent had Juju Smith-Schuster in his flex spot. When Juju was ruled out, I dropped Josh Palmer and grabbed MVS, in order to withhold him from grabbing a top option in the KC passing attack for that week. Well, I’m sure you can guess who my opponent grabbed off the waiver wire. Yep, it was Josh Palmer. Josh Palmer had over 100 yards receiving and 2 scores. I lost by 13 points, and boy did I deserve it. As we continue to trudge along this fantasy season there are always going to be regrets where you look back and just shake your head. But, shake it off and keep moving forward. As always, try not to overthink it!
Titans 27, Packers 17
Titans top performer(s): Coming into this game, just about everyone knew a healthy dose of Derrick Henry was coming against the Packers. Henry received close to 30 carries, scored a TD, and even threw a pop pass TD to Austin Hooper. Treylon Burks had a nice game too, as he continues to build a rapport with Ryan Tannehill after returning from IR. Henry is clearly a must-start each week, but Burks is quickly ascending into the flex tier. Packers top performer(s): Just when we thought the Packers might go on a run and sneak into the playoffs, they follow up their comeback win against the Cowboys with another disappointing loss, in a season full of them. The run game continues to be inconsistent, however, they were facing a really stout Titans run defense. The star in this one, for now, two weeks in a row, was rookie WR Christian Watson, who caught both of Rodgers’ TD passes. If you need some WR production due to injuries or bye weeks, you could do much, much worse than Watson.
Falcons 27, Bears 24
Falcons top performer(s): The Falcons running game and special teams won this game. The kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson was massive, and he contributed another 50 yards rushing. Patterson was the star for the Falcons in this one. Unfortunately, Kyle Pitts suffered a torn MCL. While it is unclear if he requires surgery or not, this effectively ends Pitts’ fantasy season. Patterson is the only Falcons player worth starting moving forward. Bears top performer(s): Justin Fields and David Montgomery were the stars in this one for Chicago, who dropped another close game. Coming into this game, most of us knew the Bears would feature a heavy dose of the ground and pound. 160 yards rushing as a team was still not enough to get the W. Fields is a must start at this point, as is David Montgomery, as long as Khalil Herbert is out.
Bills 31, Browns 23
Bills top performer(s): Cleveland’s run defense is terrible. This was true coming into this game, and remains true afterwards. The star of this one was Devin Singletary, who silently continued his solid season and rushed for over 80 yards and score. James Cook also rushed for over 80 yards. The Bills as a team ran for 171 yards. Start all the RBs against the Browns moving forward. Browns top performer(s): Amari Cooper has been a treasure for the Browns this year. Another game over 100 yards and 2 more scores. Think Dallas misses him? Well, maybe not after their blowout win over Minnesota, but if Cooper was still in Dallas….sheesh.
Eagles 17, Colts 16
Eagles top performer(s): In a game that was very ugly, it took a gutsy fourth quarter comeback to lead the Eagles to their league leading ninth victory. Jalen Hurts was the star in this one for Philly as he had a strong game on the ground and in the air. Hurts has been dynamite this year, and will look to continue his strong play against the Packers on Sunday Night Football. Devonta Smith also added over 70 yards receiving. Colts top performer(s): While JT finished with a solid stat line (22/84/1), he was largely held in check by the Philly defense after he rushed for 49 yards on the opening drive of the game. This offense will continue to struggle scoring more than 20ish points a game, but JT is a no doubt about it starter in Jeff Saturday’s revised offensive scheme.
Patriots 10, Jets 3
Patriots top performer(s): Just a bad offensive game all around, but this was expected. If I had to give out a player of the game, I’ll go with Rhamondre Stevenson. The do-it-all RB added 26 yards rushing and added 6 receptions for 56 yards. Other than Stevenson, I don’t see much fantasy production elsewhere on this offense. Damien Harris looked good in his return to game action, but I would not plug him into lineups just yet. Jets top performer(s): No one. Seriously. When you have 103 TOTAL YARDS of offense, it’s clear that everyone struggled, none more than Zach Wilson. Add in the lack of accountability Wilson displayed post game, and things are not looking good for the Jets. Time for a QB change, which will elevate the ceilings, and floors, of Garrett Wilson and the entire offense. Saints 27, Rams 20
Saints top performer(s): The Saints got the W, and one thing is clear. Chris Olave is an absolute stud. Continues to put up big numbers, and should the rest of the way out. Juwan Johnson has now definitively placed himself in the starting TE tier. Who would have seen that one coming? Rams top performer(s): Tutu Atwell and Allen Robinson both found the end zone, which was the positive. The negative? Well, just about everything else. The Rams are pretty much cooked. If you missed my Talkin’ Crazy/Bold Predictions column from this past week, I advised to fade all Rams players. I’m going to take that further and recommend you fade them the rest of the year. Lions 31, Giants 18
Lions top performer(s): Jamaal Williams, TD leader of the 2022 NFL season so far. Another 3 TDs on the ground for Williams, who has been an absolute steal for fantasy owners. Continue playing him as I see a timeshare for him and Swift the rest of the season. Amon-Ra St Brown had a nice stat line of 7/76 as well. The Lions have a tough matchup on Thanksgiving against the Bills, but it could make for a fun shootout, and I would play as many players as possible from that contest. Giants top performer(s): Wan’Dale Robinson was having a really nice rookie season, only to suffer an ACL tear in their loss. Brutal blow for the Giants passing attack. Robinson is now going to be sidelined 9-12 months at minimum, and Darius Slayton takes over as WR1. I like him as a speculative add, but would not plug him into lineups yet. Ravens 13, Panthers 3
Ravens top performer(s): Demarcus Robinson stepped up for the Ravens in a big way as he now seems to be their WR1 with Rashod Bateman out the rest of the season. Robinson posted 9 catches for over 120 yards. The running backs by committee will continue in Baltimore, and it will continue to infuriate fantasy managers everywhere. Outside of Lamar and Mark Andrews, there aren’t many reliable options from this offense. Panthers top performer(s): This offense stinks. Now they’re giving Sam Darnold a chance. Good luck. Commanders 23, Texans 10
Commanders top performer(s): Nothing overly flashy from the Commanders offense in this one, but they did rush for over 150 yards. I like Antonio Gibson more than Brian Robinson Jr the rest of the season as a low tier RB2/flex player. Now that Taylor Heinicke has been officially declared the starting QB the rest of the way, Terry McLaurin’s fantasy prospects remain terrific, and he is a must start each week. Texans top performer(s): Another offense that stinks, led by a slumping QB. Dameon Pierce is talented as heck, but it’s going to get tougher and tougher for him to find consistent fantasy production as teams stack the box and force Mills to beat them. Pierce was held to under 10 yards rushing. Yes, I said 10. Pierce is going to be a risk the rest of the way out with Houston eyeing up that number 1 overall pick in the draft.
Raiders 22, Broncos 16
Raiders top performer(s): Davante Adams. Still has it, if that was ever really in question. Start Adams and Josh Jacobs. That’s it from these Raiders. Broncos top performer(s): Again, another offense that STINKS! Nathaniel Hackett needs to be fired, like yesterday. Courtland Sutton had 80 yards receiving which was an encouraging sign, but the offense didn’t put up 20 points yet again. After the release of Melvin Gordon, Latavius Murray is now the unquestioned RB1, and could be a decent flex option. The same goes with Sutton. Everyone else? Don’t even think about it!
Cowboys 40, Vikings 3
Cowboys top performer(s): Tony Pollard had 2 receiving scores and Zeke had 2 rushing scores. Both are viable fantasy plays here on out, but Pollard offers a significantly higher ceiling. Now that Dak has returned and the offense is in sync, this is another elite offense from a fantasy standpoint and offers multiple starters weekly (Dak, Zeke, Pollard, Schultz, and Lamb). Vikings top performer(s): Man, what a HUGE letdown over that crazy W over the Bills. Dalvin Cook had 11 carries for 72 yards, and that’s the only thing that went right for the Vikings in this one. Can they bounce back against a tough Patriots defense on Thanksgiving night? We shall see. You’re still starting the usual suspects from this offense, regardless of the tough matchup.
Bengals 37, Steelers 30
Bengals top performer(s): In a game that Joe Mixon was forced to leave early due to a concussion, Samaje Perine shined with 3 receiving TDs. Additionally, Tee Higgins contributed 9 catches for 148 yards. This is another elite offense and will only get better when Ja’Marr Chase returns any week now. Mixon is expected to clear concussion protocol, but keep an eye on that. If he were to miss time, Perine would be a borderline top 20 play. Steelers top performer(s): It was good to see the Steelers show signs of growth on offense, and it begins with their QB. And, well, their offensive line. Najee Harris had his best game rushing this year with close to 100 yards and 2 scores. George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth had strong games as well. I was down on this offense a few weeks back, but if they can continue to show this kind of growth, they’ll stay relevant for fantasy purposes. Najee Harris continues to be a weekly starter, but his floor can be quite low.
Chiefs 30, Chargers 27
Chiefs top performer(s): Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Sound familiar? This dynamic duo connected on another 3 TD passes in the Chiefs win. The bigger story? The continued emergence of Isaiah Pacheco as RB1. With Edwards-Helaire suffering a high ankle sprain, it’ll be Pacheco and McKinnon moving forward, and I’m very bullish on Pacheco as a flex play in the weeks to come. Chargers top performer(s): If you read my intro, then you know it pains me to say this, but Josh Palmer was the star in this one for the Chargers. Austin Ekeler had a nice game as well, but Palmer shined with Mike Williams re-injuring his high ankle sprain. Expect more of Palmer, Keenan Allen, and Deandre Carter moving forward for the Chargers. 49ers 38 Cardinals 10
49ers top performer(s): George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk each had 2 TDs receiving, and Deebo contributed a rushing TD on a nifty designed end around that is synonymous with Kyle Shannahan’s offense. Again, this offense is fantasy ELITE. So many weapons and weekly start. Start them all. Yes, ALL of them. Cardinals top performer(s): In what started as a close game ended up as anything but. Deandre Hopkins had a strong effort posting close to 100 yards receiving as he continued to torch the league since returning from his PED suspension. Outside of Hopkins, Conner is TD-dependent RB2/flex player.