Two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks this season — Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff — are coming off of their bye weeks. And their dominant offenses will be matched up against suspect defenses, as the Kansas City Chiefs visit Oakland to take on the Raiders, and the Los Angeles Rams travel to Detroit to face the Lions.
The Chiefs and Rams combined for 105 points in Week 11, and Mahomes and Goff, not to mention Kareem Hunt and Todd Gurley, are poised to pile on plenty of points once again. Unsurprisingly, all four players are strong daily fantasy options this week.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City at Oakland, FD Proj. – 35.7 points
It’s time for the Raiders to protect themselves, because the Chiefs have the kind of explosiveness on offense that should lead to a slew of touchdowns. Mahomes has proved to be a game-changing quarterback because of his arm strength and accuracy. He has already thrown 37 touchdown passes and has an average of 9.28 yards per pass.
2. Jared Goff, L.A. Rams at Detroit – 29.7 points
Just like Mahomes, Goff is coming off of his bye week, and he should be prepared to have a huge performance at the expense of the mediocre Lions. Goff excels at getting the ball deep to his receivers, and he has a 26-6 TD-interception ratio.
3. Cam Newton, Carolina at Tampa Bay – 27.7 points.
While all football fans know how dominant Newton can be when he runs with the ball, he has actually been a pocket passer this year. It makes sense, because he is a veteran who understands that he needs to protect his body at this point in his career. Newton has a 22-7 TD-interception ratio, and he should be able to have a big game against the porous Bucs defense.
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Arizona – 26.6 points
The Packers are in a desperate position with their 4-6-1 record, and if they are going to make the playoffs, they basically need to sweep the remaining five games and get help. The Cardinals are vulnerable, and Rodgers should be able to torch their defense.
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle at San Francisco – 25.8 points
The Seahawks were not expected to win many games this year, but Pete Carroll and Wilson have this team in playoff contention. Wilson is completing 66.7 percent of his passes, and he has a 25-5 TD-interception ratio. The 49ers appear to be over-matched.
1. Todd Gurley, L.A. Rams at Detroit – 23.7 points
The Rams have their own potential MVP candidate in Gurley, and his consistency and explosiveness make life much easier for Goff. Gurley has rushed for 1,043 yards and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry with 13 rushing touchdowns. He is also a dangerous receiver.
2. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City at Oakland – 22.2 points
Hunt is one of those players who can change the course of a game at any time. Not only does he have excellent speed, he does not appear to slow down when he changes direction and has exceptional power. Hunt has rushed for 824 yards and seven touchdowns.
3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina at Tampa Bay – 20.8 points
McCaffrey may be the most versatile and improved back in the league. He was an excellent receiver out of the backfield as a rookie in 2017, and he has been a much better runner this year. McCaffrey has rushed for 757 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. Chicago – 19.1 points
The Giants are one of the most maddening teams in the league. While they have only won three games, Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. form one of the most explosive RB-WR duos in the league. Barkley has explosive power and game-changing speed.
5. Aaron Jones, Green Bay vs. Arizona – 18.1 points
Jones has been able to take some of the heat off of Rodgers, but the Packers have not been able to win enough games. While they struggle on the road, they are quite good at home. Jones has rushed for 606 yards with a 6.0 yards per carry mark and six scores. He should be able to punish the Cardinals.
1. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City at Oakland – 18.0 points
Hill may be the most dangerous receiver in the NFL when it comes to making big plays. If the Chiefs offensive line gives Mahomes enough time to step into his throws, he can find Hill going deep, because nobody can stay with him. Hill has 11 TD receptions and an amazing 22 plays of 20 yards or more.
2. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh vs. L.A. Chargers – 17.7 points
This could be a huge game for the best receiver in the NFL, because he will be bound and determined to lead the Steelers to a victory after their loss to the Broncos. Brown can make his cuts at full speed, and no receiver has ever been able to work the sideline like him. He has 71-874-11 to this point in the season, and this could be a two-TD game.
3. Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Arizona, 16.6 points
Adams has been the Packers’ best receiver this year, and he should be able to have a signature game against the struggling Cardinals. Adams has 1,022 receiving yards and has reached double figures in touchdowns.
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns – 15.6 points
Hopkins is the kind of receiver who can cause huge problems for the opposing defense, because he has powerful hands and can win the contested ball nine times out of 10. He is also an excellent pattern runner.
5. Adam Thielen, Minnesota at New England – 15.3 points
The Vikings know that Thielen is not going to drop the ball. Not only does he have exceptional hands, he knows how to use his body to wall off opposing defensive backs. Much like Pittsburgh’s Brown, Thielen will not slow down when he makes his cuts, and that’s one of the primary reasons he gets open by substantial margins.
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City vs. Oakland – 14.2 points
Kelce runs up the seams and can leap over defenders to make the catch, because he is a superb athlete. Kelce excels at setting up opposing defensive backs. He has been targeted 101 times this year and has 67 receptions. Seven of those have gone for touchdowns.
2. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis at Jacksonville – 12.8 points
It has been a remarkable season for Ebron, who was basically just another guy prior to this year. Ebron has become a game-changing player, and he is tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with Hill and Brown. All three have 11 scoring catches.
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England vs. Minnesota – 11.7 points
Gronkowski returned to action against the Jets, and he caught a TD pass from Tom Brady by running up the seam, making the catch and beating double coverage. In addition to his receiving ability, he showed off his skill as a blocker. While that’s not a scoring factor in fantasy football, it means he is going to remain on the field for New England.
4. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia vs Washington – 9.9 points
When the Eagles play their best football, Ertz is usually one of the best players on the field for them. He has 84-895-6, and he should be able to take advantage of the slow-ish Washington defense.
5. George Kittle, San Francisco vs. Seattle – 8.9 points
Kittle has a chance to lead the Niners in receptions most weeks. The Seahawks will have to prioritize stopping him, but he could still have a huge game against them.