Every Saturday morning, I'll take a quick look at all the week's games, offering my own brief take on what I think will happen, as well as touching on significant injury news since our Weekly came out. I'll check in every so often over the course of the day to answer lineup questions, too.
What follows is a brief look at all the games with how I'd react in my own lineups to injury developments or other news. The official rankings are the ones in the Weekly. Those take precedence. But sometimes players are very close, and in those cases I'm glad to offer opinions on how I'd approach those situations. Sometimes I like certain players more or less than Ian, and sometimes I have different risk tolerance with injuries etc.
Dolphins at Jets: We know that Salvon Ahmed and LaMical Perine are out. Should be Myles Gaskin versus a Frank Gore/Ty Johnson combo, although Gaskin isn't definite either -- might be Matt Breida. And Dolphins No. 2 Jakeem Grant is also hurting. Like this game wasn't bad enough. Oh yeah, Tua Tagovailoa has a thumb injury. This game has ugly low-scoring affair written all over it. DeVante Parker and maybe a Jets wideout, probably Crowder, but Perriman has been better lately.
Cardinals at Patriots: New England's defense will probably come up with some stuff to slow down Arizona. For that reason, I'm willing to bench both Cardinals running backs, but I realize that's a luxury for many. Definitely starting Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, who looks better because Larry Fitzgerald is out. For New England, not a terrible matchup for their offense. For me Damien Harris, James White and Jakobi Meyers are viable, Cam Newton as well.
Panthers at Vikings: Carolina lists Christian McCaffrey as questionable for some reason, so if you want to use Mike Davis you need to make sure McCaffrey is inactive. Should be fine to use Davis. The bigger negative is that Adam Thielen will apparently not be cleared from the COVID list. I wouldn't personally consider Chad Beebe or Bisi Johnson, because it's not clear which one will benefit, but thumbs up on Justin Jefferson. Also a decent week to consider Kyle Rudolph, since Irv Smith is doubtful. Teddy Bridgewater will play, facing his original team, so there's the revenge game theme if you need a quarterback.
Browns at Jaguars: I don't know that the world really needs to see another Mike Glennon start, but that's what we're getting here. He won't have DJ Chark, his line is poor...not appealing. Browns should run Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt all day, so I wouldn't rush to use the passing game. Browns wouldn't be a bad Survivor Pool pick if I hadn't already used them.
Titans at Colts: The NFL really needs to look into its scheduling policies that has teams playing each other twice in three weeks. It's also happening with Saints-Falcons, it happened with the Giants against both the Eagles and Washington...it's ridiculous. I get NFL schedule is building is complicated but c'mon. Nobody needs this. Colts offense looks good except for the sheer number of running backs and receivers involved, though I'll sign off on Hines, Taylor and Pittman. Usual Titans, albeit against a very good defense.
Giants at Bengals: I'm going with the Giants as my Survivor pick. I felt better about it when Ryan Finley was starting, just because there's slightly more of an unknown quality with Brandon Allen. But both guys were terrible last year, and the Giants defense is pretty solid. Wayne Gallman, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard viable, Darius Slayton more hit or miss (Shepard has been more consistent, albeit with a lower ceiling). Giovani Bernard should play, with Samaje Perine also involved (that has not yielded great production lately, and trying to do with a lesser quarterback won't help).
Chargers at Bills: Tough situation to read for the Chargers. Austin Ekeler might return, Kalen Ballage might not play. Kind of need to watch the inactives Sunday morning if you're hoping to use either. Buffalo looks healthy aside from John Brown being out, but that's a plus for Cole Beasley, and of course Stefon Diggs looks fine. Both quarterbacks and passing offenses should be good.
Raiders at Falcons: No Todd Gurley, which is unfortunate with the Raiders giving up loads of touchdowns on the ground (though hard to imagine many Index readers have Gurley anyway. Brian Hill should be usable as the fill-in. Atlanta has passing offense had two key players questionable, Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst. Yes, I realize Hurst didn't catch a pass last week. Anyway, it's worrying enough that I think you're better off avoiding both (even Jones) and probably Matt Ryan too. Calvin Ridley should see a ton of passes, but no clear No. 2 if Jones is out.
49ers at Rams: With the 49ers having loads of injuries and coming off a bye, it's easy to forget to put their now healthy players into lineups. Deebo Samuel, for example, should be OK, especially with Brandon Aiyuk unlikely to be available, but it's a good defense they'll face. Jordan Reed is questionable with an illness. So those hoping to use Reed need to make sure he's active. (If he's out, I'd be interested in Ross Dwelley.) If Raheem Mostert is active, and he should be, I'd be willing to use him. Rams offense should be good and I like the wideouts coming off big games. I'd also consider Gerald Everett if Tyler Higbee (elbow) is inactive. Lots of moving parts in this one.
Saints at Broncos: Jerry Jeudy is questionable, taking away the appeal of one usable Bronco. Saints best against the run, so I'm wary of Denver running backs, and would consider Tim Patrick and Noah Fant. Taysom Hill viable for the Saints, as running quarterbacks usually are. Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, sure.
Kansas City at Buccaneers: Both teams relatively healthy. I'm sort of expecting a bounce-back game from Tom Brady, at least in the sense that I'm fine using Gronkowski, Evans, Godwin and I suppose Antonio Brown. They can't all be good, but I think the offense will be fine. Usual concerns about the running back tandem. Kansas City should get Sammy Watkins back as its No. 2 wideout.
Bears at Packers: This was my other possible Survivor pick. But the Bears have a very good defense, and the insertion of Mitchell Trubisky for Nick Foles brings a little more uncertainty than Brandon Allen for the Bengals. Trubisky, it can at least be said, has played well at times, even though most of those times were in college. But I could see Chicago pulling off an upset. Maybe. Probably not. David Montgomery returns, which in an of itself does not make him appealing in this broken Matt Nagy offense. Green Bay might not have MVS, oh well. Otherwise offense looks healthy and fine, just a tough matchup.
Seahawks at Eagles: Seattle has fallen off a little since its hot start, not as good on offense but maybe a little better on defense. Eagles offense is a trainwreck to watch. I'd use Miles Sanders, but even the favorable matchup doesn't have me too enamored of the Carson Wentz-led passing game. I'm using Dallas Goedert, but with Zach Ertz expected to return, I'm not as optimistic. Injury report tonight needs to be monitored to confirm availability of Chris Carson. Sounds like he'll play, but that's according to Pom Pom Pete.
Ravens at Steelers: League really wants to get this game in, even though the roster gets uglier by the day for the Ravens. I have no interest in the Ravens passing game, just Mark Andrews I guess, assuming he doesn't have a positive COVID test between now and Tuesday. I do think it's risky to count on the game being played Tuesday; if there are multiple new positives in one of the next two mornings...? But at this writing it seems like it will be played. If so, the Steelers offense looks OK against a likely uninspired Ravens defense missing some players and that probably hasn't actually practiced in a while. But again, in any close decisions for lineups I'm going to be favoring guys who I know are playing on Sunday rather than guys who might be playing on Tuesday.
Enjoy the games.