RB Mike Davis (CAR)
McCaffrey is out again, leaving Davis as the lead back. Davis did very well in this role earlier in the year, and should do so once again. Tampa Bay has struggled against routes stemming from the backfield, which are a featured part of Carolina’s offense. Davis might not get the rushing numbers he’d like, but will likely be a major factor in the passing game.
WR Terry McLaurin (WSH)
McLaurin has quietly been a top tier receiver this year. He’s arguably the only option for QB Alex Smith to throw to, since McLaurin sits among an awful WR room. He’ll face the Giants this week, and will look to put up major numbers.
WR Brandon Aiyuk (SF)
Aiyuk has been everything 49ers fans could’ve hoped for so far this season. He’ll be the main target in the 49ers passing game, although he doesn’t have the best QB situation. His opponent, New Orleans, by no means has a bad defense, but it certainly isn’t a top tier defense. Expect Aiyuk to continue his great rookie season with a good performance vs the Saints.
QB Joe Burrow (CIN)
Burrow has worked his way into some lineups this year, but should find himself on your bench this week. Burrow will face arguably the best defense in the league against Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh can lock you down in all facets of the game. His offensive line will be allowing lots of pressures forcing Burrow to make quick reads. Burrow is still young, and it’ll take some time before I trust him vs great defenses.
WR Adam Thielen (MIN)
Thielen has seen his numbers dwindle since the Vikings BYE. That trend figures to continue when he faces Chicago on Monday night. Chicago has been electric on defense so far, shutting top receivers down. Wait until Thielen gets an easier opponent to start him.
WR Curtis Samuel (CAR)
Samuel already faces a stout Buccaneers defense, but his problems don’t end there. Robby Anderson and DJ Moore both had great games in their first meeting with Tampa, meanwhile Samuel was neglected. Carolina simply has too many mouths to feed for Samuel to be a safe start.
Photo: Cincinatti Bengals Photography