Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Total: 38.5

Rams: 11.25

Seahawks: 27.25

The Rams sure know how to leave interim head coach John Fassel with a deck stacked against him: A short week, a trip to Seattle and a Seahawks team coming off a loss, returning home to where it dominates and motivated to end a three-game losing streak against those Rams.

This is going to be ugly.

. . . Unless, you're loading up on Seahawks, of course.

QB Russell Wilson, RB Thomas Rawls, TE Jimmy Graham and the Seahawks D/ST are all high-end plays in all DFS lineups. The Seahawks' downfield threats tend to be more of a crapshoot, but we do like the emergence and value on price of Tyler Lockett. Doug Baldwin and even Jermaine Kearse or RB Marcel Reece (as pass receiver, goal-line option and potential mop-up RB) are viable punt plays in this potential blowout.

The Rams offense under Fassel figures to get the ball to RB Todd Gurley more, but rookie quarterback Jared Goff against the Seahawks defense (fifth best against fantasy QBs) figures to wind up an unmitigated disaster. That puts eight men in the box against Gurley, if not a crooked Seahawks number on the scoreboard that takes the bell-cow out of the game as it has all season.

Punt all of it on the Rams side, save for the fact you're anticipating a blowout and the Seahawks back off and play Cover-3 the whole second half. That puts some volume on TE Lance Kendricks, perhaps. Again, we don't see Goff – or Case Keenum coming on in relief – handling this one, so ignore Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and Brian Quick.

The lopsided nature of this one should lead you to play the Thursday night slate with the main one more than you might usually throughout the NFL season.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Total: 37.5

Dolphins: 19.75

Jets: 17.75

Despite the horrifically low total, there are some DFS opportunities here. QB Matt Moore comes at a great price and remains a decent bet to post 250-2 numbers even in the cold conditions.

Jarvis Landry is a premium play at his price and should get volume to something around a 7-90-1 performance. The Jets are still a good run defense, so the Dolphins will have to move the ball and score through the air, which is where Moore comes in and surprises some.

It should also be noted, as usual when backup QBs come on, receivers down the depth chart make plays because of their having worked with the backup on the scout team. It might be Kenny Stills to step forward there at a great price. Stills was the one who reeled in Moore's 29-yard strike at the end of last week's game. He could be a great sleeper buy.

Jay Ajayi is a solid play, too, despite the Jets having ranked among the best run defenses for most of the season. Carlos Hyde did a number – it was 193, as in yards – on that. The game flow should be in Ajayi's hands for much of the day, too, especially in the wintry New Jersey weather conditions.

The Jets side was going to make Bilal Powell a monster, coming off his huge performance against the 49ers, but the potential return of Matt Forte (knee) clouds that. We still see Powell getting the majority of work, but Forte's presence might keep Powell from 100 yards, if not the TDs. The Dolphins are No. 3 in fewest rushing TDs to fantasy RBs this season, too.

The Jets' passing game should be a mess with QB Bryce Petty against a good Dolphins defense and pass rush. We cannot trust Brandon Marshall to be healthy, much less produce with that stacked deck against him. Quincy Enunwa or Charone Peak (backup QB/No. 3 WR, remember) might be better plays at their prices. We do like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but it takes of Petty leap of faith to trust him to be anything more than 5-40-0.

The Dolphins defense will be a popular play against the inept Jets, especially in less-than-favorable climatic conditions, some rain and wind.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Total: 39

Packers: 22

Bears: 17

Another game where old man winter is threatening to make a mess of things. The line has dropped like lake-effect snow, suggesting it is a bad week to own Aaron Rodgers in season-long leagues or pay the premium in DFS.

Rodgers will limp around on a calf issue throughout the game, which will be played around 0 degrees. That is not a misprint: There is no digit before that zero. Rodgers is used to this, though, even if you should be concerned about his mobility with the calf issue.

The Bears also happen to be a better defense than you might think. They are top 10 against fantasy QBs, RBs and TEs.

The one DFS bonus of this game – especially with the weather, dropping Las Vegas total and Rodgers' calf – is you will get some lower-than-usual ownership. Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams might be gutsy contrarian plays.

The Packers' RB situation might provide some hidden value, too, but you have to decipher the mess among James Starks (auto accident concussion), Ty Montgomery (shoulder issue and debatable he is even an RB), Christine Michael (illness and still learning the Packers' offense) and Aaron Ripkowski (back issue and goal-line vulture). This is too much uncertainty for us, but if you get good intel on Starks' health before game-time, you might want to take a shot there, because of the volume he could get in the cold.

The Baars' offense is equally projecting to get stuffed. As much as you might like Jordan Howard and the running game, the Packers are top 10 against the run and fantasy RBs. Play Howard if you want volume in a smash-mouth game, but we tend to doubt his ceiling is greater than 90 yards and a TD. The Packers have stuffed Seattle and Houston, two quality running teams, in the past two weeks.

Downfield, you cannot trust Matt Barkley either, even if that is still an exposable Packers secondary. Barkley's 212-1 went down as a function of trailing in the second half. Considering our fades on Rodgers and the Packers, this game might be more down and dirty than last week even.

If you're playing any Bear, we like the value of Alshon Jeffery returning from suspension. He should have Barkley's eyes most of the day, since none of the other Bears receivers have proven consistent in his absence.

Defensively, if you're taking a side there, we would go with the contending Packers in the cold and wind against Barkley.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Total: 39.5

Jaguars: 17.25

Texans: 22.25

Finally a game that won't leave us in a deep freeze. Well, save for the fact the Jags offense has been frozen stiff for most of the season, and they are facing a good Texans defense on the road in a game that has to be a walkthrough for the contending Texans.

The Jags lack of a running game has made things tough on Blake Bortles and company. Even if Chris Ivory (hamstring) is out, we cannot trust T.J. Yeldon for anything more than volume. The Texans have not given up a 100-yard rusher (and just one fantasy RB rushing TDs) since Week 7.

Save for a potential contrarian play with Allen Robinson (9-107-1 in the past meeting with Houston), you have to punt all the Jags.

The Texans' side might be similarly troublesome for us in DFS. They have quietly risen to being the NFL's No. 5-ranked unit. Who saw that coming? They are particularly tough against the pass (No. 4), and the Texans suck at getting the ball downfield anyway.

That puts heavy volume on RB Lamar Miller, if he can hack it with rib and ankle issues. Even if Miller gets 20 carries, we see this game as lining up as favorable for Alfred Blue to get 50-1 as his RB caddy. Blue is a strong punt play at his price.

Passing-wise, we have waited for weeks, if not months, for DeAndre Hopkins to rebound and a hamstring issue clutters that up even longer. That pushes us to consider the Texans at TE, where C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion) is a 5-50-1 candidate if he is cleared and TE Ryan Griffin is a huge GPP bargain play if Fiedorowicz is not.

Heck, Griffin might be a 5-50-1 even as a tandem TE, making him a bargain at his price. The Jags gave up 4-60-1 to Kyle Rudolph last week and the overall quickly of their corners make the TE a better place for a limited QB Brock Oswailer to go with the ball.

The Texans defense and K Nick Novak (coming off five FGs) are going to be two of the most popular plays in DFS this week.

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Total: 41.5

Browns: 15.75

Bills: 25.75

Scratch that comment about the Texans defense. The Bills D/ST will be the most popular GPP unit. The Browns won't be able to run, pass or hide against Rex and Rob Ryan.

The play of Robert Griffin III has been so bad, we won't even consider advising a play of Terrelle Pryor. Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Pryor and Corey Coleman and Gary Barnidge deserve better.

Snow, sub-freezing cold and wind? No thanks.

But load up on LeSean McCoy for 130 yards and a TD. Heck, throw in Mike Gillislee as a bargain play for 50 yards and perhaps multiple goal-line scores against the Browns' 31st-ranked run defense and second worst team against fantasy RBs.

McCoy, Gillislee and Bills D/ST and a partridge in a pear tree.

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens

Total: 40.5

Eagles: 17.75

Ravens: 22.75

Another game of DFS slop. The Ravens coming off a loss, facing a downtrodden Eagles team without two primary RBs at least gives us a stacking opportunity.

Wendell Smallwood (knee) and Darren Sproles (concussion) are both out, so consider the volume-based value play of Ryan Mathews, even if he is facing the No. 1 rush defense and No. 1 team against fantasy RBs. Mathews will get receptions and some TD potential, because the Eagles won't get shut out, right?

Zach Ertz is a popular volume play, too, but again when the variables are reduced, a good defense like the Ravens can target the target.

We would prefer you punt the Eagles, load up on the Ravens D/ST exposure and cherrypick some Ravens DFS options, starting with the value of Joe Flacco. Flacco has been getting heavy volume of late, throwing around 50 times per game, which can get him to be a sneaky 280-3 candidate here.

His best targets Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta and even Mike Wallace are viable stacking options, along with K Justin Tucker.

Don't sleep on Kenneth Dixon either. Terrance West got just 11 snaps against the New England Patriots and Dixon has proven to be a target for Flacco in the short passing game. Dixon went 8-42-1 receiving last week.

The best part about this game, in addition to its likely lopsidedness, is the Ravens give you great prices on Flacco, Dixon, Wallace, Pitta and the D/ST.

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

Total: 42

Titans: 18.5

Chiefs: 23.5

Yet another game that figures to be played in the trenches and to a low number. We cannot get away from them this week, apparently.

Defense the numbers, the Titans are a run-heavy team and the Chiefs are sixth worst against the run this season, so expect heavy volume on DeMarco Murray. The volume, we expect, might be so heavy, rookie RB Derrick Henry jumps onto the DFS leaderboards this week.

Bear with us here: Murray is facing a Chiefs defense that has given up just six fantasy RB rush TDs, so Murray looks more like a 20-touch, 80-yard back in this one. That leaves some work for Henry to do pounding the rock, especially with LB Derrick Johnson (Achilles') out. Not only has Henry earned goal-line duty, but he got 12 carries for 42 yards against the Broncos last week. Henry is a nice value for a 40-2 performance.

Downfield, Marcus Mariota is more of a contrarian play for his scoring via the rush. We do not like Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharp or even Delanie Walker here (Chiefs are No. 3 against fantasy TEs).

The Chiefs side is facing an underrated Titans defense. Spencer Ware is a subpar play against the No. 3 team in fantasy against RBs, while WR Jeremy Maclin is back to take a bite out of Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce; yet, Maclin might not be healthy enough to score on his own right. As much as the Titans are second worst against the pass, fourth worst against fantasy QBs and third worst against fantasy WRs, no one should trust Alex Smith – not in the freezing cold Arrowhead Stadium.

If you're playing either side's D/ST, you have to go with the Chiefs at home. Their price is more favorable than their prospects against a conservative, run-heavy team, though.

Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings

Total: 45.5

Colts: 20.75

Vikings: 24.75

This lines up as a bad week for Andrew Luck and the Colts, but a decent week for Frank Gore because of his price and projected volume against a good Vikings defense that is more exploitable in the run game than anything else.

T.Y. Hilton is headed for the Xavier Rhodes treatment, so avoid him. Avoid Donte Moncrief (hamstring) and Luck (shoulder), too.

That leaves Gore to get carries, if not 100 yards combined plus a TD (or two). We also like Dwayne Allen or Jack Doyle to get volume off play-action, so consider them potential TE punt options.

The Vikings should be far more wide open for DFS options for you. Before Adrian Peterson (knee) announced his intentions to play, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata would have been good for 50 combined yards, if not a TD, apiece. Now, you might want to take a longshot on Adrian Peterson for 50 yards and a pair of TDs.

Kyle Rudolph will also get volume. He has gotten 30 targets in the past three games alone and the Colts are in the bottom 10 against fantasy TEs.

The 225-1 numbers of Sam Bradford can be ignored at any price, while Kai Forbath and the Vikings D/ST at least give you value at their prices. Despite this game not being impacted by December weather conditions, it is still a relative punt in the DFS pecking order.

Detroit Lions at New York Giants

Total: 41

Lions: 18.5

Giants: 22.5

We have come to learn, both of these upstart contenders are a lot better defensively than they were projected to be, if not how they showed early on. Yep, another matchup of defenses – and this one pits two teams that cannot – at least tries to not – run the football. That is a bad combination in December.

Punt the Lions against a Giants defense that has risen to be second only to the Denver Broncos against fantasy QBs. The Giants have a great run defense, too, despite the 100-yard games it has given up to Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott in back-to-back weeks.

Matthew Stafford, Theo Riddick, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron and Lions D/ST are all wasted plays this week in DFS. We only see some modest value in Anquan Boldin (if he draws Eli Apple instead of Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie or Janoris Jenkins) and K Matt Prater.

For those Eli Manning haters, the huge bargain of the Lions D/ST might move the needle, though.

The Giants have become the Odell Beckham show. Play him on volume and the potential for big plays, as usual. Forget about Eli Manning this time of year, since he's more of a 195-2 passer.

That might lead you to the Giants run game, but Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins and potentially Shane Vereen (concussion) are stuck in too balanced of a timeshare. Any one of them can move the DFS needle, but it is more likely none of them do.

The Giants D/ST is hot and playing at home in an important game for its postseason hopes, so expect it to get some exposure, too.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Total: 44

Bengals: 20.5

Steelers: 23.5

It is likely time to fade Le'Veon Bell. Price, running too hot and facing a divisional opponent combine to make him a dangerous play, even if you need someone like him to carry the load in December.

Instead, we are going to go against the grain and load up on the Steelers' other weapons: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and TE Ladarius Green. Cincy is bottom 10 against fantasy QBs and gave up three Big Ben TDs in the Week 2 meeting. Even if Bell does a sizable amount of damage, it will position Big Ben to finish in the red zone with Brown and Green, if not the bargain play of WR Eli Rogers.

For the Bengals, we are fading the emerging Jeremy Hill against the Steelers. He was stuffed 11 times for 22 yards in the past meeting, so even if he gets volume we have limited confidence he can move the chains enough to play ball control.

There is some hope for TE Tyler Eifert in DFS to get volume, especially if WR A.J. Green (hamstring) remains out. Eifert did not play in the past meeting, so there is some unknown there perhaps, not to mention he will have to be a favorite target of Andy Dalton off play-action in a run-heavy game.

We are going to fade all the Bengals except Eifert, although his price might be a bit unwieldy on GPP lineups. The Steelers are top 10 against fantasy QBs and No. 4 against fantasy WRs.

San Francisco 45ers at Atlanta Falcons

Total: 51.5

49ers: 18.75

Falcons: 32.75

If there is an all-in game of the week, it is this one. Not only will the Falcons have it easy against the 49ers defense at home, but the 49ers should get some garbage-time numbers on the other side, too. This is one that lines up to b 45-20, a potential DFS bonanza.

If you're loading up on Falcons, you will want to consider Carlos Hyde coming off his huge effort against what was a viably good Jets run defense. The Falcons have a decent run defense, too (mostly because the scores force teams to pass from behind), but they have given up points to fantasy RBs – the fifth most in fantasy. That is thanks to 16 TDs in 13 games.

Hyde should get 20-plus touches, 100-plus yards and at least one TD in garbage time.

The rest of the 49ers? Meh. Colin Kaepernick lost his best downfield weapon in Vance McDonald for the season, so only consider TE Garrett Celek if you're desperate for a volume-based punt play when finishing out lineups.

The Falcons are all in. Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Taylor Gabriel are must plays against the 49ers last-ranked defense, last against fantasy RBs, last against the run, last against fantasy WRs. WR Julio Jones (toe) is out, so it puts Gabriel in the targeting crosshairs of Ryan, who will also throw often to RB Tevin Coleman. WR Mohamed Sanu (groin) might also be a sneaky bargain play for you in GPPs.

We love the Falcons here, like everyone else, which is the rub in GPPs.

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

Total: 50.5

Saints: 23.75

Cardinals: 26.75

Somehow in the crazy world of DFS Drew Brees has not thrown a TD pass in the past two games. You could expect that to change here, but the Saints are far less explosive on the road and the Cards – despite their brutally disappointing season – are still top 10 against fantasy QBs, the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL, No. 2 against the pass and have given up just 13 passing TDs in 13 games. Only the Broncos have given up fewer.

We would fade Brees, Mark Ingram, Tim Hightower, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks and Coby Fleeners – despite Las Vegas' optimism on the scoring in this game.

The Cards defense is good, and the woeful passing game because of the inability to protect Carson Palmer in the pocket leave this game in the hands of David Johnson and a much slower pace than projected by the total above.

Play Johnson heavily in all DFS formats, especially since the Saints are third worst against fantasy RBs. The departure of Michael Floyd (alleged DUI, and now with the Pats) should also put volume on Larry Fitzgerald and TE Jermaine Gresham (knee), assuming the latter is healthy.

We would love this game a lot more if we were so bitter on trusting Palmer for most of this season at an affordable price. The Cards offense just hasn't be the DFS earth-shatterer it should have been … instead, it has been scorched earth at the legs and over-usage of Johnson.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

Total: 44

Patriots: 23.5

Broncos: 20.5

This game is still in the Pats' hands, if only because the one thing the Broncos should do well offensively – run – they're unable to with the likes of RB Justin Forsett and rookie Devontae Booker.

The Pats will have more issues throwing than usual, which leaves Tom Brady's ceiling as more of a 280-2 guy than the 350-3 he tends to be in big games. The Broncos are still No. 1 against the pass and fantasy QBs.

The DFS opportunities for the Pats lie with the RBs. The Pats are going to pound the rock at fourth-worst run defense in football – 11th worst against fantasy RBs – with LeGarrette Blount getting 20-plus carries and some goal-line scores. Dion Lewis and James White will also rack up 6-50 numbers via the pass, as they run against those Broncos LBs who gear up for the run.

Punt all of the Pats receivers in this matchup, unless you're taking Julian Edelman on volume. We just don't see him as a TD threat, so if 8-60 moves the needle for you, by all means. If there is a non-RB with potential to get a Brady TD pass, it will be Martellus Bennett off play-action.

The Broncos side is a lot of bad news. You cannot trust either of Forsett or Booker and QB Trevor Siemian just cannot be expected to post a third-consecutive 300-yard game – especially not in single-digit cold.

Siemian is doing a good job of getting volume to Thomas and Sanders, though, so if you're looking at the Pats putting up points in the 20s, perhaps one of those WRs will get you bets for garbage-time totals. We are leaning toward fading that, along with the defenses and kickers in a game we see being a 15-12 field-goal battle.

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers

Total: 49.5

Raiders: 26.25

Chargers: 23.25

This projects to be one of the most popular games on the slate for DFS plays, for many very good reasons.

Both QBs should be considered in a game that should be played under reasonable conditions for the time of year, making both Philip Rivers and Derek Carr candidates to go 280-3. Rivers' targets start with the TEs Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, both of which are reasonably priced considering their 5-50-1 potential.

Downfield, Dontrelle Inman has usurped Tyrell Williams as Rivers' favorite target, which makes his cheaper price interesting. Any of the above Rivers targets can trump their value against a Raiders defense fifth worst against fantasy QBs.

Kenneth Farrow was going to be a sleeper play, but somehow he was immediately priced out of the bargain range in the wake of Melvin Gordon's (hip) absence. We would punt on that play, which will get more exposure than he is worth anyway.

The Raiders' offense revolves around Latavius Murray right now, so consider him a premium option against a Chargers team that is bottom 10 against fantasy RBs despite being seventh best against the run. It's about TDs and Murray should get them with Carr (pinky), Amari Cooper (shoulder) and Michael Crabtree (finger) all less than 100 percent.

If you're taking a Raider other than Murray, we go with Crabtree because he has been a bit better than Cooper of late. Both Raiders WRs caught TDs in the past meeting, though.

The likelihood this game blows open in the second half with two gunslingers working downfield lead us to lay off the plays of either defense or kicker here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

Total: 46.5

Buccaneers: 19.75

Cowboys: 26.75

As good as the Bucs have been against the run all season (just one 100-yard rusher – Jordan Howard for exactly 100 in Week 10), they haven't faced a running game like the Cowboys.

It bodes well for the Cowboys coming off a loss and poorly for the red-hot Bucs.

Fade Doug Martin and Charles Sims against the Cowboys' No. 2-ranked run defense that is No. 4 against fantasy RBs. Also, Brandon Carr, while he couldn't hold down Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday night, matches up better against a bigger WR like Mike Evans. That makes Jameis Winston and everything on the Bucs' side difficult to trust.

The Cowboys should have an easier go of things. Elliott is going to get back in the end zone, multiple times in fact, so load up exposure on him. Also, Dez Bryant is going to rebound from his putrid performance against the Giants, who have shut him down twice now. Bryant will be working against a Bucs defense that has been in the bottom 10 against fantasy WRs for most of the season.

We fade Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys defense and consider this a Ellliott-Bryant game and little else as it plays below the number.

Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins

Total: 50.5

Panthers: 22.25

Redskins: 28.25

This should be an interesting game. As promising as the Panthers defense played last time out, and as mediocre as the Redskins looked in Philly, we have to assume the Redskins will show better against a Panthers secondary that has been exposed for the majority of this season.

The Panthers need to get back to its bread-and-butter offense here, which is running the ball on the Redskins' 22nd-ranked run defense (fourth worst against fantasy RBs). That gives Jonathan Stewart hope for a multiple-TD day and makes him a premium play in prime-time DFS contests.

Ordinarily, we would expect a QB like Cam Newton to rebound from his struggles, along with Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen, but the wiser plays would be to go with Kirk Cousins, Jamison Crowder and TE Jordan Reed.

Reed should be healthier and more productive this week than last, so consider him a premium option atop the depleted TE board. Cousins should be able to make plays in the red zone, if not on deep balls as he usually does with DeSean Jackson and Co.

About the only play on the Redskins offense we don't favor is the running game against the Panthers' fifth-ranked run defense, especially if Luke Kuechly (concussion) returns to action. Rob Kelley is still an affordably priced option, but we have to imagine he will be more of a 15-50-0 performer than what the Cowboys' Elliott or Stewart will produce.

This is by far the more favorable prime-time game for points, the most favorable prime-time game of all including Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so consider some sleepers like Pierre Garcon, Dustin Hopkins or Graham Gano to make a Week 15-wide impact out of the woodwork, too.

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