The Houston Texans are officially the hottest team in football. Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the league, Houston has the chance to win the AFC South division this weekend when they host the Indianapolis Colts. Whether or not they do so is yet to be determined, but for our purposes here, the reason we bring up the Texans is because their quarterback is projected to be the top-scoring QB in the league this week in DFS. Grab him while you can!
1. Deshaun Watson, Houston vs. Indianapolis, FD Proj. – 28.0 points
It’s time to start believing in the Houston Texans, as they have won nine straight games. It’s also time to start believing in Watson, who is making big plays and taking the field with a sense of calm and confidence on an every-week basis. Watson is throwing for 252.6 yards per game and he has thrown 21 TD passes.
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans at Tampa Bay, – 27.8 points
This is a crucial game for the Saints since they are coming off a surprising loss at Dallas in in Week 13. Now they get a chance to take out their frustration on the Bucs, who have been vulnerable all season. Brees should have no trouble adding to his 30 TD passes in this game.
3. Philip Rivers, L.A. Chargers vs. Cincinnati – 27.2points.
While we have Rivers rated third among quarterbacks this week, it would not be a shock if he had more points than any other signal-caller. That’s because the Chargers are playing superb football while the Bengals appear to have cashed in their chips. The only reason that Rivers is not rated higher is that we expect the Chargers to have this game put away by early in the third quarter.
4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Oakland – 26.6 points
The Steelers are likely to be in a brutal mood after losing back-to-back games to the Denver Broncos and Chargers, and they will take it out on the Raiders. Roethlisberger has completed 66 percent of his passes and he has 26 scoring passes. He also has thrown 13 interceptions, but that should not be a problem against the Raiders.
5. Tom Brady, New England at Miami – 24.8 points
The Patriots are coming off a strong performance in Week 13 at home against the Minnesota Vikings, and now they go on the road against one of their division rivals. We expect the Dolphins to give the Patriots a major fight and this could be a back-and-forth score fest. Brady is throwing for 278.5 yards per game and he has 20 TDs.
1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas vs. Philadelphia– 20.2 points
The Cowboys are surging and one of the big reasons has been the productivity of Elliott, as he has been dominant in recent weeks. The Dallas offensive line has been opening huge holes, and Elliott has rushed for 1,150 yards and he is averaging 20 attempts per game. He has scored six rushing touchdowns and his total is likely to soar down the stretch.
2. Saquon Barkley, N.Y. Giants at Washington– 19.3 points
The Giants were awful in the first half of the season and basically buried themselves in last place in the NFC East. However, they have won three of their last four games, including an upset over the Chicago Bears. Barkley has shown that he is one of the top three or four running backs in the game and he should be able to punish the Redskins with his speed, power and pass-catching ability.
3. Todd Gurley, L.A. Rams at Chicago – 19.1 points
This is a bit of a gamble because the Rams are playing the defensively sound Bears on the road this week, and the Sunday night game in the Windy City is not likely to be kind to the Southern California team. However, Gurley is the best running back in the league and a possible MVP candidate. He has 1,175 rushing yards and 15 ground touchdowns, and he will be dangerous.
4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans at Tampa Bay – 18.6 points
Kamara is in the same boat as Brees, and both players are likely to be quite angry after coming off a loss to the Cowboys. Kamara is one of the best runners after contact because his pinball style of bouncing off tacklers makes him difficult to bring down. Kamara has 742 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns to this point in the season.
5. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina at Cleveland – 17.7 points
McCaffrey and the Panthers are frustrated. They were one of the best teams in the league in the first half of the season with a 6-2 record, but they have dropped four games in a row, and are desperate to turn things around. McCaffrey is one of the most versatile backs in the league because he is as dangerous a runner as he is a receiver and is likely to punish the Browns.
1.Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Oakland – 18.4 points
Alright, we will acknowledge the fact that Brown does not have the same kind of statistics to this point in the season that he usually does. However, that’s all we will acknowledge, because he is the best all-around receiver in the league and he has 13 receptions of 20 yards or more and 12 touchdowns. There will be no stopping him against the Raiders.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs. Indianapolis – 17.6 points
The concept of “triplets” became popular when Jimmy Johnson was coaching the Dallas Cowboys and he had Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. The triplet factor is also big in Houston this year with Watson, Hopkins and running back Lamar Miller. Hopkins has tremendous hands and he can snatch any pass within his huge pass-catching radius.
3. Keenan Allen, L.A. Chargers vs. Cincinnati, 16.9 points
The Chargers are playing with plenty of joy at this point as this team has a chance to run down the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. Allen is the Chargers’ best receiver and he has caught 83 passes for 996 yards and five touchdowns. He will punish the struggling Bengals’ secondary.
4. Michael Thomas, New Orleans at Tampa Bay – 15.8 points
We already talked about Hopkins and his superb hands, and we will throw Thomas in that same category. If he can get his fly-paper-like hands on the ball, Thomas will catch it. He is also one of the best route runner in the league and the Bucs have little chance to slow him down. Thomas has 1,120 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh at Oakland – 14.9 points
It’s not often that we select two receivers from the same team in our top-5 at any position, but that is just the came in Week 14 with the Pittsburgh-Oakland matchup. Smith-Schuster has too much size and reach for the Oakland secondary, and he will fight to make the catch on every downfield pass. Smith has caught 83 passes for 1,104 yards.
1.Travis Kelce, Kansas City vs. Baltimore – 13.2 points
Kelce continues to dominate at the tight end position for the Chiefs, and they are going to need a huge game from him against the defensively savvy Ravens. Look for Baltimore to blanket Tyreek Hill, and that may leave Kelce with some open territory in the Baltimore secondary.
2. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis at Houston – 11.1 points
Ebron and the Colts were shut down last week against the Jaguars, but Indianapolis had been playing superb football before that game. Ebron has 11 touchdown receptions, and he should be able to cause some problems for the Texans.
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England at Miami – 10.1 points
The Patriots are not going to have an easy time at Miami this week. The Dolphins are toughest of New England’s divisional opponents, and they need this game to improve their playoff chances and the Pats will need their offense on point in this game. Gronkowski will take the lead for New England.
4. George Kittle, San Francisco vs. Denver – 9.8 points
The Niners have been very disappointing this season, but the same cannot be said about Kittle. He has caught 62 passes for 893 yards and three touchdowns. Kittle has the size and route-running skills to get open against the Broncos.
5. Austin Hooper, Atlanta at Green Bay– 8.6 points
Hooper and the Falcons have not had much go their way, but the same can be said for the Green Bay Packers. Hooper should be able to handle the winter conditions in Green Bay. He has already caught 60 passes for 520 yards and four scores, and he will cause problems for the Packers’ secondary.