As anyone who has played fantasy football knows, it’s good to know which way the wind blows. The ocean of fantasy assets stretches out before us and expands from horizon to horizon, making any thought of mapping it all out a daunting task. The AFC (or AF-Sea?) holds plenty of dark corners and treacherous pitfalls. It takes a true fantasy explorer to know how to navigate.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here! Only the strong can survive, and dead men tell no tales.

Each week, we brave souls enter the depths of the North, the East, the South, and the West, and send word as to what we find there. Is there treasure? Are there traps? Could it be glory and victory?

We break it all down for you right now.

AFC North Preview

Andrew Mendoza (@DFF_LeGrand)

What to Watch For:

Steelers maintain divisional control despite distraction from Bell

Riding a 4-game winning streak and fresh off the heels of a Week 9 victory against the Ravens, Big Ben and company continue to roll despite the ongoing distraction that is the Le’Veon Bell saga. With the November 13th deadline approaching, which will require Bell to sign a franchise tender or ink a one year deal with Pittsburgh, the former All-Pro running back seems to be an afterthought for Pittsburgh as they continue to play sound football down the stretch. With the Browns, Ravens, and Bengals falling back into the pack of middling NFL teams, the AFC North is beginning to take shape with the Steelers appearing to be the front-runners to claim the AFC North title.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Tyler Boyd/WR/Cincinnati Bengals

With star wideout A.J. Green out for at least two weeks with a toe injury, Tyler Boyd will look to fill in for Green in what should be a high-flying match up with the Saints in Week 10. With New Orleans giving up the second most passing yards in the league, averaging 311 yards per game, Boyd should have a decent shot at big-time production with Green on the bench. While it will almost certainly be a loss for the Bengals, look for Boyd to shine at home against the Saints on Sunday.

Projections: 8/106/1 TD

Baker Mayfield/QB/Cleveland Browns

The hype train has been partially derailed in recent weeks as “Bakermania” and the woeful Browns continue to struggle despite a once promising start to the young QB’s season. Sporting a league-low 60% completion percentage, Mayfield will look to take charge against the ever-banged up Falcons defense in a home game that has the potential to be a high scoring affair. As with the aforementioned Bengals, victory looks to be a long shot for the Browns this week, but that doesn’t mean that the Cleveland offense can’t produce respectable fantasy numbers.

Projections: 24/36, 320 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Sleeper Alert:

C.J. Uzomah/TE/Cincinnati Bengals

Already thin at the tight end position and hurting for effective pass catchers, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah will seek to bounce back this week against a Saints defense that has performed very well against tight ends to this point in the season. Despite a disappointing performance in Week 9 against Tampa that saw Uzomah fail to pull in any of his 4 targets, the absence of A.J. Green will mean that all hands will be on deck against a struggling Saints passing defense in week 10.

Projections: 4/60

Game Predictions:

Falcons – 31 @ Browns – 21

Panthers – 24 @ Steelers – 28

Saints – 38 @ Bengals – 24


AFC South Preview

Mitch Lawson (@DFF_MitchLawson)

What to Watch For:

What Can We Expect From Fournette?

Leonard Fournette may finally be ready to return to action, and will do so against the divisional rival Colts.

Will he be unleashed fully? Does he split time with Hyde? Where does Yeldon fit in?

All of this will be answered on Sunday, so stay tuned!

Fantasy Impact Players:

Andrew Luck/QB/Indianapolis Colts

Luck has really been flying high in recent weeks thanks to the number of TDs he has thrown. But this week should present a larger challenge, and it could be a tough week for the boys in blue. I’m expecting a low-scoring game.

Projections: 17- 30/215/1 TD

Marlon Mack/RB/Indianapolis Colts

As stated above, Marlon Mack is in for a much tougher test this week. Without really knowing for sure what his availability is, I’m guessing it will be a soft week for Mack.

Projections: 10/37/0 Receiving: 2/18/0

T.Y. Hilton/WR/Indianapolis Colts

Say what you want about the Jaguars, they are going to be able to hone in on T.Y. and bottle him up. It could be a tough week for Hilton.

Projections: 3/43/0

Corey Davis/WR/Tennessee Titans

After a game in which Davis saw over 34% of the target share, I expect he’ll be the heart and soul of the passing game once again. His production does hinge on Mariota’s efficiency, but I like Davis’ chances of putting up numbers this week.

Projections: 8/110/1

Leonard Fournette/RB/Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette is finally set to return from injury, and he gets a nice matchup. It definitely sounds like he is on track to play, and I don’t expect Hyde or Yeldon to slow him up. He’ll see some work this week.

Projections: Rushing – 18/80/1   Receiving – 2/25/0

Sleeper Alert:

Donte Moncrief/WR/Jacksonville Jaguars

Moncrief has been very quietly overtaking the WR1 job in Jacksonville. While his ceiling is capped by a questionable offense, I like his chances to have a solid game against a leaky defense.

Projections: 8/85/1 TD

Game Predictions:

Indianapolis – 13 vs. Jacksonville – 17

Tennessee – 24  vs. New England – 28


AFC East Preview

Chris Smith (@Chrisheatcanes)

What to Watch For:

What can I say other than nothing has changed. We are halfway through the season and the Patriots still own the division. What does that mean for the NFL? If the Chiefs, Chargers, or Steelers can’t win-out, the playoffs will go through Boston. And unless you are trying to see the Patriots in the Super Bowl again (I’m not ) we need these other teams to step up. But why are the Patriots so successful? Is it Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? It’s both! The way Bill can still win with injuries ravaging that team is remarkable. On top of that, he has a quarterback who has been through it all before, with this coach no less. This is the true testament to a Dynasty and has been for years. Let’s dive into this division and see if there some crumbs to gather to set us up for the fantasy playoffs.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Sony MichelRB/Patriots

Likely to play against the Titans, Sony is a great choice to start this week. But keep an eye on that throughout the week because he could reinjure himself or tweak something throughout the week.

Projections: Rushing 10/65/1 Receiving 4/35  

Josh GordonWR/Patriots

Expect Gordon to get more targets this week because he is earning more respect from Brady with every ball he catches. He is the big play wide receiver on this team, so expect Tom to use him more every week.

Projections: Receiving 7/98/1

James WhiteRB/Patriots

The most opportunities on this team go to James White, as it is with most pass-catching running backs in the league. He is a top-10 RB in fantasy and should be a solid start.

Projections: Rushing 9/45 Receiving 8/88/1

[Profiler]Danny Amendola[/profiler]RB/Dolphins

It was very hard to pick anyone on this team but you have to when Green Bay is playing so bad on Defense. With all the injuries the Packers have, expect the Dolphins to put up some points this week. That’s some not a lot though they do have Brock Osweiler at Quarterback.

Projections: Receiving 6/75/1

New York Jets Defense

OK, you should be streaming defenses against the Buffalo Bills. And if what Chicago’s defenses did last week didn’t prove my point, just look at every defense outside of Minnesota this year to show you how the season has been going for the Bills.

Sleeper Alert:

Elijah McGuireRB/Jets

With more production from him than Isaiah Crowell last week, I think this trend continues. However, it is really tough to figure out who is relevant and who isn’t on this offense. Since the Jets are playing the Bills, one of these running backs should produce this week.

Projections: Rushing 10/67 Receiving 5/65/1

Cordarrelle PattersonRB/WR/Patriots

The reason why Patterson is a sleeper is that Sony Michel is on track to come back. Keep an eye on Sony, and pick up Patterson in case things go wrong.   

Projections: Rushing 10/60/1 Receiving 2/20

Game Predictions:

Bills 10 Jets 20

Patriots 35 Titans 24

Packers 28 Miami 13


AFC West Preview

Anthony Zaragoza (@ZaragozaAnthony)

What to Watch For:

West Side! That brings back some great memories. I’m sure Oakland feels the same way. Back when the Raiders were relevant. These days it seems very different. Rebuilding is not a word any fan wants to hear, but that’s the new normal for the Raiders. With Kansas City now the talk of the town, Patrick Mahomes is putting the NFL on notice. WithAlex Smith now in Washington most people thought it would be hard for Mahomes to duplicate what Smith did last year. However, Mahomes is performing better than Smith ever did. Throwing for eight consecutive 300-yard games is an NFL record. With Denver on a bye and the L.A. Chargers taking over California as the best AFC team in the state, the WEST seems to be a two-team race. Let’s dive in and see what we can find this week.

Fantasy Impact Players:

Kareem Hunt/RB/Chiefs

Well established as a top five running back, this “beast” should never come out of your lineup. No matter who they play, Hunt will make you happy knowing you drafted or traded for this big-time back.

Projections: Rushing 19/109/2 Receiving 4/78/1

Tyreek Hill/WR/Chiefs

OK, let me confess… I don’t cover this division, but I’m filling in this week. I’m so happy because I have three Chiefs on my fantasy team. And Tyreek Hill in particular. I told many people that he would be a top-five wide receiver this year and I’m so glad he has proven me right. This week against the Cardinals, with Sammy Watkins on the mend, expect a lot of opportunities to come his way.

Projections: 7/97/1

Travis Kelce/TE/Chiefs

One of the best tight ends in the business, this week will be another Big Show performance. The Cardinals will have a lot of trouble keeping up with Travis with all the weapons the Chiefs have. And Mahomes seems to find the open guy no matter what.

Projections: 6/103/1

Melvin Gordon/RB/Chargers

Ranked 6th in fantasy football, the second round running is proving fantasy experts wrong. This guy shouldn’t have fallen to the second round. What’s worse is the people who drafted him in the second round and took Alvin Kamara or Saquon Barkley in the first round are pretty much having a good seasons.

Projections: Rushing 15/87/1 Receiving 5/45/1

Keenan Allen/WR/Chargers

This wide receiver has a special place in my heart. Why? Well, he has fought through three injury-plagued seasons to show the world he one of the best in the league. You have to respect someone who can stick with it as Keenan has.

Projections: 8/96/1

Sleeper Alert:

Martavis Bryant/WR/Raiders

This is the only player I could pick and yes he is a sleeper. He had 3 catches for 91 yards and a TD. I think he will come close to the same this week. Oakland needs him to do well.

Projections: 5/78/1

Chris Conley/WR/Chiefs

Here is a fun fact for all the Star Wars fans. Chris shot a movie skit that was based on Star Wars. You can find it on YouTube and it’s pretty good. He’s a sleeper since Sammy is injured. I expect at least one TD from him which could be big in your 12 teams leagues.

Projections: 4/45/1

Austin Ekeler/RB/Chargers

This third down back might have a bigger game than normal. With the Raiders looking toward the draft, expect a blow-out. Austin will see more touches this week, giving his owners a nice fantasy scoring “I told you so.”

Projections: Rushing 9/54 Receiving 5/56/1    

Game Predictions:

Arizona 14 Chiefs 35

Chargers 28 Raiders 10


@DFF_MitchLawson / Writer, Editor & Analyst for @DFF_Redraft & @DFF_Dynasty. #DFFArmy #FantasyFootball. Canadian. Occasionally witty, stay tuned

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