We're heading into the final quarter of the NFL season, which means it's time for another check-in with the Fantasy Football Power Rankings. Which teams offer the most juice? Which rosters are we staying away from? That's today's assignment, as we compile Power Rankings Version 6.0.
32. New England Patriots (32 last month)
You know it's been a weird year in New England when a missed field goal from Week 12 looks like the team's ultimate highlight. The Patriots seem better off focusing on draft position for next year, intentionally or not, as this is one of several teams that has no right answer in the quarterback room. You have my sign-off to start Rhamondre Stevenson if you like, but that's it.
31. Carolina Panthers (31)
If the Texans miss the playoffs, they're going to wonder how they lost to Bryce Young and the scattershot Panthers. Adam Thielen's fantasy value has started to lose some helium, and even when Chuba Hubbard gets double-digit touches, he's dealing with a capped upside.
30. New York Jets (26)
You might hold your nose and start Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson out of semi-desperation, or you might choose to ignore this team completely. Zach Wilson deserved to get benched, but Tim Boyle doesn't look like anything better.
29. Cleveland Browns (20)
When you're reduced to a Joe Flacco phone call, your quarterback room is officially shipwrecked. Cleveland now looks at every game and asks, "How can we get a 12-10 win today?"
28. Tennessee Titans (25)
Derrick Henry has remained a top 10 fantasy running back, mostly through survivor bias (he hasn't missed a game). But next year he enters his age-30 season, which means I'm out for at least the top two rounds.
27. New York Giants (30)
Props to Tommy DeVito, who's been passable for a couple of weeks. It's added buoyancy to Saquon Barkley, and in Week 12, Jalin Hyatt came along for the ride. The DeVito turnaround has helped us feel more confident in Brian Daboll; we've seen several new coaches win awards but quickly shift into mirages, but that's probably not the case with Daboll.
26. Chicago Bears (29)
Justin Fields is back, he's willing to run and he's consistently getting the ball to DJ Moore. These are all good things. Roschon Johnson might have some fantasy juice after the bye week; he looked versatile and dynamic at Minnesota.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (8)
When Joe Burrow got hurt, Cincinnati's season obviously ended. Joe Mixon is a low-upside RB2 I guess, and you'd likely start Ja'Marr Chase no matter who his quarterback is. If the Bengals fall out of the race, perhaps Tee Higgins won't be incentivized to play the rest of the year.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (24)
The Steelers finally moved on from Matt Canada, and coincidence or not, the first post-Canada game featured 421 yards. Of course, there are no parades when you score just 16 points, but any positive step is welcome. I still feel like Pittsburgh's pass-catchers are all fighting for the one weekly touchdown pass this team is likely to offer; Kenny Pickett has just one multiple-touchdown game for his career, covering 24 games.
23. Indianapolis Colts (14)
It's easy to get lost in the excitement of Houston vs. Jacksonville for the next decade; they just played a banger of a game, and it's C.J. Stroud versus Trevor Lawrence. But don't overlook Indianapolis, which made a great hire in Shane Steichen, and still might have a fun quarterback in Anthony Richardson. Michael Pittman Jr. is schemed open every week, and Zack Moss is set to have a December to Remember now that Jonathan Taylor is hurt.
22. Arizona Cardinals (23)
Kyler Murray has looked better than I expected in his return, and he's also eager to run. And the Cardinals might be playing some carnival football the rest of the way, given how horrendous the Arizona defense is. But we might have overrated the stash value of James Conner, who doesn't look explosive and doesn't hold as much goal-line equity as most feature backs.
21. Denver Broncos (15)
Everyone left the Broncos for dead after the 70-20 debacle in Miami, but credit to Sean Payton, he's rallied the troops. Courtland Sutton's high touchdown rate has been angering the Regression Police all year, but sometimes we need to steer into something that consistently succeeds, not look for reasons why it's going to fall apart.
20. Washington Commanders (21)
Sam Howell's started to get his sack problem under control, but despite Howell's weekly passing volume, the receiver room has been a collection of fantasy disappointments; the usage is generally spread out. Brian Robinson Jr. is never going to confuse anyone with Marshall Faulk, but he's bumped up his receiving game (29-326-3) after catching just nine passes as a rookie.
19. Green Bay Packers (27)
Jordan Love needed a midseason rally and it's arrived just in time, with a near-miss at Pittsburgh, then solid wins over the Chargers and Lions. Love has seven touchdown passes over that span, he was a proactive runner at Detroit and the Packers have been more aggressive taking downfield shots. The entire Green Bay passing game is growing up together, as the Packers have the youngest receiver room in the league.
18. Atlanta Falcons (17)
Bijan Robinson saw an uptick in workload last week and smashed, and the schedule going forward is a dream. He's an auto-play now, and Drake London is probably a proactive start, too. I don't see how Kyle Pitts is fantasy-salvageable for the rest of 2023, however.
17. Minnesota Vikings (16)
Joshua Dobbs finally had a stinker of a game, in front of everyone on Monday Night, no less. But he still gives T.J. Hockenson and Justin Jefferson a weekly chance, and that's all we can ask for. Kevin O'Connell has also done a fine job navigating this offense after the Kirk Cousins injury.
16. Los Angeles Rams (18)
It's funny how this offense keeps shifting the captain's jersey. Early, it was Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua. For a brief moment, it was Cooper Kipp — who's become a tricky fantasy call now. And for the final month, this probably returns to The Kyren Williams Show. It's important that the Rams stay on the periphery of playoff contention, so there's no incentive to rest or shut anyone down.
15. Las Vegas Raiders (22)
Aidan O'Connell played better in the Kansas City loss, and at minimum, it was enough to give us weekly hope for Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers. Antonio Pierce has these guys playing hard every week, and he deserves a chance to be the long-term answer here.
14. New Orleans Saints (13)
Andy Dalton had better efficiency metrics than Derek Carr last year, but the Saints still cut Carr a big check. Maybe that was a mistake. The Saints draw a struggling Detroit secondary in Week 13, but who can Carr throw to? It's possible his best three receivers will all miss this game; Michael Thomas is definitely out, and Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed are both iffy.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19)
Most of Baker Mayfield's passing metrics are an eyelash above league average, and he generally throws to a very narrow set of receivers. It hasn't been enough to save Chris Godwin, who's run very unlucky in the touchdown column, but Mike Evans, Rachaad White and even Cade Otton have all outkicked their summer expectations.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (11)
Austin Ekeler has been hurt most of the year, Mike Williams saw his season end in September and Quentin Johnston hasn't been ready to play as a rookie. The Chargers always seem to look better in August than they do in December. Could this be a possible Bill Belichick destination for 2024?
11. Seattle Seahawks (12)
I don't think it would be fair to call Geno Smith a pumpkin, but his play has fallen significantly from last year's Cinderella season. The top three receivers have been reasonably healthy all year, and yet they've combined for a modest nine touchdowns. Seattle faces Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia in the next three weeks, a gauntlet that might end any playoff hopes.
10. Houston Texans (28)
C.J. Stroud already has the Offensive Rookie of the Year trophy in his back pocket, and he's supported multiple pass-catchers in a very watchable offense. Devin Singletary isn't quite a league-winner, but he's done enough to push Dameon Pierce into a secondary role.
9. Baltimore Ravens (4)
Baltimore might be the AFC's best team, but the fantasy roster is more fun on paper than it plays on Sundays. The backfield is always a tricky timeshare, and some of that rushing production will siphon to Lamar Jackson. Zay Flowers shows traits of a dominant player, but his usage isn't always consistent. We've lost Mark Andrews for the year and although Isaiah Likely is a good player, he's not close to the Andrews class. What it boils down to is one sure fantasy starter (Jackson), one likely fantasy starter (Flowers) and then a weekly guessing game.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (10)
Calvin Ridley was finally unlocked at the end of November, justifying his late-summer ADP push. And Trevor Lawrence has turned into a thing at the goal line, which has put a pin in Travis Etienne's fantasy year, largely built on touchdown deodorant. Evan Engram remains the leader to be this year's Diontae Johnson, the pass-catcher who absorbs the most targets without a touchdown.
7. Buffalo Bills (7)
What a crazy season it's been, as the Bills are a handful of plays away from being undefeated, and yet they're now long-shots to make the playoffs. Josh Allen's thrown a few more picks than we'd like, but he's also an EPA darling and still making dynamic plays with his legs. Gabe Davis remains one of the hardest fantasy wideouts to rank on a week-by-week basis.
6. Miami Dolphins (3)
Tyreek Hill is always open, and that sets up the offense for everyone else — any Miami opponent has to worry about Hill scoring an 80-yard touchdown on every play. But Tua Tagovailoa hasn't been quite as fun as we might have expected — he's only charted inside the top 10 on four different occasions. At least the next two weeks should be fun, taking aim at the leaky Washington and Tennessee secondaries.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (6)
Rashee Rice's emergence in the receiver room is a big development, both for real-life and fantasy purposes. It means the Chiefs push back up to four weekly fantasy starters, and it also nudges up Patrick Mahomes' floor and ceiling.
4. Detroit Lions (5)
It's been frustrating to see Jared Goff make so many loose throws and decisions the last two weeks, but the Lions remain a very consistent and projectable fantasy team. The offensive line is great (especially at the tackles), coordinator Ben Johnson is a wizard and we know where the ball is going. Amon-Ra St. Brown isn't just the Sun God, he's the Consistency God.
3. Dallas Cowboys (9)
It's not crazy to see Dak Prescott as an MVP sleeper. He'll need to smash in the Philadelphia rematch, of course, and maybe have the Eagles lose this week to San Francisco. But if both of those results happen, the seas begin to part. Either way, it's easily been Prescott's career season. The Cowboys took their time leaning into CeeDee Lamb as a target monster, but it's finally happened — he's absorbed 62 looks over the last five games, never seeing fewer than nine.
2. San Francisco 49ers (2)
If the NFL took a mulligan on the 2022 NFL Draft, using current knowledge, I wonder where Brock Purdy would be selected. Probably somewhere in the first round. Purdy's evaluation is very difficult because we can't separate him from the perfect setup — creative offensive designer and four uber-skilled teammates on offense. Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle are already building strong Hall of Fame cases.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (1)
It's interesting to see the 10-1 Eagles as home underdogs to the 49ers this week, but that illustrates that Philly has won a bunch of close games, and probably run lucky in those coin-flippers. But the Eagles also make a lot of their own luck, especially with their dominance in short-yardage situations. Does Jalen Hurts have enough touchdown equity to enter the first-round fantasy discussion next year?