DEN QB Brock Osweiler @ WAS
Trevor Siemian went down with a shoulder injury, and Osweiler took back the starting job with authority last Thursday, throwing for 194 yards and 2 TDs while rushing for an additional score in a win at Indianapolis. His matchup is a little tougher on paper this week at Washington, but the Redskins defense has struggled of late and now ranks 30th in non schedule-adjusted DVOA pass defense. Those in desperate need of a streamer could do worse than the Brock Star, who has excellent receivers to make plays for him if he can deliver the ball accurately.
BAL RB Danny Woodhead @ IND
He’s been completely overshadowed as a rusher by dynamic rookie Alex Collins, but Woodhead continues to see work in the passing game and might be overlooked as a player who could step up with Jeremy Maclin (knee) unlikely to play this Saturday. The Colts pass defense has been abysmal all year, and Indy ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs to make Woodhead’s individual matchup seem even more enticing.
SF RB Matt Breida vs. JAX
He remains involved as a change-of-pace back next to Carlos Hyde, and Breida could see extra work in unique formations as the 49ers look to counteract the Jaguars elite secondary by getting their backs and TEs in favorable matchups. With 19 receptions for 140 yards and a TD on the year, Breida is capable of making plays on short passes even against one of the best defenses in the NFL.
JAX WR Jaydon Mickens @ SF
By now the cat is out of the bag in Keenan Cole after he went off for 186 yards and a TD last week, but you may still be able to plug and play Mickens in a plus matchup this Sunday. The 49ers rank 27th in DVOA pass defense against opposing slot receivers, and Jacksonville showed a sudden willingness to let Blake Bortles make throws as he shredded the struggling Texans last week. As long as Allen Hurns and/or Marqise Lee remain out with ankle injuries, Mickens will be in play as a deep sleeper.
CAR WR Damiere Byrd vs. TB
Another player who made a name for themselves in Week 15, Byrd should continue to run a ton of routes for the Panthers with Russell Shepard (shoulder) banged up and Curtis Samuel (leg) done for the year. Byrd caught three passes for 25 yards and two TDs in what could be called unsustainable production, but played 59.4 percent of offensive snaps against the Vikings and faces arguably the worst pass defense in the league this week in the Bucs.
WAS TE Vernon Davis vs. DEN
In a word, Davis has been horrible lately. Despite Jordan Reed going on injured reserve, Davis has done next to nothing with his added opportunities, but that could change in a favorable matchup at home against a Broncos defense that’s almost exclusively vulnerable to opposing RBs and TEs. Denver ranks 25th in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs and has allowed the third-most TDs (8) to that position this year, so Davis could snap out of his funk this week.