By Grant Ramirez
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans (vs CLE)
After struggling early, Deshaun Watson has caught fire, scoring five touchdowns in his past two games. Although it will be tough to keep up that rate, his success should continue as Houston hosts Cleveland on Sunday. The Browns’ defense has struggled mightily this season and mostly against quarterbacks that aren’t exactly quality starters, like Josh McCown and Jacoby Brissett. Cleveland does have a solid pass rush that just got better with the return of defensive end Myles Garrett, but Watson’s ability to make plays on the move is a big reason for his success. Look for another big day from the rookie.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans (vs DET)
The departure of Adrian Peterson makes the Saints’ backfield a lot less crowded, meaning Alvin Kamara should get a lot more touches on offense. Against Miami, he averaged 5 yards per carry and hauled in a whopping 10 receptions. New Orleans faces the Lions on Sunday. Although Detroit has a good run defense, it has a bottom five pass defense. This is where Kamara’s skills as a receiver come into play, and the Saints may favor his versatility in this game over the other feature back on the Saints, Mark Ingram.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (vs MIN)
Davante Adams consistently beat the Cowboys’ secondary on Sunday and topped off his performance with the game-winning touchdown catch. Now, the Packers travel to Minnesota for a divisional matchup with the Vikings. Star cornerback Xavier Rhodes will most likely shadow Jordy Nelson, leaving Adams in an easier matchup against other corners. He should produce big numbers with Nelson occupied with Rhodes and Aaron Rodgers firing on all cylinders. In addition, he is one more week removed from a concussion he suffered against the Bears, and he should benefit from a full week of practice.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (vs TB)
On Tuesday, Adrian Peterson was traded from New Orleans to a Cardinals team that is hoping he can spark a running game that ranks last in the league. He should get a lot of carries, but I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. Missing David Johnson isn’t the only reason the Cardinals’ run game has been so poor, their offensive line play has been abysmal. In addition, Peterson hasn’t proven he can be a consistent runner in the past two seasons. Even if he does eventually return to some of his previous form, it will take some time for him to get used to his new offensive system and get comfortable.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (vs DEN)
Last week was not a fun one for the Giants’ offense. They lost three of their top four wideouts, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris, to season ending injuries. In addition, slot receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a sprained ankle and looks unlikely to play on Sunday. On top of all that New York will go up against a Denver defense that ranks No. 1 in the league, as it has more or less shut down every offense it has played. All of this is not a good mix for quarterback Eli Manning. Although he has played better recently, he should be in for a rough night.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (vs JAX)
Jared Goff struggled in a loss to Seattle, committing three second half turnovers. It was quite a different look for Goff, as he had been lighting up defenses before last week’s contest. He faces another stiff test this week when the Rams travel to Jacksonville to play an intimidating defense that responded to a bizarre loss to the Jets by picking off Ben Roethlisberger five times. The ball-hawking secondary, featuring cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye, will limit Goff and capitalize if he makes similar mistakes he made last week.