Ok, I admit it. I started Ezekiel Elliott in every one of my lineups last week, and I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that meddling Charcandrick West. This shows the obvious positive highs and negative lows of riding chalk plays at both of your RB slots. Sure, West didn’t kill me, because 65% of the other competitors also had him in their lineups. I just set myself up for failure since I was overexposed to a non-certainty. The savings graces for my teams included the fact that almost all of my sleepers hit (and hit big). This week we don’t have as many teams on bye, so hopefully there will be more options for variance and less likelihood to overexpose one-self.
If you are playing in Monday night contests, know that the passing offenses are the best options. Cincinnati has good running backs, but New York has been dominant against opposing rushing attacks. Meanwhile Cincy has been so-so against opposing RBs, but the Giants’ running backs are a couple of slappies. The Bengal points will come from Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert as each should post solid yardage. Unfortunately, one thing that New York has been strong at, is keeping opponents’ passing attacks out of the end zone. So Dalton may throw for 300 yards but I wouldn’t count on more than one TD. That will go to Green, since the Giants don’t allow TE touchdowns. The G-Men are, however, allowing ridiculous receiving yardage numbers to opposing WRs. This means that Green is not only the likely recipient of the TD, but also a lock for 100 yards. The Eagles reamed the Giants’ secondary with Zach Ertz and Trey Burton last week, so in PPR formats I love Eifert (even though he will be held out of the end zone). Of course you know to start Odell Beckham, Jr. since he can go off even in bad matchups (see last week). This matchup is better than it seems since Cincy’s pass defense is vastly overrated. I can envision playing Sterling Shepard as a variance play, but I don’t love him. If I’m investing in this passing offense, it will likely be on Beckham. Eli Manning is a very good sneaky sleeper (at a nice price). Also, if you need a deep TE sleeper go with Will Tye since the Bengals have no bloody idea what to do with opposing TEs.
For those playing on FD, I recommend targeting: Matt Bryant, Josh Lambo, Nick Novak, and Ryan Succop at kicker. Those games present the best opportunity for kicker points. Bryant is the only one at or above 5K, and I guarantee that Ryan Succop will be under-owned.
At defense, the Arizona Cardinals is the best play of the week (but their price reflects that). I’m still going to be highly invested in them. I also like San Diego and the Jets as alt-options there. They can each be had for less than 3K on DK.
Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger are the two best options in the higher dollar range. There are a lot of reasons to sweat the other high-priced guys. My two favorite cheap options are Carson Wentz and Jay Cutler. Their price should help us go big at WR, which I favor this week.
David Johnson gets the Zeke treatment this week and he demands to be in 100% of all fantasy lineups. If I could start him multiple times I would. I’m still scared that I will set myself up for another Charknado scenario though since Darren Sproles has an overly sexy matchup too. A great variance from Johnson would be to go with Melvin Gordon or Devontae Booker; I just doubt I can pull that trigger.
The top tier of WRs is all about the upside. I will need to figure out a strategy to try and get two of these four (Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown) into all of my lineups. I could easily pair two of them with Rishard Matthews, Tyreek Hill, or Kenny Britt. I also might go deep diving for Bryce Treggs for my 3rd WR spot.
Travis Kelce, Antonio Gates, and Delanie Walker are premium options at TE this week. I also may go to the Lance Kendricks’ well one more time. Most importantly don’t overpay for Jordan Reed, Rob Gronkowski, or Greg Olsen this week since the aforementioned threesome will replicate the latter’s numbers for cheaper cost.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: 5.5K at QB, 8.4K for David Johnson & 4.3K for Darren Sproles (or no more than 5K for a different RB2), 18-18.5K for two of the top-four WRs and 4K for your WR3, 6.8-7K for your starting tight end and second TE/fourth WR as your FLEX, and 3K or less for one of the defenses I mention above.
At FD: 7K-8K at QB, 9.4K for Johnson and 5K for RB2, 17.5K for two of the top three WRs, 5K for WR3, 5.5-6K for a tight end of your choice, and no more than 10K combined for kicker and defense of your choice.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly strategy – I’m targeting Marcus Mariota, Carson Wentz, and Jay Cutler as my primary QBs this week. I will also spend up for Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer in a couple lineups where I roster Devontae Booker or Melvin Gordon as my RB1 instead of David Johnson. That said, with so many studs at WR to choose from and Johnson with the dream matchup, I just really feel like going penny-pincher makes the most sense.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ TEN ($7600 DK, $9000 FD)
Over the last four weeks, Tennessee is allowing an average of 325-2.5 to opposing QBs. This week won’t be any different as they face a very “game”, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers should post those numbers easily making him a very safe play in what should become a shootout. I feel he is a very safe play this week, but I will likely fade him because I need to save money here.
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ PHI ($7300 DK, $8600 FD)
The Eagles don’t give up very many passing yards, but they have given up a lot of passing TDs recently. Opposing offenses have thrown for 12 TDs against them over the last five weeks. Matt Ryan has three or more TDs five times this year and only twice has he been held to just one. I’m not expecting a 300-yard game, but I still expect multiple passing TDs for Matty Ice this week.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. DAL ($6800 DK, $7700 FD)
Dallas’ secondary is still dinged up and they appear ready to be picked apart in Game #2 back for Ben Roethlisberger. I jumped the gum recommending him last week as he was still a little limited. By now, he should be back to nearly full health and we all know how well Big Ben plays at home. Ben has a three TD floor this week and anything less than 300 yards would be unfathomable.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. SF ($6500 DK, $7900 FD)
San Francisco has given up 120 points over their last three games. Let this sink in – that is only 22 points more than Minnesota (the best defense in the league) has allowed all season and only 37 fewer than the Cardinals have given up all season. This game will be a destruction of biblical proportions. My main concern is that Palmer will be pulled from the blowout by the third quarter. Even with an abbreviated game 300-3 is a virtual certainty.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. ATL ($5400 DK, $6800 FD)
No team has allowed more yardage or passing TDs to opposing QBS than Atlanta. Six times this year, they have given up three or more TDs. This includes eight passing TDs over the last two weeks. Carson Wentz has only two TDs since Week 5, but this is the week he gets back on track. I’m especially excited about the potential of stacking Wentz with Bryce Treggs as my WR3.
Jay Cutler, Bears @ TB ($5300 DK, $7000 FD)
I never thought that I’d steep to recommending Jay Cutler. Much like this past week’s national election, this feels more like an indictment of Tampa’s defense, than a championship of Cutler’s talent. Over the last two weeks, Tampa has allowed 857 yards through the air and 8 passing TDs. Plus, Cutler is re-awakening his Zen-like connection with Alshon Jeffery. This makes them a cheap pivot option as a QB-WR2 stack rather than rostering a second of the top-four priced WRs.
Weekly strategy – I really love David Johnson’s chances of absolute domination. Only Zeke’s matchup last week compares to the level of excitement I have for Johnson this week. He will be paired with Darren Sproles in most of my lineups, but I also like Chris Ivory, and I don’t hate Peyton Barber or DuJuan Harris based on the volume they will receive if their respective starters miss the game.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
David Johnson, Cardinals vs. SF ($8400 DK, $9400 FD)
He’s only $8400 on DK. That is absurdist. The Niners have allowed 722-7 to opposing RBs over the last three games – and this is just the yardage they have allowed on the ground to the position. They’ve also given up a sizeable chunk in RB receiving yards as well. David Johnson will top 200 total yards here (he may even approach the single-game record) and two TDs is the bare minimum he will post.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys @ PIT ($7900 DK, $8900 FD)
Ezekiel Elliott lit the lamp last week in a cake matchup. This week gets a little bit tougher, but Pittsburgh is still beatable by teams that concentrate on running the ball (see Jay Ajayi a couple weeks ago). The simple fact is however that I cannot afford both Johnson and Elliott. I refuse to pivot off of Johnson unless there is undeniable upside, and I don’t see it this week because I think this game will be a shootout and Dak will have to keep the Cowboys in it through the air.
Devontae Booker, Broncos @ NOS ($7000 DK, $7800 FD)
This is one of the few matchups that I could consider pivoting from Johnson with. I may even be tempted to sacrifice even deeper at WR2 and QB to roster both Johnson and Devontae Booker. I’m not scared of Kapri Bibbs at all. Booker will absolutely eat against a Saints defense that got trucked by the undead corpse of DuJuan Harris last week. As long as he doesn’t fumble the ball (not likely – since SF has two fumble recoveries over their last five games) 140-1 is my baseline for him.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers vs. MIA ($7100 DK, $8300 FD)
The Dolphins have allowed only three running back rushing TDs this season, but two of those have come in their last two games. Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon has been a TD-machine. He has failed to tally a TD in only two games this season, and even in those games he posted big yardage. He even seems to be getting stronger as the year progresses. Over the last three weeks he has 537 yards and four scores.
Darren Sproles, Eagles vs. ATL ($4300 DK, $5100 FD)
Atlanta is very stingy to opposing RBs on the ground. Unfortunately, they are equally as rotten at stopping opposing RBs through the air. They have allowed the most receiving yards and the second-most receptions and receiving TDs to the position. Darren Sproles has been named the starting RB for this game, but the main reason you play him is his PPR-appeal. So any yards he picks up on the ground are just gravy.
Chris Ivory, Jaguars vs. HOU ($3400 DK, $5200 FD)
I’ve been telling anyone who would listen all season that T.J. Yeldon sucks. Apparently, the Scarecrow, Gus Bradley, finally is starting to realize that as well. Houston will have little trouble shutting down Blake Bortles (at least until “garbortlage time”), so Chris Ivory is their only hope to move the ball the first three quarters. Remember this team just allowed 191-2 to Denver’s RBs just two short weeks ago.
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$3,700||$5,300|
Weekly strategy – This is the week to spend up at WR. Each of my top four is an incredible value, and for some really crazy reason, they all have cheaper prices on FD than on DK. It doesn’t matter how much you need to pay for these guys. Just invest, and invest heavily. All of my lineups will have two of these four in some combination. The only other higher-priced guys I might consider pairing with one of them would be the Denver WRs or Alshon Jeffery (in a stack with Cutler). The high dollar investment at WR1 & WR2 means that I will go dumpster diving for WR3. Rishard Matthews, Tyreek Hill, and Bryce Treggs are my three favorites there.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. DAL ($8900 DK, $8600 FD)
I’m certain that this game will become a shootout, and that means that Antonio Brown is a no-brainer. He is always a PPR-hero, but this week a touchdown is a sure thing as well. Dallas’ secondary is still dealing with injuries and the Cowboys will need to keep extra help inside to stop LeVeon Bell. They just simply don’t have enough healthy defenders to stop all of Pittsburgh’s potential weapons.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers vs. CHI ($9000 DK, $8500 FD)
Mike Evans may be the top WR in football right now. Over the last two games, Chicago has allowed three different WRs to top eight receptions and 75 yards plus each of them has scored at least one TD. Mike Evans doesn’t have a ton of exciting talent behind him on the depth chart (although Russell Shepherd or Adam Humphries could be deep sleepers this week). Evans is averaging a ridiculous 13 targets per week. This goes along with an average of 7-92-1. He will post considerably more than that this week.
Julio Jones, Falcons @ PHI ($9500 DK, $8800 FD)
The Eagles did well against opposing WRs earlier this year. Now they just gave up four wide receivers TDs to a struggling Giants’ offense, including two to Odell Beckham, Jr. Julio Jones should be safe to record his sixth 100-yard performance of the year. I also feel he should be able to find his way to the end zone for the sixth time.
Larry Fitzgerald Jr., Cardinals vs. SF ($7600 DK, $7200 FD)
If this was an election, the 49ers would promise to make their opponents’ fantasy football lines great again. They have allowed multiple WR touchdowns in each of their last five games. Not to mention allowing 30-390-5 to the position over their last two. Larry Fitzgerald is battling an ankle issue but all signs point to him playing this week. Even at 90%, Fitz will embarrass these bums.
Rishard Matthews, Titans vs. GB ($4200 DK, $5800 FD)
Do you know who leads all WR in TDs since Week 5? Hint it is a three-way tie between a couple so-so guys named Beckham and Evans and one other individual, Rishard Matthews. I was a huge fan of Matthews coming into this season after his breakout campaign last year in Miami. Unfortunately he didn’t gel early on with Marcus Mariota. That has all changed. They are both white hot right now. That sets up nicely against a Green Bay defense that has more holes than a pasta strainer. Opponent’s top WRs are averaging 5.5-90 against the Pack with six total TDs. This number would be even higher, but they inexplicably shut down Alshon Jeffery and Julio Jones in back-to-back games to lower that average. In the other six contests they have given up an average of 6.3-109-1 to their opponents’ WR1.
Tyreek Hill, Chiefs @ CAR ($3800 DK, $4700 FD)
As of today Jeremy Maclin remains questionable for this week. Even if Maclin does play this week, Tyreek Hill has a great matchup this week – it only gets better if Mac can’t make it. Over their last five games, Carolina has allowed an average of 246 yards per game to opposing WRs. They’ve also given up 9 WR scores over that period. Hill will catch a few passes and at least one will be a long-distance score.
Weekly strategy – To afford the higher-priced players at WR and David Johnson, I will have to scrounge a little here. Fortunately for me, Antonio Gates and Zach Ertz have great matchups and reasonable prices. Plus, both Virgil Green and Lance Kendricks are nice bargain basement options. I don’t mind paying up a little for Delanie Walker or Travis Kelce, if I choose to save a few bucks at WR2, but that won’t be my primary strategy. I’d also presume that I will choose my DK FLEX from this position or from the bottom of the WR rankings.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ CAR ($5600 DK, $6300 FD)
Every TE not named Virgil Green or Jermaine Gresham has had success against Carolina this year (including last week’s TE-sleeper, Lance Kendricks). If you exclude those two games, the Panthers have allowed an average of 5.3-83-1 to the position. The Chiefs may be without Jeremy Maclin, leaving Travis Kelce as the surest-thing amongst Alex Smith’s potential targets. I like him for roughly 7-85-1 this week.
Delanie Walker, Titans vs. GB ($4600 DK, $6200 FD)
The Pack has only allowed two TE touchdowns this year, but five different teams have topped 60 yards with the position against them. Delanie Walker is once again a top target for the Titans. He has 75 yards and/or a TD in four of his last games. This game will be high scoring making the Mariota-Matthews-Walker stack potentially enticing. Their reduced price may even allow you to roster both Zeke and Johnson.
Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. MIN ($6200 DK, $7000 FD)
With the obvious exception of the last two weeks, Minnesota has been very good against opposing TEs. That said we cannot ignore the 16-193 that they have given up during these contests. Plus, Minnesota is very adept at shutting down the rest of an offense (great run defense, very good WR-coverage). If Washington is going to score a TD this week, Reed has the best chance. He is averaging a very acceptable 7-69-0.5 in the six games he has played. I just wish he wasn’t so pricy this week, since the WRs in that price range are just a little more appealing.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. SEA ($6900 DK, $8000 FD)
This is always a fun matchup when these two teams lock horns. It remains to be seen if Rob Gronkowski can continue to make hey against a defense that is allowing an average of only 3.5-37 to opposing TEs and that has allowed only one TE touchdown this year. In their previous two meetings, Gronk has posted a combined 12-129-1. This is still pretty good, but not really that Gronk-esque.
Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. ATL ($3700 DK, $4600 FD)
Why can’t I leave you Zach Ertz? Every time I put my faith in you, I find you surfing Ashley Madison and Backpage.com or worse yet posting nine total receptions over a four-week period. You’ve lured me back into your web once again with an apparently sincere 8-97 line last week, but don’t blame me if I’m hesitant. Sure we had some good times, like late last year when you led me to a string of victories during my fantasy playoffs, but can I trust you? You’ve invited me on a date to face the Falcons; and that is roughly on par with a candlelit dinner featuring an Italian string-quartet, expensive champagne, and lobster as far as sure-things go. Please don’t break my heart again. Love, Harley.
Lance Kendricks, Rams @ NYJ ($3000 DK, $4500 FD)
Lance Kendricks came through big time for me last week and amazingly neither site has raised his price. That’s ok I’ll gladly take another 7-90 line. Heck, I’ll settle for the 7-55 line you posted in your prior game as well. Realistically, I’d be just fine with the 5-59 line that the Jets are allowing per game. This is a bargain basement pull, but I’m not ready to trust Keenum with a stack again after his just ‘aight final line last week.