Let us call last week, Bizarro World DFS. I managed to do my biggest damage in the early slate of games instead of the afternoon. For a second straight week, Drew Brees failed to produce in an easy matchup. This time however I avoided the urge to overuse him. It won’t get any easier for him this week. There are a couple potential blowouts on the slate this week, so garbage time is in play. I also feel that weather will come into play once again, making some seemingly obvious plays, less obvious.
If you are playing in Monday night contests, know that Josh Norman will be out for revenge. I fully expect him to completely shut down Kelvin Benjamin (not that Ron Rivera hasn’t already done that). That said, Cam should still have a solid line and Ted Ginn and Greg Olsen should be the primary benefactors. Kirk Cousins will have no trouble moving the ball through the air against Carolina. This means that all of his weapons are in play, including both of his tight ends. I don’t love either running back, but neither will break the bank either.
For those playing on FD, I recommend targeting: Adam Vinatieri, Kai Forbath, and Matt Bryant at kicker. I also sneakily like both Cairo Santos and Ryan Succop as cheaper options in the same game (assuming there is no weather terrorism at Arrowhead). Bryant is the only one over 5K, and even then he is only 5.1K.
At defense, Buffalo and Atlanta are the obvious plays. They both come in right around 5K on FD and 3.8K on DK. I also really like Minnesota for only 4.5K on FD and 3.5K on DK. Two sneaky punt plays would be the Giants and the Jaguars. You can get either of them for less than 3K on DK. The Giants are a little bit pricier on FD, but the Jaguars are dirt cheap.
I love Matt Ryan at quarterback this week. He is the only safe play at the top of the dollar spectrum. There are a few options in the mid-5K range that I like. That is where I will probably find my QB from if I don’t go for Ryan (and I learned my lesson two weeks ago – I will not be all-in on Ryan). I may also have minor exposure to Sam Bradford or Carson Wentz as a punt play.
With many great options in the second-tier, I will actually be avoiding LeVeon Bell and David Johnson this week. If I go the LeSean McCoy route it will cost me 9K. I can probably afford it but I might prefer to go with two of the 6K-7K range guys. I will also likely roster my DK FLEX from this position since there are so many premium volume plays at cheap prices this week (Farrow, Crowell, Blount, Dixon, and Washington).
Antonio Brown should be in for a big day and the only big money play I like better than him is Jordy Nelson. Wherever possible, I’m going to squeeze both of these guys into my lineup. There are a ton of tier-3 guys I like as well such as: Tyreek Hill, Steve Smith, Cole Beasley, and Adam Thielen. Each is a safe play at WR3, or I could opt for two of them (or any of the values in the 5K-6K range) to fill out my WR options. I have three favorite punt options this week: Breshad Perriman, Corey Coleman, and J.J. Nelson. Each is deployable if you need some cost savings to fit two of the higher priced RBs.
The TE values are not as prevalent as recent weeks, so I will not be going double-TE this week on DK. Kyle Rudolph, Antonio Gates, and Cameron Brate are all great options that will cost you under 4.5K on DK and 6K on FD, but my favorite play this week will be Ladarius Green. If you need a punt play consider Charles Clay or Daniel Brown, but you shouldn’t have to.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: 6K or less at QB (unless you opt for Matt Ryan at 7.3K), 13K for both starting RBs and 4K maximum for your DK FLEX. 15.7K for Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson, and roughly 5K for WR3 (or under 19K for all three if you avoid Antonio – do not avoid Nelson at this price), 3.7K for Ladarius Green, and less than 3.5K for the defense of your choice.
At FD: 7.5-8.5K for QB, 15K-16K for two RBs, 16.2K for Brown and Nelson, and 6K or less for WR3, 5.6K for Green, and less than 10K combined for kicker and defense.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
|Robert Griffin III||$5,000||$6,100|
Weekly strategy – Matt Ryan is the safest play and I will have a fair amount of exposure to him. That said, I am afraid that game may turn run heavy for Atlanta, or worse yet Ryan could get pulled early. My favorite plays are Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, and Colin Kaepernick. They will be in most of my lineups. If I need to save some money, I might roll out Sam Bradford or Carson Wentz as punt options. If I do go with either of them, I will stack them with Adam Thielen and Jordan Matthews respectively.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. SF ($7300 DK, $8500 FD)
Cleveland is the only team to allow more passing TDs than San Francisco. The Niners have shut out QBs the last two weeks, but that was against the unholy-duo of Bryce Petty and Matt Barkley. These two would be third-string at best on Atlanta. The only way Matt Ryan doesn’t top 350-3, is if the lead is so big that he gets benched early, or if the lead is so big that they just run the ball the rest of the game.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ CHI ($7100 DK, $8500 FD)
Aaron Rodgers has 17 passing TDs in his last five games against Chicago. I would normally be a bit concerned about the weather for this game, but Rodgers has proven over the last two weeks that he is more than capable of putting up big numbers in numbing weather. The only reason I’m not giving this one a GREEN rating is because it is in Chicago. Only seven teams have allowed fewer points per game at home this year. I think Rodgers probably bucks the trend and posts 275-2 as a floor.
Derek Carr, Raiders @ SD ($6300 DK, $7900 FD)
This is an interesting game featuring two quality quarterbacks on good offenses with bad defenses. This could turn into a shootout quickly. I’m a little more concerned about San Diego’s offense because of the absence of Melvin Gordon, but Philip Rivers will post a fair line as well. I expect each one to approach 300 yards and two scores, but I think Derek Carr is more of a sure thing.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers @ CIN ($6600 DK, $8000 FD)
Of course, we need to be worried about Ben Roethlisberger’s home/road splits. Since 2009, he has thrown for more than one TD at Cincinnati only once. Fortunately for him, Cincy is equally mediocre on defense at home and on the road. Their numbers may seem better than they actually are, on paper, when you consider that the only upper-tier QBs they have faced this year are: Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins, and Big Ben. Those four have averaged 333-2.75 against them.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers @ ATL ($5800 DK, $7500 FD)
As bad as the Niners have been on pass defense, the Falcons have been even worse. They are tied for passing TDs allowed, but Atlanta has allowed over 400 more passing yards. Colin Kaepernick will likely find himself behind early, and he will be forced to throw the ball to keep up. Ultimately he will fail, but in the process he should still top 300 total yards and score a pair of TDs. Kaepernick struggled mightily last week, but a lot of that was due to the weather conditions, there is no threat of weather in this game. Recency bias could keep him under-owned, don’t make that same mistake. He will be one of my favorites to deploy, if I don’t go with Ryan.
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. PHI ($5700 DK, $7400 FD)
Philadelphia’s pass defense has gone from phenomenal at the start of the year, to full-on meltdown over the last couple months. Joe Flacco will get the honor of picking on them this time around. Flacco has averaged 352-3 over the last two weeks as he has accounted for more than a third of his passing TDs this year. My biggest concern here is a likelihood of high winds and heavy rain, but Flacco has played in worse.
|Duke Johnson Jr.||$3,200||$4,800|
Weekly strategy – Both David Johnson and LeVeon Bell are out of my plans for the week due to their prices (and because I am scared that Bell blew his wad last week – on all of my rosters!). LeSean McCoy will be on a few of my rosters. However, most of my lineups will feature a pair from: Jordan Howard, Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray. I will also likely roster my DK FLEX from this position using: LeGarrette Blount, Tevin Coleman, Kenneth Dixon, Isaiah Crowell, or Kenneth Farrow. If I overspend at the other positions, I could also choose two of my three from that list.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
LeSean McCoy, Bills vs. CLE ($8900 DK, $9000 FD)
The Giants are the only team to not top 100 rushing yards against the Browns since Week 7. Over that seven game stretch they have given up nine RB rushing touchdowns. Mike Gillislee is always a threat, but McCoy will still top 150 combo yards and score a minimum of 1 TD here.
LeVeon Bell, Steelers @ CIN ($9800 DK, $9400 FD)
I don’t dislike this play, and considering his output recently, it is hard to avoid him. His price tag still isn’t in David Johnson range meaning he is usable, but I’m scared he may have blown his wad last week. Plus, you have to assume he is going to be a fairly chalk play. At the very least, Pittsburgh would be wise to rotate in the returning DeAngelo Williams, since Bell had so much usage last week. Only four teams have allowed more rushing yards per carry than Cincy. That said, they have fared reasonably well against Bell in his career. Bell had one game where he went off for 235 combo yards and three scores. In the other three games, he has averaged only 88 combo yards and he has a total of one TD. If weather becomes a factor (minimal snow showers are forecast), Bell could have more value.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. SF ($6700 DK, $7700 FD)
San Francisco has allowed 260 more RB rushing yards than the next worst team. They have allowed five more total RB touchdowns than the next worst. They have also given up multiple RB rushing touchdowns in six different games. The only reason Devonta Freeman won’t post 150-2, is that he will split work with Tevin Coleman. Freeman is still good for 120-1, while Coleman will also approach 100 yards and score.
David Johnson, Cardinals vs. NO ($10100 DK, $9800 FD)
It has come to this, I cannot, not rank, David Johnson outside of the top four producers, because he will still finish with 18-20 fantasy points thanks to his pass-catching ability. This game could be a little tricky though, since only two teams have topped 100 RB rushing yards (way back in Weeks 1 & 3) against the Saints. Add that to the price tag, and Johnson is persona non grata for me this week. Even though, I am certain that he should still do some damage in the pass game.
Kenneth Dixon, Ravens vs. PHI ($3800 DK, $5100 FD)
The Eagles have allowed five RB rushing scores in their last four games. Meanwhile, Kenneth Dixon finally overtook the lions’ share of the touches for Baltimore last week. He turned that production into an eight-catch, one touchdown, and 81 total yard performance. I’d expect a slight uptick on those numbers this week. I also like him heavily in the short passing game, if weather becomes a factor.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns @ BUF ($4100 DK, $5500 FD)
Buffalo has allowed the second-most RB rushing touchdowns. This includes six over the last three weeks. They are likely still having nightmares of LeVeon Bell gouging them. Isaiah Crowell gets to vulture the scraps this week. Crowell hasn’t scored since Week 8, but he has averaged over 100 combo yards in the last two weeks. I think he gets back in the scoring column this week in a game that could surprise and blow away the over.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$8,000||$8,600|
|Steve Smith Sr.||$5,300||$6,200|
|Terrelle Pryor Sr.||$5,200||$6,400|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$4,700||$5,600|
|Will Fuller V||$4,100||$5,100|
Weekly strategy – Jordy Nelson is primed for a monster game. He will be on all of my rosters. I will also be highly represented by Antonio Brown, and will fit both of them in as many lineups as possible. Tier-3 is loaded with values this week. Adam Thielen and Tyreek Hill (what does he have to do to get his price to go up) will probably be the two I roster most frequently. If weather isn’t horrible, I also might punt to Corey Coleman at WR3. If weather is bad there, I could also roll with either J.J. Nelson or Breshad Perriman.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Antonio Brown, Steelers @ CIN ($8400 DK, $8500 FD)
The squeaky wheel usually gets the grease, meaning that it is Antonio Brown’s turn to dominate the box score for Pittsburgh. Only once since 2012 has Brown finished with fewer than five receptions against Cincinnati. That game was earlier this year. Plus, you have to assume Brown is still a little bit bitter at Vontaze Burfict even if Burfict did apologize for his dirty hit.
Jordy Nelson, Packers @ CHI ($7300 DK, $7700 FD)
At a little more than 1K cheaper than Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson has arguably the better matchup. Nelson failed mightily earlier this year versus the Bears, while the rest of the Packers’ WRs posted a ridiculous 311-3 against them. Prior to that debacle, Nelson had posted 26-421-4 against Chicago in his previous three meetings. Nelson is an absolute lock for 125-1 this week.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers @ DAL ($8300 DK, $8200 FD)
Dallas has one very good CB and a bunch of injuries in the rest of their secondary. Mike Evans could struggle somewhat in this game, but he is so involved in this offense that he is unbenchable. Odell Beckham didn’t have a huge game against Dallas last week, but even he broke away for a long TD. I expect Evans will produce a line slightly better than Beckham’s 4-94-1, due to volume alone.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys vs. TB ($6800 DK, $7500 FD)
You know that Dez Bryant has had this game circled on his calendar for about a month. After facing four straight legitimate shutdown cornerbacks, this game will feel like a backyard game to Bryant. Making this matchup really sexy is that it is in primetime. Bryant shines under the bright lights. Over the last three seasons, he has played in 13 primetime games and he has 12 touchdowns.
Adam Thielen, Vikings vs. IND ($4800 DK, $6000 FD)
Indianapolis also has one very good CB. I’d call the rest of their secondary putrid, but that would be an insult to all things putrid. I’m assuming that Stefon Diggs will draw the premium coverage leaving Adam Thielen free range. Prior to holding the also putrid, Brock Osweiler in check last week, Indy had given up 10 WR touchdowns over their prior five games. Thielen has posted 19-240 over the last three weeks on 25 targets. With Sam Bradford being asked to further open up the Vikings’ passing offense, expect more of the same for Thielen this week.
Tyreek Hill, Chiefs vs. TEN ($5700 DK, $6400 FD)
SERIOUSLY, What does Tyreek Hill have to do to get his salary to climb on DFS??? It seems like he scores every time he touches the ball. Plus, this week he gets to face a pass defense that has allowed an average of 21-259 to opposing WR groupings over the last four weeks. Two of those games were quarterbacked by Matt Barkley and Trevor Siemian. If Hill posts less than one score this week it will seem like a failure.
Weekly strategy – It is time to go away from the Double-TE strategy this week since there are so many extreme values at both WR and RB. Tyler Eifert is the safest bet for a score but his price tag is higher than the rest (especially at FD). Kyle Rudolph, Antonio Gates, and Cameron Brate will be on some of my rosters. That said, Ladarius Green will be on the lions’ share of my rosters. If I am desperate for savings, I could slide in Will Tye, Daniel Brown, or Charles Clay. All three face horrible TE defenses.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Tyler Eifert, Bengals vs. PIT ($5600 DK, $7200 FD)
Tyler Eifert has played significant snaps in 19 games over the last two years. In those games he has 18 touchdowns. Compare that to Rob Gronkowski, who has played significant snaps in 22 games over the last two years. In those games he only has 14 TDs. In seven road games this season, Pittsburgh has allowed an average of 5.3-71 to opposing TEs. That sounds about right for Eifert, with a TD as a certainty.
Ladarius Green, Steelers @ CIN ($3700 DK, $5600 FD)
Ladarius Green gets another simple match this week. Recency bias (thanks to his bad performance last week) will keep his ownership low, but it shouldn’t. Cincy has allowed no fewer than five receptions to every TE group they have faced since Week 6. Plus, they have allowed the most total yards to the position and the second-most total receptions. They also have given up seven TDs to the position, including both Xavier Grimble and Jesse James in the earlier meeting between these two teams.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. TEN ($5900 DK, $6900 FD)
Tennessee has performed fairly well against opposing TEs. Nevertheless, Travis Kelce is beyond white-hot. Since Week 8, Travis Kelce leads the entire NFL in receiving yards – not just TEs – the entire NFL! This includes five 100-yard plus outings in his last seven games. He has only scored once during that span, but he has been targeted a ton in the red zone, and he even had a couple called back due to penalty. It is hard not to roster him right now at this price, but I like Eifert’s and Green’s matchup a tad more this week.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings vs. IND ($4300 DK, $5800 FD)
It is hard to roster Kyle Rudolph with the other players having such sexy prices, but he still will out-produce his price tag this week. If you do roll out some Double-TE lineups he is a nice TE2 option. Kyle Rudolph is tied for the league lead with six TE touchdowns, including three over the last six games. Meanwhile, Indy has given up 50 yards or more to the position nine times this year.
Will Tye, Giants vs. DET ($2900 DK, $4500 FD)
Detroit doesn’t even try to cover TEs anymore. I hit a solid double predicting that even Daniel Brown would go off against them, and while his yardage was underwhelming, he still had six receptions. Will Tye has a lot more talent than Daniel Brown. I just wish Tye would get the targets he was getting earlier this year. With high winds and heavy rain predicted for this game, Tye could be very active in the short-pass game.
Charles Clay, Bills vs. CLE ($2800 DK, $4500 FD)
13 games – 11 TE touchdowns allowed. Last week, Charles Clay celebrated the birth of his first child with his first TD of the year. Against this defense, we might find out that he actually had twins. You won’t get a ton of receptions or yards out of Clay, but if you need 10 fantasy points for near league minimum, he is your guy.