Deshaun Watson delivered the goods for me this week. I wish I had rostered more of him. Tyler Kroft also paid huge dividends in the few lineups I rostered him. It further strengthens the argument that you start any and all tight ends against the Browns.
Once again, the Sunday night game is not on the DK Millionaire slate. I have to assume this is a permanent move for them. It remains to be seen if FD follows suit at some point. Until then, I will continue to rank the players in this game along with the rest of the Sunday contests.
This is the first week that we are blessed with any “Scheduled” byes. We have two premium offenses and two additional solid offenses taking the weekend off. That is a lot of quality talent that you will not be able to draft this week.
Monday night “features” the Bears and Vikings. This game would be a lot more interesting from a fantasy standpoint if Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook were playing. Instead, we are looking at a game where the top scorer for each team is likely going to be their kicker. Chicago’s defense is good enough to make Case Keenum a QB2 at best. Nevertheless, I would still start Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, because they are both just that damn good. Keenum has ignored Kyle Rudolph, so leave him out of your lineups. Latavius Murray will have a bargain-basement price tag, and on a short primetime-only slate, he needs to be owned, in larger formats I won’t waste my time on him. Tarik Cohen is the only Bear to consider this week. That said, I’m not overly excited about his chances against a very fast Vikings’ defense. That defense is definitely in play in ALL FORMATS as they will give Mitch Trubisky worse nightmares than the movie It.
For those playing on FD my top kickers this week are Matt Prater and Greg Zuerlein. They are both a tad bit pricier, but each should have huge days. To save a little money, I am also very high on Ryan Succop, Jake Elliott, and Ka’imi Fairbairn. In addition to being cheaper, these three will also be less chalk than Prater and Greg the Leg.
The Ravens are my favorite team for defense this week. I will have extreme exposure to them. I also like both Buffalo and Cincinnati against each other. Either way, you shouldn’t have to overpay for defense this week.
Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott should each put up solid numbers against each other in a shootout. That said, neither projects at 3X production. This week feels like a spend-down week at the position. When I don’t roll with Rodgers, I will roster Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Brian Hoyer or Josh McCown. Ugh, I feel dirty just listing that foursome.
With no money spent at QB, I will throw a little extra at running back. I like LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott this week. I will roster one of these three on most of my lineup cards. Carlos Hyde and Bilal Powell are the two most tempting tier-three guys. Neither is sexy, but there just isn’t a ton to choose from. Duke Johnson and Wayne Gallman also make decent cheap filler options. One of those two could find himself as my DK FLEX. Of course, if Seattle announces that Thomas Rawls or Eddie Lacy will be their featured back, I will be forced to have some inexpensive (but chalky) exposure to them.
Wide receiver will once again be the position that I spend the most on. Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown each have a reason to explode this week. That said, both also have a key factor weighing against them. I might have exposure to one of the two, but not both. Jordy Nelson is an automatic play this week. Stacking him with Aaron Rodgers is a smart play. I might even add Randall Cobb to that stack if Davante Adams cannot go. There are many enticing tier-three plays here that I will target my WR2 from Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, Dez Bryant and T.Y. Hilton. I will then round things out with one of the following: Jarvis Landry, Devin Funchess, Will Fuller, Jermaine Kearse, Donte Moncrief or John Brown as my WR3. If you need to save money consider rostering one of the Tennessee receivers (If Marcus Mariota plays) or perhaps Aldrick Robinson (If Marquise Goodwin does not play).
I don’t like any of the high-priced tight end options this week. Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett are both in play against each other, but I would rather save here and roll with: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, David Njoku, Hunter Henry, Ryan Griffin or George Kittle.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: $4.7K for either Brian Hoyer or Josh McCown, $9K for one of the top running backs (Zeke, Bell or Gurley) and another $6.2K for Bilal Powell, plus an additional $4.9K for Duke Johnson at DK FLEX, $8K to $8.5K for one of the top WRs (Beckham, Brown or Jordy Nelson), $6.5K for Dez Bryant, and another $4K or less for WR3, $3.5K for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and $2.9K for the Ravens’ defense.
At FD: $6.5K to $7.2K for your choice of Hoyer, McCown, Eli Manning or Carson Palmer, $9K for one of the above listed top running backs, $6.6K for Bilal Powell, $19K for two of the elite WRs, $5K to $6K for John Brown, Will Fuller or Donte Moncrief, $5.5K for your choice of mid-range tight end, and $9.2K total for the Ravens’ defense and your choice of Ryan Succop or Jake Elliott.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly strategy – This week it is either go all-in on Aaron Rodgers, or go all-out on the position. I reckon most of my lineups will be punts of the QB position featuring: Brian Hoyer, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer or Josh McCown. I’ve got 12 percent of my budget riding here unless I roster Rodgers (in which case I am spending down at WR2).
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ DAL ($8100 DK, $9500 FD) It is very tempting to throw out a bunch of lineups anchored by Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps. Of course, that also feels both very chalky and it reeks slightly of desperation (like the guy in the club who has bathed himself in Sex Panther). I’m not above paying up for what should be a sure thing in a shootout matchup, but at the same time, I feel like I’d respect myself more in the morning if I didn’t have to spend this much for a sure thing.
Cam Newton, Panthers @ DET ($6500 DK, $7800 FD) For some absurd reason, Detroit is giving up 18 points per game more at home than they are on the road. Cam Newton woke up from his early-season slumber last week against the putrid Patriot defense. Of course, I’m pretty sure we could find several Pop Warner quarterbacks that could throw for 300 yards against New England. Nevertheless, I’m buying that Newton is back to at least the marginal QB1 conversation, and as such he should produce against a defense that is better against the run than the pass.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs. GB ($6800 DK, $7700 FD) This game is projected to be a shootout since both teams have injuries in their defensive backfield. If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably roll with Dak Prescott. First and foremost, he is a lot cheaper than Rodgers. Secondly, facing the Packers will feel like facing a D-III college team after the murderer’s row of secondaries Dallas has faced to start the season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. JAX ($6400 DK, $7900 FD) Ben Roethlisberger is as automatic as it gets at home, and at this price tag he looks like found money. What he has working against him, is that while he has been BIG Ben at home, Jacksonville makes all opposing quarterbacks feel very SMALL. I’m guessing Ben still wins this battle, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t produce as huge of a line as you might expect.
Brian Hoyer, 49ers @ IND ($4700 DK, $6500 FD) Brian Hoyer has been up and down all year. This week, he gets to face an Indianapolis team that has underperformed but did just get Vontae Davis back. Even with Davis’ return, there are still more than enough holes to exploit in this secondary. If you are missing your starter due to a bye, you could do a lot worse than Hoyer who should produce 270-2.
Josh McCown, Jets @ CLE ($4500 DK, $6800 FD) Cleveland is allowing the fourth-most points per game, and they have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of four. Josh McCown hasn’t thrown for a lot of yards or many touchdowns, but he also has faced four very good defenses. Cleveland does not have a very good defense – they don’t even have a good defense. I’m going to stack McCown in a lot of tourneys with Austin Seferian-Jenkins and/or Jermaine Kearse.
|Todd Gurley II||$8,000||$7,800|
|Duke Johnson Jr.||$4,900||$6,000|
Weekly strategy – I have a little extra to spend at running back this week, so I will roster one of the big-three (Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott or LeVeon Bell) on most of my rosters. They will be paired with either Bilal Powell or Carlos Hyde. I will also select my DK FLEX from this position. Duke Johnson, Wayne Gallman or one of the Seahawks will be that FLEX. This means I will have 40 percent of my budget in play here on DK and 28 percent here on FD.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys vs. GB ($8800 DK, $8900 FD) Not unlike Bo and Luke Duke, Ezekiel Elliott avoids the long arm of the law once again. This week, he should have little trouble posting big yardage against a run defense that has allowed more than 100 running back rushing yards in three straight games. I will have a fair amount of exposure to Zeke. As such, I expect him to top 125-1.
LeVeon Bell, Steelers vs. JAX ($9500 DK, $9500 FD) Much like Ben Roethlisberger, LeVeon Bell should produce a quality line this week. That said, temper some expectations because the Jaguars are allowing the second-fewest points per game on the road. What Bell has going for him, is that Jacksonville is allowing the most yards per game on the ground. Plus, they just got run through by the Jets last week.
Todd Gurley, Rams vs. SEA ($8000 DK, $7800 FD) Seattle has allowed huge games to the San Francisco and Tennessee backfields to go along with rushing touchdowns in three of four to start the year. Plus, last week they had several defensive linemen leave the game with various maladies. Todd Gurley has been a beast to start the year. Only Kareem Hunt has more yards from scrimmage and Gurley leads the league in touchdowns.
Carlos Hyde, 49ers @ IND ($6900 DK, $7200 FD) Two of the five running backs that have more yards rushing than Carlos Hyde won’t be playing this weekend. Another will be playing on Sunday Night Football, so he is not available on DK. Indy has allowed 4.9 yards per carry over the last three weeks. If Hyde gets 20 carries, that means 100 yards (not including any passes he might catch).
Duke Johnson, Browns vs. NYJ ($4900 DK, $6000 FD) Duke Johnson has the fifth-most receptions, the fourth-most targets, and the third-most receiving yards among running backs. Meanwhile, the Jets are allowing an average of 6-56 through the air to opposing running backs. That is a safe floor for Duke this week. Any rushing yards he gains are gravy.
Wayne Gallman, Giants vs. LAC ($3900 DK, $5200 FD) Wayne Gallman is the Giants most current attempt at finding a featured back. Their list of proposed starting running backs reads as long as the list of failed Browns’ quarterbacks. The Chargers have allowed the most total rushing yards to running backs this season, including 371 yards over the last two weeks. Bump Gallman’s value up even more if Paul Perkins cannot go this week.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$8,500||$8,900|
|Will Fuller V||XXXX||$5,700|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$4,100||$5,500|
Weekly strategy – I will be spending heavily at this position once again this week (approximately 40 percent). Jordy Nelson will be on almost all of my lineups. I will have him paired with Odell Beckham or Antonio Brown occasionally. On DK, I will also have nearly exclusive exposure to Dez Bryant. It will be easy to pair those two with a cheap option such as: Aldrick Robinson, Will Fuller, Donte Moncrief or Jermaine Kearse. If I need to save some money here, I might skip one of the higher priced guys and roster: T.Y. Hilton, Jarvis Landry or Devin Funchess for a cheaper WR2 option.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Jordy Nelson, Packers @ DAL ($8100 DK, $8600 FD) The stack of Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson will be very chalky this week, but that won’t keep me from having some exposure to it. Even if I don’t have Rodgers, expect me to squeeze Jordy onto most of my rosters. Thanks in part to secondary injuries, Dallas has allowed five wide receiver touchdowns over the last three weeks, despite facing mediocre quarterbacks. It won’t get easier facing Rodgers under center.
Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. JAX ($8400 DK, $8800 FD) Jacksonville has allowed an average of 78.5 yards per game to entire WR corps of their opponents – not to No.1 WRs – to all of their receivers combined! No team has topped 121 wide receiver receiving yards against them. To put that in perspective, Antonio Brown has topped that yardage figure eleven times since the start of 2015. Brown will likely top 100 yards and score, but you will be left wanting more.
Odell Beckham, Giants vs. LAC ($8500 DK, $8900 FD) Odell Beckham is dealing with a couple injuries right now, but neither should keep him from this cake matchup. Only one team has allowed more touchdowns to opposing wide receivers than Los Angeles. With 28 targets over the last two weeks, Eli Manning is clearly trying to get Beckham involved. Expect similar action this week, only with a better final line.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys vs. GB ($6500 DK, $7800 FD) Dez Bryant has been shadowed by four of the top cornerbacks in football over the first four weeks. This week, he faces a Green Bay defense that has been without their best corner for the last two weeks. It appears that Davon House will return this week, but he will have his hands full if he shadows Bryant. Even against those premium corners, Dak Prescott targeted Dez ten times per game. Imagine how frequently he will target Dez against a coming-off-of-injury House.
Will Fuller, Texans vs. KC ($XXXX DK, $5700 FD) Speaking of guys coming off of injury, Will Fuller returned to the Houston passing attack. He scored twice last week among six targets. This usage shouldn’t surprise since Fuller has been targeted six or more times in 12 of his 16 career starts. Deshaun Watson will find Marcus Peters lined up opposite DeAndre Hopkins a fair share. When that happens, expect Watson to cue in on Fuller. The Chiefs have allowed the fourth-most yards to opposing wide receivers, including a pair of 100-yard games to opposing non-No.1 wide receivers.
Aldrick Robinson, 49ers @ IND ($3100 DK, $4600 FD) This call is based on Marquise Goodwin not playing. Last week, Aldrick Robinson led the 49ers in receiving yards and targets. Most of this came after Goodwin was knocked out of the game. Vontae Davis will likely shadow Pierre Garcon. This makes him a little less appealing. However, it also opens up the other side of the field to whoever is the other starter. Robinson has filled in for much bigger shoes in the past (Julio Jones) and fared well. I bet he approaches 7-75-1 if he gets the start.
Weekly strategy – There is zero reason to spend up at this position this week. The best options are in the mid-tier: Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett, Hunter Henry and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. ASJ and Henry will be the most represented on my team. That said I will also go dumpster diving for a few shares of Ryan Griffin, David Njoku and George Kittle.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ HOU ($XXXX DK, $7000 FD) The Texans have been historically good against opposing tight ends. That said, this year they have been middle of the pack, and they got steamrolled by Rob Gronkowski. Travis Kelce is the closest thing in this league to Gronk so he could produce similar numbers here. I just don’t know if I want to risk this much money for a possibility.
Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. GB ($4200 DK, $5400 FD) This game is predicted to be high-scoring so of course I will start everyone on both sides, including the tight ends. In ten career meetings against Green Bay, Jason Witten has averaged eight targets, 5.4 receptions and 62 yards per game. I think that should suffice here.
Martellus Bennett, Packers @ DAL ($4100 DK, $5300 FD) The assumed absence of Davante Adams should lead to a few more targets for Martellus Bennett. Last week, Bennett led the Packers in both targets and receptions. I’m not predicting either of those for this week, but 5-60-1 is safe at this price.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks @ LAR ($4900 DK, $5800 FD) Jimmy Graham has the third-most targets and receptions among tight ends over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the Rams have not given up many yards to opposing tight ends, but they have allowed touchdowns in back-to-back games. If Seattle chooses to keep Graham active in the passing game, I like his chances of scoring this time around.
Hunter Henry, Chargers @ NYG ($3800 DK, $5200 FD) The Giants are allowing 7.25-77 per game to the tight end position. They also have allowed at least one tight end touchdown in every game. Hunter Henry has done very little, but he did finally score last week. It appears that the torch may finally be passed. The Chargers will score a tight end touchdown this week. I’m just not totally sure if it will be Henry or Antonio Gates. That said, my money is on the youngster.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets @ CLE ($3500 DK, $5500 FD) The first rule of Fantasy Football Club is “START YOUR TIGHT ENDS AGAINST THE BROWNS!”. The second rule of Fantasy Football Club is “START YOUR TIGHT ENDS AGAINST THE BROWNS!”. The third rule of Fantasy Football Club is “Tell all of your friends to follow @NewClearHarley on Twitter.” That is a very wise rule since I am the Tight End Whisperer.