I hope you have all awoken from your tryptophan-induced comas. If not, put on a pot of coffee, throw some leftovers in the microwave, and kick back in preparation for a fun weekend of DFS madness.
Sunday Night features a likely blowout of the Green Bay Packed-it-iners by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, all the Steelers, including their defense, are great plays. Green Bay, not so much. Be aware that this game could get out of hand early, so even background players like James Conner could come into play.
Monday night is awful. Joe Flacco and the Baltimore passing offense would normally be in play against the Texans’ secondary. Unfortunately, Flacco has been more flaccid than elite this year. I am ok with starting Jeremy Maclin or Mike Wallace, but guessing which one of those two is going to score Flacco’s lone touchdown is easier said than done. Equally perplexing is which Baltimore running back will score this week. I’ll guess that one of them does (perhaps Danny Woodhead). Houston won’t score an offensive touchdown this week (unless it comes on a busted play), so don’t bother. Truth be told, the best plays in this game are probably Ka’imi Fairbairn and Justin Tucker.
For those playing on FD my top kickers this week are Stephen Gostkowski, Harrison Butker and Greg Zuerlein. They are each a little over $5K. To save a little, feel free to roll with Chris Boswell in the Sunday Night game or Adam Vinatieri. They are both a little under $5K. Of course, check the weather for all games before choosing your kicker this week.
Jacksonville is the top dollar play, and deservingly so. Seattle is also in play, but both of them are over $5K on FD and the Jags are over $4k on DK. Other options for a little less cash include: Pittsburgh (FD only), Cincinnati (cheap on FD only), and my favorite the Atlanta Falcons for $4.6K on FD and $2.9K on DK.
The top QBs (Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Carson Wentz) all are ok plays, but there are many tier-2 options that have such ridiculous upside. This is why I will likely fade the high-priced options. I am also concerned that Brees and Wentz (plus Jared Goff) could all underwhelm slightly, based on their likely ownership amounts. The tier-2 guys that I will be maximizing exposure to are: Ben Roethlisberger (FD Only), Matt Ryan and Marcus Mariota. I will also have lesser exposure to some cheaper options with good matchups such as: Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles.
On FD, it will be impossible to not consider LeVeon Bell at running back. His price is high, and so will be his ownership percentage. Of course, do you want to be among the “faders” when he finishes with 30+ points. The best play of the ENTIRE SEASON is a reduced-price, Kareem Hunt, versus the abomination that is called the Bills’ run “defense”. Hunt will be on every one of my rosters. In some leagues, I will pair Hunt with one of the Saints’ runners. Christian McCaffrey and DeMarco Murray also both make slightly cheaper RB2 options. There are really no sure thing value options this week. You could roster one of the Patriots, or one of the Seahawks, or one of the Broncos, or one of the Dolphins; good luck with that dart board. I’ll pay up here instead. Set aside $16K-$17K here and save at WR where there are more values.
I’m concerned about Antonio Brown on FD. This game could devolve quickly and he could find himself on the bench by the third quarter. Of course, he might also have 175 yards and 3 touchdowns by then. I will have a couple shares of him, to hedge my bets, but won’t go all-in on his game. Both A.J. Green and Julio Jones are cheaper and great options. Jones, at his price, will be my most commonly owned WR1. I also love Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin and T.Y. Hilton and each could be had for less if (when) you overspend at RB. On every roster that I do not roster Julio, Mohamed Sanu will be my WR2. My other WR2/3 (and probably my DK-FLEX) will come from this list: Donte Moncrief, Marquise Goodwin, Rishard Matthews, Dontrelle Inman, Paul Richardson, Corey Davis, Cooper Kupp, one of the Bills or one of the Jaguars.
Jimmy Graham and Delanie Walker are both reasonable plays, as is Rob Gronkowski if he gets over his cold. That said, I will be mostly invested in Jared Cook or whichever tight end starts for the Bengals.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: $5.4K to $6.4K for your choice of Marcus Mariota, Jacoby Brissett, Matt Ryan or Tyrod Taylor; up to $16K total for two of: Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey, and one of the Saints’ running backs; $6.7K to $7.7K for one of: Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton or Julio Jones; $5.2K for Mohamed Sanu (if I don’t roster Julio) – otherwise up to $5K for one of the Rams, Titans, or Seahawks WRs as WR2; $3.9K for Marquise Goodwin as WR3; $4K or less for one of: Zay Jones, DeDe Westbrook, Deonte Thompson, Dontrelle Inman, Tyler Kroft or Donte Moncrief as my DK-FLEX; $4.6K for Jared Goff; and $2.9K for the Falcons’ defense.
At FD: $6.9K to $7.9K for one of: Roethlisberger, Mariota, Brissett, Taylor or Ryan; $17.1K for LeVeon Bell and Kareem Hunt; up to $7.8K for one of: Julio, Baldwin, Hill or Hilton; $6.8K for Juju Smith-Schuster (or $5.8K for Mohamed Sanu); up to $6K for WR3 chosen from the Titans, Colts, Rams, Jaguars or Bills complementary WRs, $5.5K for Jared Cook, and $9.6K for the Pittsburgh double-stack at Kicker and Defense.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly strategy – On FD, I will have some exposure to Big Ben. Otherwise, I will target one of these four: Jacoby Brissett, Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan or Tyrod Taylor. I will also have some minor exposure to Russell Wilson. In addition, on DK, I will roll out one lineup stacking Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ SF ($7000 DK, $8600 FD)
San Francisco has allowed two or more passing touchdowns in five straight games. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson leads all quarterbacks in total touchdowns since Week 7.
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. MIA ($7700 DK, $9100 FD)
The Dolphins have allowed six passing touchdowns over the last two games. Over that same two game period, Tom Brady has thrown for six touchdowns. The only thing holding me back from giving Brady a GREEN grade this week is game script. I expect the Patriots to jump out to a huge lead early and then grind out most of the second half with their backs.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. GB ($XXXX DK, $7900 FD)
Ben Roethlisberger at home should throw for 300-3, before getting yanked in the third quarter. It is absolutely absurd that Ben’s price is this low for this game. Green Bay has allowed big yardage in three of their last four games and their secondary remains banged up. The Steelers are licking their chops.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. TB ($6400 DK, $7600 FD)
On the road, Tampa Bay has allowed the second-most passing yards per game and the third-most touchdowns per game. This week won’t be any easier, since the Bucs are still short-handed on defense. Matt Ryan has two passing scores in four straight games. He also has averaged 297 passing yards to go along with 18 passing touchdowns, in his last eight contests against Tampa. I’d be amazed if 300-2 isn’t Ryan’s floor.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts vs. TEN ($5400 DK, $6900 FD)
Tennessee is allowing the third-most passing touchdowns per game. Unfortunately, in their earlier meeting, Jacoby Brissett only threw for one score. Brissett does have multiple touchdown passes in his most recent three starts. If this game turns into the shootout I expect, Brissett will easily net multiple passing scores.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars @ ARI ($4900 DK, $7100 FD)
I don’t like Blake Bortles’ price on FD. That said, his DK price tag is downright sexy. Arizona is easily beaten by non-#1 WRs. Well, last time I looked, all Jacksonville has are non-#1 WRs. It is also very difficult to run the ball against Arizona. So, I expect Jacksonville to abandon the run early and let Bortles heave the ball away. I’m not going to predict a mega-game, but 250-2 is more than enough to make me smile at this price point.
|Todd Gurley II||$8,800||$8,500|
|Duke Johnson Jr.||$4,600||$5,500|
Weekly strategy – With not a lot of value to be found, I am just going to pay up here and nab Kareem Hunt to go along with one of the Saints’ runners or Christian McCaffrey. On FD, I will be almost exclusively locking in on Hunt and LeVeon Bell. Be ready to spend between 29% and 32% here this week.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Kareem Hunt, Chiefs vs. BUF ($8000 DK, $7700 FD)
It was so polite of the DFS sites to lower Kareem Hunt’s price right before he gets to face the worst run defense this millennium. The Bills have allowed nine running back rushing scores in their last three games. As a point of comparison, 28 different teams have not allowed nine running back rushing touchdowns ALL SEASON! Hunt hasn’t scored since Week 3. He will make up for lost time with at least two scores this weekend.
LeVeon Bell, Steelers vs. GB ($XXXX DK, $9400 FD)
The Packers don’t give up a ton of yards on the ground. That said, when you include running back receiving yards, they are allowing 137 combo yards per game. LeVeon Bell is definitely active in the Steelers’ passing game. Bell has fourteen receptions over his last two games. This week Bell will have 125 combo yards and at least one score when he is pulled for James Conner.
Mark Ingram, Saints @ LAR ($8300 DK, $8200 FD)
Since Week 6, Mark Ingram leads all running backs in rushing yards, total yards and touchdowns. This comes despite sharing snaps with Alvin Kamara who amazingly ranks third in total yards during that same stretch. The Rams are allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game. This includes allowing triple-digit rushing numbers in six different games.
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers @ NYJ ($6900 DK, $6700 FD)
Christian McCaffrey leads all running backs in receptions, and he ranks third in receiving yards. The last couple weeks, he has also been more involved in the ground game. Thanks to this, he has three scores in his last two contests. The Jets have allowed the sixth-most running back receiving touchdowns, so they can be beaten that way. I expect McCaffrey to score through the air and approach 100 total yards.
DeMarco Murray, Titans @ IND ($5200 DK, $6500 FD)
I felt sad last week not being able to pick on the Colts’ defense. On the year, opposing running backs are averaging just under 150 combo yards per game. They also have allowed these backs to score ten times. DeMarco Murray has split time with Derrick Henry, but Murray is still receiving the lions’ share of the snaps and touches.
J.D. McKissic, Seahawks @ SF ($3700 DK, $5500 FD)
San Francisco has allowed the most total yards to opposing backs, nearly 180 per game. Someone has to be the primary ball carrier for Seattle. Mike Smith is hurt. Eddie Lacy is fat and lazy. C.J. Prosise is hurt. Thomas Rawls is supposedly healthy, but we’ve heard that before. Chris Carson is still on IR. At least J.D. McKissic has looked decent when given the ball. Maybe the team will be forced to give him more touches. McKissic has led the team in every running back statistical category the last two weeks.
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$5,100||$5,700|
Weekly strategy – There is a lot more to choose from here this week. On FD, I obviously like Antonio Brown – but I don’t like his salary and fear he won’t be in the game by the end of the third quarter. In most leagues, my WR1 will be Julio Jones. I will also have exposure to A.J. Green, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, and T.Y. Hilton. If I don’t roster Julio, I will roster Mohamed Sanu as my WR2. Otherwise, I will choose someone like Rishard Matthews, Ted Ginn, Cooper Kupp, Corey Davis, Marqise Lee or Paul Richardson. I will likely roster Marquise Goodwin as my WR3 in most of my leagues. I will also pull my DK-FLEX from the bottom of the barrel here. With the FLEX in play as well, I will likely be 50% invested here on DK. ON FD, you will still be on the books for nearly 35% of your budget.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Julio Jones, Falcons vs. TB ($7700 DK, $7800 FD)
The Buccaneers just gave up 301-2 to the Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver corps. This was the fifth time this year that Tampa has allowed more than 200 yards to opposing WRs. Julio Jones has faced Tampa ten times in his career. During those games he has averaged 7-111, to go with eight receiving touchdowns.
A.J. Green, Bengals vs. CLE ($8000 DK, $8300 FD)
A.J. Green has scored in three straight contests versus the Browns. In those games, he is averaging 6-120. Cleveland is tough against the run, so expect Andy Dalton to throw the ball all day.
Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. GB ($XXXX DK, $9600 FD)
If I thought that Antonio Brown would play the full game, he would get top billing this week. He still will likely get 110-2. Nevertheless, I believe the game will be a blowout early, and Brown will be out of the game script before he can really get going.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts vs. TEN ($6700 DK, $7500 FD)
Tennessee has allowed the most WR touchdowns. This includes six over their last three games. T.Y. Hilton did nothing in Week 6 versus the Titans. However, last season, T.Y. posted 12-230-2 in two games against Tennessee. I believe that Hilton will be closer to last year’s numbers, than that Week 6 debacle.
Rishard Matthews, Titans @ IND ($5100 DK, $6300 FD)
If this game is as much of a shootout as I am predicting, then the receivers for both teams are in play. Rishard Matthews has never scored versus Indy, but he does have 17 catches and 228 yards in three starts against them since joining Tennessee. I think the scoring drought ends this week.
Marquise Goodwin, 49ers vs. SEA ($3900 DK, $5300 FD)
Seattle’s secondary is decimated to the point that they are starting a guy at CB that they were trying to dump in a trade a couple of weeks ago. Marquise Goodwin has 37 targets over the last six games. Unfortunately, he only has 14 catches to show for all those targets. Goodwin is still averaging 62 yards per game during that stretch, so at least he is making those catches matter.
Weekly strategy – On DK, I will have some exposure to Jimmy Graham, but I won’t pay his price on FD. I’d rather roster: Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Tyler Kroft or (my favorite) Jared Cook. The only punt options that I’d consider are Tyler Higbee and Marcedes Lewis.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. MIA ($7300 DK, $7500 FD)
Rob Gronkowski has scored in three of his last four meetings with Miami. Unfortunately, in two of those games his yardage has suffered. Gronk’s yardage this year has been hit-and-miss as well. Over his last four games, he is averaging only 55 yards per game. He also has scored only once during that stretch. I don’t mind him at this price, but I still like Jared Cook’s upside more.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks @ SF ($5800 DK, $7000 FD)
Jimmy Graham is acceptable at his DK price, but he seems too expensive to play at FD (especially since Gronk is only $0.5K more). Graham has been solid recently scoring seven times in his last six games. It helps that Russell Wilson was actually permitted to look his way in the red zone. San Francisco has allowed tight end scores in four straight, but only three times this season have they allowed more than 40 yards to the position. So, you are just counting on the score.
Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. CHI ($6600 DK, $7600 FD)
Zach Ertz has been electric this season. Only Jimmy Graham has more touchdowns than Ertz. Prior to sustaining an injury in Week 8, Ertz had scored in four straight. He returned last week, and was a complete non-factor against a mediocre defense. Chicago has actually been elite versus tight ends this year. Only one tight end has scored against them since Week 1, and none has topped 60 yards during that stretch. I expect the Eagles to get him more involved in his second game back, but I still don’t love Ertz here.
Jared Cook, Raiders vs. DEN ($4600 DK, $5500 FD)
This is why I don’t love Ertz here. I can have Jared Cook for $2K less than Ertz. I also feel he has a legit chance to outproduce Ertz. Denver has allowed a tight end touchdown in five of six and seven of nine. Cook struggled last week, but before that he had averaged 6-97 over his previous three games. Cook didn’t score in their earlier meeting, but he was targeted eight times. This means that Oakland knows they need to use Cook against Denver.
Tyler Kroft, Bengals vs. CLE ($3900 DK, $5700 FD)
In Week 4, Tyler Kroft scored twice against Cleveland. This shouldn’t be a big surprise, since the Browns have allowed a league second-worst eight TE scores this year. This includes touchdowns allowed in each of the last three games.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars @ ARI ($2700 DK, $5000 FD)
One of those Browns’ tight end touchdowns allowed went to Marcedes Lewis last week. It wasn’t even in London. With five scores on the season, only two tight ends have more touchdowns than Lewis. He could find the end zone again this week, since Arizona has given up five tight end scores over their last six games.