Well wouldn’t you know it, the week that I finally back off on my number of entries, I perform like a rock star. I guess I should have spent a little more time this past weekend setting DFS lineups and a little less time eating and drinking my way through the Big Apple. I wouldn’t have won a million dollars but I could’ve set myself up very good for the rest of the year if I just gotten a few more entries in. I’ll have to settle for the money I did bank and look to keep the roll going this week.
This week we lose a few key pieces with four teams on bye, a Thursday game, and yet another London game. We get a bit of a boost with four big point games (ARI vs. CLE, CIN vs. PIT, NYG vs. NO, and SD vs. BAL). Unfortunately, we also have three of the best offenses: Green Bay, Denver, and Indianapolis facing stingy defenses. Both the Jets and Atlanta could also take advantage of bad defenses to produce some big points as well. There are also only a couple of “stinker” games: SEA/DAL and SF/STL, plus the GB/DEN game that should be low scoring as well.
Can I make it two big weeks in a row? I hope so.
Prices indicated: Green = Acceptable and Red = Not Worth It and Blue = Gotta Have It
Weekly strategy – This is the Carson Palmer/Philip Rivers/Matt Ryan show this week. They each scream “play me” at their respective prices on DK. Where I don’t shell out the big bucks expect that my roster will be littered with mid-priced options like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Teddy Bridgewater. One thing is for sure I will be completely fading both Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers. DK looks to be setting me up at either 5K or 7K depending on the route I take.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
NFL 10 Person Draft
Entry: $0 Players: 3/10 Prizes: $0.00
NFL 5 Person
Entry: $5 Players: 2/5 Prizes: $22.50
NFL 20 Person
Entry: $1 Players: 1/20 Prizes: $18.00
NFL 20 Person
Entry: $0 Players: 1/20 Prizes: $0.00
NFL 5 Person
Entry: $0 Players: 1/5 Prizes: $0.00
Philip Rivers, Chargers @ BAL ($6600 DK, $8500 FD, $7900 FS)
Baltimore has been a dumpster fire on defense. Four teams have thrown for more than 340 yards against them and five teams have thrown for multiple TDs against them. If you throw out a Michael Vick-Fail in Week 4, the Ravens are giving up an average of 361-2.4 to opposing QBs since Week 2. Philip Rivers has been throwing the ball like crazy in San Diego due to a lack of a legit running game. He has five games with over 300 yards passing, two games with over 400 yards passing, and one game over the 500-yard mark. He also has multiple passing TDs in every game except one. I expect him to approach 400 yards again this week and three touchdowns is certainly within reach.
Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. TB ($7100 DK, $8000 FD, $7500 FS)
Tampa has given up three or more passing TDs in half of their games. Not to mention that they have given up a combined 620-7 over their last two games despite facing Kirk Cousins and Blake Bortles. Matt Ryan has not topped two TDs at any point thus far. He doubles that figure this week.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals @ CLE ($7000 DK, $8100 FD, $8100 FS)
Carson Palmer gets to face a Cleveland team that has managed to keep their opponents’ QBs to only two passing TDs over the last three weeks. This is mainly because they can’t stop anyone on the ground. Prior to this recent stretch, they allowed nine passing TDs over the first four weeks. On his behalf, Palmer has multiple touchdowns in five of his starts.
Drew Brees, Saints vs. NYG ($6700 DK, $7900 FD, $8200 FS)
This game should be high scoring as two teams with solid offenses face two teams with subpar defenses. Drew Brees only has eight passing TDs in his six starts, but he has topped 300 yards four times. Only two teams have given up more total passing yards than the Giants (this is slightly inflated by not having their bye), however they have only allowed multiple passing TDs twice. This week the Giants may be without two of their starting linebackers as well as their CB, Prince Amukamura. You don’t want your secondary short-handed when facing a QB like Brees that can pick you apart.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets @ OAK ($5200 DK, $7400 FD, $5700 FS)
Oakland has given up multiple passing TDs in every game except one and they are allowing over 310 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been reborn in Gotham thanks to having a premiere pair of receivers to throw to. In five of his six starts he has thrown for multiple TDs. He even added a rushing score a couple weeks ago. I don’t think Fitz will crack the magical 300-mark this week, but 280-2 with 30 yards on the ground seems about right.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings @ CHI ($5100 DK, $6900 FD, $5900 FS)
Prior to getting eviscerated by the Lions last week, Chicago had not allowed a single QB to top 235 passing yards. Of course, they did allow three of those other QBs to throw for multiple touchdowns. With the four touchdowns allowed to Detroit, Chicago is now giving up an average of 2.5 passing TDs per game. Norv Turner finally opened up his offense for Teddy Bridgewater last week, and thanks to new weapon Stefon Diggs, he surpassed expectations. Bridgewater could top 250 this week, but he’s in your lineup for the guarantee of two or more passing scores for only 5K.
Weekly strategy – This is gonna be the tough spot this week. Only LeVeon Bell has a questionable price tag among the top two tier guys. In fact most of them have values slightly below their price points. Feel free to take your pick from: Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, and Marshawn Lynch. You can have any two-item combo of those four for less than 15K. I’d love to try and figure out a strategy to get three of them into my lineup, but that would take a huge punt of WR (and the players there don’t fit that approach). I’d say the wiser investment is to take two of them and place one of: Chris Johnson, Alfred Blue, or Danny Woodhead in your FLEX for 4.5K. Of course after looking closer at the lack of value at WR, I may have to reverse that strategy and roster two of the cheaper backs and one of the studs for a total of 16.5K.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Todd Gurley, Rams vs. SF ($6300 DK, $8100 FD, $8300 FS)
After just a couple weeks, Todd Gurley is already among the top five RBs in football. His already gaudy numbers will actually get a boost this week against an awful Niners defense that is allowing 153 combo yards per game to opposing RBs. This sets up nicely for Gurley who has topped 150 combo yards in all three of his starts.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings @ CHI ($7400 DK, $8900 FD, $8300 FS)
Adrian Peterson has struggled to move the ball the last couple weeks due to eight-man fronts. With the addition of a receiving threat in Stefon Diggs, Peterson will find a few more holes to work with. In 2013, Peterson faced Chicago twice picking up 318 total yards without scoring. He’ll score this week and likely approach 125 total yards. This should provide you a nice start in cash games.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. TB ($8000 DK, $9100 FD, $8700 FS)
Devonta Freeman is averaging 165 combo yards per game over the last five weeks. He also has added nine TDs over that stretch. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have held their last two opponents to a total of 69 rushing yards. Prior to those two games, they had allowed an average of 142 combo yards per game to opposing RBs. This seems more likely where Freeman will end up.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks @ DAL ($7100 DK, $8300 FD, $7500 FS)
Dallas has been atrocious against the run since Week 3. They are allowing 122-1.3 on the ground over that span. Not to mention, that they are also allowing nearly 70 yards per game through the air to opposing RBs over those four games. Lynch isn’t a huge part of the Seahawks passing game, but I see no reason to not expect him to duplicate his 122-1 from last week.
Danny Woodhead, Chargers @ BAL ($4500 DK, $6100 FD, $6200 FS)
Danny Woodhead leads all running backs in targets, catches, and receiving yardage and without Melvin Gordon last week; he actually scored a couple TDs too. Meanwhile, the Ravens are giving up more than 5-50 per game to opposing pass-catching backs.
Chris Johnson, Cardinals @ CLE ($4600 DK, $7300 FD, $5900 FS)
Everyone knows how much I hate Chris Johnson. That said I have to give him props for coming to play this year. My guess is that he is hoping to land another fat contract that he can laze his way through. He can add a few extra zeroes at the end of that contract this week after smoking a Browns’ defense that just doesn’t even care anymore. Opposing backs are posting 185 combo yards per game against these stooges.
|Duke Johnson Jr.||$4,200||$5,800||$5,600|
Weekly strategy – This is where I made my money last week. I hope to repeat my success by balancing top tier stars with up-and-comers. Unfortunately, my favorite toy, Stefon Diggs has climbed out of sleeper-dom and into the middle of the pack. I still like him, but I don’t love him anymore. My other favorite low-budget play from the last two weeks, Michael Floyd, remains enough of a bargain to roll with once again. He will be my WR3 in most formats. The other issue I see this week is a severe lack of super values. Your entire top tier is right at price. The 2nd tier is almost all overpriced except Mike Evans and Larry Fitzgerald. There will be some formats where I roster both of them for 13.5K. I’m looking at all of the top options and think they will be hard to fit under the cap despite their potential value. Brandon Marshall, Keenan Allen, Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown are the most tempting. I could take one of them and pair them with Evans for less than 14.5K, but I don’t think I can fit Fitz with any of them. Combining either of those combo platters with Floyd for 3.5K for a total of 17-18K sets me up pretty tight at TE and DEF. The safer play would be to go Evans/Floyd/Decker for 16K, but that just doesn’t feel sexy.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Julio Jones, Falcons vs. TB ($9200 DK, $9200 FD, $8800 FS)
Oh Julio Jones, why do you tease me so? If you could just catch a few more of your targets, you’d be head-and-shoulders the top WR in football. Those first three weeks you posted 34-440-4 while catching 74% of your targets. Since then, you have posted only 24-290-1 while catching only a mediocre 56% of his passes. Tampa has allowed the fourth most WR touchdowns, including at least one each week. They also have allowed opposing WR teams to top 200 receiving yards in four of six.
Odell Beckham Jr., Giants @ NO ($8500 DK, $8700 FD, $8200 FS)
The Saints just allowed a struggling Andrew Luck to find T.Y. Hilton for 150-2. I guarantee Tom Coughlin was paying attention to this and has every desire to send Odell Beckham deep as often as possible this week. It will ultimately come down to how strong Beckham’s hamstring feels. If it is 100% he should be able to approach Hilton’s line. Even if he is slowed down some I expect that he scores this week.
Larry Fitzgerald Jr., Cardinals @ CLE ($7700 DK, $7700 FD, $7800 FS)
The Browns have shut down three passing offenses featuring just one legit WR but when presented with multiple weapons: Denver, San Diego, Oakland, and the Jets have all torched them. Larry Fitzgerald lost some targets to Michael Floyd and John Brown last week as Baltimore sold out to cover him. The healthy return of Floyd is going to take away that strategy going forward, not that Cleveland could cover all three of them with Joe Haden still fuzzy in the head and Tashaun Gipson battling a gimpy ankle. They both will be back this week but neither is fully healthy. If you throw out the mediocre line from last week Fitz is averaging 7-97-1 on the year.
Keenan Allen, Chargers @ BAL ($7700 DK, $8000 FD, $8100 FS)
Keenan Allen is the leagues’ top WR in terms of receptions and he ranks third in total targets. That said he has still been hit-or-miss performance-wise. In his three bad weeks, he has totaled 12-145-1. In the four good games, he has posted an astounding 50-545-2. The Ravens have allowed the third-most receptions, the second-most touchdowns and the second-most receiving yards to the position.
Eric Decker, Jets @ OAK ($5300 DK, $6400 FD, $6500 FS)
Above I recommend starting Ryan Fitzpatrick as a sleeper QB, so I need to recommend starting his WRs too. Brandon Marshall is a very solid play, but Eric Decker may be an even better option at nearly 2K less. The biggest concern is that Oakland has only allowed two opposing WRs to score this season. That said opposing number two WRs have averaged 5-76 against the Raiders through their first six games.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals @ CLE ($3500 DK, $4900 FD, $3500 FS)
See my above comments on Larry Fitzgerald. Now consider that Michael Floyd is not the Cardinals’ number one option. This is important when you consider that non-number-one WRs have accounted for more than half the yardage allowed by Cleveland to the position. They also have accounted for five of the seven TDs that the Browns have given up to the position.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$8,500||$8,700||$8,200|
|Steve Smith Sr.||$6,100||$6,700||$7,000|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$3,400||$5,300||$5,900|
|Cecil Shorts III||$3,000||$5,400||$4,200|
Weekly strategy – Lots of value plays this week at the TE position. Even with that in mind at DK and FD it will be hard to avoid playing either Tyler Eifert or Jason Witten at their juicy prices. If I don’t roster one of those two, I will likely punt down to Kyle Rudolph, Richard Rodgers, or Ladarius Green. So I am either looking at investing 3K or 5K at DK.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Tyler Eifert, Bengals @ PIT ($5300 DK, $6000 FD, $7200 FS)
Tyler Eifert gets to face the one defense that is as bad as Oakland at covering TEs, Pittsburgh. Four different teams’ tight ends have topped 75 yards against them and they have allowed six TE touchdowns. Eifert has scored in four of six and he is averaging 4.6-57-1 on the year.
Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. SEA ($5200 DK, $5500 FD, $6200 FS)
Jason Witten takes on a Seattle team that has allowed the fourth-most receptions, the third-most touchdowns, and the most total yards to the TE position. This includes 24-315-3 over the last three weeks. Witten has averaged nearly 6-60 despite the Cowboys’ quarterback carousel. This includes a solid 6-73 performance last week in Matt Cassel’s first start.
Greg Olsen, Panthers vs. IND ($6500 DK, $6400 FD, $6800 FS)
Four of the past five weeks, Indianapolis has allowed 70 or more yards to the TE position. They’ve also allowed touchdowns in each of their last two contests. Greg Olsen was held out of the end zone last week (as I predicted) but he still netted 65 yards. This was his fourth game at or above that number of yards. He is the most expensive player in GPPs this week, but by no means is he overpriced. I just prefer Eifert and Witten at their cheaper costs.
Martellus Bennett, Bears vs. MIN ($4900 DK, $5700 FD, $6500 FS)
Martellus Bennett has been the one member of the Bears’ receiving corps that has remained healthy all season long. He has parlayed this into three games with five or more receptions, 50+ yards, and touchdowns in two of them. His other three games have been much less positive but he does have four receptions in each of them. Meanwhile, the Vikings have given up 15-228-1 to the position over the last two weeks. This included the third TD that they have allowed on the season to opposing TEs. Over the last two years, Bennett has averaged 5-45-0.5 against the Vikings. However two of the games have been very good and two were very bad. If we get the very good game this could be a nice pay off for a cheaper price. With Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal both healthy Bennett should get some coverage shade finally.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings @ CHI ($3000 DK, $4900 FD, $4600 FS)
The Bears gave up their second TE touchdown this past week, but in the process they held yet another tight end group under 35 total yards (only Jimmy Graham topped this figure). This seems the opposite of previous years when they couldn’t cover a TE to save their lives. Last week, Kyle Rudolph scored for the second straight week despite not topping ten yards in either contest. So I’m not expecting Rudolph to top even the 35 yards that the Bears are holding their opposition to. All I’m thinking here is that he has a chance to be Rudolph the Red Zone Reindeer one more time.
Ben Watson, Saints vs. NYG ($3500 DK, $5400 FD, $2700 FS)
This $2700 price tag on FS is a joke. $3500 seems low for Ben Watson as well. Watson has emerged as the favorite TE target of Drew Brees as he has logged 17-222-2 over the last three games. The Giants have allowed the most targets and receptions to the position as well as the third-most yards and the fifth-most touchdowns. If you need a cheap flier to fit in all those expensive RBs, you could do a lot worse.