Ok folks, I think it is safe to say that LeVeon Bell is back to being LeVeon Bell. I faded him last week and that was definitely the wrong call. Fortunately, the guys that I faded him for performed to expectation as well. Nevertheless, I am not going to completely avoid Bell again in the future (even in his toughest matchup).
According to Vegas, Sunday Night has the highest expected point total. This means that all of your Falcons and Patriots are in play. Fan Duel’s Millionaire slate contest will have a ton of people hoarding players in this game. So, if you find yourself high in the standings at 6PM Sunday, prepare to slide if you don’t have some exposure to this game. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will be a popular stack. With Mohamed Sanu questionable, Taylor Gabriel could be a nice fade play in that Ryan-stack. I also expect Austin Hooper will be highly owned – and rightfully so considering the matchup. Both backs are in play for Atlanta, as are all the backs for New England. An interesting play would be going the opposite of everyone else and stacking the Patriots-side of the ball. Tom Brady paired with James White, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan or Brandin Cooks should also produce decent points (and they will likely be lesser-owned than the Falcons-stacks.
Monday night also brings a ton of potential points as both Washington and Philadelphia are short-handed in their secondary. This makes stacks in this matchup very appealing (Especially, in Primetime-only slates) since so many people will be pounding the Patriots and Falcons. Zach Ertz may have the greatest tight end matchup of all time here. I could easily see stacking him with Carson Wentz and one of the wide receivers. I also like the passing game for the Redskins, but I feel unsure which receiver is going to produce the best line (my bet is Josh Doctson).
For those playing on FD my top kicker this week is Greg Zuerlein. That said, his price is $5.2K and he will still be highly owned. To save a few bucks, I recommend starting Graham Gano, Will Lutz or Justin Tucker for a little less moolah.
Carolina and Dallas both are favorable defense options this week against unproven rookie quarterbacks and each run $3.5K on DK and $5K on FD. I’m also excited to roll with the typically defense-challenged, New Orleans Saints versus Brett Hundley for $0.5K less.
On FD, I’ll be hard-pressed not to get in on the chalky-fun that is Tom Brady or Matt Ryan. Each should score 25-30 points. That said, it will likely be more useful to fade that game and get early points out of Dak Prescott and Drew Brees. Both of whom are pricier as well. I will also do a few punt lineups with Blake Bortles or even C.J. Beathard stacked with their top receivers.
It will be very hard to not roster one of the big three (LeVeon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette) based on who they are facing. Unfortunately, all three have reasons for hesitancy based on their extremely high cost. I will have some exposure to them, but I won’t break the bank on them. The one high-priced guy I will have heavy-exposure to is LeSean McCoy. If DeMarco Murray is limited by his hamstring injury, then Derrick Henry becomes a must-play at his price. The two players who have sneaky-good matchups are Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. I could easily roster both of them, and one of them will likely be in all of my lineups. I will also have a lot of exposure to the pass-catching back trio of Christian McCaffrey, Tarik Cohen and Duke Johnson. One punt player to consider is Orleans Darkwa versus an underperforming Seattle run defense. I just hate chasing points and that is what this feels like. That said, at his ridiculously low price, I’d be crazy to not put him in a few lineups as a RB2 or DK-FLEX.
If Mohamed Sanu cannot go, then most of my FD lineups will feature Taylor Gabriel. I may have exposure to him even if Sanu can go. On DK, I will fill that roster spot with Adam Thielen. Dez Bryant and Michael Thomas are the best high-priced options, and I will have at least one of these two in every lineup. I will then fill out my roster with one of the following: Pierre Garcon, Bennie Fowler, one of the Jaguars, one of the Titans, one of the secondary receivers from the Rams, Cowboys or Saints. With so many great options in that low to mid-tier price range, I will likely roster a second player from that group as my DK-FLEX.
Choosing between Delanie Walker, Evan Engram and Jimmy Graham this week feels like choosing which Charlie’s Angel I’d prefer to sleep with. No matter which way you choose, you win. Unfortunately, there is no real obvious punt this week. So, you will probably be spending a little more here than usual. I wouldn’t even dissuade you from spending up for Rob Gronkowski on FD.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s price range targets by position.
At DK: $7.5K for your choice of Dak Prescott or Drew Brees, $6K-$6.5K for one of: Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram or Christian McCaffrey, $4.5K-$5.5K for one of: Tarik Cohen, Duke Johnson or Derrick Henry, $7.5K for either Dez Bryant or Michael Thomas, $6.7K for Adam Thielen, less than $9K for two players (i.e. Robert Woods and Eric Decker) to be your WR3 and DK-FLEX, $4.9K for Jimmy Graham, and $3K for the Saints’ defense.
At FD: $8.5K for your choice of Matt Ryan, Prescott or Brees, $13K for your two RBs, $8K for either Michael Thomas or Dez Bryant, $6.5K for Taylor Gabriel, anything up to $8K for WR3, $5.5K-$6K for one of the three tight ends: Walker, Engram or Graham, $4.5K for New Orleans defense, and no more than $5.2K for your choice of kicker.
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly strategy – I’ll have some shares of Tom Brady and Matt Ryan on FD. That said, most of my rosters will have either Drew Brees or Dak Prescott paired with their top WR. Any of these lineups will have 15% invested on this position. When I go cheap here (and big at RB), I’ll throw a couple lineups out there with C.J. Beathard or Blake Bortles (also paired with their top WR).
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. ATL ($XXXX DK, $9200 FD) The two quality quarterbacks to face Atlanta this season threw for a combined 607-3 against them. The Falcons have held their other lesser-opposition to much more mediocre lines. This is however, Tom Brady at home in the week’s highest expected total points game. I’d be dumbfounded if Brady didn’t throw for 300-3 here.
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ NEP ($XXXX DK, $8700 FD) You could easily argue which of these two quarterbacks will score more this week. As is, I am going to predict the same output for each of them, 300-3. New England has allowed every quarterback they have faced to top 300 yards, and only one has failed to throw for multiple touchdowns. Matt Ryan has thrown for 705-4 against New England in their two most recent meetings (Including last year’s Super Bowl).
Drew Brees, Saints @ GB ($7600 DK, $8300 FD) Green Bay may be without their top three cornerbacks and one of their top safeties this week. Not exactly a game plan for success when facing a high-octane offense such as New Orleans. Add that to the fact that Green Bay will be three-and-outing every drive, and you have a recipe for Drew Brees absolutely dominating this game. Anything less than 300-3, would imply that the Saints just decided to crush Green Bay on the ground instead.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys @ SF ($7300 DK, $8400 FD) San Francisco has allowed the third-most passing yards per game over the last three weeks. This sets up nicely for Dak Prescott, who has thrown six touchdowns over his last two games. I like Dak to throw for over 300 yards and score a couple of times this week.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars @ IND ($4700 DK, $7200 FD) Indianapolis has allowed 308 passing yards per game despite not facing any superstar quarterbacks. Blake Bortles should fare similarly this week. I can even see him tossing a couple touchdowns. His numbers could also get a boost if Leonard Fournette ends up limited, and Bortles is forced to carry more of the load.
C.J. Beathard, 49ers vs. DAL ($4900 DK, $6300 FD) C.J. Beathard looked decent last week versus a short-handed Washington pass defense. This week, he gets to face a short-handed Dallas pass defense that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in each of their last four games. In addition, he gets a full week of snaps with the first team in practice. I think Beathard will easily outproduce last week’s 245-1 line.
|Todd Gurley II||$8,200||$8,400|
|Duke Johnson Jr.||$4,900||$5,500|
Weekly strategy – I will roster a few shares of Ezekiel Elliott, LeVeon Bell and Leonard Fournette. Nevertheless, those shares will be few and far between. I will also roster some shares of LeSean McCoy. Most of my lineups will include some combination of: Adrian Peterson, Christian McCaffrey, Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry paired with one of the pass-catching backs like Tarik Cohen, Jerick McKinnon or Duke Johnson. Unless you go with one of the big three, be ready to shell out about 28% here. If you do go big, try to keep your investment under 33%.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys @ SF ($9000 DK, $8700 FD) San Francisco has alternated good and bad games versus opposing running backs. In Weeks 1, 3 and 5, They are allowing 124 running back rush yards per game. In Weeks 2, 4 and 6, they are allowing only 68 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs. That trend is random, but it is there. What isn’t random is that San Fran has given up the most receptions and the second-most receiving yards to opposing backs. Ezekiel Elliott has 126 combo yards per game in his four non-Denver games, that sounds about right for here too.
LeVeon Bell, Steelers vs. CIN ($9100 DK, $9700 FD) After last week, it will be hard to not start LeVeon Bell regardless of matchup. This one looks tough on paper, since Bell has scored in only two of five career games against Cincinnati. Fortunately, he has topped 100 combo yards in four of those games. LeVeon will probably reach 125 yards here but I cannot guarantee a score, despite his huge game last week.
Leonard Fournette, Jaguars @ IND ($8600 DK, $9000 FD) Leonard Fournette claims that the injury he sustained near the end of last week isn’t bothering him. Seeing the injury occur, I would’ve expected him to miss at least this week. Perhaps he dodged a bullet there. If he plays unencumbered, this game offers tons of points for him since Indy is allowing 147 combo yards per game to opposing running backs. They’ve also allowed the second-most eight total running back touchdowns. If something changes beforehand and Fournette misses this game due to the injury, Chris Ivory becomes a must-start!
LeSean McCoy, Bills vs. TB ($7400 DK, $7900 FD) LeSean McCoy gets to go to battle with a Tampa Bay defense that is starting to get itself healthy, but that has still allowed 136 combo yards per game to opposing backs. This includes two rushing touchdowns allowed to Adrian Peterson last week. McCoy hasn’t scored yet but he has also faced three very tough run defenses. I think he gets into the end zone this time.
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers @ CHI ($6100 DK, $6800 FD) Christian McCaffrey leads all running backs in targets and receptions, and he is second to only Chris Thompson on receiving yards. Chicago has allowed running back touchdowns in five of six games. This is in addition to the 129 combo yards per game they are allowing to opposing backs. Jonathan Stewart is questionable for this game with an ankle injury. If he is limited or cannot go, McCaffrey’s value doubles. Even as it is now, he should produce close to 100 total yards with 8 catches and a possible touchdown.
Adrian Peterson, Cardinals @ LAR ($5800 DK, $6300 FD) Like many old people, Adrian Peterson moved to Arizona and found the fountain of youth. He feels so alive, that his next stop is a visit to the City of Angels. The Rams are allowing the fourth-most yards per game to opposing running backs and the most total running back touchdowns.
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$4,100||$5,500|
Weekly strategy – Either Dez Bryant or Michael Thomas will find my way into most of my rosters. I will pair them with either: Adam Thielen (DK) or Taylor Gabriel (FD). My WR3 and DK-FLEX will come from any number of places. My favorite options are: Robert Woods, Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker, Rishard Matthews, Cooper Kupp, Marqise Lee, Cole Beasley and Ted Ginn. With the DK-FLEX coming from this position, I will be spending about 48% here. On FD, I’ll be in for about 37%.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Julio Jones, Falcons @ NEP ($XXXX DK, $8800 FD) Coming into this game, the Patriots have allowed an average of 199 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers. Julio Jones could post that himself, if the team makes a concerted effort to get him more involved (as they claim they intend to do).
Dez Bryant, Cowboys @ SF ($7800 DK, $8200 FD) Indianapolis is the only team to not score a wide receiver touchdown against San Francisco. That said, the Colts were one of three consecutive teams to top 200 wide receiver yards against the Niners. Dez Bryant has scored in three of his last four games, and his 48 targets ranked sixth over the first five weeks.
Michael Thomas, Saints @ GB ($7500 DK, $7700 FD) As I mentioned above, Green Bay will likely be without four of their top six defensive backs. That bodes ominously for their chances to stop Willie Snead and Ted Ginn, let alone Michael Thomas. Thomas is coming off his worst game of the season against the Lions. He is motivated to put that outing behind him.
Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. CIN ($8900 DK, $9300 FD) Antonio Brown is very high-priced, but considering his performance the last two weeks, I wouldn’t blame you for riding the hot hand. Cincinnati is very good against opposing wide receivers. The opposition wide receiver corps are gaining only 107 yards per game. That’s a poor week by Brown’s standards, and that is assuming he didn’t split any of those yards with Martavis Bryant or JuJu Smith-Schuster. I’ll probably fade Brown this week, but since the game is in Pittsburgh, anything could happen.
Eric Decker, Titans @ CLE ($4300 DK, $5100 FD) Thanks in part to Marcus Mariota’s immobility, Eric Decker finished last week with more than double the targets of any other Tennessee wide receiver. His (and Delanie Walker’s) short crossing patterns and curl routes took less time to develop then the deeper pass routes of the Titans’ outside receivers. This short passing game will likely continue until Mariota gets his full range of mobility back. The Browns have not allowed a lot of wide receiver receptions or yardage (mainly because the opposition can beat them with tight ends and running backs). Nevertheless, they have allowed seven wide receiver touchdowns over the last five games.
Pierre Garcon, 49ers vs. DAL ($5800 DK, $6700 FD) Pierre Garcon is sixth in targets and eighth in receptions. Most of that came with Brian Hoyer at the helm. We can only hope that C.J. Beathard continues to force feed his top receiver. Dallas has been brutalized by opposing wide receivers, allowing eight touchdowns to the position in their last four games.
Weekly strategy – There are five tight ends that I will have exclusive exposure to this week. Two of them (Rob Gronkowski and Austin Hooper) are only available on FD. The other three: Evan Engram, Delanie Walker and Jimmy Graham are each in just too perfect of a situation to avoid. Oh yeah, and if you are playing Monday-slate contests and you don’t roster Zach Ertz, you might as well just set your money on fire.
Your Fantasy Four Pack
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. ATL ($XXXX DK, $8500 FD) The Atlanta Falcons have not allowed a tight end touchdown. Of course, they have only faced two quality (not elite) tight ends: Charles Clay and Martellus Bennett. Those two combined for a 10-159 line, which is nearly half their total yards allowed to the position. Rob Gronkowski is better than both of those two, not to mention the other stiffs that Atlanta has faced. In a shootout Gronk will get his and then some.
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks @ NYG ($4900 DK, $5800 FD) The Giants have now allowed at least one tight end touchdown in all six games. Jimmy Graham has the eighth-most targets among tight ends on the year and the second-most targets during the span of Week 3 to Week 5 (their last three games). If Graham doesn’t score this week it is only because Luke Willson vultured him. Heck, I might even start Willson on a roster or two.
Evan Engram, Giants vs. SEA ($4400 DK, $5500 FD) Seattle will have little difficulty shutting down the Giants’ depleted wide receiver corps. This should leave some freedom for Evan Engram to operate underneath. Engram received more than double the targets of any other Giants’ skill position player last week. He also had nearly half of the Giants receptions in that game.
Delanie Walker, Titans @ CLE ($5800 DK, $5900 FD) Cleveland should offer the relief that Delanie Walker needs to finally get back into the end zone. They have allowed five tight end scores in their first six games. Walker has only scored once this year, and that came on a pitch play that was credited as a 1-yard run. Even through the scoring drought, Walker still ranks fifth in receptions among tight ends.
Austin Hooper, Falcons @ NEP ($XXXX DK, $5000 FD) The Patriots have allowed a tight end touchdown in five of six games. This week, Austin Hooper gets to take another shot at New England. He finished with a line of only 3-32 in the Super Bowl, but he did score. Hooper will score again this week, and the final line will be double.
Ed Dickson, Panthers @ CHI ($3500 DK, $5100 FD) Ed Dickson has done a noble Greg Olsen impersonation over the last three weeks. During that span, he ranks first among tight ends in receiving yardage and eighth in receptions. The Bears aren’t allowing a ton of yardage to opposing tight ends, but they have allowed 22 receptions to the position over their last three games.