Why did I waste so many roster slots on Chris Carson last week? First off, it was because his matchup was golden. Secondly, it was because Rashaad Penny was out. Thirdly, he has the ability to be effective both on the ground and through the air. Fortunately, the late slate paid off in spades to make up for Carson’s fumbles and foibles. Beginning in Week 6, I will include a quick breakdown of the Primetime slate as well, but for now, you will just have to follow me on Twitter for late-game leads.
Each week we list the top-four point-producers at each position regardless of their salaries. We will also list two bargain players who will dramatically outperform their salaries. In addition, we will grade every legitimate player at each position based on their expected production in comparison to their price tag. Each player is identified through one of three colors: Red = Negative Value (less than 2X price), Black = Acceptable Value (2X price) and Green = Great Value (best chance to finish greater than 3X price).
If there was ever a week where I would spend up for Pat Mahomes, this would be it. He proved last week, that he was capable of being a stud even in a tough matchup. I also like Lamar Jackson this week, but his price is a wee bit high on FD. I feel the right play this week is either Philip Rivers or Russell Wilson, each is a little cheaper than the top-tier, and their matchups are even sweeter. I also don’t mind going cheaper for Matthew Stafford or Daniel Jones. Case Keenum is the only punt option I would consider. Rivers and Wilson will cost 12.4% on DK and 13% on FD.
Running back is ugly this week. There are a few higher-priced guys I like: Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Marlon Mack, and David Johnson, but beyond them is a lot of crap. The only mid-priced options I will invest in are Kerryon Johnson and Josh Jacobs. In all likelihood, I will have two of that six-some. I don’t mind punting down to James White or Chris Thompson, and Wayne Gallman will be a popular play. I just don’t think I’ll be exposed heavily to any of those three unless it is at FLEX. If I just go with two of the above six, expect to spend between 28% and 34% on DK and right around 25% to 28.5% on FD.
Keenan Allen should have 100% ownership this week. I’m not arguing with that at all. If you want exposure to this passing game, without going with Allen, use Mike Williams instead. I hope to pair Allen with one of the following: Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Kenny Golladay, Marquise Brown, Sterling Shepard or Tyrell Williams. I hope to roster my WR3 and FLEX from this list: Christian Kirk, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, DK Metcalf, Mike Williams, Terry McLaurin, Danny Amendola, Preston Williams. WR1 and WR2 should cost you 24% on DK and 25% on FD. WR3 and FLEX will be no more than 20% on either side.
Even Engram and Darren Waller are premium plays this week. I wouldn’t be upset if you went Double-TE and paired a cheap TE2 option with either of them. I cannot afford them if I spend big at RB or WR. The cheap option that I will pair them with is Will Dissly. If I need to punt further, I would go with Jordan Akins or James O’Shaughnessy. Dissly will cost me 7% on DK and 9% on FD. Engram or Waller will cost me 11.5% on either site. I will choose which level to go with based on my RB2 spending. I could also use two from this list and cut back my WR3 spending.
The Jaguars, Vikings and Ravens are my favorite options this week. The Chargers are also in play versus the decrepit Dolphins, but I don’t love their defense, and they will be over-owned. Any of those three will be just under 8% on either site.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6.2K at QB for Russell Wilson or Philip Rivers. Less than $14K for two of: Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Marlon Mack, Derrick Henry, David Johnson, Kerryon Johnson and Josh Jacobs. $7.6K for Keenan Allen. No more than $6K for one of: Kenny Golladay, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard, Marquise Brown or Tyrell Williams. $4.5K for Terry McLaurin. $3.6K for Will Dissly. No more than $5K for FLEX from among: James White, Wayne Gallman, one of the Chiefs’ backup WRs, DK Metcalf, Preston Williams, Will Fuller, or Danny Amendola. $3.4K for the Vikings’ defense.
At FD: $7.8K for Rivers or Wilson. No more than $15K for two of the above listed RBs. $8.1K for Keenan. $6K-$7K for WR2 (Leaning Cooper Kupp). $6.3K for McLaurin. $6.8K for Darren Waller or Evan Engram. $5.4K for Dissly at FLEX. $4K for the Vikings’ defense.
At Fanball (includes Sunday Night): Rivers, Ekeler, McCaffrey, Allen, Demarcus Robinson, McLaurin, Dissly, Wayne Gallman, Ravens’ defense.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Rivers, Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, Allen, McLaurin, Dissly, Gallman, David Johnson, Vikings’ defense.
|Gardner Minshew II||$5,200||$6,700|
Weekly strategy – I feel like the smart plays will be Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson. If I choose to spend up, it will be on Pat Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. The only cheap options I will consider are Daniel Jones or Matthew Stafford. If I choose Jones or Stafford, I will stack them with Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and/or Kenny Golladay. A Redskins stack could also be in play as a deep punt.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Pat Mahomes, Chiefs @ DET ($7500 DK, $9200 FD)
The Lions gave up a pair of passing touchdowns to both Kyler Murray and Carson Wentz. In between, they shut out Philip Rivers. Pat Mahomes is outside the class of any of those three. He just torched the strong Baltimore defense for 374-3. Plus, Detroit’s only legit defensive back, Darius Slay is questionable with a hamstring injury. I don’t know much about being an NFL defensive back, but I know that backpedaling versus speedy WRs is tough when your hamstring is 100%. Feel free to stack any of the Chiefs’ receiving options, even Watkins if Slay plays.
Philip Rivers, Chargers @ MIA ($6200 DK, $7800 FD)
I’m slightly concerned that this will be a trap game for the Chargers. After all, they will be travelling east and it is an early game. That said, even if they start slow, Miami is so rotten that Philip Rivers may still score three or four TDs before the end of the game. Keep an eye on Mike Williams’ injury status before stacking him, but roll out the Rivers-Keenan Allen stack in ALL formats.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ ARI ($6100 DK, $7800 FD)
Arizona’s air raid offense is capable of putting up a lot of points, unfortunately for them, they need all those points because their defense is putrid. Only two teams have allowed more passing yards per game. No team has allowed more QB rushing yards per game and only two teams have allowed more TDs to the position. Russell Wilson will shoulder more of the offensive load this week with Chris Carson being in the doghouse following a case of fumblitis. Four total touchdowns are certainly possible.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens vs. CLE ($6900 DK, $8300 FD)
Cleveland has faced only one legit QB through the first three weeks. Last week, Jared Goff posted a mediocre 268-2 against them. That said, in Week 1, this defense allowed the mediocre Marcus Mariota to throw for three TDs. Lamar Jackson provides a unique threat with his legs (on top of his passing attack). Mariota also has some run in his game, and he averaged eight yards per carry against this defense. Jackson is more elite than Mariota both through the air and on the ground. Jackson should easily total 330 total yards and three total touchdowns is his floor.
Daniel Jones, Giants vs. WAS ($5300 DK, $7300 FD)
Daniel Jones looked every bit the part of a legit NFL QB in his first start. Typically, you would assume by returning to his home stadium that he would find things easier. That said, this is New York. The fans and media here could turn on Jones in an instant if he foibles early. Fortunately, Washington shouldn’t provide too much competition for the youngster. Every QB to face this defense has thrown for three TDs. Jones will make it four in a row.
Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. KC ($5500 DK, $6900 FD)
The Lions will be forced to throw the ball early and often to try to stay in this game. Matthew Stafford has the weapons to get it accomplished versus this defense. If you need to save some money at the QB position so that you can go big elsewhere, I can get behind this play. If you do however, make sure that you stack Stafford with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, or Danny Amendola (if he plays).
|Todd Gurley II||$7,000||$6,800|
|Mark Ingram II||$6,600||$7,800|
|Wayne Gallman Jr.||$4,600||$5,800|
|Ronald Jones II||$4,400||$5,100|
Weekly strategy – Austin Ekeler and David Johnson are my favorite pair. I also will have a lot of exposure to Christian McCaffrey, Kerryon Johnson, Marlon Mack and Josh Jacobs. Everyone and their brother will own Wayne Gallman, but I don’t see him as anything better than a FLEX. Frankly, I’d rather use Chris Thompson in that same game or James White coming off the birth of his kid, if I choose to go cheap.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ MIA ($8000 DK, $8100 FD)
Through three weeks, the Miami Dolphins have allowed a league worst six total RB touchdowns, and 214 total yards per game to opposing backs. Austin Ekeler gets one more “Bomb” game before Melvin Gordon gets to usurp him as top dog again. I expect Ekeler to do everything in his power to convince the coaching staff to continue giving him reps on offense. 150-2 should be Ekeler’s floor, which will probably be capped when Justin Jackson takes over midway through the fourth quarter.
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers @ HOU ($8800 DK, $9000 FD)
So, I was concerned about what effect Kyle Allen would have on Christian McCaffrey last week. So much for that concern. McCaffrey blew up last week for 188 total yards. What is concerning is that he has only five total catches over the last two weeks. I hope the team returns to using C-Mac as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. If they do, McCaffrey will annihilate a defense that has allowed 24 RB receptions through the first three weeks.
David Johnson, Cardinals vs. SEA ($6800 DK, $6800 FD)
David Johnson’s total yards have been meager to start the season. That said, he has scored in the first three games. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have allowed three RB scores over the last two weeks. Not to mention, 9-92 through the air to the position, last week. Sooner or later, Kyler Murray will start peppering David Johnson as part of his high-flying offense. That sooner starts this week. At this price, Johnson is nearly a must-play.
Derrick Henry, Titans @ ATL ($6300 DK, $7000 FD)
Dion Lewis is a non-factor this season. Through three games, Derrick Henry has 80% of the Titans running back touches. Plus, his four total TDs ranks second behind only Mark Ingram. Atlanta struggled this year versus featured backs: Marlon Mack and Dalvin Cook. Derrick Henry could produce lines similar to their respective totals.
Wayne Gallman, Giants vs. WAS ($4600 DK, $5800 FD)
Sure, everyone is gonna own Wayne Gallman. All that means is that you need to have some huevos to not play him. I’m by no means a Gallman-truther, but Washington has allowed more than 100 total yards to every running back group to face them. Wayne will split some touches here, but his upside at this price will be very tough to fade.
Chris Thompson, Redskins @ NYG ($4500 DK, $5300 FD)
Chris Thompson ranks second on the Redskins in targets. He also ranks second in both receiving yards and receptions. The Giants have allowed huge games to the split backfields of Buffalo and Tampa Bay the last two weeks. The Redskins’ split backfield will also put up huge numbers here with Thompson the primary beneficiary from a PPR standpoint. A punt-stack of Case Keenum, Thompson, and Terry McLaurin could be sneaky, especially if you can pair them with some studs at RB1, WR1, WR2, and TE.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$7,300||$7,900|
|Allen Robinson II||$5,600||$7,000|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$5,400||$5,900|
|DJ Chark Jr.||$5,100||$6,000|
|Phillip Dorsett II||$4,700||$5,900|
|Will Fuller V||$4,500||$5,900|
|Willie Snead IV||$4,400||$5,000|
Weekly strategy – So by now you know you just start all your players against the Dolphins. This is especially true for #1 WR, Keenan Allen. He is a lock for me at WR1. You also should start everybody against the Giants. This means that the only legit option in the Redskins’ passing game (outside of Chris Thompson), Terry McLaurin, is also a must start. He will be my WR3. As for WR2, I will choose from a lengthy list including: the Kansas City Chiefs’ backups, the Texans’ backups, Preston Williams, DK Metcalf, Christian Kirk, Danny Amendola (if he can go), Mike Williams (if he can go) or Parris Campbell (if T.Y. Hilton cannot go). Any of those players could also be my FLEX this week. If I don’t go double-TE.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Keenan Allen, Chargers @ MIA ($7600 DK, $8100 FD)
Through three weeks, Miami has allowed 14-291-5 to opposing #1 WRs. Keenan Allen is licking his chops. Coming off a huge game, Allen leads the league in targets and receptions, plus he has 93 more receiving yards than the next closest WR. Anything less than 10-140-1 would be a huge disappointment, especially if Mike Williams is limited or out.
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans vs. CAR ($7700 DK, $8700 FD)
After posting 8-111-2 in Week 1, DeAndre Hopkins has had two straight subpar performances. Of course, he did face off with Jalen Ramsey and Casey Heyward in those two contests. Opposing #2 WRs have eaten against this defense, while #1 WRs have been only so-so. That said, Mike Evans and Robert Woods posted decent lines against them, and Larry Fitzgerald scored last week. Expect a decent game out of Hopkins and a huge game out of both Will Fuller and Kenny Stills.
Cooper Kupp, Rams vs. TB ($6500 DK, $7000 FD)
Cooper Kupp is listed as Los Angeles’ #3 option at WR. That is in number only. Through three weeks, Kupp leads the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards. Plus, he is tied for the team lead in TDs scored. Tampa Bay has allowed four different receivers to top 80 yards over their last two games. 7-90-1 is a surefire floor for this target magnet.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks @ ARI ($6300 DK, $6600 FD)
The Cardinals have allowed solid games to undersized speed merchants: Marquise Brown and D.J. Moore the last two weeks. Before that, they gave up a huge game to the equally petite, but not as fast, Danny Amendola. Tyler Lockett is faster than each of them, and with D.K. Metcalf and Will Dissly to keep defenses honest, he is poised for a huge game. The Russell Wilson-Lockett-Dissly stack will be one of my favorites this week.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins @ NYG ($4500 DK, $6300 FD)
Terry McLaurin has scored in each of his first three games, and he has been consistent receiving: seven, nine and eight targets. This week, he faces a Giants’ defense that gave up three TDs and 190 yards to Mike Evans last week. Not to mention, that through three games they are allowing an average of 7-123-1.3 to opposing #1 WRs. McLaurin showed up on the injury radar Thursday with a hamstring issue, but if he plays Sunday, he will be my WR3 on almost every one of my rosters.
Preston Williams, Dolphins vs. LAC ($3900 DK, $5200 FD)
Preston Williams has quietly posted a 4-66 average over the last two weeks. With Josh Rosen under center, things bode well for Williams’ future production. Rosen targeted Williams twelve times last week and Williams dropped a beautiful would’ve been TD pass. The Chargers have already allowed five different WRs to top 50 receiving yards and their top CB, Casey Heyward is dinged up. A 5-60-1 line will be a bargain at this price with minimal ownership.
Weekly strategy – Travis Kelce will be ok, but his price is just too high. Evan Engram and Darren Waller are both great plays and I will have a fair amount of exposure to each of them. I may even pair one of them with Will Dissly this week. If I need to save money, I will be all-in on Dissly. That said, Eric Ebron could surprise. I also like both Jordan Akins and James O’Shaughnessy coming off good games in Week 3. Either of those two could make a sneaky punt. Akins won me some extra dough last week, and I don’t see him as a one-week wonder.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Evan Engram, Giants vs. WAS ($5700 DK, $6800 FD)
Washington has been decent against opposing TEs this season. That said, Evan Engram has been on an all-pro pace with this offense devoid of weapons. Engram has averaged 8-93 through the first three weeks, with two TDs. He gets one more game without Golden Tate joining the fray, so expect a similar 8-90 type line here.
Darren Waller, Raiders @ IND ($5200 DK, $6700 FD)
The Colts just allowed 9-78-2 to the Atlanta Falcons’ TEs, including 6-66-2 to Austin Hooper. They routinely lost Hooper in coverage, including inexplicably in the red zone. Darren Waller has been the brightest spot on the Raiders’ offense this year averaging 9-89. He hasn’t crossed the stripe yet, but that changes this week.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ DET ($7200 DK, $7600 FD)
The Lions got their first 2019 taste of an NFL tight end this past weekend. They held Zach Ertz to a moderate 4-64 (which I consider a victory for their defense). Of course, Philly only had two healthy reliable receiving options: Ertz and Nelson Agholor. This made blanket coverage of Ertz possible. You cannot blanket cover Travis Kelce because Kansas City has far too many weapons. I feel Kelce will have his best game of the year, but it still won’t equate 3X value based on these high salaries.
Mark Andrews, Ravens vs. CLE ($5000 DK, $6100 FD)
Mark Andrews ranks sixth among TEs in targets, third in receptions and fourth in yards. Meanwhile, the only decent tight end that Cleveland has faced this season, Delanie Walker, went off for 5-55-2 against them. I’m not going to predict two scores, but 6-60-1 could catapult Andrews into the top two or three at the position this week.
Will Dissly, Seahawks @ ARI ($3600 DK, $5400 FD)
Please, Please, PLEASE, play Will Dissly this week! Arizona has allowed a ridiculous average of 8-116 to opposing TE groups. Plus, they have given up FIVE tight end touchdowns already. Dissly is the surest thing on any part of this slate this week. At this price, he is a must-start at tight end or FLEX, and a killer stack-option or Double-TE play.
Jordan Akins, Texans vs. CAR ($3100 DK, $5100 FD)
Jordan Akins’ big game last week, saved me from my over-exposure to Chris Carson. Through his young career, when he has had a reliable TE, Deshaun Watson has targeted that quality tight end. Jordan Akins feels like he just might be a reliable option. Carolina has been tough against tight ends this season, but Houston has a lot of weapons to deploy. The Panthers may not be able to deploy the necessary manpower to Akins while covering DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee.