So, the bye week schedule this year has me completely confused. Last week, we had four teams on bye, this week only two are on bye, next week there are four on bye, and then in Week 10, six teams are on bye. At this point, I can only assume that somebody in the league office was drunk when they were throwing darts at the calendar on the wall to set the 2019 schedule. With only two teams on bye, our player pool gets bigger once again. Fortunately, half the teams are decrepit, so you don’t have to worry much about their skill position players.
The Evening Slate:
Sunday night, Green Bay gets a free pass from the Chiefs as Patrick Mahomes will be chilling on the sidelines while veteran Matt Moore gets to play catch up. This game sure looked a lot more fantasy worthy, a couple of weeks ago. Now, Aaron Rodgers will throw for a couple early scores, and then hand the ball off to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams the remaining three quarters. Moore on the other hand, will be sacked a couple of times, throw a couple of bad picks, and still end up with some decent numbers in garbage time. I still don’t love either of them here, and each will find themselves behind Mason Rudolph on my Primetime wish list. Yes, I will bench Rodgers for Rudolph because I am concerned about game script (and because Rodgers will be way over owned). The Chiefs are using their running backs in a manner that makes Bill Belichick chuckle. Damien Williams or LeSean McCoy would be great plays against a bad run defense. Unfortunately, we have no clue which one will be the featured back this week. At least we don’t seem to have Rex Burkhead…err…Darrel Williams in the mix anymore. So, of course, Darrel will probably have two scores this week. In all seriousness, McCoy has been the most reliable of the options. I’ll choose between him and Jamaal Williams at FLEX. Aaron Jones is a lock at RB2. Tyreek Hill is the obvious WR2, in a slate devoid of premium WRs. That said, with Matt Moore at QB, I can’t trust any of the other Chiefs enough to roster at WR. At his current rate, Davante Adams may not play again this year. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are both in play at WR3. I prefer Scantling, but not by much. Allison actually had more targets last week, but he assumed the Randall Cobb, a lot of looks and catches but no red zone usage role, in the GB offense. Still, based on PPR, he remains in play. Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard could also be sneaky options at WR3, if you need to save a few bucks. Prior to Week 7, opposing tight ends were averaging 7.6-72 against KC. This means that Jimmy Graham is once again in play. He will likely be a toss-up with Vance McDonald as my TE of choice. Darren Waller and Foster Moreau embarrassed Green Bay last week, so, Travis Kelce is certainly deployable. I will still probably fade him due to price and Moore factor. Pittsburgh’s defense will be the chalk and deserving so. That said, if you want to be contrarian go with Green Bay’s defense instead.
Monday night, Mason Rudolph gets to help Miami Tank for Tua. He is the best play on the slate, and he should be lesser owned than Rodgers. The Steelers’ pass defense has improved since the acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick. So, under no circumstances will I play Ryan Fitzpatrick (even if the sites Chris Davis his salary). I’m also out on whichever flavor of the week Miami chooses to use at RB. James Conner, however, will be 100% owned at RB1. I don’t mind Preston Williams or Davante Parker, but I’m not going to run out to play either as more than a WR3/FLEX. As for the Steelers, JuJu Smith-Schuster is the clear WR1, and Diontae Johnson is in consideration at FLEX. With three spots, plus defense locked up for the Steelers, I may have to fade Diontae here. This is especially true if I go with Vance McDonald instead of Jimmy Graham. Mike Gesicki is not going to do anything here. Miami’s defense may end up with fewer points than Sam Darnold did on MNF.
The Main Slate:
There is a lot to love up top at QB this week. Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen are my favorites. I also like both Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford. Jared Goff’s matchup screams high ownership, and I’m off of it anyway as I feel it is a trap game. I like both Jimmy Garoppolo and Teddy Bridgewater, but both have salaries too high to use when you compare them to Stafford and Allen. Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr are the only likable punt plays. I will have minor stacks with each of them, but neither excites me. Brady, Stafford, Wilson, Watson or Allen will run me between 13% and 14.5% on either site.
Saquan Barkley gets to go HAM on the Lions this week. He is the clear RB1 on this slate. Todd Gurley and Chris Carson have the next best matchups, and while I think each will reach 3X, each has a potential floor exponentially lower than Barkley’s. Finding RB2 is much more difficult this week. Devonta Freeman and his former running mate, Tevin Coleman may be the safest options. Ty Johnson will be a good play, but he will be excessively owned. Austin Ekeler is also in play and so are the New England RBs. I will likely choose from one of these six, or maybe Josh Jacobs (on DK only because of price) as my RB2. They could also be in play at FLEX, although I will likely use a WR there this week. There isn’t a punt I feel great about, but Darrell Henderson could be in play if something happens to Todd Gurley in-game or before. Assuming I go with Barkley and either Freeman or Coleman, I will spend 29% on DK and 25% on FD. If you do pull your FLEX from that list as well, add another 11%.
DeAndre Hopkins may be the surest sure thing in weeks. He is locked and loaded at WR1, and may even be part of a Voltron-stack featuring Kenny Stills, Deshaun Watson, and Darren Fells. I like Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and Cooper Kupp, but they will simply act as pivots for me from Nuk. Tyler Lockett and Kenny Golladay will be my primary WR2s. Others I will consider for that role include: Marvin Jones, John Brown, Golden Tate, Calvin Ridley and the other Rams. I may even consider one of them at WR3. If not, my WR3 and FLEX will come from this group: Kenny Stills, Corey Davis (my favorite), Tyrell Williams (if he plays), Zach Pascal, Cole Beasley, Danny Amendola, A.J. Brown, and Mohamed Sanu. The only punt plays I like are Ted Ginn and the Raiders’ WRs. Hopkins plus either Lockett or Golladay will cost me 30% on DK and 26% on FD. I’d keep my WR3 and FLEX from that list to under 21% total. If I choose my FLEX from RB then keep my WR3 to under 11%.
The TE position sucks this week. Austin Hooper is the only one I have full trust in, and that trust may be yanked if Matt Ryan can’t start. Gerald Everett is a possible starter, but his price seems slightly high. On DK, I will have some exposure to Darren Fells and T.J. Hockenson, but they are both overpriced on FD. The punts I like are Dawson Knox, Jacob Hollister and Tyler Eifert. That said, if I can afford Hooper, I will play him. Otherwise, I will likely play whichever TE starts for New Orleans or Eifert or Fells in the Houston Stack. Since those are the only players in my price range that I feel even slightly confident about. Hooper will cost you 11%, none of the possible scrubs should cost you more than 8%.
This week you can choose a lot of options at defense. I will avoid the higher priced ones and choose from: New Orleans, Tennessee, Houston, Jacksonville, Indy, Detroit, Seattle or the Bucs. None will cost more than 7% on DK and 8% on FD.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6.1K for Matthew Stafford. $8.9K for Saquan Barkley. $5K for Tevin Coleman. $8.1K for DeAndre Hopkins. $6.4K for Kenny Golladay. Less than $9K total for WR3 and FLEX from the above list. $3.5K for T.J. Hockenson. $3K for the Bears defense.
At FD: $8.4K for Deshaun Watson. $8.6K for Barkley. $6.2K for either Tevin Coleman or Devonta Freeman. $8.2K for Hopkins. $7.2K or less for Golladay or Tyler Lockett. No more than $11K for two of the WRs listed above at WR3 and FLEX. $6.6K for Austin Hooper. No more than $4.5K for your choice of defense (I’m leaning New Orleans).
At Fanball (includes Sun Night): Watson, Barkley, Chris Carson, Hopkins, Golladay, Corey Davis, Jared Cook (or Josh Hill), J.D. McKissic, and the Houston defense.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Watson, Barkley, Carson, John Brown, Kenny Stills, Austin Hooper, Ty Johnson, Tevin Coleman, and the Houston defense.
|Gardner Minshew II||$5,500||$6,900|
Weekly strategy – I’m most likely to spend up for Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford or Josh Allen. They will all be stacked with their top WRs. Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr are the only cheap options I like.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Deshaun Watson, Texans vs. OAK ($7100 DK, $8400 FD)
Oakland has allowed ten passing TDs over their last three games. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson has accounted for three or more TDs in four of seven games. He doesn’t have Will Fuller anymore but expect Watson to use Kenny Stills in a similar role. This makes both DeAndre Hopkins and Stills potential stack options with Watson (not to mention Darren Fells). A minimum of three more TDs are on the docket, and perhaps as many as five.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ ATL ($7200 DK, $8600 FD)
Atlanta has allowed a league-worst 20 total QB touchdowns to date. This includes three or more in each of their last four games. Russell Wilson is coming off his worst start of the year, but prior to that, he had four of five starts end with three or more TDs. Against this soft defense, three TDs is a safe call.
Josh Allen, Bills vs. PHI ($6500 DK, $7700 FD)
Philadelphia may have the worst secondary in all of organized football. Luke Falk is the only QB this season to not go crazy against them. Josh Allen may not throw for three scores here, but he will toss at least one and run for at least one. Stack him nicely with John Brown or Dawson Knox.
Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. NYG ($6100 DK, $7700 FD)
The Giants have allowed only two passing TDs over their last four games. However, during that stretch they allowed two 300-yard passers and a pair of QB rushing TDs. This gives them four 300-yard passing games allowed already this year. Matthew Stafford is coming off a 364-4 game against a usually very tough Vikings’ defense. In that game, Minnesota decided to ignore Marvin Jones. That wasn’t a great strategy. The Giants won’t ignore Jones, but they don’t have the talent to contain Jones, let alone contain Jones, Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Niners vs. CAR ($5700 DK, $7400 FD)
The Panthers have only allowed seven passing TDs through their first six games. That said, they have given up 774 passing yards over their last two games. Jimmy Garoppolo has not thrown for a TD the last two weeks. Week 7 can be blamed on the weather, but Garoppolo has to pick it up here. I envision Garoppolo taking full advantage of his new toy, Emmanuel Sanders, and throwing a couple of scores to go along with a 300-yard passing day.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans vs. TB ($5100 DK, $6900 FD)
It is impossible to run the ball against Tampa Bay, fortunately for their opponents, the Bucs are allowing the most passing yards per game. Plus, they have given up 12 total QB touchdowns over their last four games. Ryan Tannehill is not the long-term answer in Tennessee, he may, however, be the short-term answer. He even made Corey Davis viable. Both Davis and A.J. Brown make nice stack plays here on the cheap if you want to go big at RB.
|Todd Gurley II||$7,400||$7,400|
|Melvin Gordon III||$5,400||$6,400|
|Ronald Jones II||$4,300||$5,600|
|Darrell Henderson Jr.||$4,000||$5,600|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||$3,900||$4,800|
Weekly strategy – Saquan Barkley is a lock at RB1. I will try to fit Chris Carson or Todd Gurley into lineups when I can. That said, I won’t be able to afford much of them. RB2 will come down to one of: Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, Austin Ekeler or one of the Patriots. I will likely not use RB for FLEX this week (except on FantasyDraft).
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Saquan Barkley, Giants @ DET ($8900 DK, $8600 FD)
Saquan Barkley scored but only posted 80 total yards in his first game back. He should be full-go for this game. Detroit has allowed an absurd seven RB touchdowns in their last three games. Plus, they have allowed more than 140 total running back yards in every game. Barkley is a one-man backfield right now for New York. That 140 yards will be all his. Not to mention, a couple scores too.
Chris Carson, Seahawks @ ATL ($7000 DK, $8000 FD)
Atlanta is bad against the pass, but they are worse against the run. Every team except the Eagles topped 100 total running back yards against the Falcons. They have also given up five RB touchdowns over their last three games. Chris Carson struggled last week against a very good Baltimore run defense. Prior to that game, Carson had averaged 142 combo yards per game over his prior three contests. He will top the 130-yard mark this time out and multiple scores are possible, as long as Russell Wilson doesn’t vulture them.
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers @ SF ($9200 DK, $9600 FD)
This might be the first time and only time this season where Christian McCaffrey’s price may b too high to guarantee 3x production. San Francisco is arguably the best defense in football right now. Not a single RB touchdown has been scored against them this season. That said, they are allowing more than four yards per carry to opposing backs. McCaffrey is too good of a back to completely ignore, but this is the one week where his 100 total yards and a single score just doesn’t belong in your lineup.
Todd Gurley, Rams vs. CIN ($7400 DK, $7400 FD)
Just like I’m ignoring McCaffrey for probably the only time this year, I’m pimping Todd Gurley for probably the only time this year. Cincinnati is rotten against the run. Opposing backs are averaging nearly five yards per carry against them. When you throw in receiving yards, they are giving up 187 yards per game to opposing backs. Darrell Henderson will likely siphon a few of those yards, but Gurley will get into the end zone a minimum of twice.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. SEA ($5500 DK, $6200 FD)
The Seahawks don’t give up a ton of yardage to opposing backs, but they have given up multiple RB scores in three of their last five games. With Ito Smith out, Devonta Freeman will be the horse for Atlanta this week. He will get into the end zone at least once and approach 120 total yards.
Tevin Coleman, Niners vs. CAR ($5000 DK, $6200 FD)
Freeman’s former Atlanta running mate, Tevin Coleman gets to face the Panthers this week. The Panthers have allowed at least one RB score in all but one game. The last two contests have featured three total RB touchdowns against them. Matt Breida has been cleared from the concussion protocol, but he has slipped into a complementary role along Coleman now. Plus, Coleman has re-established himself as the goal-line option.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$6,500||$7,400|
|Allen Robinson II||$6,000||$7,100|
|DJ Chark Jr.||$6,000||$6,300|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$5,800||$6,300|
|Phillip Dorsett II||$4,200||$5,600|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||$3,700||$5,300|
Weekly strategy – There are three sure things this week. DeAndre Hopkins, Tyler Lockett and Kenny Golladay. I will have two of those three in every lineup. After that, it is a dart throw for WR3 and FLEX. I like: John Brown, Corey Davis, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Calvin Ridley, Cole Beasley, A.J. Brown, Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola and Mohamed Sanu. The punt plays that I like but probably won’t use are the Raiders’ receivers, Chris Conley and Ted Ginn.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans vs. OAK ($8100 DK, $8200 FD)
With Will Fuller out of action, DeAndre Hopkins was targeted more than twice as often as the next option in the Houston offense last week. Kenny Stills will be involved making both stackable. That said, Hopkins is still option A and option B in this offense. It helps that Oakland has been clobbered by tall outside receivers the last couple weeks. Stills and Hopkins will combine for 250 receiving yards and a minimum of two scores here.
Michael Thomas, Saints vs. ARI ($8000 DK, $8500 FD)
Arizona has allowed every #1 WR they have faced to top 50 yards receiving. On the year, opposing #1 WRs are averaging 6.4-90 against them. Patrick Peterson is back and he hasn’t been traded yet. This should dampen the shine on Michael Thomas slightly. Nevertheless, Thomas is matchup proof. His low water marks this year were 5-54-1 and 8-89. I’ve got him on 7-90-1 this week.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks @ ATL ($7000 DK, $7200 FD)
With Russell Wilson as one of my top QB options this week, I need to stack him with his top receiver, Tyler Lockett. Atlanta has allowed 969 WR receiving yards over the last four games. For a frame of reference, six teams have not allowed that many WR receiving yards all year. Lockett has not scored in any road game this year, but that should change here.
Kenny Golladay, Lions vs. NYG ($6400 DK, $6700 FD)
Another QB-WR stack here as I will have a decent amount of exposure to Matthew Stafford-Kenny Golladay when I’m looking to spend a little more at RB. The Giants have given up massive receiving days to WR1s. Only Larry Fitzgerald and Paul Richardson failed to destroy this defense. 9-100-1 is Golladay’s floor as long as Marvin Jones doesn’t steal all of the fun again.
John Brown, Bills vs. PHI ($5900 DK, $5900 FD)
Philadelphia has been torched by outside receivers all year including: Terry McLaurin 5-25-1, Julio Jones 5-106-2, Davante Adams 10-180-0, Stefon Diggs 7-167-3, and Amari Cooper 5-106-0. John Brown will join the 100-yard club against this defense, and he could do it with just two catches. Of course, he will finish will more than two catches. I envision him finishing around 6-130-1.
Corey Davis, Titans vs. TB ($4400 DK, $5500 FD)
Who knew Ryan Tannehill was the necessary piece to save Corey Davis’ fantasy stock? The Buccaneers rank last against opposing WRs in terms of yardage per game. Ten different WRs have topped 70 receiving yards against them in just their last five games. This means that both Davis and A.J. Brown are stackable with Tannehill if you want to spend like crazy at RB.
Weekly strategy – Yuck, what a week. Austin Hooper is the best play, but he may be saddled by Matt Schaub. Darren Waller and George Kittle are ok, but their prices are both a little high and I don’t think I can afford them. I will likely wait and see who starts for New Orleans, or roll with T.J. Hockenson, Darren Fells or Delanie Walker stacked with their QBs. I do foresee usage of some punt options here including: Dawson Knox, Jacob Hollister or Tyler Eifert.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Austin Hooper, Falcons vs. SEA ($5500 DK, $6600 FD)
Seattle has allowed 18-308-1 to the TE position over the last three weeks. Austin Hooper is far and away the safest high-priced option this week. Despite the presence of Matt Schaub last week, Hooper scored for a second straight. This puts him in a spot where he has scored and/or topped 50 yards in all but one game this year.
Darren Waller, Raiders @ HOU ($5900 DK, $6800 FD)
Houston started the year very good against opposing TEs. The last three weeks, however, they have begun to be exposed by quality tight ends. Darren Waller definitely qualifies as a quality TE. He trails only Austin Hooper and Travis Kelce in yardage this year and his 44 receptions rank second at the position. That FD price seems a tad high, but I’ll definitely have a few shares of him on DK.
George Kittle, Niners vs. CAR ($6500 DK, $6900 FD)
George Kittle is good enough to still rank top-3 on an ugly TE slate. He leads all TEs in total yards over the last three weeks, but I’m afraid that Emmanuel Sanders may siphon some of his targets. I’ll more than likely fade him in tourneys at this price.
Evan Engram, Giants @ DET ($5300 DK, $6300 FD)
Evan Engram had a blow-up opportunity last week, only to cede the obviously TD to Rhett Ellison. His knee is feeling better so his outlook may be brighter this week. That said, his numbers have underwhelmed since Week 3. Sterling Shepard is slated to miss this game, so the targets should be there. The opportunity should be there too since Detroit has allowed an average of 7-94 to the position over the last four games.
Jared Cook, Saints vs. ARI ($4000 DK, $5800 FD)
Jared Cook is dealing with an ankle injury. If he plays, it is Arizona. If he doesn’t play, Josh Hill is a plug-and-play punt at an ugly position this week. The Cards are giving up 7-91 per game to the position this year with eight touchdowns allowed over just seven games.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. NYG ($3500 DK, $5300 FD)
T.J. Hockenson continues to get minimal usage, but he has been missed wide open in the end zone a couple of times over the last two weeks. If Matthew Stafford starts looking his way, the scores will come. On a rough slate for TEs, I may find myself stacking Hock with Stafford and Golladay just to save money in a game that should have some scoring.