Four teams on bye this week, plus Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, plus two teams playing Sunday morning in London, and the ugliness that is Thursday Night Football. This leaves us with only 20 teams to choose players from for the Millionaire slates. Of course, when you realize that four of those 20 matchups feature: Case Keenum versus Buffalo, Matt Moore versus Minnesota, Kyle Allen versus Tennessee, and Brandon Allen versus Cleveland, you realize that your options are even slimmer. This could get ugly fast.
The Evening Slate:
Sunday night, New England gets to lock horns with Baltimore. If there was ever a week to consider benching Lamar Jackson it would be this week. The Patriots always seem to neutralize an opponent’s top offensive asset. Well, in the case of Baltimore, their top offensive asset (and second and third best asset) is Jackson. Jackson will gain a healthy dose on the ground, but I still don’t want to count on him for any legit value through the air. Baltimore’s pass defense has looked better the last three games, after a slow start. Plus, only once this year they have allowed more than one passing TD. These trends (and the great MNF matchup) keeps Tom Brady on the bench. Sony Michel and James White remain in play at FLEX, but it’s hard to envision starting them over Saquan Barkley and Zeke Elliott. Mark Ingram is also in play at FLEX as Cleveland proved last week that you can run on the Patriots. I’m gonna avoid all the Baltimore receivers. For New England, Julian Edelman and Philip Dorsett are in play at WR2 and WR3 respectively. I’m probably more inclined to use Dorsett due to price. Jakobi Meyers could also be a cheaper WR3/FLEX play as well. We didn’t see much from Mohamed Sanu in his first game, so I’d wait for a more prime spot to roll him out. Ben Watson finally did something last week, but mediocre TEs have done mediocre against Baltimore this season. The Patriots are elite against TEs, but Mark Andrews is pretty elite in his own right. I still have him ranked third behind Evan Engram and Jason Witten this week, so he won’t be on many of my lineups. We all know that the Patriots’ defense has been a fantasy MVP this year. I will use them where I can afford them.
Monday night, Dallas and the Giants prepare for a shootout. I’m going to set most of my roster from this game. Dak Prescott is the QB1 on this slate, and Daniel Jones could be a sneaky pivot play at a substantial cost saving. Both starting RBs (Ezekiel Elliott and Saquan Barkley) need to be in your lineup and you should build the rest of your roster around them. If you need to save some money, even consider Tony Pollard as a FLEX option. Both, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are awesome plays here. They will combine for 250 yards and at least two scores. I’m not as high on Tavon Austin or Randall Cobb, but either could be used at WR3 if you need to save money. I’d rather save them both for the Showdown slates. Sterling Shepard is just about to be cleared from the concussion protocol, and he would be in discussion for WR2 or WR3 if he plays. Even if he does, Golden Tate should be active as well and is the much safer play. Either way, expect to have at least two of your WRs come out of this game. Even Engram and Jason Witten are the top TE options on this slate. Both dominated and scored in their Week 1 meeting. Affording Engram may be tough, but Witten should be a good value. If you are short on funds, you may even use Blake Jarwin at TE as a punt. The Dallas defense will be a popular pivot from New England, and if the price difference is right, it will be worth it.
The Main Slate:
Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford are the elite plays. Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston will be the popular pivots. I will have one of these four in most of my FD lineups. I will be more inclined to get creative on DK, where Ryan Tannehill, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, and even Mitch Trubisky could be used. The above four will cost me between 12.5% and 14.5% on either site. If I go with one of the four cheaper options on DK, it will run 10%-12%.
I’ll have some shares of Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook, but finances won’t allow me to go crazy with them. Instead, LeVeon Bell and Aaron Jones will be my primary RB1. RB2 will be a tough decision. Frankly, there isn’t a lot to love on this slate. I may just pay up and roster one of: Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry (my favorite option), Marlon Mack or Melvin Gordon. The other options would be to go cheap and roster one of the Bills, one of the Lions or one of the Steelers (if James Conner doesn’t play). Needless to say, if one of the cheap six options ends up the outright starter this weekend, they will be a RB2 lock and a potential FLEX. In most cases I will look elsewhere for my FLEX. Henry paired with Bell or Jones will cost me between 25% and 27% on DK and between 23% and 25% on FD. If you choose a FLEX here, keep it under 11%.
Kenny Golladay and Tyler Lockett are mortal locks for a second straight week. I will once again target them as WR1 and WR2. My only pivots would be to one of the Bucs (if I use Winston at QB) or Allen Robinson (if I use Mitchell Trubisky at QB). Tyrell Williams, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Danny Amendola, Marvin Jones and DK Metcalf will make up my WR3. I may also consider one of them at FLEX. The punt options I like are: Davante Parker, Preston Williams, Cole Beasley, Hunter Renfrow, Anthony Miller and Jaron Brown. Golladay and Lockett will tie up just over 25% on FD and just over 30% on DK. Do not spend more than 12% on your WR3. If you roster your FLEX here keep it under 11%.
I love the top three TEs: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and Hunter Henry. Unfortunately, I will have a difficult time affording to go Double-TE using two of them. If I can I will. The Double-TE option I like is pairing one of them with Jonnu Smith (assuming Delanie Walker does not play). Smith also makes a nice straight pivot if you need to shave some salary. I could also see pivoting to either Vance McDonald or Chris Herndon (if he plays). As usual, I will pay up more often here at FD, because the price difference is less extreme. There are a couple of punt options for DK: Jacob Hollister, Dawson Knox, Kyle Rudolph, Trey Burton, and Dallas Goedert. None of these guys will run above 6.6% at DK. The price for one of the top three will be 12% to 14% on DK and roughly 11.5% on FD. Jonnu would run you 7.6% on DK and 9.1% on FD, if you choose to use him at FLEX.
Buffalo and the Jets are the obvious plays. They will each run you around 8% on either site. There are a lot of potential pivots including the Eagles and Bears against each other. My favorite play is actually going to be Tennessee against Carolina. I can have them for a little over 5% on DK and a little over 7% on FD. So, I will clearly have more exposure to them on DK and more exposure to the top two on FD.
Here are my recommended lineups.
At DK: $6.8K for Matthew Stafford. $7K for Aaron Jones. $5.7K for Derrick Henry. $14.3K for Tyler Lockett and Allen Robinson. $4.7K for Danny Amendola. $3.8K for Jonnu Smith. $5.5K or less for one of the Steelers’ RBs, one of the Buffalo RBs, one of the Jets’ WRs or Tra Carson at FLEX. $2.6K for the Titans’ defense.
At FD: $7.9K for Matthew Stafford. $7.7K for Jones. $7K for LeVeon Bell. $15.1K for Lockett and Kenny Golladay. $$5.8K or 6.2K for either Jamison Crowder or Robby Anderson at WR3. $5.5K for Jonnu Smith. No more than $6K for your choice of FLEX. No more than $4.4K for the Titans’ defense.
At Fanball (includes Sun Night): Stafford, Jones, Dalvin Cook, D.K. Metcalf, Robinson, Amendola, Hunter Henry, Tra Carson, and the Buffalo defense.
At Fantasy Draft (includes Sun Night): Stafford, Cook, Bell, Robinson, Amendola, Jonnu, Jones, Jaylen Samuels, and the Tennessee defense.
Weekly strategy – I’m going to primarily vacillate between Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. The other two options that I will roll with are Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston. I have a couple of punt options I like this week including: Derek Carr, Mitchell Trubisky, and Sam Darnold. I can use any of those three comfortably when I need to shave some salary.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. TB ($7100 DK, $8600 FD)
The Buccaneers are allowing the second-most passing yards per game at over 300. Plus, over the last five games they have given up 15 total TDs to opposing QBs. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson ranks second among QBs with 20 total TDs. This game should be a shootout, and I expect both QBs to top 300-3.
Matthew Stafford, Lions @ OAK ($6800 DK, $7900 FD)
The other obvious shootout on the schedule is Detroit at Oakland. Oakland has allowed the third-most passing yards per game at just under 300, but they also have allowed the most passing TDs per game at 2.7. Four times (out of seven) this year an opponent has thrown for three or more scores against them. Matthew Stafford will make it five out of eight.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings @ KC ($6700 DK, $7800 FD)
Kansas City’s pass defense has been in the middle of the pack all year. That said, the three best QBs that they have faced: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson have all accounted for three TDs against them. Kirk Cousins certainly has the game to stay with Kansas City in a shootout. My only concern is if there is no Pat Mahomes, there may be no shootout. In that case, Kirk Cousins may not need to push the envelope quite so much, and Minnesota will run the ball much more. Either way, Kirk should approach 300 yards and score a couple of times.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers @ SEA ($6100 DK, $7500 FD)
The other half of this shootout looks much more appealing at DK where his price is a definite savings from Wilson and Stafford. On FD, his price is close enough to the other two that he becomes more of a pivot than a cost-saving play. Jameis Winston has been a turnover machine this year, but he has topped 300 yards in four of his last five. He will top 300 yards again and score 2-3 TDs, assuming he doesn’t get lifted on his third INT of the game.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. DET ($5500 DK, $7300 FD)
Derek Carr is facing Detroit in the reverse end of this shootout. Carr quietly has multiple TDs in four of his last starts. He has also a Siamese twin like connection with his top WR, Tyrell Williams. I could easily use that stack as a way to get exposure to this game for a lot less money and ownership. If I do go that way, I’ll also get Kenny Golladay or Danny Amendola into the stack to experience the full boom of this one. With ten TDs allowed over their last three contests, Detroit can be had through the air. I expect Carr to easily post 300-2 here.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears @ PHI ($5000 DK, $6500 FD)
The pain that is a short slate means seriously considering starting Mitchell Trubisky. He was definitely a trick for me this year and not a treat. Of course, the Philly pass defense is the gift that keeps on giving. Only two teams have not gained multiple QB touchdowns against them. Needless to say, it was an epic fail on their behalf that they didn’t trade for secondary help this week. Trubisky inspires zero confidence, but he does have a fine connection with Allen Robinson. This puts them in play as a possible stack, if you really want to pound RB (McCaffrey/Cook???).
|Melvin Gordon III||$5,000||$6,300|
|Ronald Jones II||$4,100||$5,600|
|Benny Snell Jr.||$3,800||$4,500|
Weekly strategy – Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, LeVeon Bell and Aaron Jones are the four RBs that I will use the most. I can certainly understand using Christian McCaffrey if you can fit him under the cap. If I pivot off this foursome, it will likely be for Josh Jacobs or Melvin Gordon. If you roster your FLEX from this position, there are a few to choose from including: both Bills, Jaylen Samuels and Tra Carson.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ KC ($9500 DK, $9000 FD)
Kansas City has allowed an average of 181 combo yards per game to opposing RBs to go along with 1.25 total RB scores per game. That is the combined floor I expect from Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison this week. Cook will get the majority of that and 150-2 is certainly is play. 125-1 is a lock.
Aaron Jones, Packers @ LAC ($7000 DK, $7700 FD)
The Chargers have allowed 200 total RB yards per game to three of their last four opponents. Aaron Jones gets his chance to ransack this defense in a “road” game. Jones leads all RBs in total TDs, despite the fact that Green Bay continues to use Jamaal Williams more often than necessary. The twosome should top 200 total yards and score two TDs. I’m guessing 70% of that goes to Jones.
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. TEN ($10000 DK, $9700 FD)
Christian McCaffrey proved last week that he is matchup proof. The Titans are great against the pass and they are only pretty good against the run, so C-Mac is the Panthers best option at success this week. If Curtis Samuel is limited by his shoulder injury, McCaffrey could be even more valuable. I’m not going to have much exposure at this price, but considering his slate-breaking potential, I wouldn’t blame you if you tried to make it work.
LeVeon Bell, Jets @ MIA ($7700 DK, $7000 FD)
It might not get any better than this for LeVeon Bell owners. Miami is allowing a league worst 181 combo yards per game to opposing backs and they are especially struggling with pass catching backs. Bell will be very active both on the ground and through the air making the Darnold-Bell-Crowder stack a legit option. I expect Bell to top 150 total yards, with a chance at double-digit receptions.
Derrick Henry, Titans @ CAR ($5700 DK, $6800 FD)
Derrick Henry gets to feast on a Carolina defense that has allowed eight RB touchdowns over the last three games. I’m not counting on more than 75/80 yards, but a score is a lock.
Jaylen Samuels, Steelers vs. IND ($4000 DK, $5000 FD)
Jaylen Samuels may be the only healthy RB on the Steelers active roster this week. That alone puts him in play as a volume-based play. The Colts are actually pretty good against the run, but they have allowed four different teams to rack up five or more RB receptions. Samuels is definitely going to be involved in the passing game, and that is probably his best bet at scoring.
|Allen Robinson II||$6,800||$7,200|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||$6,600||$7,000|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||$6,000||$5,700|
|Paul Richardson Jr.||$3,600||$4,800|
Weekly strategy – The top five options are: Tyler Lockett, Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson and the Buccaneers’ pair. I’d love to have two of this group in all of my lineups. At the very least, I will have one from this list, paired with either D.K. Metcalf or Danny Amendola (if I don’t use Lockett or Golladay respectively). I could also use Metcalf or Amendola at WR3. My other WR3 options include: Tyrell Williams, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Jarvis Landry. I also have zero issue with punting WR3 or FLEX with: Cole Beasley, Davante Parker, Preston Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Jaron Brown or Anthony Miller.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Kenny Golladay, Lions @ OAK ($7700 DK, $7600 FD)
Kenny Golladay is going to be a lock in most of my lineups. Oakland has given up huge games to fellow big outside receivers like: DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Courtland Sutton and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Golladay has scored and/or topped 100 yards in five of seven games. Both are going to happen here.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. TB ($7500 DK, $7500 FD)
Tyler Lockett is the other sure thing this week. Tampa has been routinely abused by all opposing WRs. Ten different options have topped 70 yards against them. Including multiple game with multiple 70-yard+ performers. Lockett has scored and/or topped 70 yards in all but one game. This week both will happen here as well.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers @ SEA ($7200 DK, $8100 FD)
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin continue to build the global Twitter feud of who truly is Tampa Bay’s WR1. I’d argue both deserve the title, and this week both will near 100 yards and score. Every number one WR to face Seattle has had a field day. It won’t be any different here.
Allen Robinson, Bears @ PHI ($6800 DK, $7200 FD)
Allen Robinson is the only thing that is keeping Chicago fans from committing Hari-Kari. The offense is a complete mess and even the defense is beginning to unravel from the amount of time they are spending on the field. Fortunately, Philadelphia doesn’t really care how much yards you throw for against them. In fact, most of the scrubs in their secondary might have a hard time finding jobs in the XFL. Taller outside receivers have absolutely gone beast-mode on this team all season (including the undead corpse of Demaryius Thomas). Allen Robinson is a mortal lock for 100-1, and two scores is quite likely.
Tyrell Williams, Raiders vs. DET ($5900 DK, $6300 FD)
Tyrell Williams has scored in every game he has played in this year. That is consistency. Outside receivers have had success against this defense the last couple weeks. In what appears to be a shootout, I have every reason to believe that Derek Carr hooks up with Williams once again.
Danny Amendola, Lions @ OAK ($4700 DK, $6000 FD)
This game could have lots of start-worthy players including backups: Hunter Renfrow, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. I particularly like Amendola because he has been a favorite target of Matthew Stafford the last couple weeks. In Weeks 7 and 8, only nine other WRs had more targets than Amendola. Over that span, he also ranks third in receptions and seventh in receiving yards.
|Irv Smith Jr.||$2,700||$4,700|
Weekly strategy – The top three: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and Hunter Henry are all golden this week. I will do what I can to fit them into my lineups. If I’m struggling financially, I will use Vance McDonald or Jonnu Smith instead. There are several potential punt options that I will consider at FLEX including: Kyle Rudolph, Cameron Brate, Dallas Goedert, Trey Burton (revenge game), Jacob Hollister or Dawson Knox.
Your Fantasy Four Pack:
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. MIN ($6900 DK, $6700 FD)
Travis Kelce has only two TDs this year, and Minnesota has given up zero TE touchdowns this year. So why am I ranking Kelce so high? Minnesota has given up huge yardage and high reception counts to every decent TE they have faced. Plus, Matt Moore doesn’t have Pat Mahomes’ arm strength. He is more likely to dink it off to Kelce than throw it 60 yards downfield to Tyreek Hill. It should be no surprise that Kelce got one of his two scores last week with Moore at QB.
Darren Waller, Raiders vs. DET ($6300 DK, $6800 FD)
Darren Waller has been the best treat of the fantasy season. He has six or more receptions in five of seven games. Plus, he has scored in two straight contests. Meanwhile, Detroit is allowing an average of 6.4-83 to the position for their last five games.
Hunter Henry, Chargers vs. GB ($6000 DK, $6400 FD)
The Chargers have faced three elite TEs this year, all three have destroyed them. Darren Waller, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have combined to post 18-254-3 against the Pack. Hunter Henry is certainly among the elite at the position, and a 6-75-1 line is not out of the question. Of course, if Keenan Allen’s hamstring acts up before or during the game, Henry will be even more involved in the offense.
Vance McDonald, Steelers vs. IND ($4100 DK, $5300 FD)
Indianapolis has quietly allowed an average of 6-59 to the position this year. Premium TEs such as: Waller, Kelce, Henry and Austin Hooper have all posted big days against them. Vance McDonald is slightly below them on the TE totem pole, but he is no slouch. I’m not predicting a score, but this will be McDonald’s best line of the year, and 6-75 is certainly achievable.
Jonnu Smith, Titans @ CAR ($3800 DK, $5500 FD)
Give me all the Jonnu Smith and just let Delanie Walker retire. Over the last two weeks, Smith ranks fourth in TE receptions and second in TE receiving yards. Part of that is because Ryan Tannehill likes targeting tight ends, and part of it is because they have faced two of the worst teams in the league at defending TEs. Carolina struggles with the position as well. Over their last three games, they have given up 14-229-1 to the position.
Trey Burton, Bears @ PHI ($2900 DK, $4800 FD)
This is all about the revenge game narrative. Plus, Philly’s defense sucks. Chicago should be able to abuse the secondary with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t give Trey Burton the chance to show up his old running mates. Maybe we will even get to see a “Chicago-Special”. It is not hard to argue that Burton might be the best passer on the Bears.