We are facing the first CoVid related terrorism this week. As if we needed more fantasy stars out. This time they may not even be injured, but they will miss this week because someone else in their team bubble got the bug. If you have Steelers or Titans adjust appropriately. DK and FD have both removed these players from this slate, so double-check any previously submitted lineups to swap them out. As for the disease, will we ever find out who the NFL’s Rudy Gobert was? Probably not, but it will be interesting to see if there are any other mysterious injury designations on the Week 5 injury report for the Titans.
DFS: The Primetime Slate
Sunday, the Eagles head west to San Francisco in the battle of sixth string WRs and injured TEs. Never did I ever think that I’d be considering Nick Mullens above Carson Wentz in rankings. Fortunately, they are both ranked below Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Whomever actually plays at RB for San Fran is a worthy starter. If both Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon miss this game, I’d rank Jeff Wilson at RB2 on this slate behind only Aaron Jones. If either Mostert or McKinnon plays, they will cut into Wilson’s total thus hurting all three of them. In that case, all of them will fall into the RB4 range. Miles Sanders is a very talented back, and one of the few healthy bodies on offense for Philly, but even injury-ravaged the Niners run defense is elite. At his price, he cannot be anything higher than RB4 on this slate. I’d love to see Philly use Boston Scott at Slot WR, it isn’t like they are using him in the running game. He can be ignored except in Showdown contests.
The Niners are starting to get their WRs back healthy. They still will have to wait at least one more week for Deebo Samuel. Brandon Aiyuk looks like the real deal for a future starter opposite Samuel. With injuries throughout both games at the WR position, he needs to be considered as a WR2/3. Kendrick Bourne also is in play at WR3. Mohamed Sanu has not clicked as fast as I would have hoped. I’ll leave him and Trent Taylor on the bench until we see more use from either.
Can you name the second and third WR for Philadelphia? Right now, with DeSean Jackson questionable, we may see Greg Ward and Deontay Burnett start, with John Hightower and the injured J.J. Arcega-Whiteside play supplemental roles. Ward (WR7 on the slate) is the only one worth playing and he is my favorite WR3 option. Reports have George Kittle ready to return this week. Coming off of the injury, he slides into TE2 territory, but don’t be surprised if his utilization is not full-go. Zach Ertz may receive 40 targets in this game, putting him firmly as the TE1 on this docket. In addition, Richard Rodgers actually finished Week 3 playing WR, but he qualifies at TE, making him a potential TE5. The team just added former WR, Hakeem Butler to play TE (although he qualifies at WR), so maybe they will end up trading jobs. Either defense should be considered, but the Niners are the clear DEF1 this weekend.
Monday, We get two more confidence-inspiring QBs in Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. Ryan is the QB1 and the safest play on the docket. Ryan would normally be interchangeable with Rodgers, but Aaron has more injury concerns at WR. Aaron Jones is the easy RB1 as Atlanta has been rotten against the run. Green Bay has struggled to stop the run as well, but Brian Hill has started to butt into Todd Gurley’s workload. Gurley is no better than RB2 on this slate and may fall to RB3 if only one back is healthy for San Fran. Hill is a solid FLEX play, but he shouldn’t be among your top four choices.
Russell Gage left last week’s game with an injury and he is joining Julio Jones, Allen Lazard, and Davante Adams as high-end WRs that may or may not play. If Davante suits up, he is the WR1 on this slate. Otherwise, that role goes to Calvin Ridley (who is no lower than the WR2). Julio would be the WR2 if he goes. I love Gage, and I hope he plays. If he does, he is in play at WR3. Also in that conversation is Marquez Valdes-Scantling. If both Gage and Jones are out for Atlanta, Olamide Zaccheaus could be a sneaky WR3 play, but I wouldn’t go as deep as Brandon Powell. Green Bay has dominated opposing TEs for a few years now. This is why I can’t rate Hayden Hurst higher than TE4 here. I actually will put Rodgers’ red zone target, Robert Tonyan in at TE3. I won’t have a lot of exposure to him, due to the presence of both Marcedes Lewis and Jace Sternberger. Still, Atlanta is one of the worst teams in the league against opposing TEs, so playing Tonyan or even Sternberger is not out of the question. Plus, they both need to be considered in Showdown formats. I expect this game to be fairly high-scoring, so I will look elsewhere for my defense.
The Main Slate: My recommended DFS lineups
At DK: $7.8K for either Russell Wilson. $8K for Alvin Kamara. $6K for Kenyan Drake. $6.8K for D.K Metcalf. $4.5K for Tee Higgins. $3.97K for Isaiah Ford or Gabriel Davis for less if John Brown is out. $4.3K for Dalton Schultz. $5.9K for Devin Singletary at FLEX. $3K for the Jaguars’ defense.
At FD: $9K for Wilson. $8.8K for Kamara. $6K for Singletary. $6.5K for Devante Parker. $6.9K for Metcalf. $5.7K for Jarvis Landry. $4.9K for Schultz. $7K for Drake at FLEX. $5K for the Ravens’ defense.
At Fanball (SuperFlex – includes Sun Night: Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick at SF, Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Metcalf, Parker, Landry, Drew Sample, and either Drake or Singletary at FLEX.
Weekly strategy – The Miami-Seattle contest is this week’s DAL-SEA contest from last week. Obviously, Ryan Fitzpatrick is not Dak Prescott. Still, Fitz is a capable veteran with some solid weapons around him. He also is considerably cheaper than Dak was last week. I love Fitzpatrick in DFS this week. This is truly the first time that we have had a high-leverage playable asset as a value-priced QB on the main slate. It should also be clear that Russell Wilson is a clear #1 option at the position once again. Among the pivots, up high are Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, and Deshaun Watson (assuming the Vikings/Texans game is played as planned). I can also go a little cheaper and use Joe Burrow, Gardner Minshew, or Baker Mayfield. That said, if I am going to spend down, I might as well spend down on Fitzpatrick.
Fantasy Four Pack
Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ MIA ($7800 DK, $9000 FD)
FD is giving Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson the CMAC treatment at QB pricing them both over $9K. Jackson has a slightly tougher matchup, but he is still a decent option, but Russell Wilson is on historical record pace. I doubt that Wilson will throw another five TDs, but 350-3 is a pretty impressive floor. Plus, there is an increased likelihood that Wilson could score a rushing TD with Chris Carson likely out.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens @ WAS ($8100 DK, $9600 FD)
Washington is going to have to deal with the problem of an angry Lamar Jackson this week. Jackson, coming off one of his worst performances ever, will no doubt be looking to recement himself as one of the top-three dynasty options despite his inability to win the big one versus Patrick Mahomes. The Football Team actually has a decent defense, especially up front. This is the only reason that I am not going to give Jackson a GREEN grade. That said, Lamar could easily channel his inner Hulk and turn himself green.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs. CLE ($7200 DK, $8200 FD)
Only two teams have allowed more passing TDs than Cleveland. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys. Baker Mayfield is not Russell Wilson, but he can use his weapons to keep this game competitive. This will force Dak Prescott to keep his foot on the accelerator. I’m certain that the SEA-MIA game will draw a lot of attention from the DFS world, making this contest a sneaky pivot, for both Dak and Baker.
Patrick Mahomes vs. NE ($7400 DK, $8700 FD)
Last week, Patrick Mahomes proved to the world that no team can truly stop him. New England will try here. The Lord knows, that Bill Belichick prides himself on taking away an opponents’ biggest weapon. Well, go ahead Bill. Try to take away Tyreek Hill and watch Travis Kelce beat you. Try to take away both of them and watch Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins beat you. Take away all four of them, and Mahomes will throw the ball to their fullback and their tackle-eligible and win that way. Simply put, there is no way to stop this offense. You can barely hope to contain it. Through three career meetings, Mahomes has averaged 2.6 TDs and 310 passing yards against the Patriots. That is always his floor.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins vs. SEA ($5400 DK, $7100 FD)
Ryan Fitzpatrick is my favorite sleeper of the week. Despite his puny DK price, he just missed making the top four overall for the week. Seattle has the second-best passing offense in football. The best passing offense in football belongs to whoever is facing them. Through three weeks, Seattle is allowing an average of 440 passing yards per game and two passing TDs per game. Plus they have also allowed two QB rushing TDs. Fitzpatrick is no spring chicken, but he has been known to rush one in from time to time. To fit all the top RBs and WRs into your lineup, Fitz is such a perfect play. My only concern here is that it seems like every season Ryan has one sure thing game that he underperforms in. Let us hope its not this one.
Baker Mayfield, Browns @ DAL ($5800 DK, $7000 FD)
Dallas will have no problem scoring at will in this game. This means, that Baker Mayfield will be forced to throw the ball extensively to stay in the game. With weapons such as Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb, Austin Hooper, Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry, Baker has no excuses for not fighting here. Plus, since the game is in Dallas, Baker doesn’t have to worry about cleaning up the stadium afterward.
Weekly strategy – Alvin Kamara is the easy lock and load option as long as Michael Thomas remains out. Even if Thomas returns, Kamara’s price tag makes him a safe 3x play. It would be very hard, but fitting both Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott into a lineup would be glorious. Dalvin Cook is a nice pivot play from those two, assuming the Vikings play their game. I will likely use one of that threesome paired with either James Robinson or Kenyan Drake. The other mid-priced RBs that I like this week are Devin Singletary, Darrell Henderson, Mike Davis, and Joe Mixon. This gives you a list of nine players to mix and match from in filling your RB1, RB2, and FLEX. The cheap options are just not interesting this week. I suppose that you could trot out Adrian Peterson for potential volume or Chase Edmonds for the great matchup, but I’d pass.
Fantasy Four Pack
Alvin Kamara, Saints @ DET ($8000 DK, $8800 FD)
Detroit hasn’t been nearly as bad against the run as you probably think. Still, Alvin Kamara is the New Orleans’ offense with Michael Thomas out. Now, should Thomas manage to return this week, lower your expectations slightly. Even then, he should be able to secure 125-2, with seven or more receptions. So, even with Thomas, Kamara is a lock for 3x performance. This price is just too low to not take advantage of.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys vs. CLE ($7800 DK, $9000 FD)
Cleveland’s RB rushing numbers against are very low. Of course, in the last two weeks, they have faced teams not interested in establishing the run. Dallas on the other hand will have every intention of steamrolling the Browns with Ezekiel Elliott. The DK price is very nice for Elliott, but I don’t love paying $9K for him on FD. Especially if this game becomes a shootout between two bad pass defenses. Fortunately, Zeke is used in the passing game as well.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ HOU ($7600 DK, $8700 FD)
Pay attention the next couple of days to verify that the Vikings are playing. As of today, Minnesota and Houston are scheduled to face off without postponement. Still, with CoVid issues related to the Vikings’ Week 3 opponent Tennessee, things could turn fast. Houston has allowed the most rushing yards to opposing RBs and they have given up a rushing TD to every #1 RB they have faced. Dalvin Cook was finally allowed to Russ this week, and he finished with 199 total yards and a score. I’d be happy with 2/3 of that here.
Kenyan Drake, Cardinals @ CAR ($6000 DK, $7000 FD)
Kenyan Drake has been so-so so far this year. Part of that is because Arizona has been so pass-happy. Part of that is also because Kliff Kingsbury is committed to giving Chase Edmonds significant touches. Finally, part of this is because Kyler Murray is channeling his inner Lamar Jackson. Drake won’t have any trouble putting up big yardage against a Carolina run defense that has been historically bad for a season plus now. The Panthers are allowing 188 total yards per game to opposing backs, 2.3 total touchdowns, and 11 receptions per game. Edmonds is also in play as a cheap punt, but Drake will top 125-1 without much effort.
Devin Singletary, Bills @ LV ($5900 DK, $6000 FD)
Carolina is bad against RBs, and now in true Las Vegas form, the Raiders want their piece of the action. No team (including Carolina) has allowed more RB total yards. The Raiders are only tied with Carolina for the most total TDs allowed to the position. The Panthers still hold the advantage in RB receptions allowed, but Vegas is a close second and the Raiders have given up more RB receiving yards. What I am leading to is that while everyone knows that Carolina gets smoked by running backs, people may not be aware of how bad Vegas has been. Devin Singletary has had a slight advantage in touches over Zack Moss, and with Moss out last week, Singletary nearly reached his first two weeks stats combined. Early reports have Moss returning this week, but if he does miss this game or is limited, Singletary will go off. Of course, even if Moss plays Singletary should still post a big line here.
Mike Davis, Panthers vs. ARI ($5700 DK, $6300 FD)
So, is Christian McCaffrey a system RB? Mike Davis didn’t completely replicate McCaffrey’s production, but I’m certain his owners were not upset with 91 total yards, eight receptions, and a score. Arizona has been solid against the run, but they have allowed the fifth-most RB receiving yards, despite holding opponents to only 4.3 RB receptions per game. Davis’ price tag is only slightly higher than that of CMAC normally, which makes his ability to reach 3x value that much easier.
Weekly strategy – Michael Thomas may return this week, but at what percent. I’d be more inclined to give him a chance if the sites had given us a returning from injury discount. It isn’t happening though, so just ignore him. I believe DeAndre Hopkins could have a very good game, but he has now missed a couple of consecutive practices this week. Check his Friday practice status before using him. Or better yet, just skip both of them and use your Cowboys and Seahawks again. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and Amari Cooper all should be in your consideration every week at WR1. Metcalf is my favorite this week as teams may be more in on Lockett due to his three scores last week. Lest they forget that DK should have had a second score as well, if not for his bone-headed play. If you don’t choose one of those three consider target hog Keenan Allen. For WR2 I am targeting one of the following: Tyler Boyd, Will Fuller, Odell Beckham, DeVante Parker (my favorite), or Jarvis Landry. If you spend less at RB2, you may consider starting three from the above two lists. Otherwise, there are several decent WR3 options. My favorites this week are Andy Isabella, Tee Higgins, Preston Williams (if you don’t use DaVante Parker), Cole Beasley (especially if John Brown misses the game), and Laviska Shenault. Beyond them, there are a few cheap punt choices. I won’t use them unless I end up $24K+ at RB/FLEX. Danny Amendola, the Bills’ reserve options if Brown doesn’t play, and Damiere Byrd are the ones that interest me the most.
Fantasy Four Pack
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks @ MIA ($7900 DK, $7500 FD)
Three TDs and 9-100 on a team-high 13 targets, Tyler Lockett won’t reach these lofty figures every week. Still, his elite-level speed puts him into a position to break any catch into a touchdown. He has topped 90 yards and/or scored in every contest this season. Both will happen this week, just don’t count on three scores. Last year, no team gave up more WR touchdowns than Miami. They’ve improved this season, but not that much.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks @ MIA ($6800 DK, $6900 FD)
Yes, the top two WR scorers this week will come from the same team. Russell Wilson tried to get DK Metcalf two deep TDs last week. Unfortunately for DK, his nonchalance ended up in a fumbled touchback on one of those attempts. Through three weeks, Metcalf has exactly four catches each week. He has topped 90 receiving yards in each of those games and he has scored in each of those games too. I expect more catches this week, but the 90+ yards and the TD are locks as well. I will actually have more exposure to Metcalf than Lockett due to the price difference and recency bias which may have the chalk bets on Lockett instead. Still, if you want to do the triple stack with Russell, go right ahead.
Amari Cooper, Cowboys vs. CLE ($6700 DK, $7100 FD)
Amari Cooper doesn’t get to face the rotten Seahawks’ pass defense this week. Fortunately for his owners, Cleveland’s secondary isn’t much better. Opposing #1 WRs are averaging 5.3-89 against them, but only one has scored so far. That said, they have faced two mediocre offenses and a Ravens’ offense that is more run-focused. Cooper is the safest option week-to-week in this passing offense, and 7-100-1 is always in play.
Keenan Allen, Chargers @ TB ($6500 DK, $6900 FD)
Justin Herbert is already a better QB than Tyrod Taylor could ever dream of being. He also knows to throw to pepper one of the surest-handed receivers in the recent history of football in Keenan Allen. The two games that the pair have played together have featured 29 targets for Allen, including 19 last week. This has worked out to 20-228-1 for Allen over that pair of games. Tampa Bay wasn’t tested Week 1 when Michael Thomas left the game early with an injury. Since then, they have given up 13-175 to Carolina and Denver’s #1 WRs. I shouldn’t have to tell you that Herbert is already a better QB than either Teddy Bridgewater or Jeff Driskel as well. For those wanting to pivot completely from the Seahawks game, this is the easy pick.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins vs. SEA ($5700 DK, $6500 FD)
Whoever faces Seattle this season will have to chuck the pigskin repeatedly to stay in contention. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not opposed to that, he has nothing to lose. Through three games, NINE different WRs have topped 70 receiving yards against this defense. Plus, SIX of those nine topped 100 yards against them. Devante Parker is the clear cut #1 for Fitzpatrick, so this will be his best game to date. You can even get cute and consider starting Preston Williams and Isaiah Ford as discount punt WR3 plays.
Laviska Shenault, Jaguars @ CIN ($4400 DK, $5200 FD)
I’m not going to take anything away from running back, favorite, James Robinson, but he has a great change-of-pace replacement in Laviska Shenault. Oh yeah, he also is one of the better WRs on their team as well. The new-look Cincinnati’ secondary has actually gelled faster than I expected, but with Joe Burrow throwing the ball nearly 50 times per week, opposing offenses will throw the ball a ton too. A shootout environment can also be foreseen here since Burrow’s Bengals will be facing gunslinger Gardner Minshew. Between carries and catches, Shenault should have little trouble reaching 3x value in a poor man’s Percy Harvin sort of way.
Weekly strategy – I find myself looking at the top prices on the TE chart and questioning how Mike Gesicki, T.J. Hockenson, Hunter Henry, and Dalton Schultz are among the ten highest-priced. Even more amazingly, those are my favorite plays this week at the position. I don’t mind Travis Kelce at a reduced price, but he still has the specter of Bill Belichick staring at him. Mark Andrews also has a ridiculously low DK price, but his hands-of-stone showing last Monday has me fearing something is amiss in the city of Baltimore. Even Tyler Higbee has a reasonable price tag, but the Giants’ tight end coverage has been surprisingly effective this year. Gesicki and Schultz will probably be my top-two in terms of usage. I also will go to the Drew Sample well again despite his poor showing last week. Outside of that consider Jordan Akins and the Buffalo and Jacksonville TEs as potential punt fodder. Perhaps, you could even consider Ian Thomas, he is facing the Cardinals.
Fantasy Four Pack
Mark Andrews, Ravens @ WAS ($6000 DK, $7400 FD)
Yes, the drops Monday night were concerning. This is still Mark Andrews though. He has shown remarkable hands throughout his short career, so we can likely chalk up Monday to a fluke. The DK $6K price is absurdly low against Washington, but I don’t love the FD $7.4K. Coming off of a bad game, expect Lamar Jackson to pepper his favorite target early and often. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lock up a pair of scores here.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. NE ($6800 DK, $7600 FD)
Travis Kelce managed to put up a quality line against the tough as nails Ravens last week. He now was 85 or more receiving yards and/or a score in each game. New England does like to attempt to shut down a team’s best weapon, and they were successful in said goal against Darren Waller two weeks back. Still, Kelce has fared well against NE in the past averaging 5.7-52-0.5 over six games. Not elite trends, but certainly worth some exposure.
Tyler Higbee, Rams vs. NYG ($5700 DK, $6000 FD)
As I mentioned above, the Giants haven’t been horrible against opposing TEs. That alone raises a little worry in me. Nevertheless, the slate is a little thin up top. That elevates Tyler Higbee into a safe TE3/4 spot. Plus, the Giants stats may be slightly skewed here. They were dominant against the opposing TEs the first two weeks, but last week Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley combined for 6-72. You don’t have to look far into recent history, last year they finished with the third-most TDs allowed to the position. I expect Los Angeles to run the ball a lot this game, but I also expect them to get Higbee back into the game script too.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins vs. SEA ($5100 DK, $5700 FD)
Throughout this article, you’ve witnessed me bad-mouth Seattle’s pass defense repeatedly. Their TE defense doesn’t get a pass either. Their numbers look decent because their opponents have decimated them via the WR route, with nine WRs topping 70 receiving yards. When you look at the Dolphins’ offense, Mike Gesicki is no worse than their #3 option in the passing game. He has scored in back-to-back games and he went ham in Week 2 for 8-130 on 11 targets. There is a pretty clear path to targets here, and an even easier path to yardage.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys vs. CLE ($4300 DK, $4900 FD)
Even as the tenth-highest priced TE on DK this week, Dalton Schultz projects as a value. Cleveland finished last season allowing the second-most scores to the position. They are only fourth-worst in TDs allowed so far this season. Of course, they have also allowed the third-most receptions and tenth-highest number of receiving yards to the position through three weeks. Schultz’s numbers dipped from Week 2 to Week 3 as Cedrick Wilson stole the spotlight inside. I expect his numbers to trend back up here.
Drew Sample, Bengals vs. JAX ($3500 DK, $4700 FD)
Yes, I am going back to the small Drew Sample size play again. It burnt me badly last week, but I still have confidence in the young Bengal. Jacksonville has given up the fifth-most yardage and fourth-most TDs to the position, so opportunities should be there. Cincy wasn’t able to use their TEs last week, as they had to stay in and block to try and keep Joe Burrow upright. It didn’t work, Burrow was still planted eight times. Jacksonville’s pass rush is nowhere near as scary as Philly’s. They have exactly one sack in each of the first three games.