Well, COVID terrorism struck yet again as the Seattle-Arizona game has been moved to Sunday Night. Of course, we also have four byes and four other teams playing on Thursday or Monday night. This means our player pool will once again be thinned out. As of now, the SEA-ARI game is going to be counted in the Millionaire slate, and the Tampa Bay-Oakland game will be added to that slate. Plus, we may have our first weather terrorism of the season. As always stay tuned to thehuddle.com for updates over the weekend.
DFS: The Primetime Slate
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Las Vegas Raiders
- Note this game has been moved to the afternoon and will be in the main slate on DK. FD has not rostered these players yet. We believe at this time this will not be in the evening slate.
Sunday, we were supposed to get a battle between the Bucs and the Raiders in Vegas. As of now, it appears this game will be played in the afternoon slate. It may also be canceled due to COVID. As of now, the players have been added to the main slate on DK, but not on FD. All four of our primetime slate defenses are tough against the pass. When this happens, all you can do is go with the most talented QB or the cheapest QB. Tom Brady is the most talented, so he gets our QB1 grade. If Derek Carr isn’t the cheapest, he can be mostly ignored. If you do use him, he is QB2 here.
Leonard Fournette is questionable once again. At this point, I’m beginning to think his decision to sign with Tampa was also questionable. At the very least, he has awoken the spirit of Ronald Jones. This week, Jones is RB1 on this slate and it isn’t close. If Fournette plays, he can be considered a possible FLEX but no higher. Unlike last week, this game will be close and lower scoring. That means that Ke’Shawn Vaughn won’t see enough field time to have any value. Josh Jacobs has the most talent among all the backs on the Primetime docket, and he should be considered as RB2 here. Jalen Richard as a pass-catching option could be considered in Showdown slates, but not in this slate. Devontae Booker will have minimal value as a C-O-P back unless something happens to Jacobs. You can ignore him here.
Three of the four defenses on this slate are top-six against opposing WRs. Fortunately, the one exception is the Raiders and they are facing the pro bowl pair of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. You cannot afford to roster both of them unless you dumpster-dive elsewhere. I’m favoring Evans since large outside WRs have succeeded in every game against Vegas. Still, take note that last week Godwin was targeted far more frequently than Evans. Combined they are WR1 and WR2 in some order on this slate. Tyler Johnson has looked good during his opportunities. The problem is they have been few and far between. The same goes for Scotty Miller. Neither is more than a punt-WR3. Henry Ruggs looked like the real deal in Week 5. Unfortunately, he and every other Vegas receiver are getting targeted too infrequently. He deserves consideration at WR3, as does Nelson Agholor. Their biggest problem is that they cede so many targets to the TEs. Plus, Bryan Edwards might return from his ankle injury to further murky the situation. Oh yeah, Hunter Renfrow is in the mix as well. Maybe we should just avoid this grouping altogether.
Ten years ago this week, I got married. Also ten years ago this week, a rookie Rob Gronkowski caught his third career TD from the ten-year veteran, Tom Brady. Ten years later, my wife still puts up with me and Tom Brady is still throwing TDs to Rob Gronkowski. I’ve asked Giselle’s husband to deliver us a Gronk smash for our anniversary. Still, he is no better than TE3 on this slate. Cameron Brate hasn’t received a huge uptick since O.J. Howard was lost for the year. This matchup isn’t strong enough to rely on him. Darren Waller doesn’t have the best matchup this week either, but his usage has been through the roof. He is your TE1 here. Jason Witten has been around nearly as long as Brady, but he isn’t used enough to be considered here. If you need a sneaky play in Showdown contests consider the TD-dependent Foster Moreau, just not in regular tournament play. You can consider the Buccaneers defense, but I have them at DEF3 here. Don’t consider the Raiders.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
- This game at least provides us with some Primetime slate offense. We still don’t know if the game will be included, but in case it is here is the breakdown. It remains listed as part of the Millionaire slate.
Arizona has had Russell Wilson’s number over his career. Wilson is still a better play than either of the QBs on MNF, but at his price, he is a fade for me. Kyler Murray on the other hand was one of my top picks on the regular slate and he is the top pick by a lot on this shorter slate.
Chris Carson is a solid play, and I can appreciate using him as the RB1 on this slate if the TB-LVR game doesn’t count. Kenyan Drake woke up from his season-long slumber last week and he is a good play once again, as is his running mate Chase Edmonds. Both are in RB2 contention, but at his price, Drake should be in all lineups in some way, shape, or form.
DK Metcalf instantly moves into WR2 consideration and Tyler Lockett (despite a tough matchup with Patrick Peterson) is in play as a WR2 as well. David Moore becomes a sneaky great WR3 play. I love DeAndre Hopkins, he is instantly the top option on this slate, even more so than any of the Buccaneers. If you don’t use Hopkins, you must use Christian Kirk since he will produce huge numbers as well. Even Larry Fitzgerald and Andy Isabella deserve some WR3 attention. Plus, if Hopkins misses this game, both of them become even better plays.
Arizona has not really improved against TEs this season. They aren’t as historically bad as in previous years, but they are still worse than most. This means Greg Olsen should jump into the TE1 consideration. Arizona doesn’t use their TEs as much, but I could see playing Dan Arnold as a punt play. If I was really in a pinch, however, I’d probably feel a little better about using their other TE, Darrell Daniels who has apparently jumped Arnold in their pecking order. With two very good defenses on MNF, I’ll ignore both of these teams’ defenses.
Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams
After point orgies the last couple of weeks, we are subjected to a defense-forward MNF game this week. Nick Foles has looked better than Mitch Trubisky, but that didn’t take much effort. Against the Rams’ pass defense, I don’t really want to use him. The only reason that I will consider it, is that he will likely be the cheapest option on the docket. If he isn’t the cheapest, I’d skip him. Jared Goff has seen strange reverse splits this year. He has been borderline QB1 range on the road, but he has been horse crap at home (despite facing two pretty rotten pass defenses in those home games). Needless to say, he will not sniff my lineup card here.
The Rams are fairly stout against the run, not great but good enough to contain most mediocre backs. David Montgomery certainly qualifies as a mediocre back. He hasn’t done enough in good matchups to rely on as anything more than an RB3/FLEX type of role. The thing he may have going for himself this week is that the Rams can be beaten by pass-catching backs. Montgomery has seen a fair number of targets since Tarik Cohen went down, so he can be used here, just don’t expect the world. Cordarelle Patterson is a Showdown slate darling, but he doesn’t see enough action typically to justify playing here. So much for Cam Akers ascension to RB1. Once again the Rams played Wheel-of-RBs, and every time that Akers spun he landed on bankrupt. You cannot trust any of these goons week-to-week regardless of what the coaches say. Especially, against a run defense like Chicago. If I had to choose one, it would be Darrell Henderson. Thank goodness I don’t have to choose one.
Allen Robinson is a stud. He gets to face a stud cornerback this week. If he had a better QB, I’d consider him, but in this situation, two wrongs don’t make a right. Anthony Miller has become a forgotten man in this offense and needs a trade to re-establish his value. He has watched Darnell Mooney surpass him on the depth chart, despite Miller having more talent than Mooney. Don’t waste your time on either of them. Cooper Kupp is my WR3 overall and a very sneaky play at WR2 on your DFS lineup card. Chicago has struggled mightily with inside receivers this season. They haven’t been stellar against outside options either. Robert Woods deserves consideration at WR4 on the slate and could be another option for WR2/3 on your lineup card. Josh Reynolds is usable at punt-WR3 and Van Jefferson isn’t seeing the field enough yet for consideration.
Cole Kmet caught one of his two targets last week for a TD. He is still considerably behind Jimmy Graham for usage among Bears’ TEs. Graham has been a TD siphon in the red zone. I like him as TE1 on this slate as the Rams have given up a few TE scores. Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have been splitting targets a lot more than I would like. As long as LA refuses to settle on one or the other, guessing which one will succeed weekly is almost as futile as picking their RBs. The matchup is actually decent, so you could use one or the other. You may need to if you want to fit in three quality WRs. These are the two defenses to choose from. Either one would be a good play.
The Main Slate: My recommended DFS lineups
At DK: $7.1K for Kyler Murray. $7.9K for Alvin Kamara. $7.2K for Aaron Jones. $5.5K for DJ Chark. $5.8K for Terry McLaurin. $4.9K for Christian Kirk. $3.9K for Dalton Schultz. $4.9K for Justin Jackson at FLEX. $2.8K for the Browns’ defense.
At FD: $8.4K for Murray. $9.3K for Kamara. $8.5K for Jones. $6.5K for Chark. $5.4K for Kirk. $5.8K for John Brown. $5.9K for T.J. Hockenson. $5.2K for J.D. McKissic at FLEX. $5K for the Bills’ defense.
At Fanball (SuperFlex – includes Sun Night): Murray, Kyle Allen at SF, Kamara, Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Chris Godwin, either Danny Amendola or Dontrelle Inman, Logan Thomas or Anthony Firkser (if Jonnu Smith doesn’t play), and Ezekiel Elliott at FLEX.
Weekly strategy – Wow, there are legitimately six high-end options among the ten highest-priced players on DK. When there are that many potential studs, I tend to choose one of the cheapest. Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford are the two I feel best about. That said, using Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, or Josh Allen shouldn’t disappoint you either. The opposite of this scope is also clear. There are only a couple of cheaper options to consider. Gardner Minshew barely qualifies as cheaper, and his FD price is too high for me. If I decide to go that cheap, I might as well go even lower and use Kyle Allen or Drew Lock.
Fantasy Four Pack
Kyler Murray, Cardinals vs. SEA ($7100 DK, $8400 FD)
So far this season, Kyler Murray has been everything that we all expected Lamar Jackson to be. Murray is averaging 62 rushing yards and one rushing TD per game, on top of his passing numbers. The passing numbers have been a little uneven all year, but he has put up big numbers against bad pass defenses. Seattle would be the worst pass defense in the league if it wasn’t for the Falcons. I’m expecting 250-2 through the air and another 60-1 on the ground putting Murray right at the top of a great class to choose from this week.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers @ HOU ($7000 DK, $8100 FD)
Aaron Rodgers had his first rotten game of the season last week against Tampa Bay. I’ll admit right away that I didn’t see that coming. Fortunately for Rodgers, Tampa Bay’s defense is very good, Houston’s isn’t. Only three teams have allowed more passing TDs than Houston and they have managed only one INT so far this season. Rodgers may not have to do as much this game since Houston is bad against the run too. Still, I expect at least one of Aaron Jones’ TDs will come on a pass from Rodgers. Rodgers’s final line may be influenced up or down based on whether tackle David Bakhtiari can play. With him, expect Aaron to approach 300-3. Without him, Rodgers may only finish with 250-2.
Josh Allen, Bills @ NYJ ($7700 DK, $8800 FD)
Josh Allen should have no difficulty besting the Jets both on the ground and through the air. Despite having a second-straight “down week”, Allen has secured multiple TDs in every single game. He is currently averaging more than three scores per week. Another three scores are due to him this week as the Jets continue to go through the motions. Just know that he could get some rest in the fourth quarter of what should be a blowout.
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs @ DEN ($7400 DK, $9000 FD)
FD is doing everything in its pricing power to keep Patrick Mahomes on the bench. You see, Mahomes could easily rachet up 27 points. That said, we know that he will account for 22 points. I’m spending big at RB this week, so at least on FD, I will pass. I should add that while Denver has been bad against the pass most of the year, they stepped it up versus New England last week in an upset. They won’t be able to pull off that trick on back-to-back weeks. 325-2 is Mahomes’ floor this week, but don’t be surprised when he approaches 400 passing yards with 75 of them coming on dump-offs to his new toy Le’Veon Bell.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars @ LAC ($5900 DK, $7200 FD)
The Chargers’ secondary is a shell of what was predicted at the start of the season. In the last three weeks, they have given up huge games to a geriatric QB trio. This week he faces the ageless mustache of Gardner Minshew. After watching videos of the original master, Blake Bortles, Minshew has mastered the art of Jaguars’ garbage time football. Gardner is now the grizzled vet in this matchup against Justin Herbert. Will the student become the teacher? We just don’t know. What we do know is that neither of these teams plays defense. So expect a shootout as garbage time starts with the initial kickoff.
Kyle Allen, Football Team vs. DAL ($5200 DK, $6700 FD)
My plan of using Kyle Allen worked so well last week, that I am doubling down on this week. Allen had a solid line against a middling defense. Now, he gets to face one of the worst passing defenses in the league. Unlike last week, when I didn’t have a ton of confidence in Allen, this week I expect 275-2 as a floor.
Weekly strategy – There are four obvious smash plays up top this week. Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones, and Kareem Hunt will all eviscerate 3X value. If you can figure it out just put of them in your lineup and build around it. At the bare minimum have one of them in your lineup. There are two mid-priced options I like as possible pivots or even as a FLEX, Devin Singletary, or D’Andre Swift. Most likely I will use some combination of that top foursome paired with a punt play like James White, Justin Jackson, Latavius Murray, Kenyan Drake, or personal favorite J.D. McKissic at FLEX. Watch to see if LV-TB play, if so Ronald Jones is a bargain on DK.
Fantasy Four Pack
Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. CAR ($7900 DK, $9300 FD)
I really want to imagine Michael Thomas cutting slightly into Alvin Kamara’s numbers this week. Ok, let’s say that he does. That means that instead of 200-3, Kamara may only post 150-2 against this abomination of a run defense. To avoid this obvious chalk, seriously consider using Latavius Murray at FLEX and then using two of the other high-priced options at RB1/2.
Aaron Jones, Packers @ HOU ($7200 DK, $8500 FD)
Houston is allowing 199 combo yards per game to opposing RBs and no team has allowed more total TDs to the position. Meanwhile, Aaron Jones is tied for the league lead in TDs scored. All signs point to a shootout here, but Jones will still score twice, including at least one through the air. This is one of the few times where you can actually feel good stacking your QB and RB.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys @ WAS ($7800 DK, $9500 FD)
Ezekiel Elliott had his worst game of the season last week, despite the team’s intention to get him more involved in the offense. He didn’t help matters by fumbling two balls early, but he needs to eat if Andy Dalton is going to have an opportunity to open up the offense. Washington’s pass rush should frustrate Dalton this week. To counter this, expect Mike McCarthy to force-feed Zeke.
Kareem Hunt, Browns @ CIN ($6800 DK, $7100 FD)
Baker Mayfield may or may not be the Browns’ solution at QB. Kareem Hunt, however, is locked and loaded as the ONLY featured back here with Nick Chubb out. Hunt struggled last week against an elite run defense. This week, Hunt gets to take on a defense that he topped 100 total yards and scored twice against earlier this year. In that same game, Chubb also topped 100 total yards and scored twice. I’m not saying that Hunt will finish with 200-4, but 130-2 is certainly in play. One thing to watch here is Hunt appears to be battling a rib injury. This could be a pain-tolerance sort of thing on Sunday. There isn’t any real fear that he won’t play this week, but if you want even cheaper access to this run offense, consider Dontrell Hilliard.
James White, Patriots vs. SF ($4900 DK, $5200 FD)
With James White, you know what you are getting. Very few rushing attempts, and nearly double-digit targets. These receptions can quickly add up, making reaching 3X value very simple. The San Francisco defense is very good against the run, but they have suffered some injuries recently which could affect their pass coverage. This sets up for a better outcome for White.
J.D. McKissic, Football Team vs. DAL ($4600 DK, $5200 FD)
J.D. McKissic is developing into a poor man’s James White. He has 22 targets and 19 receptions over the last three weeks. Those 19 receptions rank tenth overall during that span, not just among RBs. Dallas’s defense has been shoddy, to say the least. Todd Gurley is the only RB to face them not to go off. McKissic is still splitting touches with Antonio Gibson (who I also like this week), but J.D. seems to be the favored option through the air. We watched Kyle Allen throw a metric ton of passes to Christian McCaffrey last year. I’m banking on McKissic and Gibson to continue their frequent usage as the season progresses.
Weekly strategy – Up top there are decent plays, but since I am spending high at RB I will likely trend down the scale when selecting WRs this week. If you choose to spend up, use DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams as WR1. You can also pivot to someone like Stefon Diggs or Will Fuller. For me, I will begin my WR1 targeting with Kenny Golladay. I may also consider going even further down the list and selecting WR1 and WR2 from this list: Robby Anderson, Terry McLaurin, Jamison Crowder (if he is cleared), DJ Chark, DJ Moore, Tee Higgins, and Brandin Cooks. If you don’t use Stefon Diggs, consider using Cole Beasley or John Brown. There are three players I really like at WR3, Christian Kirk, Mike Williams, and Keelan Cole. Obviously, don’t use Kirk if you use DeAndre and don’t use Cole if you are using Chark. If you choose to punt this week use Dontrelle Inman, Danny Amendola, or Demarcus Robinson. You shouldn’t have to though unless you buy one of the big options for WR1.
Fantasy Four Pack
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals vs. SEA ($8200 DK, $9000 FD)
FD is going to make you pay through the teeth for DeAndre Hopkins this week. I just don’t think I can do it. I was able to get great exposure to this offense last week by using Christian Kirk instead and will likely do the same here. Seattle has struggled against both WR1s and WR2s all year, so neither will hurt you. That said if you are going to break the bank for a WR, you might as well grab the best. Hopkins leads the league in both receptions and yards. Plus, he is third in targets. I do need to warn you to keep an eye on Hopkins practice status on Friday. He has been limited in each of his practices thus far this week with an ankle issue. If he is a no-go, then Kirk must be in every lineup and Andy Isabella’s sleeper status rises.
Davante Adams, Packers @ HOU ($7900 DK, $8900 FD)
Unlike Hopkins, Davante Adams does not have an injury designation going into the weekend. Like Hopkins, Adams faces an atrocious defense. The only WR1s to not score against Houston were Marquise Brown (in a Justin Tucker FG-fest with most of the team’s yardage coming on the ground), and DJ Chark (in a game he left early) – note his replacement subsequently scored. Adams will score here. The question is how many times. He will also top 100 yards making him the safest big-dollar play on this docket. The only reason DeAndre ranks above him here is that Hopkins has an even higher ceiling and because Green Bay may not need to throw the ball as much this week.
Stefon Diggs, Bills @ NYJ ($7000 DK, $7500 FD)
Finally, we get a potential WR1 with a reasonable FD price tag. Back in Week 1, Stefon Diggs failed to score against the Jets. He did still post 8-86 on nine targets, so it wasn’t all for naught. Since that game, Diggs has scored and/or topped 100 yards in every game. Meanwhile, New York has only faced three true WR1s since then and two of them scored against them. I said earlier that I prefer to spend down at WR this week. So, I may still look lower than Diggs on the dollar chart. That said, Diggs is probably the price point at which I start to consider spending up at WR1. If you don’t use Diggs, please use either John Brown or Cole Beasley at WR3.
Kenny Golladay, Lions @ ATL ($6700 DK, $7600 FD)
Every WR1 (except Marquez Valdes-Scantling – who was a defacto #1 that week) to face the Falcons has either scored and/or topped 100 yards against them. That trend continues easily this week against Kenny Golladay, who has only played three games, but who has scored or topped 100 yards in each of those. Both of these defenses are suspect, so if you pay up at WR consider a game-stack with Golladay and one of the Falcons’ crew. Just know that both Falcons starters cost more than Golladay making him my favorite stand-alone play in this game.
Brandin Cooks, Texans vs. GB ($5200 DK, $5900 FD)
I guess all Brandin Cooks needed was for Bill O’Brien to leave. In the two games since the coaching change, Cooks has been targeted 21 times with 17 receptions for 229 yards and two scores. Those receptions and yardage numbers are tops among all receivers, over that two-week span. Green Bay has struggled with possession receivers all season while holding “game-breakers” in check. I still like Will Fuller in this potential shootout too, but Cooks is the slightly safer option and he is cheaper. Also, don’t ignore the potential “revenge game” factor that Randall Cobb may present here.
Keelan Cole, Jaguars @ LAC ($4700 DK, $5500 FD)
Keelan Cole is basically the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy football. DFS sites never give him any pricing respect. Cole has scored or topped 100 yards in half of his games this season, and he is still priced way down here. Not to mention that he has five or more targets in every game this year. The Chargers’ defense has been short-handed (as is Jacksonville’s) and this could lead to this becoming a shootout. If so, Cole is an under-the-radar play for exposure to this game while everyone else is on DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault. This is another game where I would also consider game-stacking with Mike Williams.
Weekly strategy – Injuries and byes have put us in a position where two injury risk TEs (who also both have rough matchups) are among the five highest-priced. The sites haven’t given us a bye-week discount either, as the big two TEs (George Kittle and Travis Kelce) are both at jacked up prices and also are in non-elite matchups. You need to swipe down to find Hunter Henry and T.J. Hockenson as the best options up top. I’d also consider Robert Ton-kowski and Jared Cook on DK, but not FD. Darren Waller can also be considered if the game is played. Fortunately, there are a fair amount of decent value plays this week. I like Darren Fells, Dalton Schultz, Greg Olsen, and Logan Thomas. Any of them would fit nicely in your cap. If you want you can even go cheaper and use Chris Herndon or Anthony Firsker (if Jonnu Smith is a no-go).
Travis Kelce, Chiefs @ DEN ($6300 DK, $7900 FD)
Travis Kelce has now scored in four of the Chiefs’ six games. He also has finished with at least 50 yards in every game. Meanwhile, Denver’s numbers against TEs don’t look awful, but they also have only faced two good TEs all season. With many value options to choose from, I’ll probably pass on Travis this week, but his line should still be safely around 6-60-1.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions @ ATL ($5000 DK, $5900 FD)
T.J. Hockenson has now scored and/or topped 50 yards in every game this year. I’d love to see a few more receptions out of the young TE, but the TDs are still nice. He may catch a couple more passes this week against an Atlanta defense that has allowed the second-most receptions and yardage to the position and the most scores.
George Kittle, 49ers @ NEP ($6500 DK, $7100 FD)
If this wasn’t George Kittle, he would’ve received a RED grade here. New England has already shutout one premiere TE this season. Plus, they are giving up only an average of 3-40 to the position. Kittle has the gamer-factor necessary to be matchup-proof. That said, I’d be more interested if the price tag was lower.
Hunter Henry, Chargers vs. Jaguars ($4500 DK, $5800 FD)
Hunter Henry has recorded quality statistics in four of his fine games. The yardage has been trending downward since Justin Herbert took over, but he is still averaging seven targets per game. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has allowed the seventh-most yards and the fifth-most scores to the position. Including allowing scores in four of their last five contests. The FD price is borderline-high, but a shootout game script will push him at the very least extremely close to 3X, if not over.
Darren Fells, Texans vs. GB ($4100 DK, $5300 FD)
All Darren Fells does is score touchdowns. He is averaging only three targets and a little over two catches per game. Still, Fells has scored in three games, and now with Jordan Akins battling injury, he is starting to see more passes his way outside of the red zone. If Akins is out once again, Fells gets to manhandle a defense that couldn’t contain the fellow beast, Rob Gronkowski last week.
Chris Herndon, Jets vs. BUF ($3000 DK, $4600 FD)
For those who like to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find your TE, I present Chris Herndon. It wasn’t that long ago when Herndon was considered a breakout candidate. Now we applaud when he is even targeted (which he wasn’t last week). Sam Darnold at least appeared to have an interest in throwing the ball to his talented TE. So, if Darnold is back under center this week consider Herndon against a Bills’ defense that has allowed the most receptions and yardage and the second-most TDs to the position. Herndon may even see a bump in targets with Jamison Crowder questionable. Of course, if Joe Flacco gets the start you can just ignore this spot and choose someone else like Anthony Firkser assuming Jonnu Smith misses this week’s game.