CIN @ BAL
Over/Under 48 BAL -12
The first thing we gotta keep in mind with the BAL Ravens is that they’re not as great defensively as they’ve been in years past, especially in the passing game. They have the third worst pass defense in the league. CIN is literally the worst team in the league by record, but their passing offense is in the top third. The game total suggests that BAL is going to get ahead and eventually lean on Mark Ingram on the ground, but from behind we should expect a lot of passing attempts from Dalton, which will invariably get the ball in the hands of Tyler Boyd and co.
When betting on this, we have to decide if the Bengals really are as bad as their record says they are (Bill Parcells ref. ^). I like Mark Ingram in this game at 6600. He should be in store for 15 to 17 carries and about 3 receptions. On this slate, with the RB value that we’ll discuss later, his pricetag does seem a tad steep, as he’s very TD dependent. Great cash play and good enough for tournaments. At 6900, the second most expensive QB on the slate, I don’t think Lamar Jackson needs to do that much in this heavily favored game. The Ravens should have a stranglehold on the lead, give Mark (or Gus at some point) the ball and Lamar can be a great game manager from then on out. He’ll probably get you 22 to 26 fpts but every week there are several much cheaper guys who can give that to you. One interesting trend I’ve noticed is that CIN does a good job of locking down the top offensive weapon on the other side consistently often. In Week 4 against the Steelers, WR1 JuJu was outscored and out-targeted by the WR2; same situation of WR2 outdoing WR1 occurred against the Bills, the 49ers and the Seahawks. That defense can cover the WR1 like nobody’s business but they give it up to the secondary option. On this BAL team, that’s 4800 Mark Andrews. Dude is pricey, no doubt, but the targets are there, the WR1 is banged up and he’s the top RZ guy. I don’t think I’ll play Ingram and Andrews in the same lineups but I could easily see having them individually in quite a few of my lineups.
As bad as the BAL Defense has played this season, I don’t have any faith in any of the Bengals to take advantage of it. Dalton is historically turnover prone and still makes a ton of bad decisions, Auden Tate might be worth a flyer but he’s up to 4500 now and that’s not nearly as nice of a value as his budget friendly 3500 pricetag over the last 2 weeks. Tyler Boyd is 6300 and he just had his best game of the season last week. With the injuries to the other two top receivers on the team, he’s going to have a ton of volume until AJ Green is back. He has a real tough matchup this week against shadow corner Humphrey and doesn’t play as well as an underdog on the road. Any receiver who gets the volume that Boyd does can perform well any week, regardless of defense quality, he’s not a terrible play. I won’t play him, but only because I like other guys more. The only guy I’d play from the CIN side is Tyler Eifert. He’s a very low end option, but if you need a cheap TE, he’s a good choice. I bet he scores a TD in this one. He was chalky last week and he didn’t pay off; usually that’s a good omen for him going into post-chalk week.
SEA @ CLE
Over/Under 47 CLE -1
The line movement all week for this game would turn any average dude into a conspiracy theorist. The favored team switched from CLE to SEA. I don’t really get it. SEA is obviously the better team on the field and between coaching staffs. Why in the world would Vegas have CLE as the favorite at any point in the week? CLE played Monday and SEA played last Thursday, so the rest differential alone has me putting money on Seattle winning by more than 2, no doubt.
This game has a relatively high total at 47 points. SEA will be up against the 3rd worst rush defense in the league going into the game as 12th of 32 in rushing yards per game. RB1 Chris Carson should see a ton of carries and should be able to tiptoe into the endzone at least once, probably twice in this game. At a 6k pricetag, thats real solid: 20 plus carries and a few targets, yep, get on top of that. He’s one of my favorite plays of the week. CLE statistically has a good pass D but it’s probably misleading when their opponents can just run the ball down their throat the whole time, they don’t need to pass. Carson is my only play on Seattle, Lockett could be a flier, Wilson has played excellent this year and TE Dissly is getting targets out the wazoo, but again, I think Carson and more Carson should be the gameplan against CLE. I like pairing my RB1’s with a D when i can and SEA could very well pick off a Baker a time or two. It’s not my favorite defensive play because I’m not sure the Browns offense is as bad as they’re playing but they could be, so I’ll add the SEA DEF at 3400 in my player pool in case Baker forgets how to play football again another week in a row against a very well coached Seahawks squad.
On the CLE side of the ball, Baker Mayfield scored 1.0 fantasy point last week. Take a moment to let that sink in. How’s your throwing arm feeling? If you rushed for 10 yards and threw one reception to your RB for 10 yards and then just didn’t fumble or throw it again the entire game you would have outscored Baker last week. Obviously that scenario is ridiculous, but the Browns are really in a tough spot in a great offensive weapon situation. That O line is just bad and Baker and the offensive coordinator are not adjusting to that. That should change this week, they should get Chubb some targets out of the backfield against a tough rush D in SEA and they should give Baker a lot more quick pass plays closer to the line of scrimmage and try to piecemeal their way down the field. That’s what they SHOULD do. If they do that, I like Landry at 5200 (RZ target leader – doubling the next closest) and I like OBJ objectively but not at 6800. I don’t feel very confident in rostering anyone on the CLE side, but at 5200, WR2 Jarvis Landry is a good GPP Play. I’ll have Chubb in a receptions prop bet of 3+ receptions if I can find that too. He had 1 last week, but a minimum of 4 targets in every other week, and RB1s in the last 3 weeks are averaging over 5 catches per game vs SEA.
NO @ JAX
Over/Under 43 JAX -2.5
On the Draftkings side of things, this game could have huge implications for the rest of the slate. Saints RB1 Alvin Kamara is listed as questionable for the game. He was limited on Thursday, DNP on friday. We definitely need to keep our eyes on the injury report today for Saturday’s practice and probably even Sunday morning before kick. Thankfully it’s a noon game so at minimum we should know by 10:30AM CT whether he’s dressed out or in street clothes. If he doesn’t play, at 3700, Latavius Murray is going to get a ton of run and is almost a must play. He can catch, he can run, he just needs the opportunity, and against the 25th ranked rush Defense, he’s in a prime spot to shine. If Kamara doesn’t play Michael Thomas could also get 15+ targets. That offense is very narrow in its target share. Thomas leads the team by a mile and the only other realistic passing targets are Kamara and Jared Cook. Thomas at 7800 is pricey, but he’s got a solid floor consistently. Definitely not my favorite upside guy in this contest but a very solid cash play. I’m not playing him in any GPP lineup, but cash sure. At 3400 Jared Cook doesn’t have a good matchup, but the volume is there for that price with Kamara playing, and goes up at least 2 or 3 targets if Kamara sits. I don’t like that Cook scored his only TD of the year last game, but he looks like he’s finally finding his groove in the offense. I love the situation for him, not sure how much of him I’ll have, but he’s definitely going to be in my player pool because 1 TD and 5 for 50, easily pays off 3400. I think he’ll be contrarian too, because of the game total, the DVOA and because value is opening up a ton at the RB position so people are able to spend up in other spots like TE.
On the home team side of the ball, Jacksonville and QB Gardner Minshew are getting better by the week. Minshew helped carry his squad to victory in weeks 3 and 4 and came within a TD in Week 5, but put up 374 yards, 2 TDs and 42 yards rushing in the losing effort. 27.2 DK points last week at 5300 was exceptional. This week he’s 5k flat and playing against a NO squad potentially without their 2nd best offensive weapon, that also plays a huge part in clock management. On paper NO ranks 4th against the RB position, so that is a little worrisome before digging deeper but Fournette is on another level right now, playing like a poor man’s CMC. He saw 100% of snaps last week and is very much involved in every aspect of the offense. Tons of targets, averaging about 25 carries over the last 2 and about 150 yards each game. He’s only had 1 TD so far this year too!! That should change this week; he should get in the endzone. I’ll find a prop bet on that bad boy. WR1.5 DJ Chark has scored a TD in every game he’s played so far this year but one. The target volume is so high for him that he’s worth a spot in your player pool in every game he’s at or around 5500. Same goes for WR1.5 Dede Westbrook, whos priced at 5100. If any receiver is due to find the end zone it’s Westbrook. After further review, I think this line is off, the Jaguars should win by at least 10 points in this one. The Saints D is middle of the pack at best and they’re playing against Fournette running on all cylinders, QB Minshew maturing before our very eyes tossing bombs to an incredibly young and talented pair of hotshot receivers. And Kamara is not at 100 percent IF he even plays? Getting on the Jags at -2.5 as we speak. I like the upside of the Jacksonville Def in this spot, especially if Kamara is out, and even more especially at 2200. Not sure Bridgewater throws enough to expect a lot of turnovers but without Kamara, then what? 10 to 14 points at 2200 for some sacks and keeping the Saints from scoring much, could be valuable!
HOU @ KC
Over/Under 55.5 KC -4
Highest point total of the week. Just about everyone is going to try to get a piece of this game in some form or fashion. The Texans scored 55 points last week and KC has the number one pass offense in the league. I actually like HOU to win this game. They may not be the better team but they certainly are the healthier team, and that might be enough. Besides, I’m kinda looking forward to seeing all the ‘sky is falling’ material ESPN would put together if KC lost 2 in a row.
On the Texans side of the ball you can never go wrong with Deshaun Watson. He’s 6700 in salary and the gamescript suggests he’ll be throwing as much if not more than he did last week, when he crossed the 400 yard mark (and 44.7 DK points). Will Fuller was dominant last week with 16 targets on the day. At 6K, there’s no way we should be expectiving another 50+ fantasy point type game but he really is good, a healthy Will Fuller may very well be a 6K type player every week. I don’t often like playing players after the best game of their career because it’s a perfect let down spot, but i’ll have some shares of him. Deandre Hopkins at 7400 feels like the right play. The price keeps coming down and he’s very much due for an incredible game, which he hasn’t really had since week 1. Right now the HOU offense is just stacked with skill players from Hopkins on down to the TE position which scored twice last week. This is probably a good week to make some lineups with a naked Deshaun Watson (when you draft him but don’t stack him with one of his receivers). I have no idea who he targets most this week and who ends up in the endzone. I’m guessing it’s a Hopkins week because I know that they want to keep him engaged and he hasn’t had a TD in 4 consecutive games. I think they’d want to force feed that just a little bit, but it’s so hard to say with the pass distribution the way it is currently against a defense with holes everywhere. RB Carlos Hyde is going to be chalky this week going up against the 3rd worst rush D in the league. At 4400, I can see it, i’ll add him to my player pool, I don’t feel great about it, because he doesn’t get RB1 high volume and he doesn’t get any targets, ceding them to Duke Johnson. At that price though, if Hyde can find his way in the end zone and get close to 70 to 85 yards rushing, he’s a safe cash game guy. 12 to 18ish DK points sounds about right for him in this game.
KC on the other side is an elite offensive machine most weeks. QB Patrick Mahomes is banged up with an ankle injury that I think might be a little worse than they’re letting on. Tyreke Hill is probably going to play but I won’t touch him in his first game back from that type of injury. Sammy Watkins is out. This team is real deep offensively though, after Watkins: Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, all of these guys look like talented receivers so far this season when they’ve been given an opportunity to succeed. The target volume is severely inconsistent for these dudes and it feels a little weird to say this, but I don’t really like the KC offense much in this game. Robinson and Hardman for 5k+ I don’t feel good about. Hill at 6900 in his first game back from serious injury, nope. That leaves us with 3500 Byron Pringle, a cheap chalky play, who just had his best game of his career last week, nope to that again. Now, I like TE1 Travis Kelce at 7k. His volume is very consistent regardless of injury status of any wide receiver(s). He’s very expensive but i’ll have him in my player pool in case I find room to get up to him. 20+ points seems right about what we should see from him this week. He hasn’t scored a TD in 3 weeks too, I’m sure he’s itching to get in the endzone against a poor Texans pass defense.
WAS @ MIA
Over/Under 41 WAS -3.5
This is the game of the week right here. Who is the worst team in the league? It’s probably one of these two. It’s a low total game but there should be plenty enough points scored to get one of the RBs flaming.
WAS comes in as the slightly better team from a statistical standpoint. While MIA is either last or second to last by just about every major metric across the board. QB Keenum has 4 interceptions over his last 2 games, before sitting out a week due to a foot injury. He’s not going to be fresh and quite frankly he’s not very good whether he’s fresh or healthy so it’s hard to put much trust in him or the players he’s asked to throw to. WAS fired their head coach last week and apparently the interim HC says he wants to pound the rock and give way more touches to Adrian Peterson. AP is a nicely priced 4500 for a starting RB who’s set to get a lot more carries. Will he actually get more carries than his 10 a game that he’s averaging thus far? If it helps them build a lead, I think they continue to give him the ball and he could see 16 to 20 carries and a TD or 2 from some nice goal line work. But if they get down in the game, I don’t see why any interim HC would stick with a tired RB who doesn’t get involved in the passing game. RB2 Chris Thompson at this stage in his career is a better back than AP and he should be on top of the depth chart if winning was something WAS was interested in. In this one single game where AP starts against the worst team in football, as long as the new HC doesn’t find out how much better Thompson is than Peterson, then Adrian Peterson could be in store for a really good week. If ever there is a week this entire season to play AP, this is the single time to get him in your lineups. He is very much a gpp play because AP might not do much with additional touches, but it could work out well. At 4500, I like the price and the situation this week.
On the MIA side of the ball, Rosen is legitimately terrible. He holds a rather impressive 3:1 interception to TD ratio and is probably worse than that. Both Davante Parker and Preston Williams are ok receivers but their ceiling with Rosen at QB is average at best. Both fellas are over 4k and that is not nearly low enough to take a chance on. RB1 Drake is coming off of a Bye and actually looks decent so far this season. He’s not going to get a lot of touches most weeks because they’ll be playing from so far behind but he’s still seeing about 10 touches AND 5 targets regardless of what’s on the scoreboard. Also worth noting, his RB2 is dealing with a foot injury and will not be 100% if he plays at all.
This week I think you have to make a choice: Adrian Peterson or Kenyan Drake. One of those guys should have a really big week and will easily hit value and the other probably busts. I like both of them this week enough to include in my already deep RB player pool. I lean Drake because I think he has more big play potential with his usage in the pass game.
PHI @ MIN
Over/Under 44 MIN-3
PHI QB Carson Wentz scored a single TD against the terrible Jets and 1 TD against the terrible ATL pass defense. He’s not very good at all and at a 6k pricetag with plenty of other options around the same price range, there’s no way I get him anywhere close to my lineups. TE Zach Ertz is usually a decent, high floor play but I don’t think he hits the 20 points to pay off his pricetag in this one. I’m not playing any Eagles.
The run defense of the PHI team is first in the league in rushing yards per game so we have to expect Dalvin Cook to see a reduction in his rushing stats and an uptick in his targets. QB Kirk Cousins is on a mission right now to pass the ball to Adam Thielen and I don’t see why that would discontinue against a poor PHI pass D. At 6700, I like Thielen a lot. Thielen and the MIN Defense are the only plays I like. I wish there was more to say about this game. (I have MIN -3 in a parlay .)
ATL @ ARI
Over/Under 52 ATL -2.5
I had so many notes scribbled about this game it’s ridiculous. I’m stoked about this matchup: Little Kyler Murray and his find-a-way moxie against ATL’s enormously talented receiving corps.
This game has the second highest projected matchup total on the board this week. Most weeks, it would probably have the highest total.
On the ATL side of the ball you have to like Matt Ryan. At 6400, he’s hit the 300 yard bonus every week thus far and has so many great weapons at his disposal that seems to multiply by the week. If he got yardage for the times he’s thrown the ball to the other team he might average closer to 350 yards a game too. Admittedly, he’s interception prone, averaging more than one per game, but he’s doing everything else right and a great QB play this week. WR1 Julio is a little banged up, still working through a hip injury so I’m not playing him. Slot receivers have averaged 14.8 DK points per game this year vs ARI, so WR2 Sanu could be in store to take advantage of that. I like Mohamed Sanu this week at a very reasonable 4500 salary. WR3 Calvin Ridley had a great game last week and seems to be teaming up with Sanu and Austin Hooper to capitalize on the extra coverage when the defense shifts over to bottle up Julio. Ryan, Ridley, Sanu and Hooper will all be in my player pool.
On the ARI side of the ball, Kyler looks mighty good. He’s 6500 this week against a very, very poor ATL defense. The Cardinals have allowed the most DK points to the WR position so far this season. WR2 Christian Kirk didn’t practice much this week and his status remains questionable. Even if he does play, at 5200, he won’t be 100%, and so his price is just too steep. I like Larry Fitzgerald at 6100, because of the matchup primarily but also because he won’t likely be high owned and the volume is there with Kirk in play and will be higher if Kirk sits. ARI has a few other receivers who will see the field but none of them have shown enough upside to be worth drafting. RB1 David Johnson is questionable going into this game and we probably won’t get an update until 10:30AM CT. If he doesn’t play, Chase Edmonds should be a great cheap flier. At 4600, I like him a ton if DJ is out.
SF @ LAR
Over/Under 48.5 LAR -4
San Francisco comes in undefeated with the number one rushing offense in the league. They’ve also played CLE, PIT (Rudolph), CIN, and TB, who are all bottom level squads. An average team, should beat those 4 opponents. This game has a high point total but I’m not quite sure the scoring gets there. SF recently lost its fullback and starting right tackle, both losses that will reduce the potency of their ground offense. Jimmy G hasn’t faced a team this good so far this season and it’s going to be a challenge facing a hungry Rams team in LA. Last week was the only week Jimmy didn’t throw an interception so he’s probably throwing a pick or two in this one. I don’t like Jimmy this week, especially at 5700 and I never like any of his receivers. Kittle is questionable with a groin injury and even if he plays I don’t feel good about him. The Rams should blitz Jimmy G a lot and man cover Kittle to try to keep the ball out of his hands. The Rams are a mediocre defense by league standards but significantly better than the defenses SF has faced thus far this season. I won’t have any 49ers on my roster.
On the LAR side of the ball I like just about everyone. Gurley is out in this one so backup RB Malcom Brown at 4300 is a decent GPP option. He’ll be very popular. He’s so cheap that I’ll add him to my player pool in case he gets a lot of goal line work. I don’t expect him to put up a ton of yardage but it’s not inconceivable for Cooper Kupp, Woods and Cooks to get the offense into some first and goal opportunities and Brown falls into the endzone a time or two. Without Gurley, Jared Goff is a great play paired with Kupp and/or Robert Woods. Cooks is trending down but if you’re feeling him, why not. I won’t be going there, but I get it. I like the Rams D too with the injuries on the SF side and Jimmy G’s turnover potential.
TEN @ DEN
Over/Under 39 DEN -2.5
Man…I hate this game. This projects to be the lowest scoring game on the slate. Its set up for a lot of carries and a lot of punting. Neither QB is objectively any good.
I’m going to make this analysis short because I don’t want us to overthink it. With a total this low we’d generally tend to go with the favorite RB1 and pair him with his defense and move on our merry way. The problem is that the favorite isn’t projected to score much and both teams are going to be running the ball often, thus reducing potential interceptions. We typically want a young gun-slinging QB to choose a defense against paired with our RB, this just isn’t one of those games. I don’t like the fantasy upside of this game and I don’t like the players in it. Hard pass.
DAL @ NYJ
Over/Under 43.5 DAL -8.5
Now, to the final game of this beautiful weekend. DAL goes to NYJ as a huge favorite in a game with a low point total. Does anyone know how good the Cowboys are? I don’t think the Cowboys themselves have any idea how good they are. After winning their first 3 games of the season, they’ve lost their last 2 and a light panic is starting to settle in. Dak’s played well against every opponent but NO; he’s scored over 23.5 fpts in each of those contests. He’s got Gallup back healthy and Cooper with his crisp route running. They throw it to TE Witten exactly 4 times in every game and all for very short yardage pickups. This volume and yardage are just not enough to bring Witten’s stat lines up to relevancy. Zeke Elliott is the most expensive player on the slate this week and I usually steer clear of those gentlemen but I think this is a great opportunity for Zeke to regain his form. With a lead, he should get a ton of carries and get the goal line work to pair with it to extend his TD streak to 3 games. I like Dak objectively but I don’t think he has to do too much in this game. I like either Gallup or Cooper as a fairly sneaky one off. Amari Cooper is a little pricey at 7k but could easily exceed value. Michael Gallup at 5600 seems more palatable but much lower upside than Cooper and certainly a lower floor. Zeke and Cooper or Gallup are my faves in this one.
On the NYJ side of the ball, the Jets are excited that Sam Darnold has finally recovered from his Mono condition and he’ll see his first game action since week 1. He wasn’t very good in week 1. In fact, with or without Darnold, the Jets are just a really bad team overall. Leveon Bell has been talked up this week, because he’s priced at 6400, far less historically than his normal pricetag, but I think they’re confusing this Bell with PIT Bell. He was great in Pittsburgh because he ran behind a good offensive line and also because there were 1 if not 2 all pro caliber wide receivers in front of him that kept the middle of the DEF from crowding the box. In NY, the Jets have a bad line to run behind and bad wide receivers who continue to show that they have not only no upside but also no floor, which is generally a really bad combination. I’m adding the Cowboys D to the player pool simply because of how bad this Jets team is. Not playing any Jets at all.