NO @ DET
Over/ Under 54 NO -4
UPDATE: False alarm. This game is still on!
I’m not a guy who makes it a practice to bet the under on things, because it usually doesn’t work out too well. You can ask the under bettors of this week’s Jets / Broncos game how that went for them. That being said, I’m not a big fan of this game total. It’s the third highest on the slate and it implies that the Lions score a lot more points than I expect them to. I like NO in this game and if the total hits, I think it’s because Kamara starts running away with things.
This whole week all the talking heads in the NFL are talking about how Drew Brees has lost it and how his average pass has only traveled 4.8 yards downfield and that he’s getting too old blah blah blah. I haven’t heard one analyst acknowledge that the NO offense has one of the best pass-catching RBs in the league, possibly the best pass-catching back in the league and all of the really easy, short passes to that guy play a huge factor in his average pass distance. Brees, buddy, I’m on your side for now, keep giving the ball to Kamara and start walking downfield.
I think Brees is going to take a lot of that criticism head on this week and attempt to stretch the field a little more than he probably ordinarily would. He’s going to try. I don’t think it’s going to work out as great as he would like and when he hands the ball off to Alvin and/or starts seeing those dump-off passes paying dividends he’ll hone in on the conservatism once more. At 8000, and averaging darn near 37 fpts per game so far this season, Alvin Kamara is going to summon ownership like a sorcerer. Especially against this poor DET run defense, I like him. This is the same Lions defense who allowed Aaron Jones to perform a Scorpion-like Fatality on them, going for 48.60 fpts in week 2.
I don’t feel too great about the rest of the NO offense, Michael Thomas is still injured and hasn’t practiced in full since sustaining an ankle injury 2 weeks ago. The second best pass catcher on the team (not named Kamara) Jared Cook, is also out. WR2 Traquan Smith is too expensive at 5000 and Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t have a high floor or high ceiling in this offense. I’ll pass on both these dudes, but I do think one of them gets a deep TD so Brees can strut around thinking he’s proving the media wrong. I have no idea which one of these WRs gets that deep ball and I also wouldn’t be surprised if even with that TD they go for 50 yards and 3 targets. We definitely need a higher ceiling than that.
Sneaky Play Alert!!:
With Cook and Thomas both out, those targets have to go somewhere. Kamara will get some of them and maybe Traquan and Sanders get an additional target or two, but they’re mostly deep field threats and Brees doesn’t like throwing it that far, as we’ve already established. The low owned guy that I feel surprisingly good about is TE Adam Trautman. This rookie 3rd round pick is min priced at 2500 and he should see the snaps and a good amount of targets. He’s big, and powerful and he has some of the best hands I’ve ever seen on a TE. Look him up on Youtube, I’m telling you, he’s a bonafide stud ready to break out and if he can stay healthy he could be a force in this league in the near future. I think he scores in this one and I’d guess he sees 5 to 7 targets too. I really like him this week.
The only other play I like on this side is the NO Defense at 3500. I don’t think Stafford is very good and if NO can build up a lead through Kamara and get DET passing more than they’d like, there’s a lot of turnover potential in that. They’re averaging 6 fpts right now heading into this game but I’d bet the over on that if you can find a weird bookie that would even offer that ridiculous wager. Kamara, Trautman and the NO Defense are in my player pool.
One of my goals for this season is not spending too much time talking about teams that I think are going to get beaten up in a matchup with a minute amount of real upside options. Stafford is bad so I’d never recommend drafting that dude. I’m a fan of Kenny Golladay’s skillset and with both starting corners for NO out in this one I think he’s a viable option, at a flat 6000. This is his second game back from injury and he very well might get the same 7 targets he got last week plus a couple if NO can stuff the run. TE T.J. Hockenson at 4800 is the only other guy on this side I’m willing to roster. He hasn’t scored in a couple of weeks and he should be the de facto RZ target once his team realizes that Marvin Jones isn’t that guy. Speaking of Marvin Jones, once a season the stars will align and he’ll catch like 3 TDs with 150 yards receiving on 9 catches. The rest of the time he proactively ropes up cement blocks around his ankles and jumps overboard taking each of your lineups down with him. I’m not sure this is the spot for him. If you’re machochistic, give it a go, otherwise lets take our 4900 and spend it elsewhere.
Since Kamara and Murray should be controlling the pace all game, I’m not a fan of the DET backfield. The ceiling for both Peterson and Swift is probably 12-15 if everything goes right and that’s not good enough.The pricing is nice though; hopefully they’ll stay priced like this in better matchups in the future. To recap: I like Hockenson as a talented RZ threat, a little bit of Golladay and that’s it on DET. Also I’m a fan of the under and NO at -4.
IND @ CHI
Over/Under 43 IND -2.5
Yikes, this projected game total is tied for the lowest on the slate. I’m not going to spend too much time on this game because it looks worse than the Jets vs Broncos matchup. Both defenses are probably the best aspect of each team. They both have bad passing offenses and mostly want to run the ball as much as they can and unfortunately run defense is what each of these teams specializes in. If you can find a prop for # of interceptions thrown by a combination of Foles and Rivers at 2.5, I’d take the over and feel pretty good about it. This game is a collection of bad matchups for just about everyone. Indy’s Def is 3300 and Chicago’s is at 3100 and both are possibly underpriced. If I take anything from this game, it’ll be one of these defenses only; I’d probably lean towards CHI too because they’re cheaper.
ARI @ CAR
Over/Under 51.5 ARI -3.5
I really like the Cardinals in this one. Whether Hopkins (questionable) plays or not, I think Murray’s squad easily covers the 3.5 point spread.
The Panthers are 28th against the run and 28th against the pass, ranking as one of the bottom 3 overall defenses in the league. This sets up fairly well for a Kyler Murray-led offense. Murray is not a great passer, maintaining an interception rate over 1 a game and without his top receivers he’ll rely on his legs to find success. If CAR finds a way to limit the passing game with Hopkins and Christian Kirk out (both are questionable), I’d expect Kyler to have a field day racking up rushing yards. A game with over 100 yards on the ground seems like a real possibility for the young QB in this one. At 7000, he feels expensive with no top tier receivers to throw to. His rushing floor should be safe, but you’d like your QB to have at least a little passing TD upside. I don’t trust any of the receivers/TEs on this offense. I don’t trust their snap counts to be there, their usage to be there or Kyler to be able to accurately get them the ball often enough.
Kenyan Drake was talked up a lot last week and with respect to situation and upside, at 6000, he’s probably a better play on paper than in real life. He should have lower ownership this week after performing poorly in the last one too. The usage is there, he’s averaging 18 rushing attempts per game which is plenty fine. One issue, as I’m sure I’ll say all season with this offense, is that in the RZ, Kyler Murray is more likely to get the carries than Drake. That’s just how this team rolls. An equally important problem is that his usage in the passing game is basically non-existent. His best receiving game came in week 2 against WAS where he brought down 2 targets for 9 yards. There are too many other runningbacks who are relied upon far more heavily in the passing game that I’d prefer to roster. In the DK ppr format, usage in the receiving game plays a huge role in choosing the right RBs and unfortunately no one told the ARI coaching staff that he should be getting more passing volume. The guy is good, he could excel with more touches through the air. I’m not playing Drake, because I don’t trust his role, but if you’re feeling him, this is the right spot.
The ARI defense is expensive: 3600. I don’t think this is the best option, even though the matchup is good, but if you like Drake in this one, I think you should be partnering him up with the ARI D.
This is something I never thought I’d ever say: I kinda like Mike Davis this week. Depending on the injury news for the ARI receivers, the gamescript may or may not lend itself to the benefit of Davis, but his usage is through the roof all the way around. This is exactly the type of usage you want from the RB position. The Ekeler types and CMC and Zeke, these dudes are good plays every week because they’re geat at what they do but they’re also good plays because they’re used heavily on the ground AND in the passing game. Davis played 76.5 % of the snaps last week and has had 17 targets over the last 2 games. Honestly, I don’t know how good he is and I don’t know what his ceiling is as a player, but priced at 5700, I think he’s priced well enough to find out. He’s one of my favorite plays this week.
The ARI defense ranks 2nd against the WR position and Teddy Bridgewater is still bad. I’m not touching that QB or any of his receivers. Poor DJ Moore…one day little guy, they’ll bench that terrible dude and bring in a good QB eventually.
BAL @ WAS
Over/Under 45 BAL -13
I’m not excited about this game at all and I’m the type of guy who was excited about the Jets vs Broncos this week.
This is one of the easiest to foresee gamescripts on the slate and it might possibly be the lowest scoring. Baltimore should win by a large margin; a scoreline of 24 to 6 or the like is what I’d expect from this matchup. WAS comes in with a decent defense when everyone is healthy but they’ll be without their best pass rusher in Chase Young this week and he’s integral to the success of that defense. It’s still a well coached team so I think they’ll play enough efforted ball to keep Lamar from getting on the other side of 30 points.
The rushing distribution for this offense is suspect, even in blowouts. In their 38 to 6 thrashing of the Browns this season, JK Dobbins had 22 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 7 carries and both RB Ingram and Edwards combined for 46 yards on 14 carries. I wouldn’t be surprised if each one of these backs gets a TD along with a rushing TD from Lamar, and none of that is worth rostering. I’m not interested in this offense primarily because the distribution is so thin and sporadic that there’s nothing to trust. Lamar has the rushing upside obviously but he’s the most expensive QB on the slate at 8100 and he’s got the same fpts upside as QBs in much better matchups even if the other guys have to pass to get there. I don’t trust anything to exceed value on this offense, and that includes 6000 priced Mark Andrews. This game just doesn’t hinge on his success; I’d much prefer to steer my lineups towards players who are in good matchups and their teams depend on their success. Otherwise, randomly things tend to happen.
The only part of this BAL side that I’ll have in my player pool is the BAL Defense. I don’t trust Haskins to throw me a drink without screwing it up. He’s young, he could get better. I don’t think he will, but he could eventually in the far away future. The BAL defense is going to come out with a vengeance after losing decisively against their archrival Chiefs and I’d expect a lot of sacks, at least an interception, probably more than one, and a defensive TD. It’s hard to pay up for a defense this week, but it feels like the week to consider it, especially with the Ravens defense in this great spot.
Are they still playing Haskins at QB?
Ok, then no.
LAC @ TB
Over/Under 43 TB -7
*Weather* 24% chance of light rain
Other than maybe the MIN/HOU game which we’ll discuss later, this is probably one of the most interesting matchups on the slate. That expected point total is sooo low! 43 points, in a Tom Brady/Herbert showdown, that seems crazy.
I expect TB to control this game. I like Herbert, I really do. This just isn’t the spot for him. The Bucs are going to blitz the heck out of him. Talk about a stressful day at the office, this is it. A lot of people are going to be talking up Austin Ekeler this week after his 11 targets last week and 31.3 DK points. The problem is those numbers came against a very poor CAR defense. TB is much better. There’s a path for him to do well in this one. Actually, he has to do well for his team to be on the right side of victory in this one, but I am nervous about this TB defense. They held Kamara to 16 rushing yards on 12 carries, and 51 yards on 5 targets. He did score in that game but even if Ekeler mirrors those stats, it won’t be enough to pay off his pricetag of 7100. I’m full fading Austin Ekeler.
Keenan Allen had 13 catches on 19 targets last week!! Again, that was against a poor CAR defense, so I don’t expect a big game out of this matchup. If I don’t like Keenan Allen in this one, or Herbert, I certainly don’t like any other WRs on the Chargers side. I like Hunter Henry objectively but not in this matchup either.
On the Tampa side, Godwin is out so his fairly high target share will be dispersed throughout the rest of the offense. The LAC defense has a solid secondary and with the way they beg the QB to beat them with short passes in the middle of the field, this seems like a spot for the tight ends. Rob Gronkowksi priced at 3600 and OJ Howard at 3300 are good options. The snap count disparity leans us towards Gronk who played on 93% of offensive snaps last week while OJ saw 49%, but OJ Howard has seen a little more RZ work so far this season. I think either TE could see a 7 or 8 target game and 2 TDs. I think one of them might see that kind of stat line this week so I’ll have both in my player pool.
Although I think this game ends up on the over side of the current projected 43 total I’m not sure there’s much fantasy goodness for any of the higher priced plays. I don’t feel great about Brady in this one or Mike Evans against this defense. The only other guy I kinda like is RB Ronald Jones. He should be the lead back this week with Fournette out and if he can get some kind of role in the passing game (a la James White) he could easily outplay his 4700 pricetag. The Chargers have the number 1 defense at stopping the run this season so I’m not going overboard on Ronald Jones, but his price is good, and his workload could be good. The Chargers defense is very much above average, but I don’t think they’re the best run stopping defense in the league like the stats are telling us. I guess we’ll learn a lot about them in this one.
What I like most about the TB side is the TB Defense. They’re really good from top to bottom and they’re going to come at Herbert in every way imaginable. Against a rookie QB, the TB defense could see several pick opportunities especially if they’re able to get ahead in the game and limit Ekeler. TB at 3400 might be my highest owned defense this week.
SEA @ MIA
Over/Under 53 SEA -6.5
This game most likely has the highest stack exposure on the slate. Huge point total, less than a TD spread with two pass-leaning offenses, what could possibly go wrong?
I think all DFS implications hinge on the health of the SEA backfield. Both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde come into this game with questionable tags. Neither has had a full practice all week. That’s not good for those two, but might be the direct cause of the perfect fantasy goodness storm a brewing.
SEA is a better football team; we can all agree on that. At some point they’ll get a lead in this one and pull away. But if one or either of the two top SEA RBs miss this game, their backups aren’t good enough to help Russ run out the clock. This spells Russ throwing a lot.
With a healthy Carson/Hyde, you’ll be chasing on Russ and most likely disappointed in rostering him at 7800. I think one of the two RBs plays but I’m not sure which one. I don’t like their pricetags very much though and I don’t like playing guys coming into a game questionable unless I have to. We don’t have to do that on this slate.
If both RBs miss then Russell Wilson is going to send a lot of targets to Lockett and a lot of targets to Metcalf. I don’t trust any other WR on the SEA side. I don’t think this is a game like last week where you’ll find success stacking Russ with both of these receivers. I think you should pick the one you like: Tyler Lockett at 7000 or DK Metcalf at 6800, and just hope that you picked the right guy. I’ll have more Metcalf, but that’s more of a floor decision than based on upside. Either could do well this week and possibly both. Greg Olsen at 4100, is looking better by the week but I wouldn’t feel great about playing him.
Here’s my hot take with this game: I’m not stacking SEA at all and I know a lot of people will be. MIA may be an above average offense but they’re not going to push the pace like Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan. What I do plan on doing a lot of is game-stacking with one of the SEA receivers along with the cheap priced Fitzpatrick paired with the best of his offense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is my guy in this game. I expect to have a lot of exposure. He’s underpriced for the matchup at 5400 and he has just about as high of upside this week as any other QB playing. Neither he nor I are going to trust the MIA run game against one of the top run defenses in the league. He should be throwing all game long against one of the worst rated secondaries in the league. I don’t think this passing defense is as bad as their numbers would lead us to believe because the numbers are skewed by the high powered passing offenses they’ve played thus far. However, I wouldn’t say they’re good either. Devante Parker at 5700 is one of my favorite plays and this might even be a Preston Williams game, priced very fairly as the WR2 at 4500. I don’t expect to have a lot of Williams but I could see a scenario playing out where he pays off his pricetag; he’s dirt cheap. Parker played on 92% of offensive snaps last week and Preston Williams saw 57% so I feel much better about Parker. I think the stack I like the most is QB+WR1+TE.
Mike Gesicki is an absolute stud of a TE. He’s priced at 5100 and that fairly high price, along with SEAs high fantasy points DVOA ranking may turn people away, but he’s my TE of choice this week. He doesn’t have the same floor as some of the higher end TEs but in any given week he has the same upside as the likes of George Kittle and Travis Kelce. He really is great. The more I watch of him, the more he impresses me. Oh and he also has more than double the RZ targets as the next guy on his team (Gesicki 8, Williams + others 3).
In conclusion I plan to start a lot of lineups with Fitzpatrick+Parker+Gesicki+Metcalf and then figure out the rest.
I think this goes without saying, but I don’t like either defense in this game.
JAX @ CIN
Over/Under 49 CIN -3
This is the game that I was most excited to research all week. On the surface, it seems like the biggest toss up of a match. Both teams are young, with young QBs, a few injury issues and could easily win this game by a TD or more.
I know Vegas expects CIN to win but anything can happen in this one. I don’t think it’s a game we want to stack, but one offs are more than viable. The run defense of the CIN side is its biggest weakness so we’ll want to start our attack there. RB James Robinson has seen his fantasy numbers increase every single week thus far and has a great matchup in this one. This is a pass happy team so he’ll rarely ever see 20+ touches on the ground but you can tell that his OC has a lot of confidence in him. He’s seen a steadily increasing role in the passing game:
Week 1 – 1 target
Week 2 – 4 targets
Week 3 – 6 targets
His pricetag at 6500 seems a little high though. The usage and the script and the success thus far all lead to him having a good shot at hitting value on that this week, but his fantasy points thus far this season have been 10.0, 24.0, 30.9. Which is more likely: that Robinson sees another bump in the passing game, another week in a row where he sees an increase in fantasy points week over week or that he regresses a little bit and dips back below 24 fantasy points? Yeah, I agree, I’d lean towards the latter.
At 5900, I don’t think Gardner Minshew has enough upside in this one to consider rostering him. If he was priced closer to 5400 Fitzpatrick, I’d think about it a little more. Since I’m not interested in the JAX stack I don’t see myself playing too many options on the JAX offense. DJ Chark is generally fantastic but he’s priced at 6000 and this is his first week coming back from a chest injury and even before that he saw 7 total targets in 2 games. Even if he sees 6 targets in this one, I don’t like his chances of paying that pricetag off. Shenault is questionable and the rest of the JAX receivers/TEs are not good.
Objectively, I like Joe Burrow a lot. The sky’s the limit for him in this league if he continues putting the work in. I’m not playing him in this one, but because of how much I like him, I’m very much willing to roster two players on his squad. I like Tyler Boyd in this matchup. He’s priced at 6100, and other than a rough week 1 against the hiqh quality Chargers secondary, he’s averaged over 22.5 DK points so far this season, and on an average of 10.5 targets per game at that. AJ Green is in a slump and Tee Higgins had a good week 3 but I don’t expect another 2 TD performance out of him. That’s an outlier performance. Boyd, though, his price is in line with his current output and against this defense in an up tempo game, he could do very well.
The other Bengal I like in this one is very sneaky, maybe too sneaky: Drew Sample. Now hear me out, I know he destroyed any lineup you had with him in it last week. And he’s probably a blocking specialist, but at 3500, this dude was in on 89% of the offensive snaps last week. You’re going to need a guy at his price level to help you pick up the expensive studs on this slate. He could get 1 target again this week, this is true, but I’d be more surprised by that in this matchup against the 3rd worst defense against TEs than if he went 5 for 8 with 50 yards and a TD. He also leads the team in RZ targets, so that coaching staff is trying to get him the ball.
At the RB position, Mixon is questionable and even if he plays I’m not too big of a fan. His price of 5800 is expensive for questionable and they don’t pass to him often enough. If he misses though, Giovani Bernard at 4400 should take the primary back duties and if he does and Tyler Boyd and Burrow get a lead going for this, Bernard could see enough usage to pay off that price easily. He’s tied for 2nd in RZ targets and that price is too good to pass up if Mixon misses. If Mixon plays, you don’t need Bernard.
CLE @ DAL
Over/Under 56 DAL -4.5
I don’t think this game total makes sense. It bakes in too much of the opponents the Cowboys faced in the first 3 weeks than the game they’re in store for here.
Cleveland wants to run the ball and this week they encounter a very stingy dallas D line. Chubb and Hunt are very capable backs no doubt and collectively they may find a way to exceed 120 yards rushing but I don’t expect either will see enough individual success to consider rostering. The reason the CLE offense wants to run the ball is mostly because the coaching staff doesn’t trust Baker Mayfield. He’s thrown a pick in each game besides last week and I would be surprised if he doesn’t throw at least one to a Dallas defense who has been looking forward to this matchup after playing SEA and ATL in the last 2 weeks. I think they shine in this one.
Since I don’t really like Baker in this one and I feel good about the Under on the total, I’m not rushing to get many pieces of the CLE offense in this game. I expect this game is going to be heavily stacked and I think that’s where we zag while they’re zigging. Now, I do kinda like a couple pieces from that CLE offense. Odell Beckham Jr was limited in practice on Thursday but after a full practice on Friday I think he’s good to go in this one. Beckham takes on the same role in the offense as Tyler Lockett did for SEA last week, who utterly torched the Cowboys secondary. The biggest problem for Beckham is that Mayfield isn’t Russ Wilson. I think 6 to 8 targets feels reasonable for him to see in this game with TD upside. I’m not sure that gets the value you want from him at that price, but as a dart throw he’s a solid choice if you don’t believe in the Dallas defense at all and/or you think Baker Mayfield is any good. Landry has basically done nothing so far this year and I’d expect that kind of success to continue. None of the other CLE receivers are worth rostering.
My favorite play on the CLE side of the ball is Austin Hooper. He saw 86% of the offensive snaps last week and he is way, way overdue for a big game. He had such a great year last year, it seems like only a matter of time that he shows a little of that this season. At 4000, in a situation where Dallas very well might do a good job against the run, and Baker can’t accurately throw very far, it seems like the perfect spot to take a shot on a low owned Hooper. He’s one of my favorite TEs on the slate behind Gesicki.
I like Dak a lot in general. He’s been incredible so far to start this season. I’m not a big fan of his fantasy upside in this one though. He just shouldn’t have to pass at the same rates he has over the last couple of weeks. I think his floor is safe and he’ll get you around 25 dk points, but at 7200, you’re going to want more from that pricetag. He should get a passing TD or 2 early on to any one of his growing array of weapons this week and then settle in to feed the ball to Zeke while they’re playing from ahead.
Any one of the Dallas receivers could score a TD. Cooper, Gallup, Lamb, or even TE Dalton Schultz. I have no lean on any of these guys and as a result don’t plan on having very many of them in my rosters. I’ll have a sprinkle of Cooper because the volume has been there and he has yet to score a TD so far this year. I think Mike McCarthy and Dak make it a point of emphasis to get Cooper on the board this week. At 6700, I won’t have too much of Amari Cooper because I don’t know if he needs to do much for his team to win to get anywhere near his ceiling, but the floor is safe and 20 DK points feels expected.
The guy I’m really excited to play this week is Ezekiel Elliott. Let others be scared off by that CLE DVOA against the RB position. The Browns are 8th in least fantasy points given up to the RB position. They’ve also played against: the Ravens whose backfield is either underutilized or not good (probably both), the Bengals who don’t know how to use their backfield properly and WAS who may or may not have a backfield. They haven’t played a runningback anywhere close to the quality Elliott brings to the position.
He’s been a part of every inch of success Dallas and Dak have seen on offense this season. He played on 80 out of 82 offensive snaps last week and had 11 targets in that game! Dallas fans have been begging to see Elliott more involved in the passing game and it’s finally happening. Kamara is going to be the heaviest owned RB by far on this slate and for good reason, but Elliott is for sure going to out-snap him and has the same upside. At 7800, he’s pricey, but if he has the game I’m expecting of him this week, this might be the lowest we’ll see him priced in a while.
MIN @ HOU
Over/Under 54.5 HOU -4.5
This has one of my favorite game stacks on the slate. Dalvin Cook v Deshaun Watson, let’s break it down!
Dalvin Cook is the man in this offense. There is no one on this slate with a higher upside. I don’t trust this Texans defense and if Vegas is right about the point total, I’d expect Cousins to get Cook involved more in the passing game. And if they ever take the lead, he’s going to be rushing often. At 7600, his pricetag isn’t cheap, but very fair, and filled with upside.
I don’t trust Cousins to provide any kind of high fantasy value, and that’s partly because Cook does a lot of the RZ damage and makes things easy for him, and also because he’s not the most accurate QB out there. He’s in a great spot against a poor Texans defense with a mediocre pass rush and a non-existent secondary. Even though I don’t like Cousins’ upside, his WR1 Adam Thielen at 6600, leads the team in targets and RZ looks, and is a very good play this week. The breakout star of last week was WR2 Justin Jefferson who saw 9 targets, went for 175 yards and secured himself his first professional TD. I don’t expect he hits those numbers again in this one, but I think he’s earned a lot of trust from Kurt Cousins.
Cousins probably values trust more than any other QB in the league. After signing his big contract in MIN, he’s been criticized nonstop for his play. I ain’t mad at him: if someone was willing to pay him that money, he should take it and go. I don’t think he was prepared for all of the criticism tied to the cash though. At some points last season, you could tell that he was playing not to throw an interception instead of trying to make the right pass play down field. His trepidation had him targeting Thielen and Cook almost exclusively because he trusted they’d catch the ball or at worst they’d hit it out of the hands of a DB trying to intercept it.
I say all of that to say that I normally don’t like going back to a rookie who had a very big game. Generally, he’s not going to have the same success or the targets. If ever there was a situation where a huge target game might lead to another consecutive big target game, it’s going to be on Cousins’ watch. AT 5200, I actually like Jefferson to do well again this week. I think he sees 6 to 9 targets again and has another 75 yards or so; if he gets in the endzone too, he’d be a phenomenal play.
I don’t like anyone else on the Vikings side and I certainly don’t like their defense but only because they’re not good at all.
Other than Fitzpatrick, my favorite QB on the slate is Deshaun Watson. If this game is as high scoring as Vegas expects it to be, then Watson will be a big part of that. He’s the full package. He’s got the rushing upside, he’s got the passing upside. He was Josh Allen before Josh Allen was Josh Allen. At 6600, he’s priced very affordably and could crush that pricetag in this matchup. The issue that keeps him from garnering heavy ownership each week is, well it’s two things: his offensive line is the worst in the league at protecting its QB and his WRs are always hurt.
Typically when you’re stacking an offense you’ll pick your QB and pair him with your 2 favorite plays on his offense. Mobile QBs make it even easier because they can do so much damage with their legs that they often don’t need to get more than a single receiver heavily involved in the passing game to make your stack successful. Will Fuller is playing in this one, coming in as the WR1. Skill-wise he’s fine but he’s coming in questionable and he’s always freakin hurt. I think we’re more likely to see him exit the game early with a misc injury than he crush value so much that you had to have him in your lineups. At 5900, he’s at a great price for a WR1, in this smash spot, but again, he’s more likely to get hurt.
While I won’t be rostering Fuller in this game, I’ll probably have a lot of his WR2 counterpart Brandin Cooks. At 4500, he’s the perfect price to help you make some good money if everything breaks right. That MIN secondary is bad and their linebackers don’t put up much pressure. If Watson has a little time to throw the ball, that bodes well for Cooks who could see 6 to 8 targets and cross the 100 yard mark along the way. He’s still explosive when he gets going and I think this is a great opportunity for him to finally have a big game for the Texans.
Jordan Akins is a nice little salary saving play if you wanted to go 3 deep on a Watson+2 stack. He’s cheap enough that a few catches and a TD might be enough for him to get you what you want from him and he did have a 7 catch game in week 2. He’s out playing Darren Fells right now and at 3300, that’s a great price for his upside. I probably won’t have him in many spots, but he’s not a bad play at all.
At the RB position, I like David Johnson. This is a good matchup for him. His price at 5600 is really good and I think there’s an opportunity for him to get a little more work in the passing game at some point this season. Against the MIN defense that has been less than impressive, even with a poor O-line, he could have a solid game. I won’t stack with Watson but where I don’t have Watson rostered, I like the idea of getting a piece of this game through David and hope that Watson gets him there and David Johnson tiptoes into the endzone a couple times to pay off that great pricetag.
NYG @ LAR
Over/Under 48 LAR -13
I don’t like this game at all so I won’t be wasting too much time on it. The Rams want to run the ball as often as possible and run defense is literally the only thing the Giants are good at on either side of the ball. What does this mean in terms of gamescript? It means that the Rams are going to stubbornly spend the entire game trying to establish the run. They’ll pass it only when necessary to move the chains so they can hand the ball to Henderson or Malcom Brown. Henderson has seen his carries trend in the right direction in a negative correlation with Brown’s carries. But even if they both hit 20 carries in this game, it’s possible that neither hits the fantasy value you need. I don’t expect Goff or any of his receivers to have a big game because they really don’t need to. If you can find a game prop on the time of possession I think you could probably do well taking the over on whatever the Rams are listed at. I think they’ll punt a lot and the giants are going to throw a lot and it’s not going to go well.
The only thing I like from this game is the LAR Defense; at 3900, they are undoubtedly expensive. I’m generally more of a mid-tier defense guy, but if I pay up this week the Ravens and the Rams are where I’ll go.
BUF @ LV
Over/Under 52.5 BUF -3
This is a great matchup to end the slate with. I feel comfortable expecting the Bills to win this one but Vegas appears to believe it’s a closer matchup than meets the eye. The point total seems higher than I foresee; under seems more like it.
The Raiders defensive philosophy this season is very similar to that of the Chargers. They don’t rush much and they keep their secondary back enough to prevent deep threat success and make QBs throw short pass after short pass. This tends to encourage more TE usage and more pass catching back usage. These are probably the two biggest weaknesses for the Bills. They don’t have a high end TE, both are below average at best and their backfield isn’t necessarily what other people would call ‘good’. Singletary is a fine pass catcher but he has a self imposed ceiling that he just can’t figure out how to overcome. He’s priced up to 5900 and that’s a lot tougher to swallow than his 4900 price last week. His backup Zack Moss, eventually will take a lot of reps from Singletary but he’s coming into this game questionable and I don’t think he plays.
Both John Brown and Stefon Diggs are deep threat specialists so I don’t like either in this matchup. WR3 Cole Beasley has had a great season thus far. He also fits the bill for short yardage passing success. He’s averaging a little over 6.5 targets a game and should see closer to 9 targets in this one. He’s seen the second most targets in the RZ too and hasn’t scored a TD yet, so that should be coming soon. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if it comes as soon as this week.
The Bills are bad against the run and RB Josh Jacobs is a really good back. The Raiders are going to run the ball for as long as they can and that could mean a big game for Jacobs. He’s averaging a little over 22.5 rushing attempts per game and over 3 receptions a game. He is the focal point of this offense and all of that bodes well for him in this game. At 6800, he’s a very good play this week.
The Bills generally have a good pass defense but are weakest in the slot. That gives a boost to Hunter Renfrow. At 4600, he’s in the same spot Beasley is in on the other side. Since I think this is a big Jacobs game, I don’t think Carr does much in this one. I think he’ll get the ball to Renfrow when necessary and Waller will get his 7 or so catches in this one. At 5200, I wouldn’t say Darren Waller is a great play against a defense that’s going to be keying in on him, but he’s certainly a good play through his expected volume. I’ll have Jacobs, Renfrow and Waller all in my player pool.