CAR @ NO
Over/Under 51 NO -7.5
This has the makings of a very fantasy-friendly game. I know the point total is not as high as some of the other games on the slate but both teams have a very funneled offense, and that might be even more important than a higher total game.
This should be a Kamara game. Only five teams in the NFL have given up more fantasy points to the running back position so far this season than Carolina. What does this mean for the Carolina offense? It means they’re going to be throwing a lot.
RB Mike Davis finally came down to Earth last week scoring 12.5 fantasy points after showings of over 20 fantasy points in the previous 3 games. Based on the expected gamescript, Davis is probably in for a similar fantasy performance in this one. He’s averaging over seven targets a game this season, so the floor is there, but I think he’ll really have to get in the end zone a couple of times to get close to paying off the $6,600 price. I’m not a fan of him this week but there are certainly worse options at the RB position.
If we expect New Orleans and Kamara to control the game then we need to be looking at the passing offense to bring that back with. I don’t like Bridgewater because I don’t think he’s very good and the New Orleans Saints have enough intel on him to know what his weaknesses are as a passer, especially coming into this game off of a bye. His price is fine at 5800 but a lot would have to go right for him to do exceptionally well in this one.
That being said I think you can pick your favorite of his primary targets: Moore and Anderson. These dudes have been targeted 99 of the 135 total WR team targets. They are the passing offense. DJ Moore had 11 targets last week, which is double the number of targets he had in the previous two weeks. This could be a thing, he might be getting targeted more going forward, but it also could be an outlier, and that’s probably what I’d lean toward. His price at 5,600 is solid though. That’s a good price for a guy of his talent. I’m not sure how much I’ll have of him but only because I plan to have a lot more of his coworker Robby Anderson.
At 6000, Anderson is a little bit more expensive but he leads the team in targets and he leads the team in WR red zone targets to such an extent that he has more than double the RZ targets as the next receiver on that list. I also like his matchup a little bit more because his depth of target is shorter than Moore and if the Saints defense is able to get to Bridgewater quickly, which I think will be the case, then Anderson should see more targets than DJ.
The TE position on this team has accounted for a total of 16 total targets through 6 games and only 10 of those were caught. So Anderson, DJ Moore, or Mike Davis could potentially have more targets individually in this game than the total TE receptions so far through all 6 games. Yeah… I’m not playing a tight end on this team, since they don’t seem to remember that the position exists.
Michael Thomas is out.
This isn’t really surprising, nor does it change much. If anything, it reaffirms how good of a play Alvin should be this week. At 7900, he’s priced up, there’s no doubt, but this is a genuinely good play. The passing volume is there, the all around usage is there, and the opponent is mostly not there. I like Alvin Kamara a lot this week. His floor will be there rain or shine; the most likely limiting factor is that Latavius Murray gets in on the goal line work and wrecks Kamara’s TD upside. For some reason the two have very similar RZ rushing attempts: Kamara has 15, Murray has 12. If you think Latavius Murray at 4800 gets those TDs by all means get that guy on your rosters. Kamara should be fairly highly owned so Murray is a solid pivot. I don’t like him, I don’t see the upside, but if you do this is the spot.
As for the rest of the offense, Drew Brees is coming in at a pretty darn cheap 6100. I can’t foresee a realistic situation where he needs to do much in this game though. We’d need Kamara to have himself a couple of passing TDs and then Brees to find some way to get himself another pair of TDs with both his top 2 receivers already ruled out in this one. I’ll pass. (QB joke)
At the WR position, Michael Thomas is still out with his ankle injury and WR2 Sanders tested positive for Covid so he’s out too. WR3 Traquan Smith at 4000 is in for a huge workload potentially as is Marquez Callaway at 3000. Callaway saw 6 targets in week 5 and saw 68% of the snaps. Traquan has more RZ targets by a lot, but Callaway is only beginning to see any usable snap counts over the last two weeks. Either of these guys is a dart throw at best, but not necessarily bad dart throws.
TE Jared Cook is really the only other healthy offensive threat. I probably like him to pair with Kamara ahead of anyone else. He’s got the experience and he’s tied with Traquan with 5 RZ targets on the year. He should be low owned because his numbers coming into this one don’t look enticing. He’s mostly TD dependent under normal circumstances but with the attrition going on with this offense he could see closer to the 7 targets he saw in week 1 than the 3 targets he saw in week 5. I’m not sure you have to prioritize getting this dude in your lineups, but he’s a good play.
The New Orleans Defense is priced at 3200. Love the price, not sure they’re my favorite play, but the price is appealing. I’ll have them in my player pool to pair with Kamara.
BUF @ NYJ
Over/Under 45 BUF -13.5
Second lowest point total on the slate, and huge spread; this is not necessarily a game we’ll want to target.
Josh Allen is coming off of two poor performances in the last 2 weeks; scoring less than 19 fpts in each. This should be a decent bounce back spot to right his fantasy point ship. At 7700, he’s probably got one of the safest floors for QBs this week. He’s got a ton of rushing upside under normal circumstances and when we add in the fact that he’s a better runningback than both of his runningbacks combined right now he could be in for some big performances this week and for the foreseeable future. This week seems like a 22ish point floor performance for Allen or a 35+ fpt — 3 rushing TD, 1 Passing TD, and 60 yards rushing kind of week. I don’t think we see much in between that. The jets are not good, they’re demoralized and Josh and his team desperately need a crushing win to re-boost their morale.
The RBs are not good and overpriced for the value they actually bring to the field so I’ll pass there.
At WR, since Josh isn’t great at sharing in the red zone I’ll probably have limited exposure. However, Stefon Diggs has been playing wonderfully in his first year with Buffalo. He’s averaging .5 TDs a game and a little over 10 targets per game too. The OC is deliberately forcing the ball to him and that makes him a good play most weeks. With John Brown out, that could boost his usage slightly more. At 7000, he’s pricey, Stefon Diggs is pricey, but he’s a good play. I’d probably only stack him with Josh Allen though and hope that he catches the 1 or 2 passing TDs that Allen throws.
The only other guy worth taking a look at is Cole Beasley at 4900. This is the most expensive price he’s seen all year. One thing I’ve noticed is that Beasley’s role on the offense is the security blanket for Allen when he’s trying to either regain confidence or sustain confidence. The low adot makes for less upside overall, he’s had 6 or more targets in every game this year but one and he’s had a TD in 2 of the last 3. I wish he was a little cheaper because I don’t think he hits value on usage alone, he’ll need to get in the end zone for that. But, his price should scare some people away and at least so far he’s had a very consistently safe floor at 9.8. I won’t play much of him, but I couldn’t fault anyone who had him rostered.
Josh Allen isn’t good at utilizing the TE position so I’m out on that. The defense is priced up to 4700 and there’s no way that I’ll ever pay up that high for any defense. They might get you 20 fpts but more weeks than not so will a sub 4K defense. In summary, I like Josh Allen stacked with Diggs, but I probably won’t have too many shares of either on their own.
Is Sam Darnold or Joe Flacco starting in this game? Ok, then no.
DET @ ATL
Over/Under 55.5 ATL -2
We got a high total on our hands, you know what that means. Stack. Stack. Stack-stack-stack. I’m so far away from betting this game that I won’t even begin to suggest either side. I do like the Over though.
The Lions are 4th worst in fpts given up to the RB position and it seems like ATL’s RB1 Gurley is slowly finding his footing in this offense. ATL should have the opportunity to control the game on the ground and if that’s the case we can go back to Matt Stafford and the DET passing offense again this week.
Stafford disappointed all of us last week after putting up 13.32 fpts against a sub-par JAX defense. Both top DET RBs had themselves a decent showing and that limited the necessity for a lot of passing. I don’t foresee D’Andre Swift having another great game after he had probably the best game of his life, with 2 TDs and over 100 rushing yards last week. Adrian Peterson likely won’t see the same 15 carries either. Priced at 6500, that price feels expensive for a QB whose best game included only 23.34 fpts. I guess if you’re his mom you should pay up for him but I don’t see myself doing that at all.
There are a couple one-off offensive weapons that I’d much rather roster in one off situations. I had high hopes for Marvin Jones last week but as it turns out he’s trash. Kenny Golladay might get a little more ownership than we’d like this week after putting up 3 great performances in a row in the only 3 games he’s played this season: 17.5 fpts, 16.2 fpts, 17.7 fpts. I feel good about him finding the end zone this week against an ATL squad giving up 30.32 fpts to the WR position, 5fth most in the league. At 6700, he saw a 500 price increase week over week. I’ll have him in my player pool because I feel good about him hitting about 20 fpts this week with upside. I like a lot of the priced-up RBs on the slate while a lot of ownership will be gravitating towards the cheap backs, so I’m not sure yet how much room I’ll have for Golladay.
Earlier in the week, I was more excited about TE TJ Hockenson than I am after diving a little deeper. His price at 5000, feels real expensive for a guy whose best fpt performance was 16.6 so far this season and that was in week 1. He hasn’t seen any more than 10.9 fpts since and he’s caught for 26 yards over the last 2 weeks combined. He’s a good player and this could be the setup for his breakout game this week but you’ll have to go into rostering him this week with the expectation that he’s probably more likely to get you 10 fpts than he is to do literally anything else. That being said he is an excellent GPP play this week. I’m going to be sweating with anxiety as I press the roster submit button anytime I have him penciled into my lineups but I’m going to have shares specifically because I’m going for the gold, I want to take down the milly and this is the type of player who could help me get there.
The RB position is what I feel best about targeting against the Lions this week. I’ve got a fever and the only cure is more Gurley. He had an off week last week against MIN, but he still saw 20 rushing attempts and 4 targets. And in the 3 games prior, his lowest fpt output was 15.2. At 6000, I think his ownership will be lower than it should be with the buzz around the other players at the position following injury news. I really like Todd Gurley in this one. He’s averaging .83 TDs per game, he didn’t find the end zone last week and he’s facing an even worse run defense this week so… plug that guy in. If that weren’t enough reasons to play the guy, his backup also lost a fumble last week, so Gurley might see a slight uptick in touches as a result.
I don’t trust Matt Ryan, especially a priced up Matt Ryan at 6700 coming off of his best game of the season. This is probably the spot to try to run it back with him if there was one though. He had 371 yards last week and up until last week every QB that the Lions have faced has thrown at least 2 passing TDs. With Julio and Ridley running on all cylinders, he could be in store for another big game. They started off the season so poorly and need a huge win streak to keep their playoff hopes alive. It’s probably put up or shut up time if Ryan wants to be on the team again next year.
Julio came into last week with a questionable tag and served up a massive 8 catch, 137 yard, 2 TD performance. He doesn’t have an injury designation this week so he should be as questionable as he was last week. I like Julio in general because he’s awesome, but I don’t plan on playing him after his best game of the season with the public back on him.
Calvin Ridley at 7300 is sooo expensive. He started the season priced at 6100 and now look at his pricing. He’s the 3rd most expensive receiver expected to play this week. I don’t trust the DET pass defense who have given up the 8th most fpts to the WR position thus far, so Ridley has another opportunity to shine this week. I’d much rather play Ridley than Julio this week, just by the law of averages because in terms of fantasy upside they’re both probably the same player and Ridley had the lower scoring output last week. I like him, I’ll have some shares.
As far as the rest of the WRs on the ATL side goes, I don’t trust anyone else while these top dogs are healthy. I know I wouldn’t throw the ball to any other receiver on that team other than Julio and Calvin while they’re playing so well, I’m sure Matt Ryan feels similarly .
I like TE Hayden Hurst as a GPP upside play. If either Ridley or Julio step out of the game injured again, then Hurst becomes very viable to take on plenty of that usage. He’s averaging 0.5 TDs every game so far this year. If both Ridley and Julio remain healthy throughout this contest, I feel better about other TEs to choose from, who have more of a floor.
Fun Fact: The Falcons actually don’t have a defense. They just open the gates to the other team until they can get the ball back. I wouldn’t play their defense anyways in such a high total game.
CLE @ CIN
Over/Under 50.5 CLE -3
This is one of my favorite games of the week. It’s actually probably my favorite game of the week, and by a fair margin too. It feels straightforward and yet has just the right amount of uncertainty in game total and in WR potential output that I’m very intrigued. I feel pretty confident that CLE relies on a successful ground game, I’d stay away from the spread though because I like Burrow a lot this week.
This game is going to be controlled by CLE on the ground with Kareem Hunt. He’s coming off of a very bad individual performance as a part of a bad collective team performance and this should be the perfect bounce back spot. Before last week’s letdown, he had 20 carries and 4 targets against Indy, which is the type of usage we want to be rostering. He hasn’t scored a rushing TD since week 4, but he’s had 3 receiving TDs in the last 5 games. At 6800, he’s an excellent play.
The makeup of this matchup is primarily what has me on Hunt this week. Hunt had his best game of the season in Week 2 against the Bengals, putting up 24.1 fpts. Baker is playing hurt, which reduces the usage of the team’s WRs and TE Austin Hooper is out too, so we should expect a lot of rushing attempts this week for Hunt and a large share of Baker’s short range passing attempts.
I don’t like any of the receivers for the reasons mentioned above: Baker’s throwing motion is limited by a chest injury and Hunt should get enough receiving opportunities to limit the rest of the big guys on the offense.
Let me put caution tape around the next two paragraphs because these next two plays are salary saving dart throws. If you need to save money to fit everyone else you like into your lineups, you could do a lot worse than picking your favorite CLE TE. With Austin Hooper a late week scratch, the CLE TE duo that will take the majority of Hooper’s snaps are dirt cheap: David Njoku 3000, Harrison Bryant 2500. Harrison Bryant is min priced and he’s seen 38.5% of snaps over the last 2 games. He’s TD dependent because he’s not getting a ton of targets and he certainly has less upside than the other CLE TE, but he’s min priced.
While Bryant has seen a decent snap percentage over the last couple of games, his snap percentage has actually decreased in 3 straight weeks; that very much aligns with the fact that David Njoku is working his way back from injury. In contrast, Njoku’s snaps have increased in each of the last 2 weeks. He’s an athletic TE who could probably start on about half of the teams in the league, if he could alleviate his injury issues. He’s got great hands and his upside overall is superior to Bryant. I can’t say that I’ll play a ton of David Njoku this week, but while Austin Hooper is out, he has a real opportunity for a big game or two with VERY low ownership. He’ll be in my player pool as a salary saver.
On the CIN side, Joe Mixon was ruled out. I was already on Joe Burrow and this makes me even more excited to play him. He should get a ton of passing opportunities especially if Hunt can get CLE ahead early. He had his best statistical game of the season against CLE in week 2, scoring a shade under 30 fpts. He’s thrown for over 300 yards in 4 of the last 5, what more do you want? Cheap pricing? Burrow is priced at a very enticing 5500. He’s my favorite QB play of the week.
Giovani Bernard is the next easy play from this game. He’s priced at 4500 and with Mixon out, he’s going to be the lead back. I’m not sure he could be a lead back for a full season but for a single game, he can run, he can catch, he’s a great play especially at his price. The Browns are legitimately good at stopping the run, they rank 4th in the league in least rushing yards allowed so far this season (94.0 yards). However, Bernard will be stepping into a PPR friendly CIN RB1 role in which Mixon has seen 17 targets over the last 3 weeks. He’s a great choice on his own, but also the perfect stack partner for Burrow in the hopes that he can finally take advantage of the 3rd highest team RZ targets (in a backup role). Burrow + Bernard , lock and load.
I don’t know what to do here, full transparency, so I’ll be talking through it as I’m writing. There’s a lot of choices when it comes to the CIN WR position. What the F.
One of the following three dudes should crush his pricetag this week and the other two are probably going to disappoint you:
Tyler Boyd 5400 — Targets over the last 3 weeks: 8,6,8
Tee Higgins 5300 — Tied for 2nd in RZ targets. Targets over the last 3 weeks: 8,8,7
AJ Green 4300 — Tied for 2nd in RZ targets. Targets over the last 3 weeks: 11,1,5
Obviously, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are the more stable plays. But that dang 11 target game last week, means that the Bengals OC is trying to get Green involved in the offense. The Indy defense is good in a similar way that the NE defense is good: they seek to limit the top offensive option(s) and make their opponent try to win through their weakest link. AJ Green, you are the weakest link. I won’t have any shares of Green this week. That was easier than I thought. As for the other two, I think it’s just going to come down to who catches the ball at the right time in this matchup. Both are good plays and I won’t try to talk you off either. I’ll probably lean towards Higgins because I’m looking for any means of separation and he leads Boyd in the RZ department. You’ll have to go with your heart when picking between Boyd and Higgins this week.
The CIN TE position is much easier to decipher through. Drew Sample leads the team in RZ targets and he’s also worthless at catching any of them. He’s priced at 3200 so I guess you can roll the dice on him FINALLY catching one, but if you do I’d keep a life jacket ready for when Sample tries to drown your lineup by doing his usual worthless things. On a serious note, he has no floor, especially with the target logjam at the WR position, but he’s the type of low owned cheap play that could win you a contest. It’ll look real stupid if it doesn’t work out though. “You rostered Drew Sample Again, what were you thinking?” But he does lead the team in RZ targets, nearly doubling the next closest guy, so Burrow trusts him. Man, this feels stupid; I’ll have him in my player pool because its a smart play for his price, but I don’t like it at all and I may not have more than a share or two. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to tell my kids I saw Drew Sample have his 2 TD game he’d been chasing, to which I’m sure they’ll say “that dude is worthless, what a terrible idea that was”.
GB @ HOU
Over/Under 57 GB -3.5
This week is filled with great games, including this matchup in Houston. This very much seems like a get-right game for GB coming off of a bad loss so I’ll side with them to get the W. I’m not sure about the spread so I’ll hit the moneyline and move on to the next one.
At the beginning of the week, this matchup seemed fairly easy to decipher. Naturally though, on Thursday, Aaron Jones went down with an injury and he’s questionable for Sunday’s game. I don’t think he plays and actually I don’t think it changes much, Green Bay should still use Jamaal Williams very similarly in a quazi bell cow role. His price at 4000 is gorgeous. The Texans give up the most fantasy points to the running back position, and by a margin of almost two fpts (HOU 28.58, GB 26.84). Will you look at that, the Packers defense gives up the second most fantasy points to the runningback position.
Under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have much more from the Green Bay side than Williams, as this offense should be able to do whatever it wants against the Texans defense. But the Packers just got embarrassed by Tampa Bay last week. I think that means something to Aaron Rodgers, and I expect him to be more aggressive than he ordinarily would. If you think that he gets a couple of passing TDs to Williams, and another to Adams, he’s worth rostering at 7000. I may have a share or two but I won’t play him outside of a Rodgers/Williams/Adams stack.
In his first game back from injury, Davante Adams saw 10 targets. He didn’t really do much with them, but it’s a good sign that he was thrust back into a starring role in this offense so quickly. At 7900, he’s the second most expensive wide receiver on the slate. The Texans defense is also bad against every other level of offense so Adams could easily have a very nice bounce back game. He’ll be in my player pool.
With Adams back, our decision making is much easier, because he has such a stranglehold on the target share both in and out of the RZ. He’s been out for a month with injury and he’s still 2nd in targets on the team. Specifically because Adams is back, I won’t have any GB WRs because I don’t like burning money in the dumpster fire the rest of those WRs make up with Adams back.
The only other guy that I like on this offense with Adams back is TE Robert Tonyan. Even with Adams back, I think he should continue to be a reliable option in the passing game for this GB offense. He’s coming in questionable and he was held out Wed and Thurs, so I won’t have any of him this week.
To David Johnson or not to David Johnson, that is the question this week. His 5300 price is more than the price for Williams on the other side, but it’s still a great price for a guy who’s averaging 18 carries and 3 targets over the last 2 games. I think the Texans will make an extra effort this week to keep the ball out of the hands of Rodgers and Adams for as long as possible and that will go through reps for Johnson. If he can find the end zone early on in the game, he could be in for a huge week. The earlier he scores, the more opportunities he’ll have to help control the clock with carries from then on out. Aaron Rodgers is really good though and the Texans defense is really bad, so there’s a variety of reasonable situations that will prevent Johnson from running with the lead, including but not limited to Rodgers/Williams getting the team up by a couple TDs early on, which will have the Texans offense throwing a lot more than they’d like.
I like David Johnson this year, but I probably won’t have much of him this week because I think GB gets up in this one fairly early on.
At the QB position, Deshaun Watson is a decent play this week and every week because he has rushing upside and he throws a lot to make up for the deficiencies of his defense, which are aplenty. I won’t have any shares of him this week though. The GB defense is genuinely bad at stopping the run but they’ve been well above average in limiting the fantasy upside of QBs this season. The Packers have kept every opponent QB under 290 passing yards in 4 out of their last 5 games and I’d argue that this GB defense is easily better than the last 3 defenses that the Texans have faced (TEN, JAX, MIN). Watson should have a safe floor here of about 20 fpts so he’s not necessarily a bad play but I’d much rather pick out the guy(s) he’s throwing to on his way to 20 fpts.
I love the Texans WR group because they make fantasy decisions much easier; every week we pretty much only have to decide between Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller. In a showdown, maybe you’d want to throw in Randall Cobb every now and again, but the upside clearly lies with the other two receivers.
Will Fuller at 6800 is my favorite play this week between the two. He’s scored a TD in each of the last 4 games and he’s seen targets of 11, 8, and 7 over the last 3 games. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also gotten the 100+ yard bonus in 2 of the last 3 games. Cooks has become a super saiyan version of himself over the last pair of games after starting the season Very poorly. Over the last 2, he’s got a per game average of over 10 targets, over 100 yards and a TD. Watson is clearly working to get him involved on the offense and he’s been awesome. I’m mostly worried that the magic is going to eventually wear off of him and he’ll come back down to Earth. At 5200, that’s a great price for his current level of production and offensive involvement. I wouldn’t recommend playing both WRs again this week but I think playing your favorite between Cooks and Fuller could pay huge dividends
The TE position is a little more shaky most weeks. Fells and Akins pretty much share targets equally and when both are in play, individually they don’t have the upside we’re looking for. Akins probably won’t play this week as he’s still dealing with injuries and Fells should see a decent share of targets. The Packers are in the top of the league against defending opposing TEs so I don’t feel great about a 4100 Fells. He’s a much better play when he’s sub 4k and you’re stacking him with Watson and Cooks/Fuller and this doesn’t feel like the spot for that at all.
DAL @ WAS
Over/Under 46 Pick
Weather: Light Rain
***Weather may or may not be an issue. If there’s the steady, but light rain expected, then it slightly boosts Zeke and downgrades any of the guys throwing or catching in this one. If it doesn’t end up raining, I like this game a lot.***
If they could both lose this game, they would both find a way to do so.
This matchup has one of the lowest totals on the board and both teams as currently constructed are not as fantasy friendly as we’d like. I think WAS wins this one but it wouldn’t surprise me if Dallas finds its way to victory riding on the coattails of Zeke. The total is probably right on, this could be a mess of a game.
At this point there are only two DAL players I’m willing to roster: Ezekiel Elliott and Dalton Schultz. Without Dak Prescott, and with Andy Dalton the passing offense is unbelievably stunted…devastatingly stunted. Andy Dalton on his best day is nowhere near as offensively capable as Prescott and as a result the 3 Dallas top tier WRs are going to struggle mightily to find anywhere close to the relevance they each found to start the season. Coach McCarthy has his work cut out for him from here on out.
Since I don’t trust Dalton to find success getting the ball to his WR group under normal conditions, I certainly don’t trust him to find it against an above average defense ranked in the top 3 of least fpts given up to the WR position. WAS should make things very difficult on Dalton and the only success he’ll likely find is on quick easy pass routes to RB Zeke Elliott and TE Dalton Schultz.
Zeke is priced at 7800 and it feels a little optimistic to expect him to pay off that pricetag with Andy Dalton at QB. Every part of that defense is going to be able to cheat towards the run and stop Zeke for mediocre gains or sack the heck out of Dalton when he chooses to pass. Theoretically this sets up for more targets than Zeke has seen before this season and he had 10 last week. He is the offense right now from top to bottom and there’s probably more of an expectation that Zeke nears 20 fpts than 40 fpts this week. Zeke had his lowest fantasy output of the season last week in Dalton’s first full game as a QB and ended up with 14. That’s scary, not only for this game but for the rest of the season as well. This seems like the perfect time for Dallas to try to go after a Jameis Winston type QB if there ever was one. They need upside and unfortunately that is nowhere to be found anywhere on this offense.
Dalton Schultz is more of a volume play than anything. The OC Kellen Moore will eventually dumb down the offense to put the QB in a position for him to have any chance of succeeding and I think that means CMC like passing volume for Zeke and short passes to every receiver and reliable check down opportunities to Dalton Schultz. I have no idea if he dumbs down the offense this week or later on, but he’s running out of time. I’m very confident that the Cowboys *should get Schultz more involved in the offense. At 3900, the price and the situation makes sense to play Schultz this week. I don’t love him, I’m going to try to find reasons not to play Zeke and Schultz, but they’ll be in my player pool. This team is probably more desperate than the Falcons right now and that’s scary.
This side is actually a pretty decent side to stack. Especially if you plan on rostering Zeke and bringing it back with QB Kyle Allen and a receiver or two. Allen is priced at 5200 against a bottom tier defense by every conceivable metric, and that seems like a steal. Similar to the Houston Texans offense, the pass volume for WAS is primarily split between only two players: WR Scary Terry McLaurin and TE Logan Thomas. They both are 1 and 2 in team targets as well as 1 and 2 in RZ targets and by more than a significant margin ahead of the other teammates behind them. At 5800, McLaurin is one of my favorite plays this week and with only one TD on the season thus far, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t double that season TD total in this game alone.
TE Logan Thomas had a solid game this past week. He secured 3 of 4 targets and scored a TD, to end up with 13.2 fpts. Against this Dallas Defense, that number is probably only slightly above his floor. At 3500, he’s another excellent play this week. Kyle Allen has a lot of flaws and there’s a reason that he’s a backup QB, but he is undoubtedly able on any given day, against an unbelievably poor defense, to significantly outplay his pricing. This very well might be the best team to stack all week, because of the funneled targets and the discounted pricing. A stack of Kyle Allen, Logan Thomas, and Terry McLaurin costs 14500, leaving a ton of cash to lock in several other studs along with them. I think this stack paired with Zeke makes sense in a lot of spots too.
I don’t trust the RB committee aspect of WAS. Both RB1 Gibson and RB2 McKissic are 5000 and 4600 respectively, and that’s just too expensive, especially considering that RB3 Barber takes a lot of the goal line work. I’m not touching this backfield at all.
This is probably going to be a popular play but the WAS Defense priced at 2500 kind of feels perfect this week. This defense should get sacks and the Cowboys turn the ball over all the time, so there almost feels like a fairly safe floor in the majority of potential outcomes. I like this defense this week, they’ll be in my player pool no doubt.
PIT @ TEN
Over/Under 50.5 TEN -1
I think this game total is wrong and because of that I won’t be spending too much time going over this one. The PIT defense is legit good and although TEN comes into this one on fire, they haven’t played anywhere near as good of a defense as these Steelers. In the last 3 weeks they played HOU, BUF, and MIN, all of which combined might still not have the defensive power of this PIT team.
The Titans are a bottom tier defense on all levels. While the PIT defense finds ways to make life difficult for the TEN offense, James Conner should continue to find success moving the chains and doing his part in continuing PITs time of possession dominance. They currently rank second in the league by this metric, a full 4 minute differential in comparison with TEN. James Conner is priced at 6700 and this feels like a great opportunity to grab some shares. He’s scored a TD in each of the last 4 games and in 3 of those games he’s had more than 20 fpts. I like Conner a lot this week.
Since I like Conner to do well and most of his scoring upside comes on the ground, I don’t like QB Big Ben in this one. If you want to take a receiver from this team, be my guest, but I don’t feel particularly good about any of them this week. Not that I don’t think there’s upside, because there certainly is against a bad TEN pass defense, I just don’t know which WR steals the show.
The PIT offense is now at full strength with Diontae Johnson expected back from injury this weekend. Although this is good for the team, it spreads the team targets even thinner than they were before the emergence of Claypool. Juju is getting snaps. He’s not doing anything with them but he’s going to be snap-blocking people like James Washington who’s coming off of his biggest game of the year. Then there’s rookie Chase Claypool priced up at 5700, who has been playing out of his mind. Any of these dudes could do well but there are just so many mouths to feed. They could each get 6 targets and that limits their upside and floor.
The PIT TE position is not one that we want to target this week for a variety of reasons but primarily because the suggested gamescript doesn’t include much from this position.
I trust the PIT defense to play well enough against just about any offense in the league to limit their opponents’ upside even if I don’t think they score enough fpts to deserve a roster spot. Limit is the key word, I think the Steelers limit Tannehill, Henry and everyone else on down. PIT is averaging about 5 sacks a game and more than 1 interception a game. They’re genuinely a really good defense. Any of the TEN players might play ok, but we’re looking for high end upside and this is not the defense to try to target against with plenty of other options to pick from.
TB @ LV
Over/Under 52 TB -4
Although the point total isn’t low by any means, I’m not sure I’ll have too much from this game. I think TB takes this one fairly easily and does so in a very ‘spread the offense around’ approach that is generally not fantasy friendly.
Since I think TB wins this one, I’d generally look first to consider rostering the starting RB who might see more usage with a lead. This backfield is a little shaky right now. There’s really no telling who will be the starting RB this week, and even if we know that, there’s no telling what kind of snap count he or any of the other RBs get in this one. RB Ronald Jones has played well in the last 3 games while Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injury. Fournette is finally back this week and a timeshare is in the realm of possibility. RB3 McCoy and RB4 Vaughn will get their fairly consistent minute workload and Jones and Fournette could see a variety of different snapshare ratios.
Jones has played exceptionally well as the primary RB while Fournette has been out, he’s averaged over 100 yards a game in all 3 matchups. Specifically because he’s played so well over the last few weeks, I’d expect Jones to see the majority of snaps while Leo just works his way into a few series in this one. I could be wrong, there’s no way of knowing, but it’s probably likely the Bucs want to keep the momentum going with the success they’ve found on the ground recently. At 6200, Jones is priced perfectly in the event that Fournette doesn’t make it onto the field for more than a series or two. The Raiders are allowing a league high 2 rushing TDs against per game to make Jones even more enticing.
The Raiders defense struggles mostly on the ground but are in the bottom half of the league in pass defense as well. There are too many mouths to feed in the passing game and I don’t think Brady needs to or intends to throw a lot in this one. I’m completely off of him this week and don’t play on playing anyone else involved in the TB offense.
Some of you out there might have seen that Gronk put up 18.8 fpts last week but trying to roster him again this week is the definition of chasing points. I’m not playing him at all and I don’t recommend you play him either.
The TB Defense is good! They’re averaging over an interception a game to go along with a shade under 4 sacks per game. That 3700 pricing isn’t bad, even though it feels high when taking into consideration how well Derek Carr has played over the last 2 weeks. He’s thrown for over 300 yards and at least 2 TDs in each. Those stats are not coming against the TB defense who ranks in the top 11 of least fantasy points given up to the RB, WR, TE and QB positions. Trying to play Carr and any piece of this offense based on their stats from the last couple of games is probably going to feel like following a lot of fool’s gold into battle.
I like the TB Defense this week and won’t be playing any Raiders as a result. I look forward to playing and rooting for Josh Jacobs in the future though.
SF @ NE
Over/Under 44 NE -2
I don’t like this game at all. It has the lowest projected point total on the board and 2 top 3rd defenses in the league facing off against two banged up offenses. I don’t trust Cam or Jimmy or the NE backfield. I don’t trust any of it. I will have zero exposure to this game.
KC @ DEN
Over/Under 46.5 KC -9.5
Generally, I try to find ways to roster a KC player or two each week. Or I try to get a guy on the other side of the ball so I can get a piece of the correlation with the speed of the KC offense. I don’t like their game this week though, so I’ll be avoiding it completely.
We’re getting to the time of year when weather becomes a factor in the scoring output of a game and the upside of the players within it. At game time, the stadium temperature is expected to be 17℉ and snowing. Cold weather like this usually slows games down as we see the favorite team depend on their ground game to control the clock and get to the hot chocolate in the hotel as soon as possible. Generally this would lead me towards a sizable usage bump for the RB1, but as I’m sure you’re aware this is a very weird time to be high on Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs just signed Le’veon Bell who is more experienced than CEH and we have no idea how the timeshare is going to work out. I’d like to think that Bell gets eased into action while he’s learning the playbook, but it’s also a much easier transition for RBs who can learn a few plays quicker than a WR: Listen to the QB when he tells you he’s handing you the ball, remember the gap that you’re supposed to hit, simple. This also comes at a time when CEH has notoriously struggled finding the endzone with 1 TD on 18 RZ rush attempts. That’s not good enough for the RB1 on one of the best offenses in the league. I feel confident that CEH will have first crack at the goal line work here, but if he can’t find a means to getting himself in the end zone, I would be very surprised if he doesn’t cede goal line snaps to a motivated Bell as the game progresses. I don’t like either backs in this one and this is a backfield very much worth monitoring going forward.
There’s really not much more to this game I’ll be considering. The Chiefs defense at 4300 feels too expensive, but they could be worth a shot if you have that kind of salary cap availability. I don’t expect I will. The Denver offense isn’t that good in ideal weather conditions so I won’t be playing them either. If you want to play any parts from this game I’d focus on the lower ADOT options, as both Mahomes and especially Lock will likely find themselves throwing shorter passes than they otherwise would.
JAX @ LAC
Over/Under 49 LAC -7.5
I’m heavily leaning towards the under in this one. The matchup just seems like the absolute worst for JAX. I like the Under, and LAC with the points.
Since I think the Chargers win this one fairly easily, I’m not going to consider rostering RB James Robinson. He’ll be a good play for other weeks, just not this one. Besides, the Chargers Defense ranks in the top 7 of least fpts given up to the RB position and Robinson needs just the right scenario to be as productive as we need him to be considering he has below average per game rushing attempts for a clear cut RB1.
I’m on the fence about Minshew in this one, on the one hand, the Chargers D gives up the 11th least fpts to the WR position, but on the other hand, they’re also giving up the 3rd most fpts to the QB position. It’s a very strange defensive balance. At 5900, Minshew has rushing upside and even rushing TD upside as we saw in week 5 and he’s got a well above average trio of receivers to throw to. His price makes him a reasonable play this week, but I don’t expect to have very many shares of him. This is by far one of the best matchups the Chargers Defense has seen in awhile. In 3 of the last 4 games, they’ve seen the Saints, Bucs and Chiefs. And they’re coming into this game well rested and researched after a bye.
At the WR position, DJ Chark has a tough matchup against Casey Hayward who he should see a fair bit of in coverage. I won’t be playing him this week. I’m not going to chase Cole after he had the best game of the season and probably career last week with 6 catches for 143 yards. The Chargers defense specializes in containment and takes away the longer depth targets while opening up shorter ADOT plays. The only WR that fits this bill is Laviska Shenault at 4500 as he’s seen an ADOT of 5.9 so far this year (Chark – 12.5, Cole 8.57). He’s averaging almost 7 targets over the last 4 games and he should see that many catches in this matchup perfectly suited for what he does well: short yardage catches. If somehow he falls into the endzone too, this could be the first 20 fpt game of his career.
I don’t trust any of the other receivers and the TEs are underutilized in this offense, so I won’t be looking anywhere else on this offense.
Earlier in the week I was excited to play Joshua Kelley for the one time I expected to play him this year, specifically because Justin Jackson was questionable to play. Later on in the week, when it was announced that Jackson probably will play, I abandoned the Kelley ship before it even got going. This is another timeshare situation where both RBs are priced up too high for their expected production. The JAX run defense is agreeably bad, so I’d expect both LAC RBs have a chance at a TD. Either could get you 20 fpts this week, but I don’t trust either of them or their roles.
The real plays in this game start with QB Justin Herbert at 6400. The JAX defense is bottom 10 in passing yards given up per game as well as passing TDs given up per game. Herbert is slowly beginning to put everything together. Over the last 3 games he’s had a 300 yards passing game, a 4 TD game and a 3 TD game. This feels like the perfect spot for him to find the end zone a few times and cross the 300 yard passing mark. He’s a great play this week.
If Herbert plays as well as we expect him to this week one or two of his offensive friends are going to help get him there. The only realistic candidates to do so are Keenan Allen (6200), Mike Williams (4700) and/or Hunter Henry (4500). Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are underpriced for their upside. Keenan Allen is the de facto go-to guy in this offense but I think you should feel good about either of these two and slide in whichever fits your salary cap. I probably wouldn’t stack both receivers together though.
TE Hunter Henry might have the best matchup of the game. The Jaguars are allowing 10.63 yards per target and Henry has seen 7 targets in every game but one so far this season. If the Chargers want to have playoff aspirations then they need to foster the relationship between QB Herbert and powerful offensive weapon Hunter Henry. He’s seen the second most targets and RZ targets on the team and I think he finds the end zone this week. He’s probably one of my favorite TE plays this week.
SEA @ ARI
Over/Under 56 SEA -3.5
The last game on the slate has the makings of a fantasy goldmine. I think either team could win this game and actually probably lean towards the underdog ARI. The points are probably the way to go but if you’re thinking the Cardinals defense steps up at defending Wilson in this one then the moneyline play is probably just as smart as taking the ARI points.
QB Russell Wilson is a fine play but I don’t play the highest priced QB on any slate because they’re almost always outperformed by cheaper options. The ARI defense is pretty good too; it’s recorded 3 or more sacks in every game but one so far this season. They’re also in the top half of the league in least passing yards given up per game and least passing TDs per game.
I assume Wilson still has a good game in a fairly tough matchup and he’s gotta throw the ball to somebody(s) to accumulate fantasy points. He generally focuses his targets on two primary options: Lockett and Metcalf. Metcalf is my favorite play of the two and he’s priced up at 7200. I’ve always found him to be the steadier of the two receivers. He might only have 33 point fpt upside whereas Lockett could go for 40, but Metcalf has a much more stable floor so he’s less likely to kill you if he has a bad game, which happens to every stud athlete. Lockett at 6600, is a fine play with plenty of upside in relation to his price. Both of these guys are great receivers and good plays in pretty much every context. Lock in one of these dudes if you’re feeling them and move on down the roster line.
SEA TEs are spotty at best. I don’t trust the usage for any of them so I won’t have any.
The play I like the most in this game on the SEA side is Chris Carson. SEA is going to want to keep the ball out of the hands of Kyler Murray for as long as possible and a good way to do that would be to get the ground game going. Carson at 6400 is fairly priced and should see much lower ownership than both Lockett and Metcalf. The Cardinals are in the bottom half of the league in fpts given up to the RB position so this could be the makings of a great game for powerful Chris Carson.
On the Cardinals side, Kyler Murray’s pricetag looks super cheap for his upside. If he hits his per game average at that pricing, he should just about 4x his value more often than not. What has me off of him this week is the fact that his WR1 Deandre Hopkins is dealing with an ankle injury and will be limited. I won’t be playing Murray or an injured Hopkins, even though Hopkins is expected to play in this one.
WR2 Christian Kirk had himself his best performance of the season catching 2 TDs to the tune of 22.6 fpts. I’ve never had good experiences playing a guy the week after he had the best performance of the season especially when his fantasy points came from TDs instead of passing volume. I’m out on Kirk too. There’s no other WR on the Cardinals even worth mentioning if a limited Hopkins is going to be on the field keeping the scrubs from getting reps.
The Cardinals don’t use their TEs enough to be fantasy viable.