Normally I try and have some type of witty comment or flashy intro. I mean, this one is a long read and we’re trying to hook you in. However, I won’t lie to you guys. It’s 1:30 AM after a full day of work and we have an immense 13 game slate. Let’s cut the chatter, get focused and dive into the NFL Game By Game Breakdown Week 14 to win some money!
QB – It’s pretty hard not to love the Titans offense overall here. Ryan Tannehill is going to be chief among them, coming off a 31.6 DK game. He’s not going to throw 45 times very often and I doubt he needs to in this game, but that doesn’t mean he can’t post a big number here. Jacksonville is 31st in DVOA against the pass and 29th in yards allowed per game. Tannehill remains fifth in pDB on the season at 0.57 and now ranks seventh in touchdown passes. That’s very impressive for a quarterback who is just 19th in total attempts this deep into the season. With the Titans, you may be better served to pick a lane. You’re either playing the passing game or you’re playing the run game. They can both go off in the same game but I much prefer to pick. Whichever aspect is chalky, it’s an easy pivot in GPP.
RB – We’ve mentioned that Derrick Henry has a scary floor and we saw it last week. The Titans can’t stop a nose bleed on defense and has zero ability to get to the quarterback. That can make the game script sketchy some weeks.
You’ve seen the gulf between Henry outcomes in the past two weeks but it’s hard to see the Jags blowing out Tennessee. Henry should be penciled in for at least 20-25 carries in this one and Jacksonville has gotten wrecked on the ground this season. They rank 26th in DVOA against the run and 30th in rush yards per game. That includes the fifth-most rush yards to just running backs on the season. With Henry being back under $9,000, I’m in for GPP but the floor remains scary for cash at the salary.
WR – We’re going to get to A.J. Brown but Corey Davis is still just far too cheap in this spot. One of my biggest annoyances from last week was not being heavier on Davis. I loved AJB but it stood to reason that Davis was in just as good a spot. It’s the exact same scenario this week. He and Brown are priced too far apart and they have been for a good portion of the season. This isn’t just game log watching from last week. Both receivers have played in 10 games, are separated by 13 air yards, two targets and only nine receptions. Davis has actually taken the team lead in receptions and yards, scoring just seven fewer PPR points than Brown. If you’re unwilling or unable to pay the price for Brown, Davis is a fantastic way to get exposure here. He’s been metronome-like in consistency, clearing double-digit DK in every single game except one.
The Jaguars secondary is in tatters and Davis should draw Luq Barcoo who has only played in four games. He’s also played very sparingly in those games but in the 15 times he’s been targeted, he’s given up a 148.6 passer rating and 2.60 pPT. Brown generally will get Tre Herndon, who is about the best corner left standing. Even then, Herndon allows a 12.6 YPR and a 112.2 passer rating himself. It’s easy to see why a double stack with Tannehill could work.
TE – After Mycole Pruitt killed everyone last week with two touchdowns, let’s hope Jonnu Smith plays this week so we don’t have to mess with this situation. Jacksonville is tied for the second-most touchdowns given up to the tight end and that is mostly where the production comes from for the Tennessee tight end room. Wednesday saw Smith practice in limited fashion, so there’s hope he’s back this week.
*Update* Smith practiced in full Thursday and is very cheaply priced to include in a game stack, but I wouldn’t use him past that.
D/ST – I’m not sure I would play them if they were minimum price, let alone over $3,000. They have 14 sacks on the year. The 17 turnovers forced isn’t bad and the Jags should give them a couple chances at more but still. It’s just too expensive for a poor unit in my eyes.
Cash – Tannehill, Davis
GPP – Henry, Brown, Smith
QB – The Titans are so bad that I can consider Mike Glennon. The results so far for Glennon have been utterly unspectacular with an 18 and 15 DK performance but the price is still exceptionally low. His pDB is actually quite solid at 0.49 and he’s attempted at least 35 passes in both games as the starter. I originally thought this is only a play if you are in for 20 lineups or fewer but the matchup dictates at least looking at him regardless. Tennessee is 27th in DVOA against the pass and Jacksonville has allowed the second-most touchdown passes in the league. Be aware that he could kill you, but the logic is there for the play this week and I may grow comfortable with him regardless of format.
RB – Every slate I seem to look at James Robinson and think he’s slightly too much in salary and every slate he seems to make it work. He’s just getting so many touches. It’s also interesting to note that with Glennon starting, Robinson has seen six targets in each game. Now, he’s had some fortune in some with his receiving corps missing but they did play last week. If Robinson is getting six targets a week with his already insane workload, he’s likely still a little too cheap. Tennessee has given up 1,600 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns to running backs, which is an immense amount of production. With Robinson getting just about every single running back touch, he’s in play in all formats. He’s also a Ghost favorite so that checks a lot of boxes for me.
WR – It was a miserable day at the office for D.J. Chark this past week but at least he did see seven targets. I’ll take a positive from the volume even if nothing else went exactly right. Glennon definitely likes Collin Johnson who still saw six targets, which was third behind Chark and Keelan Cole in the corps. If Glennon needs to pass 35 times or more every game, all three receivers are in play. Johnson especially is still an appealing option due to price, and recent alignment would see Malcolm Butler. The veteran corner has not been impressive with a 65.1% catch rate allowed and a 1.60 pPT. Chark would draw Breon Borders who has allowed a 14.7 YPR over 55 targets. Chark may sucker me in for one more week and I’m not sure folks will play Johnson either.
TE – I’ve brushed him off basically every single slate but Tyler Eifert may actually be an option here. He’s accumulated 10 targets with Glennon over the two games and has exceeded 10 DK in both games. That’s not something to take lightly with a quarterback change. Tennessee is in the bottom 10 against the position and Eifert really is a strong option for the bottom of the barrel tight ends. This game should have some points scored and opportunity for the Jags offense, provided Glennon continues to be competent.
D/ST – The Jags are incapable of splash plays unless Kirk Cousins gift wraps a pick-six and Tennessee doesn’t really turn the football over or let Tannehill get hit.
Cash – Robinson, Eifert if punting
GPP – Glennon, Chark, Johnson, Cole
QB – I may have underestimated just how good Deshaun Watson really is. He lost his number one receiver, turned it over twice and still put up 24.4 DK points. A rushing touchdown will certainly help the production but that doesn’t take anything away from Watson. Chicago is not an easy matchup but neither was Indy last week. Additionally, Chicago just got rolled up on for 400 yards by the Lions. Watson is only 16th in attempts but he’s fourth in yards, fifth in air yards, sixth in passing touchdowns and fourth in pDB. That’s just massive production in what’s been a flawed offense all season. His job didn’t get any easier but he just keeps on trucking. I likely don’t go here in cash but I can’t argue with anyone slotting in Watson as their quarterback this week.
RB – David Johnson is back in the lineup and he got just about all the work there was out of the backfield on the ground last week. What was noteworthy was that Duke Johnson saw six targets and just like the Jaguars situation, it is important. With Fuller out, other offensive pieces will have to pick up the slack and Duke set a season-high in receptions. They split snaps almost evenly this week, though I’m not sure if that continues every week. In all honesty, this is just an easier spot to avoid on a 13 game slate. The Bears are not quite at 100 yards per game on the ground given up to running backs and if we’re dealing with a split, I’m not that interested.
*Update* Davis Johnson has hit the Covid list but I am not biting on Duke in this spot.
WR – After Isaiah Coulter was a bit of a surprise inactive, they secondary receivers really picked up the slack last week. Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen both went over 100 yards and saw at least seven targets. Coutee especially remains fairly cheap and if Hansen is going to play the most snaps of the corps like he did last week, he’s a glaring value. I remain unconvinced that Brandin Cooks is going to handle the bulk of the coverage all that well. Coutee was primarily in the slot, as his 61.3% rate tends to show what his role is. His price shot up but he gets a softer matchup on paper than the outside receivers.
One of the main issues for Hansen is he would draw Jaylon Johnson based on his alignment last week. That’s a little less than ideal since Johnson is 14th in catch rate allowed at 56.5%. The flip side is he’s allowed a 15.4 YPR so when receivers make a grab, it’s doing damage. Coutee would get the easiest spot like we said against Buster Skrine. He’s mostly manned the slot for Chicago and has gotten tagged for a 72.7% catch rate and a 112.7 passer rating. That leaves Cooks mostly on Kyle Fuller, who is seventh in catch rate at 53.5% and 20th in pPT at 1.50. Coutee remains my favorite with Hansen as the wild card.
TE – If Jordan Akins can’t get it done when Watson is down to Coutee, Hansen and Duke as primary options, it’s hard to predict him getting involved here. He played 70% of the snaps and only saw three targets. I would rather play Eifert in that range and might even go on the other side of this game to find a tight end.
D/ST – Pretty much any defense against the Bears deserves a look these days. Houston certainly doesn’t stand out with just eight turnovers forced and 28 sacks, but Chicago’s offense is putrid. They’ve given away the ball 18 times this season and Houston can at least force them in this scenario.
Cash – Watson, Coutee
GPP – Cooks, Hansen, D/ST
QB – Conversely, Mitchell Trubisky gets a wonderful matchup since the Houston defense hasn’t been that impressive this season. With Trubisky, you always know he could find the floor. Just look at last week where he was under 15 DK in a great matchup. He’s very hard to trust but it’s all in front of him here. He’s 17th in pDB at 0.46 and has nine touchdowns. Houston being down to 22nd in DVOA against the pass and having a 22:3 TD:INT ratio are the reasons you’re looking for Trubisky. I typically only play him against the Lions and remain unconvinced I will change that this week.
RB – Is it weird that I’m perfectly fine playing David Montgomery at this price tag? He’s had fantastic spots the past two weeks and cashed in both times but more important, he’s touching the ball constantly. He’s only had one game under 16 touches since Week 3 when Tarik Cohen was lost for the season. That’s a ton of security in this spot, which is the third straight game for Monty to have serious potential. Houston leads the league in rush yards allowed to backs at 1,677. Oh, backs also have 550 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns. I can’t find much to say against Monty other than his career so far has been wildly unimpressive. That really isn’t a reason to fade him this week.
WR – It might be an odd spot to start, but Cordarrelle Patterson is fascinating at this price tag. Here’s the good part – he saw 10 carries and scored a touchdown. The scary part is he only played 17 offensive snaps. With his price tag, he is interesting if he could get another 11 touches. It’s getting a running back under the DK minimum. I wouldn’t say “cheat code” but the opportunity is kind of there if his role is backup in a run-based attack. That’s especially true against the Texans since they’ve gotten gouged on the ground. If I knew for absolutely sure he would get 10-12 touches, I’d probably have a relatively decent share of him.
The attention will of course be on Allen Robinson since the Texans got hurt through the air last week with no Bradley Roby. It’s a hair annoying to see his price go up after just 13.5 DK last week and seven targets is tied for his second-lowest on the season. Chicago should be looking to rectify that mistake this week. Who are they going to put on A-Rob? Vernon Hargreaves? Good luck with that. Robinson will steal Hargreaves’ lunch and make him pay for it. It’s just a matter if Trubisky gets him the ball.
Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney will be fighting for the scraps yet again and both saw six targets last week. Mooney should slot in against Phillip Gaines, who has allowed a 2.30 pPT over 38 targets on the year. Past that, the Houston secondary has a ton of questionable players so we may need an update after the Friday injury report.
TE – For the third straight game, Cole Kmet played more snaps than Jimmy Graham and this past week was the first time it paid off. He’s only got 13 receptions on the season and 21 targets but five and seven of each came last week. He’s still under $3,000 and if we can get on board before it becomes widely known that he’s getting a significant role in the offense, he could be a difference-make this week. My fear is A-Rob only saw seven targets last week. If his targets go back to normal, Kmet is likely to see less. At the price though he is still interesting. Houston has allowed the sixth-most yards to tight ends, although they’ve only allowed four scores.
D/ST – They’re on the board since Watson takes plenty of sacks (33, fourth-most) but I’m not sure how great I feel about them. Even with Khalil Mack, they have 23 sacks. That’s not even two per game and they have just 12 turnovers forced. They do prevent points at under 23 per game, but they’re not a perfect fit for the profile we like. It seems like they’re a better real life defense than fantasy.
Cash – Montgomery, Robinson
GPP – Patterson, Trubisky, Kmet
QB – Drew Lock is a wildly inconsistent player, even within a single game. He made some big-time throws against the Chiefs, and then he made some “what in the world” throws and not in a good way. That’s been a good way to sum up this season for Lock. He has some talent, and he’s flashed in a couple games but it just hasn’t come together at all. He only has nine touchdowns passing to 13 picks and he’s not even above 215 yards passing per game. The 0.36 pDB is 32nd and maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise with a super young and inexperienced offense. At their prices, I’d rather take the shot at Glennon. Carolina is 24th in DVOA against the pass but Lock has shown so little this year.
RB – If I was a Denver fan I’d still be very upset. You had a close game against the Chiefs and decided to split carries between Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay just about evenly. The issue was Gordon ripped off 131 yards on his 15 while Lindsay generated 26 yards on his 14. TWENTY. SIX. YARDS. I’m surprised MGIII didn’t smack a coach on the sideline. Lindsay is off my board this week and if Denver doesn’t understand that Gordon deserves more work after that game…well, I don’t know what to say. Carolina has improved in run defense over last year but they still allow 100 rush yards per game to backs. Also, they are just 19th in DVOA against the run and are over 1,600 scrimmage yards allowed with 12 touchdowns. Gordon still has a really cheap price point and could approach 20 touches.
WR – Tim Patrick keeps on chugging and he’s still extraordinarily cheap as well. He only saw four targets last game but turned it into 20 DK and he played the most snaps of any Denver receiver. Since his breakout game against Atlanta, Jerry Jeudy has been totally silent. One game doesn’t count against any receiver but Jeudy is under 20 DK total in his other three games. He’s been on the injury report every week so that’s something we need to keep an eye on this week. Patrick has eight RZ targets to four for Jeudy and is only four receptions off the team lead and leads the team in yards. Jeudy is likely to align against Troy Pride who has allowed a 104.1 passer rating and 1.70 pPT this year. Patrick will see Rasul Douglas if he’s healthy. Douglas did not practice Wednesday so let’s see what happens there.
TE – Noah Fant is kind of in the same boat as Lock and that’s not really a shock. Since he’s reliant on Lock we should expect some inconsistency. The floor has been there for Fant, averaging just a bit under 10 DK per game but the ceiling hasn’t been at all. He’s only found the end zone twice and that’s not exactly what we love for tight ends. Carolina is in the bottom eight against tight ends and gives up the fifth-most yards. Maybe he hits a ceiling but you should be more comfortable projecting the floor.
D/ST – I actually kind of like the Denver defense here. The turnovers aren’t great with just 11 total but they do have 32 sacks. The Broncos rank third in pressure rate and are under 26 points given up per game. They are a cheap enough unit and the Panthers could be missing pieces here.
Cash – Fant, Gordon
GPP – Patrick, Lock, Jeudy
QB – It’s not that Teddy Bridgewater has played poorly, but he hasn’t really been a fantasy dynamo. He’s average across the board with just about any metric we can find. Teddy B is 15th in pDB, 16th in points per game, 21st in touchdowns, 17th in passing yards and 23rd in RZ attempts. There’s just not much there to really latch on to. The price is very cheap but the Broncos are quietly stout against the pass. They rank seventh in DVOA and eighth in pass yards per game. He’s a pretty easy fade on this big of a slate.
RB – This situation still needs to be resolved but it’s simple to me. If Christian McCaffrey overcomes his shoulder and new thigh injury to play, he’s going to be in the majority of my lineups. He’s underpriced and when he came back against Kansas City, he touched the ball 28 times. There would be zero concern for me about workload. If CMC is out, I’m pretty much not falling for the Mike Davis trap anymore. He’s wildly expensive for a player that hasn’t cracked 16 DK points since Week 5.
*Update* CMC is doubtful and I have the sads.
WR – We really don’t know where to go yet. DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are both on the Covid list. If they can’t play, the outlook for Robby Anderson would obviously go up. We’ll get this a fuller breakdown when we know who can play, which may not happen until Saturday.
*Update* We know that Moore is out, so you have to play Anderson or Samuel in cash. It’s just not a discussion. Anderson squares with Michael Ojemudia for much of his routes and that’s been worth a 1.70 pPT and 96.8 passer rating. If Samuel sticks in the slot his normal 53% of the time, that leaves him on Essang Bassey. That would be a good spot for Samuel as Bassey has allowed a 67.4% catch rate. I’ll wind up slightly preferring Samuel and save $1,000 on DK. The bottom line is Moore was worth a 40.3% air yards share and a 22.9% target share.
TE – Ian Thomas is not involved in the offense with a 5.1% target share on the season.
D/ST – With how up and down the Denver offense is, some may try to get on the Panthers defense as a play. They still seem pricey to me. Carolina has only generated 18 sacks on a bottom-seven pressure rate and are living on 12 fumbles for their turnovers. I would’ve bene fine if they were cheaper but likely don’t look their way at the salary.
Cash – Samuel, Anderson
GPP – Davis
QB – There’s a red “5th” in the matchup column for Kirk Cousins but that hasn’t been the case for the Bucs defense lately. Going back to Week 7, the Bucs have allowed at least 275 yards passing in every contest but one. It’s one thing to get lit up by the Chiefs for 462 but Jared Goff tagged them for 376. Cousins maintained his streak of excellent play on Sunday, throwing for another 300 yards and three touchdowns. He’s thrown three in four of his last five games and the opportunity may present itself yet again. Cousins is ninth in pDB, seventh in touchdowns and 13th in yards. He’s only 22nd in RZ attempts but seventh in RZ completion, so that helps make up for it. here is concern with the Bucs defense righting the ship (pun not intended) in their bye week, but the clear path here is the pass game. I am more comfortable with Cousins in GPP than cash at his salary.
RB – One of the reasons I’m so set on just using the passing game for the Vikings is the price and matchup for Dalvin Cook. For the flaws that have emerged for Tampa, stopping the run isn’t one of them. It hasn’t been for well over a year now. They have only given up 646 rushing yards to backs this year. The next lowest is Atlanta at 805. Cook is in the argument for the most talented back in the NFL but I have a hard time beating my head against the wall here. The only way you should have any Cook is if you’re playing a ton of lineups. I do have to say that Ghost and Brian both love Cook in GPP, and I listen to those guys. They’re pretty solid at what they do.
*Update* Alexander Mattison is out again and it’s hard not to dig the Cook play in GPP with his backup on the shelf again.
WR – We talked last week about the duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson not always being optimal together. So of course they both went and smashed. It could be a case of that again this week against a secondary that has gotten rocked lately. Jefferson is really closing the gap in air yards share, with 35.6% to Thielen’s 40.9%. The targets are 87-84 Thielen but receptions, yards and PPR points all favor Jefferson. The only facet that there’s a clear distinction is RZ and EZ work. Thielen is enjoying a 15-6 target advantage in the RZ and 16-4 in the EZ.
The veteran leads the NFL in EZ targets and is tied for fifth in RZ looks, so both can be played this week in my eyes even though there is risk in that path. Thielen draws Carlton Davis, who has really isn’t that intimidating stats-wise. He sports a 1.90 pPT, 91.3 passer rating and 68.4 catch rate over 98 targets. Jamel Dean is expected back for the Bucs this week so that means he’s likely to get Jefferson. Dean has only allowed a 1.60 pPT and a 10.8 YPR so far.
TE – The receivers just own so much of the passing game that it’s hard to get on board with Kyle Rudolph. Just last week he went for a fat zero even without Irv Smith. Tampa has given up six scores and over 600 yards but the Vikings offense funnels to the receivers. Let’s look elsewhere for our tight end.
D/ST – Tom Brady hasn’t played crazy well this year, but he’s coming off a bye and they need to win. I’ll pass since the Vikings are under a 20% pressure rate on the season.
Cash – Jefferson, Thielen
GPP – Cousins, Cook
QB – I was ready to play Tom Brady an awful lot in this spot but the price is not exactly my favorite. Brady does have all the weaponry he can ask for in the passing game and he is fourth in touchdowns to go with eighth in yards. The pDB is solid at 0.49 which is 12th. Perhaps one facet slightly holding him back is sitting fourth in air yards and second in deep attempts but only a 35.4% deep ball completion rate. The Vikings have been much maligned on defense but they are under 250 passing yards allowed per game in the past three and somehow have made the top 10 in DVOA. I absolutely don’t think Minnesota will stop Brady and company, it would just be nice if he was a hair cheaper.
RB – It’s sort of put up or shut up time for Coach Bruce Arians. I’m a fan but this dude loves to hear himself talk about running backs. He claimed after the Chiefs loss that Ronald Jones needed to get 20 touches. He’s right, RoJo has been pretty good this year when given the chance to be. Even against KC, he had 10 touches and generated over 100 scrimmage yards and a score. Yet, Leonard “Frying Pan Hands” Fournette played more snaps and generated 20 yards on six touches. Jones remains a GPP only pick for me, but he does have a serious ceiling. Minnesota is 17th in DVOA and 19th in rushing yards allowed. Only 10 teams have given up more rushing yards to backs. Jones also has the RZ attempt lead at 25-13 so if he’s given the chance, he could approach 3x without an issue here.
WR – When Antonio Brown was signed, I assumed Mike Evans was going to be the odd man out in this receiving corps. I was very wrong so far. In those four games, Evans has the team lead with a 28.6% air yards share, 35 targets, 10 RZ targets, six EZ targets, four touchdowns and PPR points. Brown and Chris Godwin have a combined two RZ looks and zero EZ targets. They are neck and neck in targets but Godwin has the lead at 31-29.
Kris Boyd should get Brown on the outside and through 40 targets Boyd has given up a 2.00 pPT and a 111.9 passer rating. In the slot, Jeff Gladney will have his hands full with Godwin since Gladney allows a 100.6 passer rating and a 60% catch rate. Lastly, Cameron Dantzler is 6’2″ and still is giving up three inches to Evans and won’t be able to stop him in the red zone. DK has these receivers priced appropriately but with the RZ work for Evans, he’s my favorite even at cost.
TE – The pricing is still up from last game when Rob Gronkowski went nuts and that leads me to fade him. With the three receivers active, he’s had two games under five DK and two game over 13. He needs to score to really hit 3x and while he does have four EZ targets, he’s fourth in overall targets the past four games. This is a lot to play for the fourth option in a passing game. Minnesota also has very strong safety play and have only allowed four scores on the season. I’m not all that interested in Gronk for his salary.
D/ST – They need to prove they have some things figured out before I play them again. Tampa is third still in overall DVOA but their play has slipped pretty badly. The only facet they have going for them right now is the fourth-highest pressure rate in football. Even then, Cousins is 15th in completion rate under pressure.
Cash – Evans, Godwin
GPP – Brady, Jones, Brown, Gronk
QB – Kyler Murray may have been off the injury report but it certainly doesn’t seem like he’s right yet. Credit deserves to be given to the Rams defense but Kyler finished with his second-worst completion rate of the season and only five rushing attempts yet again. That’s really the biggest story right now because without his rushing ability to raise the floor, Kyler is not really worth this salary. I believe he’s a better passer than is reflected the past two games but that shoulder really seems to be bothering him in all facets. Kyler is still third in pDB and he’s worth a small share in GPP but this injury really has me spooked right now. There’s a clear distinction with injury and production.
RB – Last week the game script didn’t really cooperate with Kenyan Drake and we saw Chase Edmonds take over in snaps. I think this game stays close enough that Drake can stay involved and this is a player’s outlook that changed with the Kyler injury. Drake has 43 total attempts in the past three games and he’s been the man in the RZ, with 16 attempts to just two for Kyler. The Giants defense is playing much better but they are still 17th in DVOA against the run. There’s a disconnect because they’ve allowed the eighth fewest rushing yards to backs. I still like Drake with the newfound role and think Edmonds is only in play if you think Arizona trails by 10 or more points. Even then, Drake still out-touched him last week 12 to eight.
WR – DeAndre Hopkins has seen his yardage plummet the last three weeks and he does not have a target over 20 yards among his 28 in that time frame. That is slightly concerning for a receiver this expensive. You need almost 24 DK to hit 3x and Nuk really hasn’t been close lately. He will also need to deal with James Bradberry who I don’t exactly fear, but it’s “easier” to defend Nuk if his route tree is limited as it has been. Bradberry was solid against D.K. Metcalf last week and I really don’t like Nuk this week. I’m also not prepared to play any secondary receiver with Kyler’s shoulder still being questionable as far as his shoulder goes.
TE – Please don’t chase the 59-yard touchdown for Dan Arnold. It was a totally blown coverage and he’s not likely to catch two touchdowns ever again. He only has a 6.9% target share and four RZ targets on the season.
D/ST – As of now, they are one of my favorite units on the slate. They either get Daniel Jones or Colt McCoy, neither of which are scary. Arizona has turned the ball over 15 times on defense and have 29 sacks to go with the eighth-highest pressure rate in the league.
Cash – Drake, D/ST
GPP – Kyler, Hopkins
QB – It’s possible that Daniel Jones makes it back into the lineup this week. We’re going to pretend that he will but if Colt McCoy starts again, all bets are off in this passing game. By the stats, Jones is still struggling with a 0.35 pDB which is 33rd in football. He’s still sitting at just eight touchdowns and 13 total turnovers, which is not great needless to say. Arizona is 12th in DVOA against the pass and only give up right about 20 DK per game. I think Jones is a pretty simple pass this week.
RB – It’s really been a solid stretch for Wayne Gallman, who posted his sixth straight game of at least 13 DK points. That was with getting vultured by Alfred Morris twice but Morris only played 25% of the snaps. Gallman was at 50% which isn’t exactly ideal but he racked up another 16 carries. Since he’s taken the job in Week 7, Gallman is seventh in carries among the entire league. The receiving work leaves something to be desired with only 11 receptions in that same time period but carries are still important. The matchup isn’t special with the Cards being 14th in DVOA against the run and allowing under 100 yards per game to backs. Still, he is cheap for the volume he’s getting right now even if he’s not my favorite play.
WR – Even though I don’t like Jones himself, I’d be interested in Sterling Shepard if Jones plays. Since Shepard has come back in Week 7, he’s only three targets off the team lead and leads in receptions. Playing against Dre Kirkpatrick isn’t a scary proposition either. The Cardinals corner is allowing a 71.1% catch rate. The pPT is surprisingly solid at 1.50 but Shepard thrives on receptions. The same cannot be said for Darius Slayton as he’s down to a 12.2% target share in the time Shepard has been back. Patrick Peterson has flat out not played well at all this season with a 2.20 pPT and a 121.5 passer rating. You simply can’t touch Slayton in anything else but MME and even then the floor is palpable.
TE – One player that is interesting along with Shepard is Evan Engram. The matchup is not ideal at all since the Cards are top eight in DK points per game. Still, Engram is the target leader in this offense and when a tight end has a share over 25%, he has to be on the radar at this price point. Even better for Engram is the 29.2% RZ share so if the Giants can move the ball, Engram is likely to be a big part of the reason why. He’s too cheap on DK.
D/ST – With Murray unable or unwilling to run right now, the Giants defense really comes into play at the price. Only the Steelers and Dolphins have more takeaways on the season and New York is now sixth in pressure rate on the year as well. The 32 sacks is more than respectable and the price doesn’t reflect the way they’ve been playing lately.
Cash – Shepard, Engram, D/ST (receiving options only cash if Jones plays)
GPP – Gallman
QB – What more is there to say about Patrick Mahomes? He had a “floor” game Sunday night and scored 22.3 DK points. While Mahomes only threw for one touchdown, he easily could’ve had two if the refs hadn’t gotten in the way. Mahomes is third in touchdowns, first in yards, third in RZ attempts, second in pDB and second in points. The Dolphins are a difficult matchup on paper. They rank sixth in DVOA against the pass and have a 14:13 TD:INT ratio. Do we care about that with Mahomes and the Chiefs? No, we do not.
RB – I think we have a very fascinating buy-low chance for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Miami has given up over 1,500 scrimmage yards to the backs so far and 10 total touchdowns. That tracks with the 24th ranked DVOA against the run and that’s more been the way to attack Miami’s defense. I don’t think KC is scared to pass here in the least, but nobody will want to play CEH after last week. He didn’t record a snap but that was illness-related, not performance. CEH was still easily out-snapping and out-touching veteran backup Le’Veon Bell and he’s under $6,000. When a back with 15 touch upside is attached to the best offense in football at this price, we should be very interested in MME formats.
WR – Normally I tend to avoid receivers against Miami but Tyreek Hill will not fall under that rule. Not only is he about matchup-proof, he plays the slot a whole lot (about 40% of the snaps) and that’s where the weakness is for the Dolphins. In addition, when he is outside he has the speed advantage in spades. Xavien Howard measures at a 4.58 40-yard dash and Byron Jones is at a 4.48. Neither is going to be able to keep up with Hill’s 4.34 and if people are afraid of this corner duo, all the better. That’s not even counting when he faces Nik Needham which is a major advantage to Reek. Miami coach Brian Flores has done a great job this year, but it’s extremely difficult to scheme against this offense.
Sammy Watkins is the only other receiver that had over three targets last week and he’s had six and seven since returning to the lineup. Even as the third option, he’s in play here. Watkins plays plenty of his snaps from the slot as well and would get the Needham matchup as well. When Watkins is in the slot, the Dolphins will not have the luxury of helping Needham by rolling any sort of coverage to him.
TE – One of the main reasons the Chiefs are hard to game plan against outside of they have Mahomes is the tandem of Hill and Travis Kelce. We’ve seen Miami roll safeties and linebackers to help with players like Keenan Allen this year but that’s not much of an option with Kelce and Hill. Miami is top six in DK points given up per game and have only allowed four scores, but Kelce is matchup proof. He has the same exact number of targets as Hill at 111, they’re dead even in RZ looks, and Kelce is one behind in EZ looks. You play him in any format at all, just like Mahomes. It’s just a matter of cash builds if you want to fit them in, which I doubt is totally needed on this slate.
D/ST – I normally don’t pay up at defense and this week will likely be the same. They’re a very solid option with 19 turnovers forced and facing off against a rookie quarterback. The 20 sacks is a bit disappointing but the matchup gives them every chance of success.
Cash – Mahomes, Kelce, Hill
GPP – CEH, Watkins, D/ST
QB – It would stand to reason that Tua Tagovailoa will have to throw plenty this week and he is certainly cheap enough. If he racks up points in garbage time, this could work out. KC is 13th in DVOA against the pass but I do not feel confident that the ceiling is here for Tua yet. He’s only hit above 16.1 DK points once and is averaging under 12 DK despite not throwing an interception yet. I definitely think that streak stops this week. So far, Tua has only thrown seven touchdowns and is at a 0.40 pDB. That would rank 27th if he had a full season and Miami is only 25th in pass plays per game. The Chiefs have a 19:14 TD:INT ratio on the season and I would rather have other options down low in salary.
RB – Fresh off an IR stint, Myles Gaskin racked up 23 touches and 141 scrimmage yards. He hit 15.1 DK points despite not rushing for 100 yards or scoring a touchdown and he fumbled. That gives you an idea of the potential floor, which is high. I certainly worry about the scoreboard but if the Dolphins can still get Gaskin 16-20 touches, he has to be considered. We just saw Melvin Gordon roll up over 130 rushing yards and he was splitting time. That’s not a concern with Gaskin and KC is down to 30th in DVOA against the run. They are built to defend the pass since their offense is so good. They’ll more or less let you run on them. I’m undecided on Gaskin in cash or not, but I lean not just due to scoreboard concerns.
*Update* Gaskin is now out with Covid and that puts DeAndre Washington as the lead back. The Miami backfield is really in tatters right now and I’m fine with Washington in GPP. I really don’t think I’m using him in cash unless he’s just overwhelming chalk that shouldn’t be avoided.
WR – It’s really difficult to have a lot of trust in any of the receivers with Tua under center. Yes, DeVante Parker got ejected last week but he only went 4/35. The eight targets were nice at least and Parker does lead in target share at 22.8%. No other Dolphin pass catcher is above 16.2% so far this season so Parker is the clear number one option. The matchup is not great on paper. Bashaud Breeland has only been targeted 38 times in eight games, but is only allowing 9.3 YPR, a 73.9 passer rating and a 55.3% catch rate. Those are stout marks if he can keep them up.
There’s a small chance that Lynn Bowden could be in play. His snaps have gone up the past two weeks and he caught all four of his targets this past week. It would stand to reason that Miami wants to see if the young man has anything to offer. Bowden played 44% of the snaps last week and if he winds up being a two or three in the passing game, he could be worth playing at minimum price. He’s playing a good deal from the slot and perhaps he sees some short area targets and flirts with 10 DK or so. This is an absolute punt and should not really be considered in anything but MME. Even then, recognize the bust potential here.
TE – I’m tempted to go right back to Mike Gesicki, as he’s seen four straight games of at least five targets and last week was 11. He’s been on the field at least 70% of the time over the past two weeks and hopefully this is a sign of things to come. They’ll need him against a high-powered offense. His snaps overall may not be great at 29th among tight ends but his route rate is seventh at 84.6%. The Chiefs are about average against the position and Gesicki falls under the same trust issues that we have with Parker and Tua.
D/ST – If Mahomes would throw more interceptions…maybe but he just doesn’t turn it over enough to make it worth taking a chance against him and the offense.
Cash – None
GPP – Washington, Gesicki, Parker, Tua, Bowden
QB – You can make the argument for a cheap Dallas stack here. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with on 13 games, we have an Andy Dalton revenge game! OK, I’m not the resident narrative staff member like Brian is but Dalton will be back in Cincy with weapons at his disposal. The biggest issue for Dalton is does he have a ceiling? He’s barely been above 20 DK once so far but the Bengals are 28th in DVOA against the pass. The veteran is at a 0.29 pDB which is a putrid 37th in football. You could argue this is his best matchup outside of his 20 DK game against the Vikings, but this game is ugly overall.
RB – I’ve said it before, but Ezekiel Elliott just doesn’t look like himself this year to my eyes. It should be noted that Ghost feels differently after the last game, so perhaps I’m not accurate in my assessment. That’s his team and I trust his judgement. Is it entirely his fault? Maybe not with the injuries Dallas has suffered but we deal with the hand we’re dealt. He’s going to get his touches but he’s dealing with an injury of his own and has more games under 10 DK than over 15 since Dak Prescott went down. Much like Dalton, the matchup is enticing. Cincy is just 21st in DVOA against the run and are approaching 1,800 yards from scrimmage given up. I would maybe have a share in 20 lineups or more, but that’s as far as I’m going and he could still bust.
WR – One player that hasn’t really suffered with Dalton at the helm has been Amari Cooper. He has at least seven targets in the last three games and has not fallen under 14.1 DK in any game. Sure, a lot has been garbage time but those points score the exact same. Cooper has William Jackson on deck, who has been playing well as of late. The catch rate allowed is eighth at 54.3% and the passer rating is top 20 at 83.6. You’re betting on talent here and that’s never been a question for Cooper.
A player that I may want some exposure to here is Michael Gallup. He and Dalton have gotten better results every game so far, capping it with a 21.6 DK game Tuesday night. The targets have gone from five to eight to 11 and Gallup’s matchup is pristine. Gallup is actually tied for the team lead in targets over the last three weeks with Cooper. LeShuan Sims should be tasked with guarding Gallup and has given up a 118.7 passer rating and 2.20 pPT over 61 targets. He is ultra cheap here and has huge potential. Lastly, CeeDee Lamb has one of the most challenging spots by the numbers. Mackensie Alexander guards the slot and while he does allow a high catch rate, the 1.50 pPT over 49 targets is not shabby. I think at salary, Gallup is my favorite followed by Cooper.
TE – Dalton Schultz is sitting in the top 12 in route percentage among tight ends and is certainly in play here. His target share is 13.9% over the past three weeks which is a bit thinner than it has been but Cincy has struggled with the position. The Bengals have allowed the third-most DK points per game to tight ends and seven scores. Schultz is cheap enough to consider in GPP, but I would prefer others in cash.
D/ST – Dallas is quite cheap and have a great spot but I’m not sure I can pull the trigger here. They only have 10 turnovers forced and 22 sacks, but if there was ever a spot for them to play off this is absolutely it.
Cash – None
GPP – Gallup, Zeke, Cooper, Lamb, Dalton, D/ST
QB – We’ve found the quarterback that I don’t want to play against Dallas. His name is Brandon Allen and the whole Bengals offense just isn’t good at all. I grant you that the Dallas defense isn’t good either but on a 13 game slate this isn’t where I want to go at all. The 0.27 pDB is not good, nor is completion rate under 58.5%. We can play Glennon for $200 more and at least get 40 attempts. It has to be noted this game is the lowest O/U on the entire slate.
RB – I may not want the QB, but I’m going to be tempted by Gio Bernard at least a little bit. It didn’t translate to production last week but he saw 14 touches and that’s worthwhile against Dallas. He played 63% of the snaps and has a firm hand on the backfield while Joe Mixon is out. The Ravens did run up a ridiculous amount of rushing yards on Tuesday night. Just remember that the Ravens and Bengals rushing offense is not comparable. Baltimore is in another stratosphere when it comes to rushing offenses.
WR – It’s so hard to have a lot of faith with any option in this offense, including Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. They’re being held hostage right now by the quarterbacking situation although Higgins has managed at least 10.6 DK points in both full games without Joe Burrow. Higgins is tied for the team lead in targets and leads in PPR points in those two games. Higgins should get Chidobe Awuzie who has given up a massive 2.80 pPT over 22 targets so far. Boy aligns with Jourdan Lewis in the slot and he’s allowed a 104.3 passer rating and a 1.70 pPT. Higgins has shown the most chemistry with 10 receptions to just four for Boyd so it’s not too hard to pick the favorite from this corps. It just isn’t a high-ceiling play anymore
TE – Higgins is tied for the team lead in targets the past two weeks with Drew Sample. He’s caught at least four passes in each game and the price just really hasn’t moved, even after he posted a 7/49 last week. Allen has been checking down like crazy and Sample has run a route on 70.1% of his routes. That’s enough for a player of his salary in this matchup.
D/ST – I’d be more interested if the Bengals weren’t dead last in pressure rate, almost last in sacks and only had 12 turnovers forced.
Cash – Sample
GPP – Bernard, Higgins, Boyd
QB – It was a banner day for Sam Darnold last week as he threw for two touchdowns and ran one in. That’s great but he didn’t even surpass 190 passing yards and only had 23 attempts. That’s….not good and not what we want to chase. Darnold is still 35th in pDB at 0.32 and only has five touchdown passes total. Seattle has been a target all year long but they have been improving a little bit lately. Seattle is still 27th in DVOA against the pass but their last three games they’ve only allowed 179 passing yards. Additionally, Seattle has dropped from over 360 yards allowed per game to under 310 for the seasonal yards. I feel fairly comfortable playing Glennon over Darnold this week.
RB – It doesn’t look like Frank Gore is going to play in this game and that means Ty Johnson is…in play? I mean, we likely don’t have to go that far down and to this bad of an offense. However, Johnson played 63% of the snaps and had 24 touches last week. That’s noteworthy at this salary and Seattle is just 13th in DVOA against the run. The forecast calls for rain this weekend and it’s more of a touches at the salary play. I am not likely to go here in cash in the Jets offense.
WR – In all honesty, I am about done messing with this receiving corps. We talked last week about how Jamison Crowder had started to take a back set in the offense. Well, he turned around and saw seven targets to four for Breshad Perriman and just three for Denzel Mims. Crowder still leads in target share at 25.7% for the season but Mims is closing in at 25%. If we’re going to play roulette with the receivers attached to a horrific offense, it’s not going to be fun to predict how it works every week. Crowder has to deal with Ugo Amadi but he’s been hurt a lot so it’s hard to get a handle on the stats. Seahawks corner Shaquill Griffin lines up against Perriman and Griffin’s stats look ugly. All of the Seattle secondary members do but we’re banking on the recent improvement.
*Update* Things may have just gotten interesting. Mims has already been ruled out and now Crowder looks very iffy. If Crowder is out too, Perriman is going to get a ton of attention as he’s the last man in the corps. Someone has to catch the ball other than Braxton Berrios.
TE – The tight end position continues to be a ghost in this offense.
D/ST – We’ve turned the Jets into a popular punt and I’m going tight back to the well. Only Carson Wentz has been sacked more in the league than Russell Wilson and Russ has 15 turnovers. New York also doesn’t have to deal with coordinator Gregg Williams any longer and they’ve hit five DK points for three straight and five of the last seven games.
Cash – Crowder, D/ST
GPP – Perriman, Darnold
QB – Seattle needs to figure out what they want to be. After Russ had a couple of bad games, it seems like they got scared off the #LetRussCook movement and Seattle wants to go back to their roots of running the ball well. Wilson did throw 43 times last week but the scoreboard forced that more than Seattle wanted it. By abut every metric, Wilson looks like who we want to play. He’s sixth in pDB, third in points per game, second in touchdowns and third in yards. There’s only one reason to be scared here and it’s simply the pace/attempts that Wilson will have. If Seattle does control this game, they could only throw the ball 28 or 31 times like he did in Week 11 and 12.
RB – I don’t know how to feel about Chris Carson. On the one hand, he racked up 110 scrimmage yards and a touchdown last week on 16 touches. The flip side is Pete Carroll admitting he’s not fully healthy and Carson was under 60% of the snaps once again. Carson is also more involved in the passing game than he’s given credit for with an 11.8% target share on the season. The salary is immense for a back that we know isn’t healthy and has Carlos Hyde to take playing time away from him. On top of that, the Jets have actually been solid against the run as they are seventh in DVOA and are under 100 yards to backs per game. I think this is a spot to fade as things stand right now.
WR – It was a bit of a letdown spot for DK Metcalf but the price went up just a little bit and it should have. I have a hard time seeing anyone in the Jets secondary being able to hang with Metcalf here. He’s up to 40% of the air yards share and only three targets behind Tyler Lockett for the team lead. Both Metcalf and Lockett are within two targets in RZ and EZ work. Metcalf leads the entire NFL in yards and has scored nine times, although he can be a little tilting to watch.
As great as he’s been this season, he’s left quite a few plays on the field. I don’t think anyone can argue that (please don’t take it as an insult DK) but this is an undeniably great spot for him. The Jets are going to try to cover Metcalf with Lamar Jackson who runs a 4.58 40-yard dash. Enough said there. I’m sure Jackson will have a ton of help but my goodness is it a speed mismatch on the individual level. Lockett gets Arthur Maulet who over 25 targets has allowed a 76% catch rate and a 101.3 passer rating.
TE – Neither Will Dissly or Jacob Hollister has been involved enough to take a shot here. The best you hope for is a 4/40 line or a touchdown and that’s just not worth it at the pricing. Additionally, DC Gregg Williams is gone and they should be more competent against the position. I’d rather play other tight ends in this salary range that we’ve talked about so far.
D/ST – I’m happy to see that Seattle’s price dropped after last week. I would suspect they are chalky once again but when it’s a defense against the Jets, that’s hard to argue. The Seahawks are down to 26.3 points allowed while generating 33 sacks and 17 turnovers so far. Darnold has been under pressure at the highest rate in football and NY has 16 turnovers themselves on the season.
Cash – Metcalf, D/ST
GPP – Russ, Lockett, Carson
QB – It hasn’t always been pretty but Philip Rivers has seen his results really stabilize over the past two months. He’s hit at least 18 DK points in six of his last seven games and the matchup would lead me to think that streak won’t stop this week. Vegas is 15th in DVOA against the pass but ninth-worst in DK points per game. I mean, Sam Darnold scored three times against them. Rivers is up to 11th in attempts which helps mitigate his 22nd ranked pDB. He’s also up to 10th in yards with 18 touchdowns so even though he’s not smashing for fantasy, the salary doesn’t dictate he needs to. I’m fine with him in any format this week.
RB – It took a bit but the Colts ended up giving Jonathan Taylor 16 touches and he hit for 22 DK last week. I’m going directly back to him since his price has not gone over $6,000 and he now has back to back games of at least 16 touches. I’d like to see him on the field for more than 48% of the snaps but he’s eclipsed 90 rushing yards in the last two games he’s played in. After watching the Raiders get gashed by Ty Johnson last week for over 100, Taylor has to be excited about this spot. The Raiders are over 1,700 scrimmage yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, third-most in football. Nyheim Hines saw nine touches and we shouldn’t pretend like he’s irrelevant. However, he will need to score to be worth playing at his salary. Just like last week, if JT gets the work he’s going to produce well in this game.
WR – The big question about this week is if we go back to T.Y. Hilton. He’s not playing the Texans so I’m nervous this is a trap move for game log watchers. Still, he’s played well the past two weeks with 191 yards, 12 receptions and two touchdowns. This matchup is favorable as well against Raiders corner Nevin Lawson who has gotten smacked for a 114.8 passer rating and a 1.90 pPT. Hilton is still kind of scary but the past couple of weeks is what we thought he was going to be this season.
Since Week 8 when Michael Pittman came back into the lineup, he’s led in targets at 33 but he only has four more than Hilton and one more game. He leads in RZ targets with five but has zero EZ targets. Pittman has been a little prone to some rookie roller coaster production which is not a surprise at all. Trayvon Mullen has been a little better stats-wise with a 1.60 pPT and a 12.1 YPR. With the price being virtually the same, I’d favor Hilton slightly.
TE – I’m not using a Colts tight end any more as long as all three are healthy. Jack Doyle, Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox all just play too many snaps to accurately predict outcomes every week. They eat into each other’s potential too much and if Rivers throws a score to one of them, so be it. A player like Kmet or even Sample makes more sense to me here.
D/ST – The Raiders have turned the ball over a bit more than I thought at 17 on the season but they protect the quarterback well. Their offensive line has given up the eighth-lowest pressure rate in football, somewhat muting the potential for Indy. I’m looking to play Seattle for $200 cheaper.
Cash – Taylor, Rivers
GPP – Hilton, Pittman, Hines, D/ST
QB – I should’ve been heavier on Derek Carr last week and that’s not just game log watching. It was the perfect bounce back spot. Anyways, this matchup gets a lot tougher this week since Indy is fourth in DVOA against the pass and fifth-best in DK points per game. Carr doesn’t look like much for fantasy from the metrics. He’s 18th in pDB at 0.46, 22nd in points per game, 14th in yards and 11th in touchdowns. The price is still lower but I’d be happy to go Rivers over him. I don’t have much interest in Carr in a tougher spot against what has been a good defense this year.
RB – I KNEW that Devontae Booker was going to bust. I flat out said I didn’t like him as a play but I figured I needed the block in cash. Booker and Jalen Richard shared the field right around 45% of the snaps each and that really leaves both of them out of play in my eyes. Booker did get 17 touches but his matchup is tough as well, with Indy being in the top 12 in DVOA against the run. The Colts have only given up 974 rush yards which is the ninth-fewest in football. Unless Jacobs is back, I’m not even looking at this spot.
*Update* Jacobs did log some limited practice this week, but it’s too ugly a spot to get behind.
WR – I’m really interested in Henry Ruggs in GPP this week. The target share is still not exceptional but he’s on the field more and more the past few weeks. It’s only going to take one or two plays and he should lineup against Rock Ya-Sin for some of his snaps. Ruggs is sub 4.3 for the 40-yard dash and Ya-Sin is over 4.5 seconds. That, kids, is a massive difference. Nelson Agholor is likely to see more of Xavier Rhodes and that’s not something that I want to chase after. Rhodes is fifth in catch rate allowed, 10th in pPT and eighth in passer rating. If they try and shift Rhodes to Ruggs, the rookie still can blow by him.
TE – The matchup for Darren Waller from last week to this is WILDLY different and this price is massive for him. It should be after he shattered the slate last week but Indy has been undeniably nasty against tight ends this year. Only the 49ers have been better for DK points and Indy has allowed just 424 yards and one touchdown. Waller is the alpha in this passing game with a 27.9% target share and 18 RZ targets. With Kelce on the slate and one of the tougher matchups he could have, I won’t be heavy on Waller here. Kelce is only $600 more.
D/ST – The Raiders have 15 sacks on the season and 15 takeaways. That’s nothing special and the Colts do not allow pressure at all with the fourth-best pressure rate allowed. This is not the spot to go after them short of a Rivers meltdown because they aren’t likely to force mistakes out of him.
GPP – Ruggs, Waller, Carr
QB – Aaron Rodgers played just like I figured last week, even if it wasn’t much of a stretch. This spot is excellent as well with the Lions sitting 30th in DVOA against the pass and they’ve allowed a 23:7 TD:INT ratio so far. They’re in the bottom six in yards allowed and just frankly don’t have the players to be able to stop Rodgers this week. If there’s someone to challenge Mahomes for MVP, it’s Rodgers. He’s sitting first in pDB, first in touchdowns, fifth in points per game and sixth in yardage. The veteran is still underpriced even at $7,500.
RB – Speaking of underpriced, it’s hard not to start the cash game lineups with any player but Aaron Jones. He positively wrecked Detroit in the first game this year for 48.6 DK and three total touchdowns. No team has given up more DK points per game than the Lions and they are over 1,900 scrimmage yards allowed with 23 touchdowns. He is splitting snaps a bit more than I would care for with Jamaal Williams flirting with about 40% lately. However, Jones had 18 touches last week and that’s more than enough to go off again.
WR – Davante Adams is completely and utterly unstoppable at this point with another 37 DK this past week. You could argue to stack all three of the main Packers together. Jones has nearly a 15% target share and these three produce so much of the Packers offense on a weekly basis. Adams owns this passing game with 33.4% of the target share and 37.5% of the air yards. Just like Rodgers, it’s hard to see how the Lions stop him. The first game doesn’t count since he got hurt in the middle of it.
Both Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are on the field a lot but are really fighting for scraps as it were in the passing game. Last week saw MVS only get two looks to six for Lazard so the choice seems somewhat clear. Even still, Lazard only has a 15.9% target share and that’s not fantastic. He faces Justin Coleman who has given up a 1.50 pPT and a 64.7% catch rate through 34 targets. I don’t exactly love playing here secondary plays when so much of Green Bay is concentrated, even in a game with this O/U. Anyone after Adams is GPP only.
TE – It wasn’t the week I had dreamed up for Robert Tonyan last week but he was perfectly fine with another score and four receptions. It’s the third straight week with five targets for Big Bob and that’s likely to be about the ceiling for him. He’s still tied for second in EZ targets and the price is fair, if not spectacular. Detroit has been solid to tight ends so far this year with under 10 DK points per game but they have also allowed six scores. That’s why you play Tonyan.
D/ST – The Lions offense woke up a little bit with a new coach and I can’t say I love the Packers here. The turnovers are average at 13 and the sacks are good at 31, but I’d play Indy or Seattle ahead of Green Bay this week.
Cash – Jones, Adams, Rodgers
GPP – Tonyan, Lazard, MVS, D/ST
QB – Some of it may have been game script, but seeing Matthew Stafford throw it 42 times and racking up over 400 yards was great to see. It was only the second time all year that Stafford was over 9.0 in his average completion, another good sign. Green Bay is only 18th in DVOA against the pass and has a 21:8 TD:INT ratio. The yardage isn’t crazy at right about middle of the pack. Playing Stafford requires a bit of a leap of faith if you look at the stats through the season. He’s 19th in pDB, 13th in touchdowns and 19th in points per game. You’re hoping new coach Darell Bevell keeps this offense going the way they played last week and it’s likely they need to match plenty of points.
RB – We’re still waiting for the word on D’Andre Swift and if he’ll play this week. It seems like even if he does, he could be limited. If Swift is active, I have a feeling we will see the dreaded three-headed monster at running back. That would leave me out on the backfield but if Swift sits, we might have a chance. Kerryon Johnson could be a sneaky play. If Detroit is chasing points, you would think Adrian Peterson would not be a good fit. Green Bay is vulnerable on the ground with the 25th ranked DVOA against the run. However, the Lions probably won’t have the luxury of running the ball a ton. Johnson is the much more natural pass-catcher so let’s see how Friday shakes out.
WR – It seems like a stretch that the Lions will have Kenny Golladay again, which is disappointing. I know Marvin Jones is coming off a huge game but he should get Jaire Alexander and we can’t pretend that’s not a problem. The Green Bay corner is ninth in catch rate allowed, 15th in pPT and fourth in YPT. That’s not ideal for Jones in any form. Where do the targets go? That’s a good question. The group of Danny Amendola, Quintez Chepus and Jamal Agnew all rotated snaps and targets. I think we would just roll with the next man who maybe could finally have a big game.
TE – T.J. Hockenson just continues to be rock solid every single week. He saw another nine targets and came home with 15 DK despite not scoring. He only has 15.2% of the air yards but the 18.1% target share is quite nice for a tight end. Green Bay has been tough against the position with only three scores allowed and just 45 receptions. I always feel better with Hockenson in cash as opposed to GPP because he hasn’t shown the massive ceiling many weeks. 16.9 DK points has been his high-water mark so far and we shouldn’t expect that to be vastly different this week unless Jones and the receiving crew struggles.
D/ST – Nope.
Cash – Hockenson
GPP – Stafford, Amendola, Jones, Cephus
QB – Full credit goes to Alex Smith and his squad for walking into Pittsburgh and ending the last undefeated team in the league. Hats off. As for this matchup, it’s another tough one on paper. Josh Allen may have shredded this defense on Monday night but they are still giving up under 20 DK a game to the position. With the injuries they’ve dealt with, that’s fairly impressive. Smith is still just 38th in pDB at 0.29 and he only has four touchdowns in his playing time. As well as he played Monday, he scored under 16 DK points. This really isn’t the time to chase him in my eyes on a short week with a long road trip.
RB – It will be close to impossible to ignore J.D. McKissic if Antonio Gibson misses this game, at least in cash. Gibson left very early in the game last week and McKissic played 75% of the snaps and racked up 15 touches. He’s not going to get a ton of carries but he’s going to see a crazy amount of targets from Captain Check Down and that makes him viable on DK without fail. He’s got a safe floor with an 18.8% target share on the season and you don’t need to worry much about San Fran being eighth against the run in DVOA. The 49ers are average in receptions allowed at 57 but that doesn’t worry me at all. Peyton Barber will get some carries but I feel strongly McKissic is going to get the bulk of the snaps unless the script goes way one-sided.
*Update* Gibson is out, as was expected
WR – Terry McLaurin is coming off his worst game of the season and I have some concerns with him this week as well. He has another tough matchup in deck against the San Francisco secondary. Yes, they just got lit up by Cole Beasley but he plays in the slot and that’s a big weakness for the 49ers. McLaurin is under 20% of his routes in the slot and that’s going to leave him on Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett most of the time. Verrett especially has been impressive and should get the most of Scary Terry. The veteran corner has only allowed a 10.3 YPR and 1.60 over 59 targets. Cam Sims will have basically the same exact issue in that he doesn’t play the slot a lot at just 20%. He had a big game with McLaurin struggling so much with a 4/92. I don’t love his chances at a repeat in this one since he’s getting whichever of the corner duo McLaurin doesn’t. The spot to attack the 49ers is the slot and Steven Sims mans the slot about 68% of his snaps. The issue is he has an 8.8% target share because those targets go to a guy like McKissic.
TE – Talk about a big game instead of McLaurin, Logan Thomas went bonkers and had a career day. He brought in all nine of his targets for a 24.8 DK point day and is third on the team in targets behind McKissic. The matchup is difficult as the 49ers have been the best team for DK points per game against tight ends. They and Detroit are the only two teams that haven’t allowed 40 receptions yet and under 400 yards. He’s on the board in a tough spot for GPP just because San Fran could take away McLaurin for most of this game.
D/ST – I love Washington here. The front seven is legit and the secondary has few weak links. They’ve generated 36 sacks, hold their opponents to just about 21 points per game and have 14 turnovers forced. Only two teams have more turnovers than the 49ers this year and Washington is just underpriced. The 49ers have also allowed the seventh-highest pressure rate with their current quarterback under center.
Cash – D/ST, McKissic
GPP – McLaurin, Sims, Thomas
QB – I really want little to do with Nick Mullens this week. He can be the king of garbage time like he was this past week with 316 and three touchdowns, but this is just not a good matchup for him. Washington is third in DVOA against the pass and have allowed the fifth-fewest touchdown passes this year. He’s honestly just a pretty easy fade in my eyes even in this salary range.
RB – This is going to be a hard pass for me. Every back is healthy so here’s four players that can touch the ball at any given time. Last week saw Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson both over 40% of the snaps and Mostert had nine carries while Wilson had seven. Then, Tevin Coleman and Jerrick McKinnon each had two and three carries. We do not mess with potentially four running backs. Washington is top 10 in DVOA against the run and Washington is one of 11 teams that have not allowed 1,000 yards rushing to backs so far.
WR – I’m really not sure that Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel should be so far apart in salary. They both have right about a 21% target share and Aiyuk leads the team in air yards share at 31.5%. He has three more games than Deebo but Aiyuk has a 13-2 lead in RZ targets to go with a 7-0 lead in EZ targets. Aiyuk now has a streak of four straight games with at least 19 DK points, which is really astounding for a rookie receiver with a backup quarterback. He does have a tough spot here against Kendall Fuller. The WFT corner has been targets 71 times and has allowed a 12.2 YPR but he has allowed six touchdowns to four interceptions. Deebo draws Ronald Darby who has given up a 15.0 YPR. Deebo does so much of his work in YAC that maybe he doesn’t burn Darby but he’ll still have a chance to go off. I prefer Aiyuk at the salaries involved.
TE – I do like Jordan Reed a little bit here since Washington has issues with the tight end. It’s one of the spots that you can try to attack them since they have allowed over 600 yards and six scores. The big issue for Reed is he’s a part-time player right now with only about 45-55% of the snaps. Not only that, his route percentage is just 43.4%. That doesn’t make much sense to me but he’s cheap enough to try and get him for 3x.
D/ST – They’re fine but I do like some of the other options around them a lot better. They only have 21 sacks and while they do have 17 turnovers, this just doesn’t seem like the spot to play them when Washington is in the better spot.
Cash – Aiyuk
GPP – Deebo, Reed, D/ST
QB – I really, really dislike that I have to consider Taysom Hill to some extent. Through his three games as a starter, he’s hit 18 DK in every single one. This past week was the first time he hasn’t had a rushing score, but he threw two touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards. These rushing attempts have raised the floor to a massive extent and he’s averaging right about 11 carries per game. If he’s getting 4-6 points just from rushing yards, even a 200-yard passing game already gets him to 12-14 points without a score of any kind. Philly is down to 24th in DVOA against the pass and Hill still has 3-4x potential at this salary. I’m not likely to play him myself but I don’t think you’re wrong to do so.
RB – I really have some issues playing Alvin Kamara right now. He’s had a grand total of six targets so far with Taysom starting and that is brutal. The Saints did give him 15 carries last week and at this price point, he should have to be interesting. Kamara is never this cheap but he’s still mostly without what makes him so special. The floor is totally gone and if he’s not racking up receptions, he’s got to score to hit 3x and likely hit the 100-yard bonus. Kamara is capable of that in any given game, but he’s still not a cash option in my eyes.
WR – The man who is a cash option for the Saints skill player is Michael Thomas. Taysom may not be great but he is dialed in on MT, who is up to a 39.2% target share and 56.4% air yards share the past three weeks. Those numbers are just insane and Thomas is not expensive enough yet. He’s hit 22 DK in both games that the Saints actually tried to pass the ball and this should be another one. Darius Slay is still banged up and has allowed 733 receiving yards on a 70% catch rate. He’s still an excellent option this week.
Anyone else is really tough to get excited about. Emmanuel Sanders is at a 16.2% target share but that’s 12 over three games. Four targets is scary and he’s yet to hit 3x at his current salary with Taysom. Philly corner Avonte Maddox has allowed a 103.9 passer rating on 54 targets so far. The matchup isn’t scary but the offensive gameplan is to some extent. I won’t chase Tre’Quan Smith after he scored on a blown coverage last week.
TE – Jared Cook has a great matchup but he’s been the third option in the passing game with a target share under 11%. He’s basically a touchdown or bust style of play but Philly will likely give him chances to score. They’ve allowed seven touchdowns and over 14 DK points per game. If you wanted to run a Taysom/MT/Cook stack, I think that’s interesting but I’m not sure that I would play Cook solo.
D/ST – The Saints are the highest salaried defense on the slate, which is not someone I like to chase. They’re under $4,000 at least and do have a ton of potential with 36 sacks and 19 turnovers forced. The Philly offense has been very, very poor this year but they might have a spark in their lineup this week.
Cash – Taysom, MT, D/ST
GPP – Kamara, Cook, Sanders
QB – The time has come in Philly to see what they have in Jalen Hurts, who is making his first career start. There’s more risk than normal here that he could get yanked quickly with Carson Wentz and his monster contract looming over his shoulder. Hurts jumped into the fire in Green Bay last week and had some good moments. He rushed five times and threw a touchdown but also threw a pick and went 5-12. IF he makes it through the game, he has a Taysom-like outcome. He could rush 10-ish times and score 4-6 points right there. If he throws for 200 and scores any type of touchdown, we’re in business. He’s so cheap that I’m tempted to have a couple with him this week. It’s a path Brian really likes, as he outlines in his always excellent Picks and Pivots. Hurts went 2x last week in partial playing time.
RB – I simply don’t know how you could possibly feel good about playing Miles Sanders. He barely played 50% of the snaps last week and had 10 touches. You can say what you want about I’m sitting on a couch playing fantasy football and I’m not an NFL coach, but how utterly dumb can you be? The offense has been stagnant for weeks and one of your best assets is Sanders. It doesn’t have to be this hard somedays. Jordan Howard walked right in and had four touches and I couldn’t be less interested here. New Orleans is second in DVOA against the run and pass this season. They are no pushover (certainly a concern for Hurts as well) and there’s not a guarantee of touches.
WR – Who to stack with Hurts becomes an interesting proposition. Greg Ward caught his touchdown pass and that’s not exactly a surprise. We see often that the backup has a connection with the second-string players since they have practice time together. Ward also at least sees the field, which is more than we can say about Travis Fulgham. He fell to just 40% of the snaps last week and that’s a disturbing trend. Alshon Jeffery is playing more snaps than him. Yikes. Rookie Jalen Reagor continues to be a non-factor in the passing game and draws Marshon Lattimore this week. Lattimore has struggled with a 2.10 pPT and 114.3 passer rating over 57 targets but I can’t vouch for Reagor here. With Ward in the slot, he’ll face Chauncey Gardner-Johnson of the Saints. Over 88 targets, he’s only allowing a 59.1% catch rate and a 1.40 pPT so this is no cakewalk spot. Ward is my favorite but that’s not saying much.
TE – Maybe we just stack with Dallas Goedert, since he’s been about as consistent as anyone in the Philly lineup. He’s seen at least six targets in every game since the bye week and even the return of Zach Ertz didn’t effect him much last week. Ertz only played about 44% of the snaps and that should come up but Goedert is likely still the play here. He has the highest RZ target share at 28.6% and New Orleans has allowed six touchdowns. You can talk me into Hurts/Ward/Goedert as a very cheap stack with a Thomas run back and studs elsewhere in the lineup.
D/ST – When we look for punts, this is the style of defense that I want. Philly gets pressure on the quarterback with the sixth-highest rate in football. They do only have 11 turnovers forced but the 38 sacks is second and that kind of pressure can lead to mistakes, especially from Taysom.
Cash – D/ST, Goedert
GPP – Hurts, Ward, Reagor
QB – Matt Ryan has been a total roller coaster this year but it’s hard not to like him in this game. The Chargers are down to 20th in DVOA against the pass and are in the bottom seven in DK points allowed per game. The 23:6 TD:INT ratio isn’t helping and Ryan can still take advantage of softer matchups. His own numbers won’t look that great with just a 0.41 pDB, good for 25th in the league. However, since he’s third in attempts that’s left him fourth in yards and 15th in touchdowns. It’s really just a volume play since the efficiency hasn’t been there this year. He should have his full crew of receivers and this game could be a very high-scoring late day hammer.
RB – There was a quote going around that Todd Gurley is looking to have a big day in the house he helped build. Um, OK? I don’t think he was much of the reason the Rams have a new stadium but whatever floats your boat. Gurley at $4,800 almost sounds laughable but I’m not sure I want a piece of this. His knee is still somewhat of an issue and he played all of 33% of the snaps last week for nine touches. That’s one heck of a floor but the Chargers can be had on the ground, giving up the 23rd most rushing yards per game. I would bet the Falcons try and get Gurley a score if they can but I simply don’t trust him in this game.
WR – There may be concern about Julio Jones since he hasn’t practiced yet but he also struggled to practice last week and played over 90% of the snaps. He’s ridiculously underpriced for Julio and possesses slate-breaking ability. Julio has a 20% target share and 25% of the air yards share and will avoid Casey Hayward for the most part. Chargers corner Michael Davis should see m