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Welcome to the Week 9 edition of The Wire Report for the 2021 NFL season. In this article I’ll be highlighting some of the top players that should still be available in your season long leagues.
This weekend saw injuries to major offensive players in Jameis Winston and work horse Derrick Henry. If you have them on your roster you’ll need to a solid substitute. Let’s see if we can find them for you.
Below are my top waiver wire targets:
Boston Scott – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles (4.9% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
With the Eagles up big this past weekend they ran the ball, and they ran it often. The trio of Scott, Howard, and Gainwell all had at least 12 rushes. We can probably exclude Gainwell from our thoughts because most of his work came towards the end of the game when it was already out of hand. Scott split time as the lead back and excelled. He had 12 rushes for 60 yards and 2 TD’s. He’s available just about every where and makes for a nice pick up if you’re in need of a running back.
Adrian Peterson/Jeremy McNichols – Running Back – Tennessee Titans (<1% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
The Titans were dealt a huge blow yesterday when they learned that Derrick Henry will be out for 6-10 weeks. He was the work horse as he was averaging close to 30 carries each week. It’s still a little early to figure out what the game plan will be this weekend but we do know that the Titans signed AP yesterday and may split time with McNichols. I would expect us to hear more news today on the Titans plans for this coming weekend.
Carlos Hyde – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars (6.7% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
This is highly dependent on the status of James Robinson. If Robinson were to miss any time with his bruised heel Hyde would make for a solid pick up. He filled in admirably on Sunday with 32 yards on 9 carries and then 6 receptions for 40 yards. Hyde has been productive in the past and if he’s the guy this Sunday, he’d stand a good chance to be productive in your lineup.
Jamal Agnew – Wide Receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars (1.7% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
Over his last 3 games Agnew has 7, 6, and 12 targets. He also found the endzone for his first receiving TD of the year. Agnew has done a nice job filling in for the injured Chark and has clicked very well with Trevor Lawrence. The only thing standing in my way of picking up Agnew is a match up with the Bills this weekend.
Rashod Bateman – Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens (19% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
In just 2 weeks Bateman has become a favorite of Lamar Jackson. He now has back to back weeks of 6 targets. This week he was able to do a bit more with them as he finished the game with 80 receiving yards. He’s built up a nice rapport with Lamar Jackson and could be fun to watch during the playoff stretch. With the Ravens back in action this weekend after a bye in week 8, Bateman is primed to continue with his solid play.
Tyrod Taylor/Davis Mills – Quarterback – Houston Texans (3.9% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
Tyrod Taylor is expected back this week after missing weeks 3-8. There’s a chance that they could also sit him for another week because that would lead into the bye, but I do think he’s back. The match up this weekend is great as they are taking on the Miami Dolphins who have really struggled defensively. Only Washington and KC have given up more points to QB’s than Miami. Should Taylor miss another week, Davis Mills is another option.
Nico Collins – Wide Receiver – Houston Texans (1.7% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)
This may be lazy for writing up Collins again. But the man is coming off his best week. He caught all 4 targets this weekend and ended up with 55 yards. Collins is becoming more of a focal point in this offense. Over the last 3 weeks he has been targeted 15 times. Collins is available everywhere and he’s well worth taking a flyer on now that he’s become more involved with the offense.
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Now into the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, we’ll look at what trading cards could see a value bump. We’ll conclude with the NFC.
Note: I’ll use my DFS-derived Cash-GPP-Punt terminology to break down the best buys – “Cash” being solid, low-risk with a high ceiling but moderate growth potential, “GPP” being a little more risky but marked by enormous growth potential, and “Punts” – which can be had cheaply but don’t offer quite the same upside/growth potential as the Cash and GPP plays.
Cash – For some reason, Aaron Rodgers trading cards don’t get a lot of hype, but they’re highly coveted. It may be because they came around long before the existence of Panini’s Prizm flagship, but also because he spent a few years waiting in the wings behind Brett Favre before he forged his own inevitable path to Canton. His 2005 Topps RC is reasonably priced, but there’s a really sweet – and relatively rare – 2005 Bowman Chrome Auto rookie up for auction on eBay that could sell for more than $2K when it’s all said and done. A PSA 10 (also numbered to 199) sold on Dec. 21 for $5K. I think we could see that particular card (in a graded PSA 10) jump up to $10K if he wins another Super Bowl – and especially if he beats Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the big game.
GPP – Davante Adams trading cards are primed for a huge jump, as you can still pick up a raw 2014 Prizm Silver Refractor #281 for about $100 or so. One card that I really like is his 2014 Topps Chrome 1985 throwback design – which is very affordable and looks awesome.
Punt – While Aaron Jones is a solid talent, he may price himself out of Green Bay soon, and we could see A.J. Dillon get a shot as the lead back. Dillon’s trading cards are still very affordable now and there’s lots of cool parallels. I pulled a gorgeous 2020 Mosaic Silver Prizm out of a hobby box that would be worth grading were it not for a minor edge issue on the card’s right side.
Cash – Drew Brees has a nice array of rookies to choose from, some of which command huge prices. The main issue keeping his trading cards from increasing in the next few months is that he’s obviously in a Chargers uniform in all of them. They’re still great buys because when he retires and is inducted into the HOF a few years down the road, they’ll see a huge bump.
GPP – Alvin Kamara rookie trading cards are worth way more than Michael Thomas, and the 2020 season has extended that gap even more. But if the Saints are going to win a title this season, he’s going to be a big part of it. You can buy his 2017 Panini Silver Prizm #291 in a Gem Mint PSA 10 for about $400, and even a 2017 Donruss Rated Rookie #349 PSA 9 is a great buy at just $50.
Punt – Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston trading cards are dirt cheap, and while they’re both in different uniforms in their rookie cards, one of them is going to inherit an offense that could help skyrocket their value. Jump aboard while they’re affordable.
Cash – Tom Brady remains the GOAT, and his rookie cards are crazy expensive. Some sellers on eBay post his cards for hilariously unrealistic prices for that site, so I’d advise against shelling out six or seven figures on that site. Still – high-grade examples of his top rookie cards regularly sell for $40-50K right on eBay, so it’s anybody’s guess what the market holds in the coming months. I’m not sure how much higher they’ll go, but if he wins a title with the Bucs, even his 2020 cards should go up.
GPP – Ronald Jones had a solid 2020 season, and Gronk cards may have reached their peak, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin still could see a bump.
Punt – I’ve got my eyes on Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Tyler Johnson, but there’s plenty of barriers to their immediate success at those skill positions in Tampa.
Cash – I’d say the safest bet is probably Cooper Kupp, because we know how crazy Jared Goff’s career has been thus far. I have a few Goff cards but no rookies, and that might be a good segue into the GPP section, because that’s where he probably belongs.
GPP – Cam Akers is really talented and has a bright future ahead of him in Los Angeles. I’m buying him up and enjoying how cheap his cards were before he was a regular part of the offense. It’s worth following a couple auctions to see where his cards go in the next couple of weeks.
Punt – Van Jefferson might get his shot as soon as one of the top two Rams WRs (Kupp and Robert Woods) moves on, and there’s plenty to like at his current price point.
Cash – Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf
GPP – Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, Chase Young, Terry McLaurin, David Montgomery, Allen Robinson
Punt – Antonio Gandy-Golden, Cole Kmet, Anthony Gordon, Deejay Dallas
The quarterback is the most important position in sports, let alone football. Choosing the correct quarterback on your DFS lineup could be the difference between winning a tournament and walking out empty-handed. With that all out of the way, let’s get into the Quarterbacks DFS Picks for Cash Games, GPP and who to punt!
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Starting off with a bit of a wild card here. Sam Darnold has been looking improved in his last five games with a 7:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in that span. The Buffalo Bills are locked into the fifth seed for the playoffs and this game means absolutely nothing but pride for them. They have already ruled Shaq Lawson out and Darnold played decent against the Bills Week One while dealing with mono. Expect a great performance at this price and pay up for other skill positions in your lineup.
The naysayers will say that Brady doesn’t perform well in South Florida but I would counter that with a look at this Miami Dolphins team. This is a great chance for the Patriots offense to get back in stride with a weaker opponent heading into a probable bye week. Tom Brady had one of his better statistical games against this Dolphins team with 264 yards and two touchdowns. Expect a nice performance at another relatively cheaper price than normal for the quarterback slot.
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t turn the ball over with just three interceptions this season. The Lions have surpassed the Arizona Cardinals as the worst passing defense in the NFL and have six interceptions, the lowest in the league. Aaron Rodgers should be a gunslinger in this game and be around 300 yards as well. No need to discount double-check this decision.
With the division title on the line in Week 17 in a primetime matchup, there are very few quarterbacks I would want outside of Russell Wilson. Coming off an all-around stinker against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks should come out on all cylinders against the 49ers. Yes, the numbers say the 49ers pass defense should limit him but the last three weeks do not look good for that defense.
He currently is listed as questionable with a back injury but I wouldn’t be shocked if he is under center on Sunday afternoon. Going up against a hungry Titans team still competing for a playoff opportunity, Watson will have the energy to compete instead of “taking the week off”. He played well in the matchup these two teams had earlier in the season and I expect very similar numbers out of him as well.
Patrick Mahomes had a bit of a struggle at points in this season but last year’s MVP has been heating up in his last three games. He played against top-level defenses in that span and should be easier for him with the Chargers in town. With the opportunity of a potential bye still looming, expect Patrick Mahomes to showcase his abilities on Sunday.
Jameis is on the injury report ahead of this game with a thumb and knee injury. This Atlanta team is completely different than the one Winston saw a month ago, with three consecutive victories and a team that will not be changing regimes in the offseason. Without some of his favorite targets on the field due to injury, expect a stinker from Jameis to end this season.
Do not buy into last week’s offensive performance from Case Keenum once Dwayne Haskins was carted off. This Cowboys team is somehow still competing for the NFC East crown and need to win this game and hope for an Eagles loss. Keenum had back-to-back stinkers before being demoted to the backup and that’s more of what I expect.
The fact that he is facing off against Bill Belichick and the New England defense is the main reason why Fitzpatrick is on this list. With a New England victory, they clinch a Wild Card bye and that will motivate the defense. I don’t necessarily believe he will turn into FitzTragic here, but I’m not believing in the Miami offense either.
Patrick Mahomes over 299.5 passing yards and Jameis Winston over 317.5 passing yards.
You can read about each of these quarterbacks above but as a summary, Jameis Winston should struggle without his main weapons against the Atlanta Falcons. Patrick Mahomes on the other hand should have a 300 yard day with the Chargers looking to end their miserable 2019 season.
He is coming off of one of his best games as a starting quarterback and the Falcons defense shouldn’t cause issues. Atlanta is allowing a 100.3 passer rating this season, which is the seventh-highest in the NFL. Garoppolo is playing with solid receivers that will create separation. With the 49ers still trying to win the NFC West, they should be ready while the Falcons are eliminated from playoff contention. Even with a backup center for the remainder of the season, Garoppolo should still have a solid game.
This should be the bounce-back week for the Patriots offense in general as they travel to Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed just 16 passing touchdowns so don’t expect the huge total from Brady. However, he doesn’t turn the ball over often and is a cheaper option on the slate. The Bengals allow 64 percent of passes to be completed so expect Brady’s accuracy to increase from where it has been the previous month. Expect a nice rebound game against a team poised to have the first pick in the NFL Draft.
This game is completely different than when these two teams met to open up the season. The Chicago Bears are dealing with injuries across the defense with Roquan Smith being placed on IR as well as Prince Amukamara and Danny Trevathan potentially missing this game. Aaron Rodgers should dominate a depleted defense and this Bears team has given up at least 275 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks in the last three games. Aaron Rodgers is completing 64.3 percent of his passes this season and only threw two interceptions so far. Expect Rodgers to continue playing well and get closer to locking up the NFC North.
Winston had a great statistical game passing the ball last week against the Indianapolis Colts without Mike Evans. Evans is currently doubtful for this matchup as of this writing. Tampa ranks second in passing yards per game and the Lions allow the third-most passing yards in the league. I do not see a situation where Detroit can stop Jameis, all they can do is hope he coughs up the football multiple times.
Not sure if I am pro-Baker or anti-Arizona this week. Baker should feast against this Arizona defense that is the worst at passing defense. They allow the most yards per game, touchdowns and best passer rating in the league. Baker is completing under 60 percent of his passes this season but this should be the return to last year’s version of Mayfield with a soft opposing defense. The Browns somehow have a chance to still make the playoffs and need this win, so expect Baker to come out with a lot of emotion.
Carolina is still trying to find out their identity as the season is reaching its end. Their pass rush is one of the best in the league with the second-most sacks. However, Carolina has two of their DE on the injury report. Expect Wilson to have his usual game as the running game will set him up for some big plays.
The Packers are a different team at home than they are on the road. Green Bay’s defense has 13 interceptions on the year and Tribusky is prone to mistakes. The Packers are trying to lock up this division and defeating the Bears could eliminate Chicago from the playoffs. Expect the Green Bay defense to lock down Tribusky and turn him back into a pumpkin.
Bill Belichick will shut down Andy Dalton, plain and simple. Dalton has had a solid couple games since being renamed the starting quarterback but that was against the Jets and Browns. The Patriot defense struggles against speedy teams and the Bengals do not have much speed. Expect this to get ugly early and potentially see Dalton pulled late.
Buffalo has two of their offensive tackles on the injury report, which is a little concerning. Pittsburgh’s passing defense is one of the best in football with the most sacks, fifth-least passing yards, and 18 interceptions. Allen has been good this year but the Bills offense has stuttered at times this season and against an elite defense is prone to do so again in primetime.
Jimmy Garoppolo over 270.5 passing yards and Matt Ryan under 265.5 passing yards.
Atlanta is allowing 258.2 passing yards per game and this is the time for Garoppolo to sling the football. Atlanta stops the run well so look for a large number of passing attempts and Jimmy G should finish with 300+ yards. San Francisco is coming off their worst pass-defending games in a shootout with the New Orleans Saints. However, the Falcons do not have nearly the amount of weapons that the Saints did. The 49ers also rank first in pass defense this season so Matt Ryan should easily hit the under.
Today the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown will be a doozy as player health was hit hard in Week 14. To make matters worse, many of those players (i.e. D.J. Chark who is unlikely to be active this week) have been staples in DFS lineups for most of 2019.
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Nevertheless, these injuries shake up the fade/play landscape which means new opportunities exist to gain leverage on the field. I’ll walk you through a brief-to-the-point injury analysis of each DFS relevant player injury, how it might affect their performance, and what to expect from them in Week 15. Later in the week, I’ll give updates on players who have a chance to return after extended absences such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, and James Conner. Note that all of the following prices are from DraftKings.
Mark Andrews ($8,400)
Andrews’ contusion situation is frustrating for DFS players as showdown slates are already super thin and difficult to navigate. Even though he’s trending in the right direction, Andrews being active and subsequently productive is no guarantee as contusions are extremely painful. To further complicate things, the Ravens have clinched a playoff berth and have nothing to play for, so why would they rush him back? The bottom line is that Andrews being active and productive is not a slam dunk, so monitor the inactive leading up to Thursday night and consider Hayden Hurst and/or Nick Boyle in tournament plays. If Andrews is active, he’s also a tournament play.
Ryan Griffin ($2,200)
Griffin falls into a group of usable tournament tight ends from week to week, so his injury isn’t exactly inconsequential. The short and long of it is this: don’t expect him to be active and if he is, don’t expect much production from him. He’s missed practice two days in a row now. Fade the entire Jets offense in this spot (except for Le’Veon Bell ($9,400) in tournaments).
Noah Fant ($4,100)
Speaking of not a slam dunk to play, Noah Fant injured his ankle on Sunday and reportedly now has significant bruising and pain. My hypotheses is that he suffered an eversion ankle sprain (the opposite direction of when you think of “rolling” your ankle) and is not a lock to suit up against Kansas City. Much like Mark Andrews, if Fant is active, he’s not guaranteed to produce as his ankle injuries make each step painful. Jeff Heuerman ($2,600), his backup, is a deep tournament play if Fant can’t go as the Chiefs are ranked in the bottom 10 in defending the tight end.
Jared Cook ($4,600)/DeVante Parker ($6,400)
Next on the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown are two players who suffered concussions last week. I’m grouping them together as neither of them has had more than one concussion previously. Cook has had only one other documented concussion in his career and Parker hasn’t had any. This matters because the medical literature tells us that only after the third concussion does symptoms of concussion and overall recovery time significantly stall. Parker and Cook should both be active and are smash cash plays against the lowly Colts and Giants secondaries respectively.
Update: Both Parker and Cook have practiced in a limited fashion as they make their way through the concussion protocol. What that means is that every day at practice a member of the medical staff re-evaluates them based on a series of tests and measures ranging from concentration to headaches and their ability to track moving objects with their eyes. As I mentioned before, Cook has only one concussion in his past and Parker has none. Unless there is something missing in their history, I’m relatively confident Parker is active and more confident Cook will be active as well given the extra day he has to recover. The flip side here is that neither are cash plays because there is risk for another concussion for both.
Jameis Winston ($6,900)
Winston has a hairline fracture in his thumb on his throwing hand. However, it’s a good sign that he re-entered the game in the second half, and it’s an even better sign that he threw three touchdowns following the injury. Even though the fracture is minor, pain/swelling/painful gripping is very much still in play for Winston this week making him a more volatile play than usual (which isn’t really saying much). Just keep in mind that if you start him, Ryan Griffin (the Bucs backup quarterback, not the Jets’ starting eight ends) taking over at some point mid-game is very much within the realm of possibilities. Winston is a cash fade for me this week, but I would consider sprinkling him into tournaments conservatively.
D.J. Chark ($6,200)
Chark was reportedly wearing a walking boot and using a push scooter. This is concerning because those scooters are reserved for dislocations and serious fractures. Now, some teams are pretty dramatic when it comes to protecting injuries, but I’m convinced that Chark’s injury is legitimate as he didn’t practice on Wednesday. The Jaguars entire organization is a dumpster fire right now and the quarterback situation volatile. However, somebody has to catch passes so Dede Westbrook ($4,600) is a cheap tournament play who has been averaging eight targets per game over the last four weeks.
Josh Jacobs ($7,00)
Josh Jacobs’ situation is one of the most bizarre injury situations of the 2019 season. Last week it was revealed that Jacobs has a fractured shoulder and he was inactive. However, for whatever reason the general consensus on Wednesday is that he’s a slam dunk to be active and productive. This is not the case (see my tweet below). As of now, Jacobs is still not a slam dunk to play as a running back needs to be able to take full and repeated contact without further damage. Follow me on twitter for updates on Jacobs. Regardless of his status, Jacobs is a very volatile cash game option this week as the matchup is very enticing.
Update: Jacobs continues to be limited in practice on Thursday and Gruden will not commit to him being active on Sunday. At this point Jacobs has a chance at playing but the Raiders will take it slow. With nothing left to play for in 2019 and as a centerpiece for the franchise moving forward, I would not be surprised if Jacobs sits this week as well to prevent further damage to the shoulder. I’ll be much more optimistic if he gets in a full contact practice in on Friday.
Conner is returning (again) from a sternoclavicular injury he originally suffered in Week Eight and then again in Week 11. He resumed full practice activity this week, but I’m not confident he can stay healthy. This injury is one that can be recurring as the stability of the joint itself is never the same. In other words, Conner is on my “prove it” list before using him in cash games. The risk of re-injury is still elevated for him.
Hilton began practicing again this week in a limited fashion which theoretically opens the door for him to play on Sunday. However, this recurring calf injury is one that is not going away as evidenced by his poor performance in Week 12 and subsequent inactive in Week 13 and 14. The calf muscle is crucial in pushing off of the ground to sprint and jump, making Hilton a fade in all formats even if he’s active. My hope is that the Colts sit him as a calf injury hypothetically increases the risk for an achilles rupture. There’s no reason to risk that at this point in the season for Indi.
Thank you for reading the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll discuss players who have a chance to return from extended absences later this week (potentially even today). This is definitely a week in which you’ll want to keep up with my updates so, bookmark this page, check back periodically, and follow me on twitter here. Good luck!
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A look back at some of the best performances from the Sunday slate plus their outlooks for the remainder of the season. All that and more on the 12/9 DFS and Betting review and look ahead.
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Our very own Daniel Shives had a solid day in NFL DFS with a takedown of his own. He dominated the $2K Sunday NFL Small Sweep tournament and after landing in the first place, won himself $400. You can join our free Discord server and become a Premium member to experience more perks, including extra articles as well as other rewards. Turn your sports hobbies into a money producer today!
Here is a preview of what to expect from the DFS RB Picks article written by Antonio D’Arcangelis. He chose Aaron Jones for his GPP Plays and if you followed that, you were not disappointed. Jones ran 16 times for 134 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. He also led the team in catches and receiving yards with six receptions for 58 yards.
Outlook for the rest of the season: After a few lackluster weeks, Jones proved he could dominate a weak Redskins rushing defense. He led the team in rushing and receiving. Jones is proving to be a jack-of-all-trades in the backfield, getting at least five targets in seven games this season. Expect a solid performance the rest of the season, whether it be as a running back or receiver.
Here is our NFL FanDuel Cheatsheet, where Jason Mezrahi chose Jameis Winston as a value quarterback and Winston did not disappoint. Going against the Indianapolis Colts at home, Jameis was a passing machine. He threw for 456 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 33-of-45 attempts. Winston also rushed six times for five yards and another touchdown.
Outlook for the rest of the season: Winston did miss the first drive of the second half with a right thumb injury but returned the next drive. He looks like he will be okay and shouldn’t have any issues going forward. Winston throws for a lot of yards but the turnovers are the issue. He has 26 touchdown passes with 23 interceptions. Expect another dominant performance next week with a lackluster Detroit team being his foe.
Here is a snippet from the NBA DFS Sunday Night Positional Breakdown article written by Brandon C. Williams. Anthony Davis was the top power forward on the market as he dominated the entire game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He went 20-for-29 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line for a 50-point game. He also added seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block in 39 minutes of action.
Outlook for the rest of the season: This is what prime Anthony Davis could do on the court as a Laker. Davis is setting himself up for a solid MVP consideration with his play and has the talents to only improve from here. He is a huge reason the Lakers sit at 21-3 on the season and show no signs of slowing down. Davis is scoring 27.7 points a night and has the fourth-best PER in the league. Expect these types of performances often and do not be afraid to pay up for his services on your DFS lineups.
The NFL DFS Week 10 Podcast with DFS Pro Javi and BCW take a look ahead at Week 10 and the potential impact players to consider. The two also discuss how to handle teams with a pair of top end WRs while resetting two age-old questions that includes a WKRP in Cincinnati take.
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The NFL DFS Week 10 Podcast with DFS Pro Javi & BCW looks at how the changing weather will impact DFS usage, especially at QB and WR. The focus then goes to Week 10, where injuries across the board at RB makes the use of Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey vital. Next, the pair look at QBs who have sleeper potential along with the ones to avoid. Finally, the duo focuses on WRs and TEs and point out a number of solid plays.
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Welcome to Week 5 of DFS QB Picks, a world where Gardner Minshew II has more Fantasy points than Tom Brady. It’s also a world in which Jacoby Brissett is tied for the league lead in touchdown passes and Lamar Jackson is on pace toward 4,440 passing yards and 952 rushing yards.
It’s also the same world where Patrick Mahomes has the most Fantasy points, so the world isn’t that unusual.
As usual, it’s the main slate that has our focus, so Rams-Seahawks (Thursday), Colts-Chiefs (Sunday night) and Browns-49ers (Monday night) get slight mention. Week 5 is a bye for the Lions and, alas, the Dolphins.
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Uh…let him air it out? It’s worked the past two games, as Winston has completed 51 of 87 passes for 765 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. The Saints are 29th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks, and while the 1.5 TD passes per game is modest, they have also given up 24 yards and a score per game on the ground to opposing passers.
With Matt Stafford off this week, Winston has the league’s best average depth of target at 10.8 yards. He leads all passers with 8.7 air yards per pass completion and is second to Matt Ryan with 759 air yards. The Saints are 23rd in yards per completion, and with that game in a closed environment, I’d throw away any past Winston has had against the Saints and trust that Bruce Arians will let him whip it all Sunday afternoon.
He managed just four Fantasy points against the Bills last week, but gets a huge rebound outing on the road against a Redskins defense that is 28th in opposing QB rating at 112.4. Only the Dolphins have a higher touchdown percentage (10.3%) than the Redskins’ 7.6%, and their pass rush (five sacks) is almost non-existent.
Brady averaged 27.6 Fantasy points in his first three games, yet there is still the feeling we have really seen Brady at his most lethal. He has had only three of his 139 pass attempts dropped, and his modest numbers only enhance the belief that some poor secondary is going to 370 yards and five TDs dropped on them sooner or later. Bet on the sooner. Air raid sirens on the Atlantic seaboard go off this Sunday at 12:59 PM Eastern.
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You seriously have to worry about Watson’s durability. He’s been sacked 18 times, putting him on pace for 72. Fortunately for Watson, he’s facing a Falcons defense that has recorded just five sacks and has allowed 1.8 TD passes per game. His three rushing touchdowns bolsters his GPP standing, but Houston’s inconsistent play makes Watson too much of a risk to consider him as a Cash Game player. The Falcons may not get to the passer with frequency, but they are ninth in fewest passing yards allowed.
He will be grossly overused, but the Colts are 28th in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing passers. The 2.3 TD passes per game given up by Indy is amplified since Mahomes didn’t throw one in the win against the Lions. I’d look for him to bounce back with a monster effort with the national spotlight on him.
Prescott has thrown six touchdown passes and averages 249 yards against the Packers in two previous appearances. He’s been sacked just three times this season, and he’s due a strong rebound after averaging a paltry 6.76 yards per attempt in Sunday’s loss to the Saints. His Y/A and adjusted yards per attempt have dipped with each game, making you wonder how long it will be before it becomes Ezekiel Elliott’s offense once and for all. Green Bay is also fourth in net yards per attempt, lending further reason to keep him as a GPP.
Counting the postseason, Rodgers has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five of his last six games against the Cowboys. Green Bay is 26th in rushing yardage and 27th in average per carry, making this a game where Rodgers goes north of 30-35 passes. A healthy Davante Adams will make him a strong GPP option. Adams is fifth among receivers with 150 yards after the catch and gives the Packers the needed stretch threat to compensate for their struggles on the ground.
Wentz has delivered at least 25 Fantasy points and multiple touchdown passes in three of his first four games. The Jets are sixth overall in run defense and have allowed just four touchdown passes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Wentz puts up numbers similar to last Thursday’s win over the Packers: multiple scoring strikes despite modest yardage totals. Depending on the health of DeSean Jackson, my projections for Wentz could change since the Jets lack the offense to trade shots with the Eagles.
Good Number: Ryan leads the league with 777 air yards and is fifth in pass yards after the catch (548).
Bad Number: Interceptions remain an issue, and the Texans’ pass rush will help them improve on the one interception they have recorded this season.
Good Number: Third in air yards, Wilson is also averaging 32 Fantasy points per game at home.
Bad Number: Good things rarely happen when Wilson has a bad throw. His 13.5% completion rate on bad throws is 18th overall.
Good Number: Fantasy point totals have gone from 19 to 21 to 24 to 27. A 30-point is likely considering the Chiefs are 27th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing tight ends, and we all know how Brissett likes his tight ends.
Bad Number: Only four other quarterbacks have a worse air yards per pass attempt than Brissett’s 3.1.
Good Number: Entering Week 5, Jackson is one of only four quarterbacks with average depth of target of more than 10 yards (10.2).
Bad Number: Of his 134 attempts, 22 have been labeled as bad passes. Sunday was a reminder of how raw of a passer Jackson still is.
Good Number: Having a dangerous threat like Austin Ekeler has helped Rivers produce 596 passing yards after the catch, the third-best total in the league.
Bad Number: It would help if Rivers’ receiving corps had better hands. He’s tied for fifth with six drops.
Good Number: Guess who’s right above Rivers in passing yards after the catch? This guy (597).
Bad Number: Guess who’s tied with Rivers with six passes dropped? Yup. This guy.
Cousins’ stock is low, and he’ll have few users against a Giants defense allowing 295 yards and 2.3 TD passes per game. He’s 24th in yards after the catch (370), which is 43 more yards than what Giants pivot Daniel Jones has produced in two games.
The 517 yards were impressive, but Goff is still only getting 5.1 yards after catch per completion. Seattle is middle of the pack in Fantasy points allowed, yet could take advantage of Goff’s excessive passing due in part to a running game ranked 22nd overall. A 300-yard game is possible, but it will be one pockmarked with sacks and interceptions.
Even with Jalen Ramsey available, I’d consider Allen a good punt option here. The Jaguars are 10th in passing yards allowed and have only one interception in 141 attempts against them. J-ville is 27th in yards gained per pass completion, and Christian McCaffrey allows Allen to stretch this overrated secondary.
Sweet Jeebers, young man! Can we work on that 3.1 air yards per attempt, please? Murray has a chance to get fat, full and happy at the expense of a Bengals defense that is 29th in yards per completion at 13.6.
The Ravens have the highest yards per completion (14.4) and are 29th in passing yards per game. Rudolph looked more comfortable in the pocket on Monday night and should be able to get his receiving corps a splash play or two. He is a sneaky good play among the Week 5 DFS QB Picks.
He’ll give you around 35 attempts, and the promising outing from Wayne Gallman helps take pressure off Jones. However, the Vikings allow just 5.5 yards per catch, making Jones more of a 2-QB bet than a stand-alone starter.
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It’s Week 3 of DFS QB Picks. Let’s all pray it’s less brutal than Week 2.
Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Sam Darnold and Trevor Siemien were all KO’ed with various forms of injuries, with Roethlisberger done for the season, Brees is out for up to six weeks, Darnold is down until Week Five and Siemien is likely to be in dry dock for a hot minute.
I think Florida Evans put it best.
As usual, we’ll focus on the main slate of Sunday afternoon games with a brief nod to Sunday night’s Rams-Browns and Monday night’s Bears-Redskins contests.
Dak Prescott is a legit QB1. There. Another thing I never suspect I’d type in 2019. Prescott has 447 completed air yards and six touchdown passes along with 81 yards rushing. Someone wants a new contract. He’s only made two bad throws in his first 62 attempts, so it’s all the more reason to run with Prescott against the most QB-friendly defense in Fantasy football.
Miami traded Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday, basically further declaring their secondary an open city for Prescott to march through. The Dolphins were 27th in Fantasy points allowed per game to wide receivers with Fitzpatrick, so I will buy into the unlikely and play Prescott in Cash Game formats, with the added bonus of at least 40 rushing yards and the prospect of a ground touchdown.
Wilson is averaging a solid 20.4 Fantasy points per game. He’ll move beyond solid against the Saints, who are 26th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. New Orleans is also 27th in Fantasy points per game allowed to opposing wide receivers, a scary reality considering that 80% of Wilson’s 496 passing yards have come after the catch.
I think we’ve seen the peak of Wilson’s rushing. Don’t get it twisted: he can still hurt opponents on the ground, but the maturity as a passer makes his rushing attempts more precise than just a sheer desire to do so. That said, I’ll predict Wilson gives you a rushing TD on top of a big passing afternoon.
On a bad day, Rivers still threw for 293 yards. He’s not Gardner Minshew and Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will throw more fear into the Texans secondary than the Jaguars’ middling receiving corps did. Rivers has never recorded a 300-yard game against the Texans, but he’s averaged 3.5 TD passes against them. He’s averaged 10.83 adjusted passing yards per attempt versus the Texans.
Rivers is thriving off oyards after completion, amassing 479 of his 626 yards via that route. Much of that is credited to Allen and running back Austin Ekeler, who have combined for 56,5% of Rivers’ 46 completions. Creating havoc after the catch will be a must since Rivers will have to account for where DE J.J. Watt lines up.
Rivers also tends to get more accurate as the game goes on, completing 65% of pass attempts 21-30 and 80% beyond 30 attempts. This game should be a slugfest, so I’d bet on Rivers going well north of 30 attempts.
So the Jaguars remembered how to play defense. Watson burned a host of Cash Gamers last week, but I’m counting on a rebound on Sunday. With rushing scores in each of his first two games, Watson’s running only enhances his value. Although he’s getting just 4.9 air yards per completion thus far, Watson has added nearly two yards to his yards after the catch per completion from last season..
Watson has six big plays in his first two games, with his receivers (DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills) each with a pair. The Chargers are middle of the pack when it comes to Fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, but their 190 yards allowed will be tested — and passed — by Watson and the Texans on Sunday.
The Giants are 29th in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks, giving up 329.5 yards and 2.5 TD passes per contest. Winston will have a healthier Mike Evans this week, and the progression from Week 1 to Week 2 is going to carry into Week 3.
If the Buccaneers want an effective Winston, they should keep him in single RB looks. His passer rating is 88.5 when in single sets compared to a 63.6 when lined up in shotgun. It’s a small sample, yes, yet again keep in mind that Week 3 will essentially feel like Week 1 for Evans. Winston’s under the radar right now, which is why the value and upside are a perfect Cash Game pairing.
Philly is giving up 350 yards and three touchdown passes per game. There’s nothing to suggest anyone in that secondary is going to slow down Kenny Golladay. The Eagles have allowed eight completions of better than 20 yards and 368 yards after the catch. This screams Field Day for Stafford.
In eight of his last 10 meetings against the Jets, including the past six, Brady has thrown at least two touchdown passes. He averaged better than 10 yards per attempt in the two games against them last season. Brady’s come out of the gate with an average of 13.8 yards per completion, his highest since 2011. The yardage totals, however (he has just one 300-yard game versus the Jets since 2014), is the main reason I can’t suggest him for Cash Games.
Alshon Jeffery (calf) is unlikely. DeSean Jackson (groin) is out, so ownership may be low. Wentz is magic after halftime, completing 35 of 48 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns. That’s a sharp contrast from going 18 of 34 for 159 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the first 30 minutes of play.
Yes, T.Y. Hilton is getting his targets, but what I like about Brissett is how he’s utilizing TEs Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. The duo have caught 9 of 12 targets, with Ebron catching one of Brissett’s five touchdown passes. The Colts are averaging 5.5 yards per carry, which strongly suggests Brissett will have opportunities for downfield shots against the Falcons that he didn’t have in the first two games against the Chargers and Titans. He’s perhaps the best value play of the week.
The Ravens are fifth in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing passers. They did give up 349 yards to Kyler Murray on Sunday, but kept him out of the end zone. I don’t suspect they’ll do the same against Mahomes, who threw for 278 of his 443 yards against Oakland in the second quarter. He looked somewhat ordinary outside of that insane 15-minute run. Mahomes is averaging 10.7 yards per completion and no matter what, he’s not going to remain on a 6,568-yard, 56-TD pass pace. There’s better value passers with better matchups in Week 3, so do know there’s some Buyer Beware that comes with Mahomes this week.
Good Number: 112 Adjusted Yards per Atttempt+ means he’ll continue to stretch defenses now that Odell Beckham Jr. is in tune.
Bad Number: The Rams are third in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Good Number: Rodgers, who’s averaged 7.8 yards per attempt in his career, is not going to sit on his current average of 6.4 YPA much longer.
Bad Number: The Broncos are eighth in Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed just 189.5 passing yards per game.
Good Number: Only one interception in a league-high 94 attempts, plus he’s averaging 12.2 yards per completion.
Bad Number: He’s had 11 poor throws and just one completion from them. The Panthers are 0-2, but their defense is still good enough to make Murray look more like a rookie than he has thus far.
Good Number: He’s averaging 14.5 yards per completion. That’s not all Hollywood Brown, either.
Bad Number: It’s nitpicking with the start that he’s had, so the 175 air yards counts as a “negative.”
Good Number: He’s getting 8.58 net yards per attempt with an under the radar receiving corps.
Bad Number: Wow, that 3.3 depth yards per target is something we’re going to have to discuss, Jimmy…
The Vikings are 21st in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. Weren’t they supposed to be elite? Most will have Carr off their charts, but I’ll play the exception.
Five interceptions lead the league. Even with the big Week 2 outings from Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Ryan is still averaging a mere 5.6 adjusted yards gained per pass attempt.
The numbers are putrid in his first two starts, but nothing says “improvement is coming” like facing the Redskins and their 31st ranked defense when it comes to Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
As ugly a Week 2 that he had, keep in mind Cousins leads the league with a 14.9 yards per completion. Among the DFS Week 3 QB Picks, Cousins is near the top when it comes to “either/or.”
If James Connor is limited, Rudolph will be north — well north — of 30 pass attempts. Look for Vance McDonald and James Washington to be the big winners in the new QB regime in Pittsburgh. The Niners are seventh in Fantasy points allowed to opposing passers, which is why I’m not as optimistic about Rudolph as I am with any of the other DFS Week 3 QB Picks.
Cash with the Flash Best Bets had a good day yesterday. Our tennis pick Alison van Uytvanck needed three sets to handle her business but she did, bringing our Cash with the Flash Bets tennis record to 21-7. We’ll get back into the tennis more heavily after the kids return from their Asian Tour swing.Those matches are just too darn late for me to watch, but I may just do a separate posting later in the day as there is usually good value at this time of the year. Let me know if this interests you and we’ll see what we can do.There is a tournament happening in Cary, North Carolina and part of the ATP Challenger Series. There is one match Cash with the Flash Best Bets is looking at for Thursday.Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!NoahRubin (-145) vs ChristopherEubanks (+105)We have a couple of up and coming young Americans playing here on the hardcourts Thursday at 6:30 pm ET. Both players are outside the top 150 in...