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The NFL DFS season continues with the Monday night showdown, and we’ve got the breakdown to help you win big money in the final Week 14 NFL DFS contests!NOTE: For a refresher on showdown general rules and strategy, see my first showdown article of 2021.Let’s get to the game!Week 14 NFL DFS MVP candi...

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The NFL DFS season continues with this week’s Monday night showdown, and we’re helping you win big money in the final Week 15 NFL DFS contests!

Week 15 NFL DFS MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Chalk: Ben Roethlisberger (DK $17,700, FD $16,000)

Pivot: JuJu Smith-Schuster (DK $15,000, FD $12,000)

Contrarian #1: Ryan Finley (DK $12,000, FD $13,500)

Contrarian #2: Steelers DST (DK only: $10,800)

FD/DK Value: Tee Higgins (DK $6,800 FLEX, FD $10,000)

DK Punts: Jaylen Samuels (DK $1,200), Samaje Perine ($2,100)

There’s plenty of uncertainty looming as we approach the MNF contest this week, although it’s not necessarily a question of competition; the Steelers should win this game handily as the Bengals haven’t really been able to stop anyone and they’re rolling out an objectively bad QB in Ryan Finley.

The biggest question is who exactly will be logging most of the backfield touches for the Steelers, who may simply rely on their usual smattering of quick-attack passing plays and the occasional heave to their assortment of capable receivers (JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington and TE Eric Ebron) in the red zone. Johnson has been dealing with the dropsies but is still the highest priced WR in this contest. On the Cincy side, I’m still interested in slot man Tyler Boyd for his PPR upside and rookie revelation Tee Higgins (58-778-5 this season) for his red zone upside.

Ben Roethlisberger is the obvious chalk at CPT, though we can get a few key pieces of the Steelers passing game if we roster the right cheap RB – be it James Conner (questionable with a quad injury), the largely ineffective and boring Benny Snell, Jr. or passing down back Jaylen Samuels. Conner sat out weeks 12 and 13 with COVID, ran for just 18 yards on 10 carries in Week 14, and earlier this week looked like a longshot to even suit up for Week 15. He didn’t practice Thursday but got in limited sessions Friday and Saturday.

If Conner doesn’t play tonight, I’ll consider Snell, but I’m partial to Samuels and rookie RB Anthony McFarland, Jr., — who could be inactive again (like Week 14) if Conner does end up playing. If we get word that McFarland (just $200 as a flex on DK) will be in the mix for carries, I’ll be locking him into about half my GPP lineups. Somebody on the Steelers is going to shred this awful Bengals run defense, but the injury to Conner and the varied nebulous roles that define each of the other RBs really complicate the matter. WRs are still the priority for PIT, but the price points for the RBs are a prime pathway to a big payday.

The Bengals have their own issues at RB, with Giovani Bernard, Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine likely splitting the workload until a “hot hand” emerges. Pass protection and ball protection – and not talent – might be the largest factors for the Bengals backfield in this matchup. Bernard’s fumble in Week 14 earned him a spot on the bench, but he’s still the most versatile back they have with Joe Mixon sidelined on IR indefinitely. I’ll have one or two Bengals total in my builds (Higgins/Seibert or Boyd/Bernard), and probably never three — though it makes sense to build at least one Finley/Boyd or Finley/Higgins lineup.

I probably don’t have to tell you to consider the Steelers DST and fade the Bengals DST, but it’s worth mentioning as Pittsburgh should easily confound Finley and force some turnovers. Bengals kicker Austin Seibert will get the start, and Chris Boswell should be healthy enough to play for Pittsburgh. Neither kicker is a priority.

Week 15 NFL DFS Utility options (and some DOs and DON’Ts)

Remember to build your team based on a narrative that makes sense, and utilize the WinDaily fantasy toolbox for cheatsheets and projections that can help you tremendously with lineup building.

DO: Build a trio (or quartet) of offensive weapons for a team that makes sense together.

DON’T: Go into your GPP builds without a narrative plan this week. Use the writeup and flex list below to help narrow your player pool and find a winning path.

DO: Play Big Ben. The Steelers WRs are too good and the RBs don’t do enough for this team.

DON’T: Forget about the Steelers defense. They’ve lost a few key players but it’s a deep team with plenty of playmakers.

Now that we’ve established some narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value (a combo of salary and projected points):

  1. Ben Roethlisberger
  2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  3. Chase Claypool
  4. Tyler Boyd
  5. Diontae Johnson
  6. Steelers DST
  7. Tee Higgins
  8. Eric Ebron
  9. James Conner
  10. Ryan Finley
  11. Giovani Bernard
  12. Jaylen Samuels (small bump if Conner sits)
  13. Benny Snell, Jr. (huge bump if Conner sits)
  14. James Washington
  15. Trayveon Williams
  16. Samaje Perine
  17. A.J. Green
  18. Drew Sample
  19. Anthony McFarland Jr. (if active)
  20. Austin Seibert
  21. Chris Boswell
  22. Bengals DST
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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.



James Conner

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.

T.Y. Hilton

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!


Featured image courtesy of Merson.

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Welcome to my video that will be released every Thursday. I will be covering value and punt plays, favorite stacks, and my contrarian plays for Thursday night football. So who is ready for some Week 11 Thursday night football action between the Browns and Steelers? All prices discussed are via DraftKings in their Thursday night Showdown Slate.


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Thursday Night Football Value and Punt Plays

The only punt plays that DraftKings is allowing here are with the Browns’ tight ends: Demetrius Harris ($4,200), and Ricky Seals-Jones ($3,600). The matchup is fine with the Pittsburgh Steelers allowing the ninth most fantasy points to the TE position. The other punt plays (go figure) include each team’s kicker: Austin Seibert ($3,800) and Chris Boswell ($4,000). This game projects to be low-scoring so the kickers will be featured in many winning GPP lineups. Cleveland over the past three weeks has averaged 2.7 field goal attempts per game. Austin Seibert has made eight field goals over the past three weeks. The Steelers kicker Chris Boswell has also been good lately. He has scored the fourth-most fantasy points at the position over the past three weeks. Cleveland at home as allowed 2.2 field goal attempts per game this season. 

From points per game basis, the Steelers DST ($5,200) is easily the best value on the slate. They are averaging 13.2 fantasy points per game compared to quarterback Mason Rudolph ($8,400) who is averaging 13.6.

Favorite Stacks

Vegas was right to back the Browns last week favoring that home even against a 6-2 Bills team, so I am going back to the Browns here recommending a Cleveland stack as 2.5 favorites at home. Building around my core players in Baker Mayfield ($9,000), Nick Chubb ($10,600), and Odell Beckham Jr. ($9,200). On this slate, in particular, the defenses figure to be extremely popular and they should be. So I especially like stacking Chubb with the Browns DST ($4,600).

Week 11 Thursday Night Football Contrarian Plays

You do not have to play a quarterback in some of your rosters. It would not surprise me at all to see both QBs score under 15 fantasy points considering on average they both are scoring per game below that threshold.

Going heavier on the cheaper running backs on each team with Jaylen Samuels ($8,800) and Kareem Hunt ($5,800) who are arguably better in PPR formats from a ceiling projection. Both are more likely to see more receptions than their running back counterparts.

Fading James Conner ($10,800) at his price tag could be a nice contrarian play. Coming off another injury and looking at Conner’s game logs he only has two games this year where he has averaged more than four yards per carry (Bengals and Dolphins). Browns are allowing 4.9 yards per carry this season. Cleveland’s run defense is slightly better at home.

Receivers in the captain spot are always usually the way to go, but are often overlooked. JuJu Smith-Schuster ($8,600) could be in line for a nice outing with his cornerback matchup versus T.J. Carrie. Carrie has taken over as the primary slot defensive back in Cleveland after the release of Jermaine Whitehead. He has allowed 1.79 yards per snap which is fourth-worst in the NFL. Carrie is by far the worst cornerback on the Browns. The two best performances from receivers versus the Browns this season were Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman who both scored two touchdowns and had double-digit targets.

Image via Erik Drost

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DFS: Midweek Injury Update

In Week Ten, more people than usual in the Premium Gold group chat shared winning lineup screenshots- and we love to see it. As the DFS season moves forward it will be imperative to stay on top of injury news to join this winner’s circle. Most imperative of all, make sure to read my Injury Fade/Play article that comes out every Saturday morning as I’m currently sitting at a 70% accuracy for injury outlooks. And it’s totally free! With that said, I’ll get into the DFS Midweek Injury Update. Note that all prices below are from FanDuel.

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James Conner ($14,500)

Conner has been sidelined by an AC joint sprain and as expected, is set to return this week right at the two to four week average layoff. Conner is a decent play in the single game slates this week as the Browns are middle of the pack in terms of rushing defense. Volume will be key for Conner as I don’t expect him to be limited from this injury.

Matt Breida

I’m treading lightly here because Breida must truly be made of iron and nails at this point, but I will say that it looks like he’s going to sit Week 11 out.

George Kittle ($7,500)

Kittle did not practice at all last week as he is dealing with knee and ankle injuries. He has been significantly banged up with these non-specific injuries for a few weeks now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold him out again against the Cardinals this week, so Kittle can take the Week 12 bye to get healthy. Surprisingly, Ross Dwelley ($4,900), had seven targets in Week Ten against the Seahawks and could serve as a cheap tight end option in tournaments on Sunday against the Cardinals who are abysmal terrible awful the worst bad below average against tight ends.

Update: Kittle was officially ruled out for Sunday by Shanahan.

Jacoby Brissett ($7,500)

Brissett was a surprise scratch that was announced Saturday morning before kickoff on Sunday. The Colts (likely) sat him with the impression that the Dolphins weren’t worth worrying about

Narrators Voice: They were wrong.

At any rate, Brissett should definitely be ready to go in Week Eleven barring any setbacks as he progressed through practice as a limited participant all of last week. This week the Colts take on the Jaguars who are ranked 12th in pass DVOA.

Update: Brissett should be good to go on Sunday.

Matthew Stafford ($7,900)

Stafford’s back injury seemed to come out of nowhere last week and he sat out for Week Ten. Due to the fact that Matt Patricia falls from the Patriots coaching tree, there has been very little reported about the injury itself and it has been called “week to week and day to day” all in one sentence. The bottom line is that if Stafford is dealing with the same back issue that plagued him all of last year, this could be a multi-week absence. My guess from this limited amount of information is that Stafford could be having back spasms. Why do back spasms happen? We’ll stand by and monitor his practice participation before going down that rabbit hole which ends badly for Stafford. If Stafford is inactive again, Jeff Driskel ($6,700) is in play as a deep, deep money saver in tournaments.

Update: Stafford hasn’t practiced yet this week and it’s not looking like he’ll play on Sunday.

Adam Thielen ($7,000)

The reset button was hit on Thielen’s hamstring injury in Week Nine when he re-aggravated it and didn’t finish the game. As we all know, hamstring injuries can cause one to three week absences for players, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Thielen sits out this week then takes the Week 12 bye week to get fully healthy before the home stretch. In an odd turn of events, Kyle Rudolph ($4,500) has received 19 targets since Thielen’s initial injury. He’s a weak option to keep in mind as a tournament play as the Broncos have been solid against tight ends this year.

Update: Thielen has not practiced this week. I would not count on him playing this week.

Emmanuel Sanders ($6,900)

Sanders took a big hit on Monday night and the reports are that he now has cartilage damage. The thing about ribs injuries is that they’re mostly self-limiting in nature which means that if the player can tolerate taking hits with minimal pain, they can go. The catch is that ribs injuries can be excruciating as the rib cage needs to constantly expand and relax to breathe while at rest, let alone while playing in an NFL game. It’s early in the week, but even if Sanders is active, I would not expect him to be productive. He could be active solely as a decoy but I would avoid him in tournaments and cash games this week. On the other hand, Deebo Samuel ($5,600) popped off against Seattle and could be a fine tournament play against the lowly Cardinals pass defense.

Update: Based on the reports, it doesn’t seem like Sanders will be active.


Alshon Jeffery ($6,200)

Jeffery continued to sit out of practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury he’s been nursing since before the Eagles’ bye week. At this point, there’s no way to trust Jeffery will be active, but if he is that ankle joint lacks the maximal stability required for his physical style of play. For that reason, even if active he’s a fade in all formats. The bright side (if there is one when discussing player injuries) is that Dallas Goedert ($5,000) is an excellent play in cash games given the desolate tight end landscape. With Zach Ertz becoming the de facto number one option, New England might choose to key on him this week and allow Goedert to catch a touchdown or two while playing a game in which the Eagles are likely to be in a negative game script from the kickoff.

Marquise Brown ($5,600)

The fact that “Hollywood” didn’t practice on Thursday is simply perplexing. He’s been listed on the injury report most of the season with this ankle injury and his practice participation is sporadic on a week to week basis. For example in Week Nine he practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday then did not practice Friday. This Wednesday he practiced but did not practice on Thursday. To top it off, I’ve gone back and watched fourth quarter film on him and he doesn’t show signs of limitations or a specific injury to point to. You’re guess is as good as mine when it comes to Brown’s status for Sunday, which by default means you should not count on him for cash games. However, he’s a yellow light in tournaments in this favorable matchup against Houston.

David Montgomery ($6,400)

Montgomery was already limited by an ankle injury before “lightly rolling it” again on Thursday according to Matt Nagy. At this point, it would be hard to use Montgomery in any formats given the volatile Bears offense and his lack of production against a Lions defense who usually gives up big time production to running backs. Tarik Cohen ($5,300) is a “meh” option for the single game slates.

Will Fuller ($6,300)

The speedster is in a good spot playing in a likely negative game script that should be high scoring. The problem is that Fuller has shown a significant history of hamstring injuries over the last two years. That makes him a volatile option due to the legitimate chance at re-injury. For those reasons he’s only a tournament play.

Thank you for reading the DFS Midweek Injury Update. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for up to the hour updates and analysis on player injuries and DFS implications. See you for the Fade/Play article on Saturday!


Featured image courtesy of Keith Allison.

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Week Eight is in the books, so let’s move on to the DFS Start/Sit Injury Projection. In this week’s article I’ll discuss a few players who could make their return from injuries in Week Nine as well as a few others who are planning to play through the bumps and bruises. I’ll also discuss whether or not these players can perform well enough from an injury perspective or fade them. I’ll start with the Thursday night game.

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David Johnson

I’ll start with the elephant in the room. What’s going on with David Johnson? Well, if we knew exactly what the deal is, we wouldn’t have to rely on Kingsbury for information. The coach has proven to have quite the poker face in terms of injuries. For example, Christian Kirk, who was a “game-time” decision last week, performed extremely well and did not appear to be limited. What we do know is that D.J.’s injury is related to his ankle, which generally means it’s either a lateral sprain, or of the high ankle variety. It’s not uncommon for players to suffer lateral ankle sprains, try to play too quickly, and re-injure themselves. Conversely, a high ankle sprain typically would not allow a player to come back after one week as DJ did in Week Seven. So, what does all of this mean? If D.J. is dealing with a re-aggravated lateral ankle sprain, the Thursday turn around simply might be too quick of a turnaround. Even if he’s active, I don’t want to use him in any Showdown slates as the 49ers defense is as stout as they come. Fade him.

Matt Breida

Unbelievably, this is Breida’s first appearance on the DFS Start/Sit Injury Projection. It seems that he always misses at least one quarter of every game due to injury. However he rarely is in danger of missing time. On Sunday he was forced out of action due to an ankle injury, and I’m concerned about the exact mechanism of injury. I tweeted about it here. Long story short, I think Breida may be dealing with a high ankle sprain, which depending on severity can hold him out for several weeks. I would not plan on having Breida in any lineups, but even if he suits up, I’m sitting him.

Patrick Mahomes

No. Not yet.

Davante Adams

Week Nine marks 38 days since we’ve seen Adams on a football field. That’s about five weeks, so there is a high probability he plays against the Chargers seeing as grade II turf toe injuries take four to six weeks to heal. Check back with me as the week progresses because this would be the game to use the Packers’ target hog at $7,100 on DraftKings. If he’s active, I have no concerns of re-injury for Adams. Lock. Smash. Cash.

Marquise Brown

“Hollywood” is another player who I suspect is dealing with a high ankle injury. The reason for that thought is due to the fact that he has not played in three weeks, and is now planning on a Week Nine return. Regardless of the past, I’m not afraid to use Brown in tournaments as it relates to injury. However, I am extremely hesitant to play him against the New England Patriots defense.

Dede Westbrook

I’m nervous about Westbrook’s availability in Week Nine. The immediate thought when players are dealing with shoulder and neck injuries is nerve root irritation. The spinal nerves exit all throughout the spine, and the ones from the neck go directly to the shoulder and upper back. When nerves are irritated they can cause shoulder and neck pain, numbness and tingling, and tend to give that “asleep” feeling all the way down to the hand. Now, this is speculation on my end, but that type of injury is definitely within the realm of possibilities. If he’s active, I’m sitting Westbrook.

James Conner

Conner has an AC joint sprain. That means the ligament connecting the outside portion of his clavicle bone and the tip of his shoulder bone was damaged to some extent. These injuries can be minor or cost players up to four weeks of action. Check back with me as we’re not sure of the severity quite yet, but if he manages to suit up, there is a risk that he re-injures the joint. I’m staying away in cash and would consider Jaylen Samuels in tournaments instead. Sit Conner.

Adam Thielen

Say it with me class: grade I and II hamstring strains can cost players one to three weeks of missed time. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Thielen’s chances of playing are better than last week, but I’m not convinced he’s ready yet. Check back with me to read about his practice participation and the reports out of Minnesota. If he practices, I wouldn’t hesitate to use him against the Chiefs who can’t seem to cover running backs or slot receivers.

Thanks for reading the DFS Start/Sit Injury Projection. Make sure to check back here for updates as they come.


Featured image courtesy of Keith Allison.

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A flashback at some of the best performances from the Monday slate plus their outlooks for the remainder of the season on the 10/1 DFS and Betting review and look ahead.

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10/1 Betting Winners – Capper Steve

If you are a Premium Gold subscriber, you’ll get access to a multitude of exclusive content. One of those features is Capper Steve’s Sports Betting Picks article. If you listened to his expert advice, you would be sitting pretty with an extra two units with a Steelers -3.5 win. The Steelers dominated the game and won easily 27-3.

10/1 DFS Winner: Mason Rudolph

Premium Gold members have access to databases like our NFL Projection Model. The screenshot above is the 11 quarterbacks with the lowest salary for Week 4. Mason Rudolph looked great for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday at home against the divisional-rival Cincinnati Bengals. Rudolph went 24-of-28 with 229 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

Outlook for the rest of the season: Rudolph is beginning to gain success after the Steelers’ first win of the season. Coach Mike Tomlin seemed to keep the playbook simple with short passes for Rudolph. It also helped that he was able to not get sacked the entire game. Now with six touchdowns and only two interceptions on the year, expect Rudolph to gain more confidence and begin to have the playbook open up for him in the upcoming weeks.

10/1 DFS Winner: James Conner

Here is a snippet from Dan Wehr’s Week Four MNF Showdown Guide that highlighted James Conner and how he will get established in the offense. James Conner had 18 touches (10 rushes and eight catches) for 125 yards and a touchdown. He finished the game with the most targets, receptions, and receiving yards.

Outlook for the rest of the season: Conner has been disappointing on the rushing side of his game, just 139 yards so far this season. Going into another AFC North divisional game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, it could be a tell-tale game for him. Conner is a major part of the passing game with his ability to catch the football. Expect around similar combined yards for the remainder of the season.

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10/1 DFS Winner: Felix Auger Aliassime

Another hit from our Cash with the Flash article as Felix Auger Aliassime won in straight sets against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the round of 32 at the China Open. He is next slated to face off against the two seed, Alexander Zverev.

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This report will provide plays for the NFL DFS Monday Night Football slate. I will break down the top fantasy players to consider.

PODCAST: The King and Dan Wehr break down Bengals-Steelers from DFS Perspectives

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

O/U: 44.5 (PIT -3.5)

The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in an AFC North tilt that will determine the sole bottom feeder of the division. Both teams have been horrendous on defense through their first three games. The Bengals defense has struggled against the run, allowing over 168 yards per game, only second worst to the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers aren’t far behind, allowing runners to average 139 yards on the ground. I try be fair when weighing these averages early in the season, but Pittsburgh is allowing starting running backs over five yards per carry.

Pittsburgh has also struggled with pass defense. They allow an average of over 300 yards through the air. Only Tampa Bay and Philadelphia allow more than the Steelers. Despite Pittsburgh’s woes on defense, they still have a turnover margin of +3, which is sixth best in the league (four of those takeaways come from SF). Cincy hasn’t been quite as bad defending in terms of yards per game (237) but still have allowed six TD’s in the red zone through the air.

Given both teams struggles I expect the Steelers to emphasize establishing the run game with James Conner. Pittsburgh is top five in terms of pass protection per their 2.5% adjusted sack rate. If they are able to get things going with Conner (which they should) I can see this opening things up for Mason Rudolph in the pass with good matchups for JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and new TE addition Nick Vannett. Likewise for the Bengals, who have struggled immensely on the ground. They are averaging only 2.50 yards per carry and will look to Joe Mixon to get things going in order to open up more opportunities in the passing game.

NFL DFS: DraftKings Approach

NFL DFS Captain:

James Conner ($15,900), Joe Mixon ($13,200), Tyler Boyd ($13,800), and JuJu Smith-Schuster ($15,600).


James Conner ($10,600), Joe Mixon ($8,800), Tyler Boyd ($9,200), JuJu Smith-Schuster (10,400), Andy Dalton ($9,800), Mason Rudolph ($9,600), Diontae Johnson ($6,600), Nick Vannett ($4,200), Tyler Eifert ($5,200), Pittsburgh DST ($4,600)

My favorite approach on DraftKings is Joe Mixon at the Captain spot and pairing him up with Andy Dalton in the flex.

NFL DFS: FanDuel Approach


Andy Dalton ($15,000), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($13,500) James Conner ($12,000), Joe Mixon ($12,500), and Tyler Boyd ($13,000).


(All plays at MVP can be used in flex) Diontae Johnson ($8,500), Nick Vannett ($6,500), James Washington ($6,500), Tyler Eifert ($7500), Chris Boswell ($10,000).

My favorite approach on FanDuel is running Andy Dalton in the MVP spot and pairing him up with Tyler Boyd in the flex.

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