Tom Brady (Road; -7 / 30.75) – Even though Brady isn’t at home, which is what we prefer at QB, the possiblity of a Brady/Brees shootout is real. With Vegas predicting that the Pats score nearly 31 points (highest on the slate by a full 2 points), he has to be on your shortlist.
Derek Carr (Home; -14, 28.75) – 14 point favorite is a huge spread in an NFL game and goes to show how bad the Jets are. At first look, this doesn’t standout as a game where Carr will have elite upside.
Russell Wilson (Home; -13.5 / 28.25) – Again, another massive spread. We believe Wilson could have more upside than Carr, simply because Wilson doesn’t have Beast Mode to bleed the clock.
Matt Ryan (Home; -2.5 / 28) – Now we are talking. Despite the GB/SEA game scoring below expectations, we are not sold on the Packers’ pass defense. Matt Ryan at home, with the possibility of a shootout with Aaron Rodgers, with a 28 point implied team total has Matty Ice as one of our early favorites on the slate.
Alex Smith (Home; -4.5 / 26) – This is a great setup for Alex at home as a 4.5 point favorite with a 26 point implied team total. As always, he’s a difficult one to gauge the upside as you are essentially relying on YAC for big plays and crossing your fingers for a rush TD.
Carson Palmer (Road; -7.5 / 26) – He looked bad at Detroit, the entire offense looked off, the OL looked bad, and he lost his best weapon to injury. However, now he gets the Vontae Davis-less Colts who just surrendered 306 yards passing to Jared Goff. John Brown looked excellent and Fitz hasn’t yet hit his mid-season wall. He could be an interesting differential play.
Ben Roethlisberger (Home; -6.5 / 25.75) – When Big Ben is favored at home, you want to have some shares, however Minnesota’s pass defense looks like it’s going to be one we want to avoid targeting this season. We’ll need to watch the line movement on this one and evaluate the projected ownership later in the week.
Aaron Rodgers (Road; +2.5 / 25.5) – Very similar to Brady, we’ll make an exception and add him to our shortlist despite being on the Road. The shootout potential is real.
Jameis Winston (Home; -7 / 25) – Decent favorite at home vs a Chicago team that gave Matt Ryan and the Falcons all they could handle. Vegas seems unimpressed with that performance and has opened TB as a 7 point favorite with a 25 point implied total. Without Doug Martin to help bleed the clock, you have to consider Winston a strong play.
Phillip Rivers (Home; -4.5 / 24.75) – He had a good performance vs perhaps the best pass D in the NFL on Road going 22-33 / 192 yards / 3 TD / 1 INT. He’ll just make our shortlist against a much better match-up vs the Fins at Home.
Mike Gillislee (-7) – With the Pats favored by 7 and projected to score nearly 31 points, betting on a rush TD is looking like a safe call.
Marshawn Lynch (-14) – We weren’t high on Lynch going into the season, but there’s no denying he looked very good in Tennessee and he’ll be a fantasy force to be reckoned with in positive game script situations, which he’ll have this week as 14 point favorites at home.
Seattle (-13.5) – Who is Seattle going to use to run the clock with big leads? Rawls looks to be another week away. Lacy was awful. Carson looks like he’ll be a factor down the road, but it’s hard to envision tournament winning upside yet. Prosise was barely involved. So even though we are looking at a very positive game script, this could be a backfield to fade unless we get some clarity later in the week.
Freeman/Coleman (-2.5) – As home favorites with 28 projected points, either of these guys could be in play. Both were very involved in the offense and the speculation that Coleman wouldn’t be utilized as much under the new OC seem to be overblown.
Kareem Hunt (-4.5) – Don’t try to get cute and fade the hot hand. He’s probably not going to score 40 again, but this week’s situation is actually better for him on paper.
Kerwynn Williams (-7.5) – He’ll get his shot as the #1 back for Arizona. This isn’t a plug and play scenario as the Cards’ OL looks very shaky at best. Also, the Colts defense that we thought would struggle against the run was very effective in shutting down Todd Gurley (who saved his day through the air). Still, the game script could setup nicely for him and he warrants a closer look as we get into the weekend.
Lev Bell (-6.5) – We are expecting a big bounce back performance at home as a 6.5 point favorite.
Jaquizz Rodgers (-7) – With the Bucs favored by 7, the game script should favor Quiz over Charles Sims who you’d expect to be more involved when the Bucs are playing catch up.
Melvin Gordon (-4.5) – He gets it done on the ground and the passing game. He’s a 3 down bell cow with a nose for the end zone and a much easier match-up awaiting him.
Todd Gurley (-2.5) – We had high hopes for Todd Gurley going into this season but again, he looked bad running the football. This should be another situation where he should flourish but the bounce back just isn’t happening, he’s still a walking 2nd and 8. His involvement in the passing game was nice.
NE (30.75) – Cooks in his return to NOLA narrative. Hogan will be involved in various way. With Amendola likely out, who will fill the other spot? Newcomer Phillip Dorsett should be up to speed on the playbook by now and could be a sneaky GPP play.
SEA (28.25) – Doug Baldwin was inexplicably absent from the GB gameplan and we’ll look for big bounce back at home. Paul Richardson also paid off for those who gambled on him and should be a reliable factor going forward.
ATL (28) – You don’t need us to tell you that Julio at home, favored with a 28 point total is a good play. Taylor Gabriel will also be in play.
GB (25.5) – The Packers on the other side of this game will need to keep pace with the Falcons. Jordy was Jordy. Cobb looks to be a safe PPR play. Adams had the highest average depth of target which is promising for his big play potential.
NO (23.75) – Drew Brees at home matching shots with Tom Brady makes his receiving core all viable plays. NEs defense looked awful last Thursday. They typically try to take out the #1 option (and they did take out Kelce last week). You’d assume Thomas will be the main focus leaving Coleman & Ginn with plenty of 1-on-1 opportunities. Speedster Tommylee Lewis could be an interesting punt option.
DEN (20.5) – DT and Sanders as 2 point home dogs are the types of situations that can yield significant fantasy value. This will be one to research more as we get closer to the weekend.
Others I’ll be looking at futher: Bucs (Home: -7 / 25), Chargers (Home -4.5 / 24.75), Redskins (Away +2.5 / 21.75), Eagles (Away: +4.5 / 21.5)
J. Cook (28.75)
J. Graham (28.25)
A. Hooper (28)
T. Kelce (26)
J. James (25.75)
H. Henry (24.75)
C. Brate (25)
C. Fleener (23.75)
E. Engram (23.5)
We like to use TE at home with big totals. The one that stands out as a potential trap is Hooper. He had 2 catches, one was complete bust by the Chicago secondary that went for a 90 yard TD. He was not involved in the game plan, but you could see the masses flock to him trying to chase points.
We’ll have a more detailed TE breakdown on our Saturday DFS final.