Last week was an odd week with so many home dogs, this week is more by the book. It is nearly the mirror image with 10 home favorites out of 14 games (excluding the neutral site London game).
The one oddity this week if you play on Draftkings is they are experimenting by removing the Sunday night game from the Main slate which I have mixed feelings on. Since we have a game in London this week as well, this means we are down 4 games on the Main slate. This is basically like a bye week with several options missing. We’ll definitely be playing some Thurs-Mon slates this week to take advantage, something we don’t normally do much.
On to our first look at some guys who’ve caught our eye early.
Tom Brady (Home / -9 / 28.25) – Drew Brees just had a nice game vs this Carolina Secondary on the Road so you have to like Tom’s chances at Home. James Bradberry is a nice young corner, though he did get beat by Ted Ginn for 40-yard TD. Worley on the other side has improved but he’s still very beatable. Another thing in Brady’s favor is that the Pats Defense can’t seem to stop anyone.
Cam Newton (Away / +9 / 19.25) – Which brings us to Cam Newton. It’s not just this year that the Pats secondary has been bad, these issues are going back to last year. Yes, Bill is defensive genius but it’s obvious he doesn’t have the personnel right now. However, Cam’s QBR right now is 35th…which is simply unbelievable for him to be below guys like Brian Hoyer and Mike Glennon who is a hair away from getting benched for a Rookie. His shoulder looks bad and he continues to throw off his back foot and overshoot his target. One way to win a GPP however is to pick a guy in a bouceback game while everyone else is steering clear.
Matt Ryan (Home / -8 / 28.25) – One thing I like to take advantage of early in the season is small sample size. For instance, the casual DFS player is going scroll through the QB list and see an ugly red 4th next to Ryan’s name for his matchup rank this week. Their brain is going to scream “No!! Bad matchup!” and move on. Yes, the Bills have surrendered the 4th fewest fantasy points to QBs this year, but who have they played? The Jets. LOL. The Panthers. LOL. The Broncos. OK. So the only even mediocre passing team they’ve played was Trevor Siemian on the Road? Don’t be fooled by the ugly red 4th …
Trevor Siemian (Home / -3 / 24.75) – Speaking of Trevor Siemian, if you look at his splits, Home is where we want to play him. Oakland’s secondary is not good and just got torched by Kirk Cousins who up until last Sunday night, had been very poor this year.
Philip Rivers (Home / -1 / 24.25) – This Eagles team has shown they are very vulnerable vs the Pass this year and the Chargers continue to throw with volume. Melvin Gordon, though a very good fantasy RB, is just not a very good real-life RB. This team will live and die by the right arm of Phillip Rivers. We could see the Eagles having a bit of a letdown after a very emotional win vs their divisional rival and now traveling to an out-of-conference game on the West Coast.
James Winston (Home / -3 / 23.5) – This isn’t our favorite play of the week but it is viable and one we’ll need to research more. One of the concerns is that Janoris Jenkins is a very nasty matchup for Mike Evans, as he is a big bodied CB who Evans won’t be able to bully around. Still, this is a good spot for Winston if he can limit the turnovers.
Carson Palmer (Home / -7 / 25.75) – Another one we need to research more but on the surface this looks like an ideal matchup. The Cards desperately need a win, if they fall to 1-3 their season outlook becomes very bleak. SF is a great place to get a W.
As of now and letting this slate dictate how we’ll attack it, our initial instinct is to go much narrower this week at RB and take our chances at WR. So, our RBs picks this week will be somewhat chalkier.
Zeke Elliot (Home / -7.5) – Far and away the #1 option at RB this week and we’d be surprised if every tout didn’t have him ranked #1. This matchup checks every single box.
Leonard Fournette (Away / -3.5) – Fournette is going to do what we thought Ajayi was going to do to the Jets defense last week. Also, he has the added bonus of being an excellent correlation play with this week’s Top DST.
LeSean McCoy (Away / +8) – The Bills will rely on Shady to keep this game close and to slow down the Falcons pass rush.
Those are going to be our main 3 options. Some others that will be considered:
Le’Veon Bell (Away / -3) – As Fournette showed last week, a quality back can be productive against this Ravens defense and Pitt will lean on him on the Road. Always viable in any format.
James White (Home / -9) – Panthers are susceptible to pass catching backs. Burkhead likely out.
Buck Allen (Home / +3) – The Steelers just got lit up by Jordan Howard, could Buck do something similar?
Billal Powell (Home / +3.5) – Forte is out leaving him as the bellcow back. He could be a sneaky contrarian play in GPPs as the Jags DST will be the super chalk and people don’t like to start positional players against their DST.
Christian McCaffery (Away / +9) – He was pretty much used as WR last week and they’ll find ways to again use him this week against a porous NE defense.
Wendall Smallwood (Away / +1) – A popular pre-draft sleeper who gets his chance with Sproles done for the year. What’s his ceiling though?
Nuk Hopkins: He’s one of the better plays of the week. Good for any format.
Dez Bryant: Trumaine Johnson is solid but Dez will get his first plus matchup of the season.
Demaryius Thomas / Emmanuel Sanders: We’d slightly lean towards DT in this matchup but believe both are viable in any format.
AJ Green: Ty Hilton just torched this Cleveland secondary, AJ will do the same.
Brandin Cooks: While Bradberry is turning into a very good NFL corner, he’s not a burner and Cooks has drastic splits against “speed” corners. Hogan is in play for GPPs on the other side.
Larry Fitzgerald / JJ Nelson: Fitz is a cash game lock. Nelson is GPP worthy.
Keenen Allen / Travis Benjamin: Keenen is good in any format. Benjamin has been getting enough deep looks to justify GPP consideration.
OBJ / Sterling Shephard: Either guy is viable in GPPs. The Giants are in desperation mode and they can’t run the ball.
DeSean Jackson: Evans gets a bad matchup with Jenkins on one side. DJax has been a Giant killer throughout his career in both Philly and Washington.
Martavis Bryant: You can play AB anytime and anywhere, however, we are liking Bryant this week as a GPP play. He’s been sick and needs the time to work on his chemistry with Ben so stay tuned to practice reports.
Rashard Matthews: Corey Davis will be out again and it’s obvious that he’s Mariota’s favorite WR. Fine for any format.
Marquis Lee: Of the two Jags WRs to take a chance on in a GPP, he’s our preferred option.
Any Format: Gronk – Kelce – Ertz – Walker – Cook – Clay
GPP Flyers: Gerald Everett and Austin Seferian-Jenkins