Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vegas Insight: Buccaneers 27, Redskins 24
Quarterback: There’s a slew of 50+ O/U games this weekend, so I’m not *as* interested here as I typically would be, but there are plays nonetheless. Alex Smith I expect to be a hot topic this weekend, he hasn’t flashed any ceiling whatsoever, but he draws the same favorable matchup with the Buccaneers secondary that we have attacked at will this season. Given some of the offensive line injuries, and what I see as a lack of ceiling, I will be off Smith despite the strong individual matchup on paper.
Ryan Fitzpatrick on the other hand, now that’s someone I can get behind. This has been one of the weirdest situations of the year, with Fitz starting, getting benched for Jameis and then re-taking the job, however the one constant here has been fantasy points. This defense is so bad, it forces them into shootouts or garbage time every week and the QB’s have absolutely thrived fantasy-wise. I don’t think I will personally play him in cash games, but he is in playable in all formats in Week 1o.
Running Back: Chris Thompson has already been ruled out for this week, which leaves us with Adrian Peterson should the game-script be in his favor and Kapri Bibbs. You realistically could look at both as GPP options, but you really need them to score to smash given their line injuries and this Bucs defensive-line returning to strength and that’s not something I can really bank on unless running 20+ teams.
Peyton Barber is definitely not someone I want to target this week as an extremely scoring dependent option, and Jacquizz Rodgers will continue to steal passing game work in the absence of rookie Ronald Jones.
Pass Catchers: I’m pretty much going to skip the Redskins pass catchers outside of some tourney shots on Jordan Reed and Maurice Harris, Reed could potentially enter the cash game range at TE so monitor my thoughts in my cash game article to come this weekend.
Since I have interest in Fitzpatrick, I’m going to like his weapons and that starts with OJ Howard and Mike Evans. Howard has been one of the best fantasy tight ends over the last month, and he isn’t even seeing massive volume. He’s seeing some extremely valuable targets for fantasy, shots down the field and near the end zone, and he can continue to thrive on limited targets should these types of things stay the same. Evans hauled in just one of ten targets last week, yes ten, but the volume was there and the Redskins have given up some monster games to wide receivers over the last week. The GPP shot here would be DeSean Jackson, who was much better with Fitzmagic at QB than Winston and can always connect on a long play in a #revenge game.
Cash Game Outlook: Ryan Fitzpatrick, OJ Howard
GPP Outlook: Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adrian Peterson, Jordan Reed (fringe cash)
Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs
Vegas Insight: Chiefs 33, Cardinals 16.75
Quarterback: This isn’t a great game as a whole, from a Vegas perspective, but any time we get a game with this Chiefs offense involved we are going to have fantasy points being scored. I do think that you can put up points on this Chiefs defense, but it’s typically easier when they’re on the road. They have been much stronger at home this season, and we probably aren’t going to be interested in Josh Rosen anyways. Rosen has had only one good fantasy week thus far, though I do expect this offense to continue to open up under Byron Leftwich.
Patrick Mahomes on the other hand, woooo boy. He’s averaging 30.5 DraftKings points per game this season and has thrown for over 300 yards in every single game except for Week 1. The Cardinals secondary numbers look good, but that’s mainly because the Cardinals have such a bad run-defense nobody needs to throw on them. Fire him up with confidence in tournaments once again.
Running Back: I love both of the running backs in this game, and I think they can be used in all formats this week. Much has been made of the down season for David Johnson, but we should continue to expect his passing game usage to rise with Leftwich now calling the offense. The Chiefs defense ranks dead-last in run-defense DVOA this season, and DJ is just cheap enough to spark my interest. Kareem Hunt has been absolutely smashing after a rough few weeks to start the season. He’s averaged well over 100 all-purpose yards over the last month and his red-zone role is truly insane. Arizona has been gashed on the ground this season and Hunt is one of the top spend-up options for cash games.
Pass Catchers: Despite me not being interested in Josh Rosen, I do think we could take a shot on Larry Fitzgerald this week. They were able to use the bye week to find more ways to get DJ/Fitz involved in the offense and Fitzgerald saw 12 targets in their last game. The matchup isn’t fantastic, but he is still extremely under-priced.
If I love Mahomes, I’m obviously going to be interested in some of his weapons and you are going to want to stack him with one or two on your tournament teams. I know Tyreek Hill is better on the road, but he always offers a tremendous ceiling and will be lower-owned given his price. Travis Kelce already has six touchdowns this season and he is play every week. You can certainly look at him in cash games as well, it’s just always difficult for me to pay up that high when attempting to jam in the expensive running back floors.
Cash Game Outlook: Kareem Hunt, David Johnson
GPP Outlook: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Larry Fitzgerald. Tyreek Hill
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Vegas Insight: Jets 21.75, Bills 14.75
Quarterback: This has to be the ugliest overall game of the weekend, with Nathan Peterman headed in to face off with Josh McCown given Sam Darnold’s foot injury. I actually think that McCown is a decent NFL Quarterback, but the Bills defense is legitimately good and if you have ever seen Nathan Peterman play then you know we won’t be using him in DFS.
Running Back: I want to be interested in Shady McCoy in this spot, but while the touches have been there the fantasy points and efficiency have not and the other running back in this game is also cheap, and in a much better position to beat value.
I am definitely worried about the presence of Eli McGuire in the Jets backfield for Isaiah Crowell moving forward, but while McGuire gets back to full snaps I anticipate him to lead the team in touches again this week as a big home favorite. If he falls into the end zone he can smash his price, and he’s cheap enough that I will consider it in large field tournaments.
Pass Catchers: Considering that the only passes Nathan Peterman has thrown in his NFL career have been to the other team, we can go ahead and fast-forward to the Jets..
Robby Anderson was stellar with McCown at QB last season, but if he ends up playing he will be matched up with the Bills outside corners, a top matchup to avoid in the NFL right now. Quincy Enunwa saw just four targets last week, so it’s probably a bit too thin to go there but we can definitely look at a cheap Chris Herndon in tournaments at the wasteland that is tight end.
Cash Game Outlook: None
GPP Outlook: Isaiah Crowell, Chris Herndon
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Vegas Insight: Bears 25.75, Lions 19
Quarterback: Given the wealth of 50+ O/U’s this weekend, this one doesn’t necessarily jump out as a division battle and 44 implied points. Matt Stafford has scored over 20 fantasy points just twice this season, he’s clearly being hindered by Matt Patricia’s playcalling tendencies and he got sacked 10 times last week…now he sees the Bears defense. Pass.
Mitch Trubisky is coming a terrible fantasy game, the Bears dominated the Bills from the jump and he was stopped just short of a rushing touchdown, not needing to do much as the Bears cruised to a victory. I assume he’s going to at least need to resemble a Quarterback to win this game, and prior to the Bills debacle he had gone over 40 rushing yards in four straight games. I don’t have him on the cash game list, but if he continues to run like this he will be in play weekly.
Running Back: Kerryon Johnson is an interesting case this week, he was clearly affected by the re-emergence of Theo Riddick but he also saw five targets, so it’s a slippery slope to navigate. Ultimately, with the three-back committee back in the works, I will be avoiding him but he has the potential to break a big run even with limited work.
Speaking of slippery slopes to navigate, the Bears backfield really isn’t one. In games that are close or the Bears trail, Cohen is the guy and in positive game-script examples like last week with the Bills, it’s Jordan Howard. With that being said, I hate predicting game flow in the NFL, but despite trading for Snack Harrison the Lions are still allowing over 130 yards on the ground per game this season and he has been finding his way into the end zone regularly.
Pass Catchers: I was all excited for Kenny Golladay, and he saw a nice four targets with Golden Tate out of town, making it seven over his last three games. I simply can’t trust him until I physically see them get him involved, and it looked like the Marvin Jones show last week as he hauled in six of eight targets for 66 yards. The matchup is tough, but I will always follow volume in tournaments.
If I was playing Trubisky, I would prefer to do so naked and hope for the rushing output, especially if Allen Robinson is held out again, but given the lack of quality options at tight end we can consider Trey Burton at just $3,900 on DraftKings. The volume hasn’t been there, but five touchdowns have been and if you score you are almost guaranteed a top-ten tight end week.
Cash Game Outlook: Trey Burton
GPP Outlook: Mitch Trubisky, Jordan Howard, Marvin Jones
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Vegas Insight: Colts 25, Jaguars 22
Quarterback: I don’t think is a terrible game overall, but the fantasy options for daily are pretty lackluster. Blake Bortles has been viable at times this season, when not getting benched, and even though I love this matchup with the Colts I’m assuming that with Leonard Fournette back they are going to want to get back to running the football…so I’ll have to pass.
This Jaguars defense has not been what it was a season ago, and it’s important to remember how much Andrew Luck is throwing the football. He’s went for over 20 fantasy points in five straight games, speaking to his floor, and I am completely comfortable using him in tournaments at low-ownership.
Running Back: Like I said above, Leonard Fournette is going to be able to return for the Jags this week but it remains to be seen what exactly he is going to offer for fantasy right away. With some of the moves the Jaguars have made, it would make sense to lighten his workload and I’m going to wait and see what the touches look like.
It’s a weekly occurrence that Marlon Mack pops up on the injury list, but when he has been able to play he has dominated. He’s posted point totals of 30 and 27 over the last two weeks, and even against the Jaguars you have to consider him in tournaments if active.
Pass Catchers: We do get a possible #revenge narrative with Donte Moncrief taking in his former team, but if I’m taking a GPP dart on one of the Jaguars pass catchers it’s going to be Dede Westbrook given his role in the slot. A name to keep an eye on is rookie DJ Chark, who I anticipate to get more and more playing time as the season progresses and he flashed major ability in college.
For the Colts, you could take a flier on Jack Doyle now that he’s back healthy, but I think you can also roll out Andrew Luck naked if choosing to play him as well.
Cash Game Outlook: None
GPP Outlook: Andrew Luck, Marlon Mack
Atlanta Falcons @ Cleveland Browns
Vegas Insight: Falcons 27, Browns 23
Quarterback: I will be in attendance at this game, freezing, so it’s only right that it’s one of my favorite games of the week. Matt Ryan heads into Cleveland coming off three straight 350 yard passing games, and now gets a dream date with a tired Cleveland defense that continues to get more beat up weekly. I probably won’t end up here in cash games, but I love Ryan in tournaments and I think the path to a big game is pretty clear if the Browns can keep pace.
On the other side, I’m equally as interested in Baker Mayfield in all formats against an Atlanta defense we have attacked weekly. Baker has put up some really quality fantasy games in good matchups this season, and I expect the offense to continue to open up and play more to his strengths with Hue/Haley out of town. This fits more into the cash game range for me based off price, but he’s going to be low owned.
Running Back: Tevin Coleman rose from the dead last week rushing for 88 yards and hauling in five of seven targets for 68 yards and two touchdowns. It certainly looked like the bye week enabled the Falcons to figure out how to get him a bit more involved, and I’ve attacked this Browns run-defense each of the last two weeks with James Conner and Kareem Hunt. I think Coleman is playable in all formats, and the game-script should benefit him.
Nick Chubb continues to dominate the work, averaging almost 20 touches as a starter. He needs a touchdown to smash value given his lack of passing game involvement, which makes this a tournament only spot but I am interested in the matchup. One of the hot topics this week will be Duke Johnson, he caught all nine targets and found the end zone twice last week, and Freddie Kitchens clearly made it a point to get him involved. This Falcons defense is allowing the most running back catches again this season so this should benefit him, but the floor is still really low. I’m pegging him as a cash game option for now, based solely on price.
Pass Catchers: Julio Jones finally found the end zone last week, and with Denzel Ward looking questionable at best right now he is right at the top of my cash game player pool. This Browns defense is extremely banged up, and on a site like DraftKings you don’t need Julio to score anyways when he can rack up 8+ catches for 100+ yards in stellar matchups.
There are two Browns pass catchers that stick out as stacking partners with Baker Mayfield, and those names are Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. Landry is at his lowest price on DraftKings since Week 1, and has an incredible matchup on the inside against Brian Poole. Njoku has reminded us of his floor in recent weeks (with a 0), but tight end is the worst position in fantasy football and he certainly could rack up some over the middle targets, the best place to attack Atlanta.
Cash Game Outlook: Matt Ryan, Baker Mayfield, Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, Duke Johnson, Tevin Coleman
GPP Outlook: David Njoku, Nick Chubb
New Orleans Saints @ Cincinnati Bengals
Vegas Insight: Saints 29, Bengals 24
Quarterback: This is definitely going to be one of the most attractive, and owned games of the weekend, but I’m having trouble gauging what exactly I’m interested in for DFS here. Both of the quarterbacks stick out as strong tournament plays, but neither jump out for cash games. Drew Brees ceiling has been limited given that they put so much emphasis on running the football, and even though he exploded last week I don’t see this game turning into that type of shootout. Andy Dalton has been a victim of his weapons, no Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, John Ross should play here but has given nothing and now no AJ Green. He’s in play vs this Saints defense but there are much more attractive options in his price tier.
Running Back: As I noted last week, Alvin Kamara was way too cheap and what do you know, he’s almost $9,000 this week. I think he is playable in cash games for sure, but names like Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt stick out as better options to me in this pricing tier, but I will have exposure to Kamara in GPPs.
Joe Mixon gets a matchup with the number one run-defense in the NFL, but there is reason to believe he could see an even larger bump in passing game usage with Green sidelined. You can’t look at him in cash in this matchup, but he could be a potentially massive leverage play on Sunday.
Pass Catchers: Michael Thomas is expected to dominate ownership at the wide receiver position coming off a 200 yard game, and I’ve marked him as playable in all formats against a Cincy secondary that has really struggled compared to last season in terms of corner back play.
For the Bengals, we don’t really know what we will be getting outside of Tyler Boyd. Boyd has already averaged around eight targets per game, so I’m not sure how much more volume he is going to see and we need to be able to count on them keeping him in the slot to hold value. I’ve kept him as cash playable all week, but he’s kind of in a weird spot and a weird pricing range.
Cash Game Outlook: Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Tyler Boyd
GPP Outlook: Joe Mixon, Andy Dalton, Drew Brees
New England Patriots @ Tennessee Titans
Vegas Insight: Patriots 27, 20
Quarterback: This isn’t an extremely sexy game, but man are there some secy fantasy options. Tom Brady falls under the tournament only options for me, $6,000 is an attractive price tag but we are going to prefer guys like Philip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Baker Mayfield for cash games in this tier. Marcus Mariota is the interesting name this week, as he comes in just $4,700 on DraftKings. We should expect Corey Davis to be locked up by Stephon Gillmore, and Taywan Taylor is out for this game, given the lack of weapons I won’t be considering him but that price puts him firmly in play.
Running Back: Sony Michel is expected to play this week, and while I”m not really interested in playing him in his first game back it does enough to move James White to a GPP-only option. Dion Lewis sets up to be potentially the highest owned running back on the slate. He dominated touches even when the Titans were easily winning in their last game, and the Patriots have been unable to stop pass catching running backs this season. He is an absolute cash game lock, and you can look at guys like Duke Johnson and Mike Davis and tourney pivots for cheap.
Pass Catchers: I’ve marked Josh Gordon as cash game playable, and the more the week has gone on the more I’ve been interested in using him. He should be able to leave Malcom Butler in the dust, and given his history with the Patriots it’s not a stretch to think Bill want to go after him relentlessly.
Given that Corey Davis is going to be matched up with Gillmore, I’m really not interested in anyone from the Titans outside of Lewis and maybe some Mariota for the price.
Cash Game Outlook: Marcus Mariota, Dion Lewis, Josh Gordon
GPP Outlook: Tom Brady, James White
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)