Deshaun Watson- The Raiders have been absolutely flamed through the air in 2019, they rank bottom-three in fantasy points allowed to opposing QB’s, bottom-three in pass-defense DVOA, they just allowed a 400-5 line to Aaron Rodgers…and now they get one of the most electric Quarterback’s in the entire NFL? Oh, yeah, and they just traded one of their starting corners — Gareon Conley — to the Texans. Watson has flashed his upside multiple times this season already, and he is the clear top play for me in all formats this week. I haven’t felt this good about a Quarterback since Kyle Allen week earlier in the season when he was min-priced.
Note: Russell Wilson will probably be the 2nd highest-owned QB on the slate this week, but I feel significantly better about Watson which is why I did not write up Wilson here. I love him in tournaments, along with Josh Allen, but there is SO much value on this slate that getting to Watson in cash games is literally easy and this is the first week that I 100% know which QB I will be using heading into the weekend.
Leonard Fournette- 4net is actually in a tough matchup this week, the Jets have been good in terms of run-defense, but as what always seems to be the case with him, we will take volume over efficiency. His volume has ramped up even more to a near CMC-level over the last month, and that is why I have Fournette as my top cash game Running Back this weekend. This is the first time in a long time McCaffrey is on the slate and I won’t be playing him on my main team — he is $9,200 in a really tough matchup and I can get similar usage for over $1,500 less. Fournette also has just ONE touchdown this season…he has to have a multi-TD game coming soon…right?
Chris Carson- Similar to Fournette, Carson’s usage has been really ramped up over the last few games and he is even cheaper despite a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Carson continues to be more involved in the passing game which is good for DraftKings, and the Seahawks have a huge 28 implied team total this week. They should be in line for 3+ touchdowns against this putrid defense, and if they are winning handily I see no reason why they won’t be running the clock out with Carson in the second-half.
Injuries to monitor: We have two huge situations to watch this weekend with David Johnson and Alvin Kamara both questionable. If they are out, Chase Edmonds and Latavius Murray would become near must plays as they would be thrust into bellcow-level roles for mid-tier prices. If both are out, I would take Murray over Edmonds, but if just one of them misses they will be my third RB in cash games. If NEITHER miss, we can drop down to Ty Johnson for a cheaper third Running Back, or get weird with someone like Austin Ekeler, Sony Michel or Tevin Coleman.
DeAndre Hopkins- I know that some people have PTSD about locking in Nuk Hopkins in cash games, but people aren’t accurately analyzing how important the Will Fuller absence is. The Raiders have surrendered tons of big plays this season, and have given up huge games to outside receivers in every week dating back to Week 1. Hopkins saw over 33% of the Texans team targets last Sunday for the first time since Week 1, and he should be dialed into a bigger workload sans Fuller in Week 8. He is my preferred spend up over Michael Thomas, which could bite me, but I’m willing to take the risk.
John Brown- Philly has been absolutely shredded by any and all receivers this season, and Brown’s floor has actually been much higher than people give him credit for. He has double-digit fantasy points in all but one game this season, and this is one of the best matchups he will see all season. He was just missed on a would-be long touchdown last week, and he has a way higher ceiling than his price indicates.
Kenny Stills- Not only does Will Fuller’s absence positively affect DeAndre Hopkins, it allows Kenny Stills to step into a full-time receiver role, and he is coming off a 1o0 yard receiving game. He is extremely cheap on DK, and will definitely be chalk come 1 o clock on Sunday. I’m not ruling out the potential double stack in cash games with Watson-Hopkins-Stills.
Corey Davis- Davis looked like the WR we all thought he could be last week with Ryan Tannehill under center — a scary sentence, I know. Regardless, Tanny breathed new life into this Titans passing game, Davis saw 7 targets, and is now under-priced in a matchup with a pass-funnel defense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Davis also benefits from the absence of Delanie Walker.
Mike Williams- If anyone reading this knows me, or watches my podcasts, you know that I HATE Mike Williams. In all honesty, he’s probably one of my least favorite receivers in the NFL, so the fact that I am listing him here is making me physically ill. Williams has been due for positive touchdown regression seemingly all season, and he should get a bigger chance than usual to deliver on that this week with Keenan Allen looking unlikely to play for the Chargers. If Allen is in, I will probably avoid Williams for an even cheaper option like Daesean Hamilton, but if he’s out, I will be forced into considering him on my main team on all sites.
Outlook: I’m playing this week extremely similar to last week at Tight End, given that we were awarded some fantastic value on Friday with both OJ Howard and Delanie Walker being out. That enables us to pure punt with either Cam Brate or Jonnu Smith in cash games, while focusing on higher upside options like Hunter Henry, Darren Waller and George Kittle in GPPs.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)