Ryan Fitzpatrick – TB (DK: $6000)
Fitzpatrick’s explosive opening two weeks likely isn’t indicative of a hall-of-fame season, but he oddly still isn’t being respected by the DraftKing’s prices. Currently priced as the QB12, Fitzpatrick is a QB1 in any league, especially when attacking the Pittsburgh defense, which has given up the 2nd most points to QBs this season. While I expect his ownership will be high, he’s still undervalued and worthy of your play.
Matthew Stafford – DET ($5900)
Stafford and co. will be facing an uphill battle in a high-scoring game against the New England Patriots, who have given up the 8th-most points to opposing QBs this year. While the Patriots are in the bottom 3rd in giving up points to skill positions, they are slightly more vulnerable to WRs, and with Luke Willson and LeGarrette Blount as the ostensible starters at TE and RB respectively, it’s clear that Stafford’s passes will funnel to the WRs, and possibly open up a breakout for sophomore Kenny Golladay.
Sony Michel – NE ($4000)
Priced for your flex pick, Sony Michel’s debut against the Detroit Lions could be spectacular. Rex Burkhead is, of course, always a factor, but this is an unbeatable price for the potential starter and star RB of the Patriots. Nobody can read Bill Belichick’s mind, but we do know he produces top running backs. This week the Patriots face a horrendous Lions defense that is giving up 179.5 rush yards and 1.5 rush TDs per game.
Wendell Smallwood – PHI ($3000)
As cheap as any RB you can even place on your team, Wendell Smallwood offers you the opportunity to place multiple RB1s and WR1s on your lineup while giving you a significant chance to produce with the pick. I definitely don’t recommend him for cash games, but with both Ajayi and Sproles questionable for this game, somebody in Philadelphia is going to have to carry the rock, especially if Wentz’s return isn’t as healthy as we hope. Clement is an obvious choice, but I’ll fade for the off-chance of a Smallwood tip into the end zone.
Kenyan Drake ($5600) is about due to take carries away from Gore, and this matchup couldn’t be a better opportunity. Jordan Howard ($6500) still hasn’t found the end zone, but he’s barely priced as an RB1 and he’s facing the worst defense against RBs. Rashaad Penny ($4100) looks to overtake Chris Carson, but isn’t nearly as costly.
Antonio Brown – PIT ($8800)
This isn’t a sleeper pick for your tournament lineup. This is the best WR in the NFL who didn’t quite show up in Week 2. Because of some stellar performances, WR prices rose across the board, but Antonio Brown remains neutral on DraftKings. This is where you frontload your WR without having to outspend. As this game is expected to be a 53+ point matchup, we should expect heavy pass gamescripts, but Juju Smith-Schuster and Jesse James’ prices have been upped. This is your opportunity to “save” with the most productive WR.
Keelan Cole – JAX ($5600)
This is one where you could work down to Dede Westbrook ($4600) if you need to save the space, and both could be fruitful. Cole has the better matchup and both are priced accurately, so it’s a tossup. Simply put, you want a Jacksonville WR against the Tennessee Titans, who have thus far given up the 2nd most points to WRs. This narrative is especially fruitful if Leonard Fournette’s injury lingers into this game.
AJ Green ($7500) could be shadowed, but’s he’s having a career year. Kelvin Benjamin ($3700) is on a horrible offense and facing excellent coverage, but he’s a starting WR with a punt price. Will Fuller ($5900) is priced lower than Kenny Golladay and has a good matchup against NYG’s Eli Apple.
Ian Thomas – CAR ($2800)
Who is Ian Thomas? He’s the rookie TE filling in for injured Greg Olsen. He’s only had a total of 5 targets so far, but I love targeting unknown rookies in tournaments. Definitely not recommended for cash games, Thomas comes with a punt price and will be facing a plus matchup against Cincinnati’s Shawn Williams and the team that has so far given up more points to TEs than any other.
Mark Andrews – BAL ($2600)
With an absurdly low price and injuries at the top of the roster, rookie Mark Andrews may leapfrog the competition as he’s already pulled in a score on 6 receptions out of 8 targets. He’s a starter, he’s playing on an offense that passes more than any other in the league, and he’s facing a Denver defense that has been soft to tight ends thus far. If I’m not starting Thomas, I’m probably putting Andrews in every other lineup.
Defense / Special Teams
Dallas Cowboys ($2200)
Not only are they one of my top options to begin with, but they are priced extraordinarily low. The Cowboys have averaged a respectable 9 DK points over the last two weeks, but they get their best matchup yet. Doug Baldwin is still missing, the running backs are changing, and Russell Wilson only pulled off a late-game fantasy-worthy performance. Dallas will not only save your bank, but give you huge boom for your buck.
Chicago Bears ($3500)
My pricier option for this week still comes in under $4000, which is simply too much to spend on a D/ST. Their outlook has been great since Khalil Mack joined the force. I did not expect any one player to have such an influence on a defense, but he truly has. On top of that, the Bears are facing an Arizona offense that can’t get it clicking with either David Johnson or Sam Bradford. A solid defense against a woeful offense is a good cash game pick, and Chicago’s potential for scores makes them a good tournament choice as well.
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