Blake Bortles – JAX ($5500)
Bortles has 2 games with over 110 QBR (and 2 under 75), and while he posted an uninspired loss to the Titans, Bortles and the Jags are 3-1 and they will be facing a fairly soft fantasy matchup against the Chiefs. This is by no means an easy game for these underdogs, but without a power running game, possibly losing, and possibly scoring loads of points, Bortles has an excellent chance to rack up huge yards. I’m particularly interested in a stack with Westbrook, but Yeldon is good value too.
Josh Rosen – ARI ($4700)
Josh Rosen has been flat out ugly so far, but what, on this team, has gone well? I’m reading numerous articles where we expect David Johnson to make a turnaround, for Christian Kirk to make his rookie splash, and for Ricky Seals-Jones to finally deliver on the offseason hype. Yep, Rosen is definitely worse than Carson Palmer, but as the 30th-priced QB on DraftKings, it won’t take much for Rosen to return on value, and I especially like playing rookies in tournament games before we really know much about them. Not recommended for cash games, Rosen is specifically boom or bust, but the 49ers have been very kind to fantasy QBs this season. This is the only punt play you should consider at QB.
Aaron Jones – GB ($4300)
I picked him last week and it payed off, but somehow Jones’ performance only bumped his price up $200. I’ll admit that I was quite bearish on Jones in the offseason, given that Williams really outperformed him, especially at the end of the 2017 season, but with equal carries last week, Jones showed why he deserves to carry the ball. I still expect this to be a committee, but Jones is the best runner and could be more included in the receiving game. To top it off, the Detroit Lions are surrendering the 3rd-most fantasy points to RBs this season.
David Johnson – ARI ($6300)
This pick is mostly price for me, as David Johnson is the 13th-costliest RB on DraftKings. Obviously suffering without Carson Palmer, this offense barely even seems to operate. This week, however, Arizona faces an easier battle against the 49ers than they’re used to, and that could be could for both passing and rushing. The nice thing about David Johnson is that he’s a huge part of both, and he’s frankly one of the most talented running backs who happens to be in a bad situation. If there is going to be a David Johnson turnaround this year, it begins now. If you play him, I suggest the stack with Rosen.
Mark Ingram ($5100) is priced lower than we should expect his per-game fantasy performance, plus he’s extremely well-rested, has something to prove, and can’t accurately be evaluated by the DraftKing’s pricing algorithm. Kenyan Drake ($4700) is either being obliterated by matchups or his own coaching staff (or both), but a reversal in this week’s game-script plus a positive matchup could allow you to take advantage of his price reduction. James Conner ($7500) This whole team dropped the ball against Baltimore, but don’t expect a repeat. This is a favorable situation and is guaranteed top-5 opportunity.
Jamison Crowder – WAS ($4300)
Jamison Crowder goes up against the New Orleans Saints, who are giving up the most fantasy points to both QBs and WRs. While Crowder is deep on the list of targets Alex Smith has supplied, he is ostensibly the top man on the depth chart and will have his best matchup of the year with a price that any DFS owner can afford. Although Doctson is the big playmaker on the team, he has yet to score and has totaled fewer yards and receptions than Crowder. Crowder has a boost in PPR formats, giving him a high floor that you can put in both cash and GPP lineups.
Julio Jones – ATL ($8500)
While Julio Jones continues to disappoint, at some point he just has to come down with a score. I like Matt Ryan plenty in this matchup against the soft Pittsburgh air defense and while Ridley is an excellent stack as well, Jones will get my call in more lineups. Yes, his price rose this week, but there are a lot of things working in his favor, especially his matchup against PIT’s CB Coty Sensabaugh. Jones currently leads the league in yards, pacing an absurd 2,008 on the season, but what you really care about is owning him when he gets his first TD of the season. That’s probably this week. Start him.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7500) will cost you a pretty penny for the 2nd man on the depth chart, but this game could blow up and this receiver has given fantasy owners everything and more so far this season. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3300) had an official start for the Packers in Cobb’s absence and caught only 1 of 3 balls, but the team likes his place on the depth chart amid an injured GB receiving squad. Dede Westbrook ($4700) has a nice matchup against KC’s Kendall Fuller, but is playing a team softer to QBs overall than WRs. Still, I’ll look for a Bortles stack.
Antonio Gates – LAC ($2800)
Gates, a longtime superstud who didn’t used to have to be considered for a punt play is now a player you can get on the cheap. Coming out of retirement rarely treats anybody well in fantasy, but he’s received 5 targets in each of the last two games, one of which went for a TD. That’s enough trust for me to plug him in with both a fair price and a decent matchup against the Raiders.
Jared Cook – OAK ($4800)
Speaking of the Raiders… Jared Cook is apparently the real deal. Currently scoring 20.25 DK points per game (the most, by the way), he’s priced as the 7th TE and has just a slightly better team matchup than Gates, but a much better individual matchup as he’ll primarily draw coverage from safety Jahleel Addae. Does his price match a coming down to earth? Or is he still undervalued? Either way, I don’t think he’s far off, and so should be considered fair play in GPP and cash games.
Defense / Special Teams
L.A. Rams ($3800)
Currently the 2nd-most expensive defense, the Rams are scoring the most DraftKing’s PPG and are facing a division rival that they’ve actually had a good history against even as underdogs. Now one of the top defenses in the league, facing an opponent struggling across the board, I like this option as my pricier defensive pick. Yes, the Seahawks might get Baldwin back, but a sloppy running offense and a gamescript that favors the Seahawks’ passing attack gives me confidence in this play.
Green Bay Packers ($2700)
Not recommended for cash games; I think this might be a boom or bust opportunity. While Green Bay has shown a deep inability to stop the passing attack (and Matthew Stafford has passed a lot in his life), this year is a somewhat different story. Green Bay is performing marginally better with its pass defense, but the real key is their special teams, which includes playmaker rookie Josh Jackson. As well, through four games, Stafford has thrown five INTs and has been sacked 6 times (3 just last week). Green Bay might give up a lot of air yards to receivers, but they also have new ballhawks that can steal it away.
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