Andrew Luck - IND (DK: $6400)
Andrew Luck is my favorite pricey option this week at QB. He’s been playing lights-out football recently and hasn’t thrown for less than 3 TD passes since Week 3. His play is so good that he is bringing up everyone around him, including both his starting TEs, Marlon Mack, and TY Hilton. The power will continue this week, and Luck is a lock with multiple stack options. He checks off every box in my QB column: Home game, over/under over 50, and a strong winning spread.
Nick Mullens – SF ($5400)
$1000 off the pricier options, Mullens is one of the safer picks. While Lamar Jackson and Jameis Winston are other QB plays to spend down on and have great paper matchups, there’s always the danger that one or both could be pulled mid-game, which would ruin your lineup. The SF@TB game is expected to be the 2nd-highest scoring, and while San Fran is expected to lose, the spread is close enough that teams could trade scores with high frequency. Of all individual matchups, however, none are greater than this game, as Tampa Bay has given up both the most TDs to QBs and the least INTs.
Melvin Gordon – LAC ($8600)
One thing I love to do is spend up on RB, and Gordon is my favorite super-pricey ball carrier in the main slate. Even though you’ll have to pay up, he’s actually discounted this week, and his behind only Alvin Kamara in DK points per game. As 12.5-point home favorites, this game should see plenty of ground work battling the 5th-worst team against the running back. With the high price and two straight weeks without a rushing TD, some owners might fade for other high-priced options, but this could make Gordon’s 3rd game with 3 combined TDs.
Marlon Mack – IND ($5500)
Mack is my favorite RB to plug into my RB2 slot and for good reason. While Wilkins and Hines generated the early-season hype, Mack has taken over the backfield and dominated with at least 60% of offensive snaps over the past three weeks. Over that span, he has a per-game average of 19 touches, 85 yards and 1 TD. Mack will feast on the Dolphins defense that has given up an average of 173.6 yards and 1.6 TDs on the ground over the past five games.
Giovani Bernard ($4000) and Mixon both have a great matchup against the Browns, but Bernard draws special interest for price and low-ownership coming off injury. Gus Edwards ($4400) Whoever grabbed him in your redraft league spent all of their FAAB, but as 10.5-point favorites, he will easily return on value even with his $1000 price increase. Austin Ekeler ($3700) Almost every Charger is in play this week, especially the RBs. Ekeler will see the opportunity he needs.
Adam Thielen – MIN ($7800)
Green Bay has been getting (well-deserved) attention in recent weeks because of the turnaround their DB corps has made, but they aren’t quite the staunchest defenders against the WR, particularly this one. Roster changes have hurt the GB secondary, and the last time Thielen saw this team, he roasted them for 12-131-1 on the day. Thielen remains the highest-scoring WR in the league, but his price puts him outside of the top five. Take advantage of this game with MIN as home favorites.
Doug Baldwin – SEA ($5100)
While Carolina has been a bit stronger in recent weeks, on the season, they’ve shown susceptibility. Operating mostly out of the slot with a short depth of target, Baldwin doesn’t have a lot of upside and his play on the year has certainly disappointed redraft owners. While the matchup isn’t ideal, Carolina’s defense is weaker than most of what Seattle has seen in the air, and Russell Wilson is historically a late-season bloomer. What really gets me to bite on this play is that Baldwin has fallen below fellow teammate Tyler Lockett in DK price, while a recent trend in the team has seen Baldwin achieve over 88% of team snaps in the last three weeks while Lockett’s participation has subsequently slowed. With a low ceiling and high PPR floor, Baldwin is a nice cash choice.
Julian Edelman ($7000) has 32 targets in 3 weeks with no TDs. He’s extremely close to WR1 status, and Brady could dismantle the Jets with Edelman’s help. Willie Snead ($4400) is certainly a risk as long as Lamar Jackson runs more than throws, but Snead has a good individual matchup for a flex price. DJ Moore ($4600) is getting plenty of love, so expect high ownership, but this rookie is starting to see the love he deserves.
George Kittle – SF ($6200)
It’s hard to believe that we live in an age where Kittle is only $200 cheaper than Zach Ertz, but here we are. While I’ll split reps with Ertz in some lineups, my projections have Kittle with the highest confidence to outscore anybody else at the position, so in my mind I’m picking the best TE for the 2nd-highest price. I call that a deal and while I’ll consider stacking Mullens with Breida or Goodwin, Kittle is the safer and a potentially far more rewarding choice.
Cameron Brate – TB ($3600)
Time to absolutely smash the lock button on Brate. This one is essentially based entirely on opportunity as OJ Howard’s season-ending injury somehow didn’t push Brate above $4000. QB play is obviously a big question mark, but Winston has traditionally been better for TE play than WR. We’re currently assuming Winston will play the entire game, which could bring us back to the Brate of 2014, who finished as fantasy’s No. 2 TE. Will he return to those numbers? Nope, but the point of DFS is to assemble that week’s best roster for the price, and this price can’t be beat.
Defense / Special Teams
Denver Broncos ($2300)
Very lowly priced, the Broncos won’t cost a lot, but if you’re not spending up on defense, then the trick is to find a low-priced option that can either eke out an unexpected win, or produce turnovers and/or scores. Denver is that option. They won’t break your bank and are only 3-point underdogs at open against the Steelers. On the season, the Broncos are the 4th-best DK defense and have a cold, high-altitude home game. Of all the middle-lower priced options, I think this one is the safest.
Houston Texans ($3000)
So many people will roster the highest-priced Jaguars, and while they are my favorite streaming option, I think the Texans have a good chance of being this week’s highest scoring DST while saving you $1000 off the top option. The Titans have not being playing good football lately, even if Corey Davis seems to have come around. The Titans have given up the ball four times in 3 games, giving DSTs plenty of opportunity to score, and what better team than the league-leading Texans to try out that chance on?
Follow me on Twitter @Frank_Wees
Also follow the show @TheHateful8FF
Don't forget to checkout the show via iTunes, Googleplay, Stitcher and Youtube.