Jameis Winston – TB ($6200)
We shouldn’t get carried away with Winston and I expect his ownership will be fairly high, especially coming off a four-TD performance. You can’t expect that again, but Winston and company were able to breathe life back into this team that somehow pulled off a major upset against the Rams. Godwin has been a solid piece and Evans has turned it around. I wouldn’t mind stacking him with either, but I like Evans better. I’m more intrigued but Winston’s opportunity than I am any other player, as the Bucs are expected to lose in a fairly high-scoring game against one of the most forgiving defenses (Saints) to fantasy QBs. As I said, other owners are going to jump on him this week, but you should expect solid production for a reasonable price. Better cash than GPP.
Andy Dalton – CIN ($5700)
Diving this low on QB isn’t traditionally a smart move, but Dalton should be able to outpace his price as Cincinnati plays an awful Arizona defense. In no way is this an endorsement of the Bengals, especially with John Ross on IR. I’m recommending Dalton here in a specific stack with Tyler Eifert. Although I expect high ownership for the TE, I don’t think too many will be willing to stack with Dalton, but I’ll take that opportunity this week to gain leverage in GPP. I’m also singling this matchup out because it’s a fairly high-scoring game with home favorite Cincy. In combination, that usually spells a win for fantasy QBs.
David Johnson – ARI ($7500)
I wouldn’t say the Browns are struggling; I would say they’re doing what they’ve been doing for a long time, so I’m not going to shy away from the running back on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Although the Browns are expected to win this game, it’s close, and Johnson will get the opportunity, especially through the air. Fantasy players should be aware that targets are worth far more than carries, and with eleven in Week 4, DJ had more opportunity than most receivers. His price is consistent with his yearlong production, but Cleveland has allowed over 40 DK points per game to opposing running backs.
Leonard Fournette – JAX ($6400)
Fournette will have a few things working against him, but the positives far outweigh the negatives in this matchup. Priced just at the edge of RB1 territory, Fournette dominated Week 4 opportunity with twenty-nine carries in a close win. I think a one-touchdown win is the ideal scenario for a starting RB, but JAX are close dogs against the Panthers. What Week 4 showed us was that Jacksonville doesn’t have anywhere else to turn to on the ground, even though his backup came away with the TD. Fournette is scoreless on the year with seventy-two carries and twenty-three targets. Most importantly, should Carolina stumble, this game could be a full-blown funnel to the ground as the Panthers are top ten against WRs and top five against TEs.
Other Targets: Derrick Henry ($6000) was second in Week 4 opportunity, but came away scoreless like Fournette. LAC RBs: Gordon ($7000) is priced well below his 2018 performance, but his role will almost certainly be limited, but that won’t keep the Chargers from dominating on the ground against an awful Denver rush defense. Ekeler ($6700) will definitely see a reduced role, but his monster season won’t end with a limited Gordon snap share.
Adam Thielen – MIN ($6700)
Thielen is coming off a brutal game against a brutal Chicago defense, and with Minnesota’s commitment to the ground game, the opportunity hasn’t been there. But Thielen yo-yo’s, having scored his only TDs on odd weeks so far. I’m not saying that there’s a statistical correlation to the game number and Thielen’s production, but I am saying that our perception is down, and it’s coming at a time when a Diggs dispute may open up just a bit more opportunity for Thielen and company, who will play a Giants squad that is one of the softest in the league against WRs. If anything does happen to Diggs, there’s essentially no one else out there to catch the ball, and Thielen loves that endzone. Big play opportunity; too risky for cash.
Marquise Brown – BAL ($5700)
Lamar Jackson is legit dominating, and although Mark Andrews seems to be the biggest benefactor, nobody on the team has received more targets than Brown, and he has more than triple the targets as the next closest WR. The over/under in this game is unfortunately middling, but Baltimore are favorites against a team allowing over forty DK points per game to wide receivers. But what other wide receiver in Baltimore is a threat? Andrews is the more secure Baltimore pass-catcher, and he has one more TD on the season, but Brown’s opportunity, combined with his field-stretching ability makes him a great boom candidate especially suited to GPP games.
Other Targets: Larry Fitzgerald ($6000) could benefit from Christian Kirk’s absence. CAR receivers DJ Moore ($5200) and Curtis Samuel ($4500) have both had plenty of opportunity on the year with little to show for it, and now they play a JAX team that is much stronger against the run than the pass. Hunter Renfrow ($4000) is a sneaky deep play with an injured Tyrell Williams.
Tyler Eifert – CIN ($3300)
Eifert is not getting the DK salary love that usually comes with a tight end playing the Cardinals. Like I said in my Dalton endorsement, I think Eifert will be highly owned, but it’s not worth passing up this opportunity at this price just because a lot of other people are doing it. Use the money you save playing down TE this week on multiple top-ten RBs. We have to be wary, though, as Eifert has not had a good season, but with Ross out on a defense that is surprisingly good against WRs, I see a lot of work coming out on short throws. Atypically touchdown-deprived, Eifert could have his one and only big game of the season.
George Kittle – SF ($5300)
If you’re thinking about paying up for TE without breaking the bank, Kittle seems pretty ideal to me. His season is off to a much rockier start than we expected, but it’s not for lack of trying. Only two TEs without TDs have more targets, so both Kittle’s price and ownership have been dropping in recent weeks. The Browns are middling on the year in allowing DK points to the TE, but in 2018 they were the absolute worst. This week, the 49ers are showing up as favorites, at home, against a team that is league-best in shutting down the RB. Without a substantial receiver presence, I think Garappolo will give Kittle a lot of love this week, and that TD luck is about to turn around.
Defense / Special Teams
New England Patriots ($4300)
They are once again the most expensive D/ST, but DraftKing’s isn’t asking the world for them. You can afford this, and it will be worth it. Word of warning, this will be a very heavily owned play, so it will be hard to gain leverage in large-field tournaments, so keep this play more limited to smaller fields, especially head-to-head matchups. Although you won’t have an ownership advantage, I see no other team possibly scoring more. The Patriots have the largest expected win margin, they play in one of the lowest projected score totals, and Colt McCoy is Washington’s starting QB.
Carolina Panthers ($2600)
I just don’t understand this one. When you’re looking to max out the other positions and spend down here, you can save here. Only one defense cheaper than the Panthers are expected to win their game (Bengals), but the Panthers have two specific advantages over Cincy. 1) Panthers are expected to play in one of the lowest-scoring games of the week and 2) the Panthers are priced twelve positions below their season-long performance. I know Gardner Minshew and his mustache are pretty amazing, but I don’t think Jacksonville inspires THAT much fear.
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