Lamar Jackson – BAL ($6200)
Lamar Jackson earns one stack endorsement with Mark Andrews (as you’ll see below), and he’s going to be a heavy fade in what appears to be a tough matchup against New England. I’ve seen plenty of articles on why you should sell the Patriots D/ST, and it’s precisely because they’ve played one of the easiest schedules in the season, but now things are going to take a slight detour. Jackson is currently priced as a low-end QB1 but he has been THE BEST DraftKing’s QB on the season. Look, this matchup doesn’t mean as much as you think, especially because running QBs activate the Konami Code with their rushing ability. Jackson has a super solid floor, is priced ridiculously low, and has an impeccable ceiling.
Jameis Winston – TB ($6100)
Just one step below Jackson is Winston, who is facing a much easier matchup on paper. Expect decent ownership from Winston, but also expect some fairly high play from this erratic quarterback. He might be a hassle in redraft and dynasty, but he is somehow producing the league’s best receivers. And I don’t mean a couple of the better revivers, in mean that in this week’s active DraftKing’s slate, there are NO receivers not in Tampa Bay who are outscoring either Godwin or Evans on a point-per-game basis. Seriously. It’s insane how good these receivers are, and Winston himself gets an easy matchup in a high-scoring game against Seattle as dogs. If you want to stack and lower your average ownership, I recommend pairing him with Cameron Brate.
Saquon Barkley – NYG ($8800)
My standard buy-high pick for the week is Saquon Barkley. Although drafters will be enticed by the opponent rank against RBs (Dallas), I’m hoping enough are willing to part ways with the consensus number one pick because of a lacking season up to this point. CMC and Zeke are intriguing plays in place of Barkley, but with so much excitement around CMC at $10k, I’m willing to look slightly lower with expectations that Barkley should score equal to his opportunity. While Barkley doesn’t get quite as much ground opportunity than the other RBs priced in the top five, he is the most targeted, and targets are worth more than carries. Expect a healthy Barkley to get tons of opportunity as home dogs in a high-scoring game.
Derrick Henry – TEN ($5700)
Derrick Henry is the ultimate hit-or-miss player as he is rarely featured in the passing attack and instead occupies a two-down role. However, we have seen his explosiveness before and know that he has a penchant for the few touchdowns Tennessee is ever likely to score. I like this because the opportunity is solid, he’s a starter, and he’s very affordable. His high ceiling and low floor make him a stronger GPP play. It’s unfortunate such a beast is on this team, but he’s priced just below his season-long performance. Henry isn’t getting the respect he deserves as Jamaal Williams, a backup, will cost you more than this workhorse. His opportunity wasn’t great in his last outing, but it’s clear that Henry is seeing the field MUCH more than the other RBs on the roster.
Other Targets: Nick Chubb ($7300) is an option to either spend down at RB1 or up at RB2 for his dominant snap counts in a game that is increasingly favoring the Browns. It’s bonkers that Alexander Mattison ($5000) is the same price as Melvin Gordon, but Mattison is receiving as much or more opportunity as some starting RBs. Jaylen Samuels ($4000) is flex-priced and could see an insane amount of work; everybody is hurt in PIT and owners will fade against Indy’s solid defense.
Tyreek Hill – KC ($7400)
Expect this big name to be highly owned, but also be sure to have exposure to a fair share of studs, as this stud will almost certainly find the endzone this week. I don’t think we should expect shadow coverage, but Hill will mostly be battling an easy opponent in Xavier Rhodes. While Hill couldn’t find the endzone the week prior in Green Bay, owners shouldn’t feel too bad, considering Green Bay’s stingy pass defense. Hill continues to get the targets, outpacing even Travis Kelce when both are active, and now the matchup swings from a difficult one to a relative cakewalk against the Vikings. Injury has kept Hill down for a while, but I expect a bounceback in this matchup.
Golden Tate – NYG ($5300)
This is a contrarian play, to be sure. As such, expect extremely low ownership so try to limit your Tate shares to GPP plays, and also monitor any status on Sterling Shepard, who has cleared the concussion protocol. Even so, Tate’s target share has been steadily improving since getting back into the mix of things after his suspension ended. The weirdest thing about the Giants’ receiving corps is that the majority of their WRs seem to occupy slot roles due to their heavy use of their 11-personnel bunch formation. This seems to limit their TD potential as few WRs are consistently lining up outside, but Darius Slayton came away with two TDs in one game. Don’t expect a repeat of that, and if there is a re-distribution in this high-scoring losing matchup, expect it to go to the highest targeted WRs.
Other Targets: Stefon Diggs ($7600) could have an awesome day, but if Thielen suits up, then this price is absurdly high; keep an eye on the injury reports. Michael Gallup ($6300) is my pick of the DAL WRs who all have plus matchups; Gallup has flashed upside and has seen an uptick in targets. Tyrell Williams ($5900) is the lead WR in a high-scoring matchup against a weak corner, and he is priced significantly below his season-long performance.
Mark Andrews – BAL ($4900)
Andrews has been a stud with Lamar Jackson, and he will be a heavy fade by many owners this week as he faces the intimidating New England defense who is currently number 1 in the league in allowing points to opposing tight ends. Don’t let that intimidate you. Andrews is absolutely eating up team targets and his price drops because of this matchup, but I’m willing to bet opportunity and skill will continue to hold its course. Easy pick for me.
Noah Fant – DEN ($3000)
Fant will be one of the lowest-owned plays this week, so if you’re looking to spend up elsewhere and want a dart at a TD, take Fant in this game against Cleveland. It’s extremely tough to trust any rookie tight end, but Emmanuel Sanders has opened up opportunities for more than just Courtland Sutton. Additionally, we’ve had news that the Broncos have placed Flacco on IR and are now on their 3rd QB. Not an ideal situation for any player, but history has taught us that unfamiliar QBs like to check down. While many of these safety outlets could feed to the RBs (especially Freeman), I’m going to gamble on Fant in GPP, hoping he gets a TD for bottom-barrel price.
Defense / Special Teams
Tennessee Titans – ($2600)
I’m recommending Henry, and it’s natural that I’ll look to stack a defense with an RB, even though such a stack isn’t nearly as sticky as a QB/WR or QB/TE or even a QB/WR/TE combo. Even if you don’t play Henry, the Titans seem like a nice independent option. Although they are currently slated as dogs, it’s by less than one score in one of the lowest-scoring games of the week. As well, the Titans are playing an Away game, which I’ve found to be indicative of DraftKing’s success (largely because of price-reduction and low-ownership). That price reduction is certainly apparent, as the Titans are a top-ten defense with a bottom-ten price, facing a team that got absolutely wrecked by the 49ers a week ago.
Cleveland Browns – ($3100)
Expect high ownership here as the Browns are being heavily endorsed in all formats. Still, the price is worth it even if you can’t gain leverage in a large field, so maybe limit this play to smaller formats or Head to Head matchups. But feel confident as these Away favorites in a low-scoring game are facing an absolute unknown quarterback. While the Denver defense can keep an opponent’s offense off the field for good portions, I don’t see how this team has enough offensive prowess to maintain. Although I’m recommending Fant and am slightly intrigued by a Sutton play, on the whole, the Browns should be able to stifle Denver’s offense and perhaps turn an errant pass into a defensive TD as the Broncos inevitably play catchup. This also seems like a must-play if you roster Chubb.
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