Week 5 is in the books. It was a rough bye week with New Orleans, Seattle, Jacksonville, and Kansas City doing other fun stuff on Sunday, but they're all back. This week Minnesota and Tampa Bay are on bye, and you very well may not have been using most of them so let's call that a win.
1. Brian Hoyer: Sooooooooo Hoyer looks kinda good. He threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns (zero picks) and may have taken this offense to the next level. No, yeah, it's the same Brian Hoyer from Houston. You're probably fine at QB, but if you've been dealing with the stinkiness (not a word; should be a word) of Carson Palmer and/or Eli Manning, take a look at Hoyer.
1. Jacquizz Rodgers: There's a very good chance that Doug Martin returns after Tampa's bye this week, but Rodgers will still have value. Charles Sims is now on IR, so Rodgers would presumably step into his pass-catching role. He should definitely be owned.
2. Cameron Artis-Payne: You would be hard pressed to find someone who is less of a Jonathan Stewart fan than yours truly. I've really never been impressed by his play, but Cameron Artis-Payne is showing that he deserves a shot at the job after an 85 yard, two touchdown performance on Monday night. He's an interesting speculative add with JStew likely returning soon.
3. James Starks: Starks may (and should) be owned by the Eddie Lacy owner, but consider him if he's free. Lacy suffered an ankle injury on Sunday night that apparently isn't serious, but Starks is worth considering in the event that Lacy is out a week or two.
1. Sammie Coates: Coates, Antonio Brown, and Lev Bell all had 11 targets on Sunday. Coates brought in six catches and led the team in receiving yards with 139 while adding two touchdowns. The Steelers offense can be lethal, and I'd love to own their downfield threat. He has a firm grip on the WR2 spot in Pittsburgh.
2. Cameron Meredith: No Kevin White = More Eddie Royal? Eh, sorta, but Meredith was the big beneficiary of the vacuum left by White. Meredith led the Bears with nine catches for 130 yards and a TD, and should be considered in all formats.
3. Before I give the name, let's play a game about Week 5 Stats. Both players play for the same team
Player A: 1 target, 0 catches, 0 yards, 0 TDs, 0 anything, 0 fun
Player B: 13 targets, 8 catches, 102 yards, 1 TDs, a whole bunch of something, a moderate amount of fun
Player A is Torrey Smith; Player B is Jeremy Kerley. I'm comfortable saying that Kerley is the number one receiver on the Blaine Gabbert-led 49ers. Word recently came out that Colin Kaepernick will be starting in Week 6, so keep an eye on this dynamic in case it shifts back towards Torrey. For now, though, I'm endorsing Kerley.
1. Martellus Bennett: Just make sure he's owned.
2. Charles Clay: Now I'm not saying to drop anyone of worth for him or that he'll do well, but he led the Bills with five catches for 73 yards. With no Sammy Watkins, someone has to step up. I have no idea if Clay will continue to be the guy, but the tight end position is pretty rough so you can always do worse.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR ASKING. I'D LOVE TO TELL YOU HOW WEEK 4 WENT FOR ME.
I tweeted this last night, but for all of you who don't follow me in the Twittersphere (@DonaldGibsonFF), buckle up.
Where shall we start? Real football? Deal.
So I'm a Ravens fan, which is tough on the heart to say the least. We play up to the good opponents, down to the bad ones, meh to the meh ones, and so on. We did it again this week, losing to the Raiders 28-27 after squeaking out ugly wins over the last three weeks. Ravens lose. Whatever.
Many of you may not know this but there are other sports than just football, and conveniently I got to watch my hometown Orioles lose in the AL Wild Card play-in game in the 11th inning on Tuesday night after a questionable-at-best pitching substitution. Strike two. Too soon?
In DraftKings this week, I made probably 12-15 lineups across a variety of different start times and formats and all that jazz. One of them won. One. Sweet. Strike three.
In season-long fantasy football - typically my bread and butter - I went...I'll let you guess.
I lost all six of my season-long leagues. In my home league which is my most treasured, I lost by .04 points. That's one passing yard. Less than a half of a regular yard. You can't make this stuff up.
Week 5 blah blah whatever.
Starts of the Week
I didn't write a waiver column this week because 1) there wasn't too much action this past week regarding emerging players and 2) I've been very grumpy after the catastrophes mentioned above. Sue me.
Remember that I will likely be targeting these guys in DFS even if they aren't included in the DFS section.
1. Carson Wentz - Has he been in all of my articles? Probably pretty close. I'm a fan of the kid regardless, and he plays the Lions defense who just lost to the Chicago Brown Bears (anyone watch New Girl? Anyone?), not to mention they've been lit up several times this year. Wentz is an excellent fill-in during a week where Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Blake Bortles are sitting on their couches eating Doritos.
2. Jameis Winston - This is partly a gut call, partly me remembering that Matt Ryan just dropped five-hundo on the Panthers D last week. Winston actually leads the league with 177 passing attempts, and I'm always a big fan of volume (even if it's coupled with an increased turnover risk). Again, he's a good fill-in during a tough QB bye week.
3. Jerick McKinnon - McKinnon out-carried Matt Asiata 18-6 last week and his yards per carry was 4.7 compared to Asiata's...one. It seems like he's locking up that workhorse role, and he's facing a Houston defense giving up roughly 125 rushing yards per game. Sounds like a plan to me (also very affordable in DFS).
4. Duke Johnson - Okay Isaiah Crowell has been lights out this season. I get it. I have a feeling the returning Tom Brady may try to score 100 points, and he may against the Browns. In all likelihood, the Browns will go down early and Duke will be the running back on the field. It's not going to be pretty, but Duke should get his.
5. Mike Evans - I'll be brief. Evans is my number two (yes, two) receiver this week. If Julio can drop 300 yards on Carolina, can't Evans drop 150? I say yes.
6. Travis Benjamin - Benjamin has cooled off lately after his targets (and production) spiked following Keenan Allen's injury. I think he'll get back in line this week facing a Raiders defense that has given up a league-leading 16,000 passing yards per game (okay 333, but close enough). Steve Smith had 8/111/1 last week. I expect something similar from Benjamin.
That's all for now. Come back soon!
Likely in addition to the guys mentioned above, here are some good value DFS guys that can leave you with some extra $$$ to throw around. Pricing is from DraftKings.
1. Andrew Luck - $7300: Luck has been generally disappointing this season, but I'm expecting a solid outing against the Bears who...are the Bears. He should have pretty low ownership, as people who want to pay up at QB will probably drift towards Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Big Ben.
2. Eli Manning - $6000: Everyone hates Eli this year because he isn't throwing TDs, but that's all the more reason to use him in DFS. The Packers run D is great, as they've given up a legitimately incredible 1.8 yards per carry thus far in 2016. The Giants will have to throw, and that's enough for me.
3. Trevor Siemian (or Paxton Lynch) - both $5200: I'll be using a lot of whoever the starter is against the Falcons who have given up an average of 31 points per game. Uh, yes please.
1. DeMarco Murray - $7200: Murray has been lights out this year, and now he faces a Miami defense who gives up 130 rushing yards per game. The stars hath aligned.
2. LeGarrette Blount - $5600: The Patriots may score 70 on the Browns. If that's the case, Blount will be involved.
3. DeAndre Washington - $3400: I know it's not a secret anymore. Latavius Murray is probably not going to play, so Washington gets the starting role against the Chargers who have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. His ownership will be high, but at this price I don't think I care.
1. Antonio Brown - $9800: The best receiver in the league? Check. Playing against a likely-Revis-less Jets secondary? Check. That's enough for me.
2. Amari Cooper - $7200: Most people will probably be using Michael Crabtree for $300 cheaper, but I feel like this is a Cooper game. Jason Verrett on the Chargers is out for the season with a partially torn ACL. Points galore in this one.
3. DeSean Jackson - $5900: So I've made it clear that I'm a Ravens fan. I don't know what's going on with our secondary, but we've given up plenty of receiving TDs over the top (Corey Coleman, Michael Crabtree, Orlando Jones from The Replacements, probably). If there was any receiver in the league that could get behind a defense...
4. Tajae Sharpe - $4400: He's still the number one there. Don't forget it. The eruption is coming.
1. Greg Olsen - $6300: Olsen is at safe as it gets at TE. I love playing receivers against the Bucs, and you get the added excitement of having a Monday night player. Check that out.
2. Zach Ertz - $3500: I'm hoping people shy away from Ertz because he's coming off an injury because I think he's going to go absolutely bananas this week (well, bananas for a tight end at least). He's playing the same defense that gave up two touchdowns to Jack Boyle Week 1.
Always available! Go here.
Luckily, Week 3 was fairly smooth. There weren't a ton of injuries, most guys performed how they generally should, and most importantly I did well in fantasy. And you did too. Hopefully.
You know the drill: waivers, starts of the week, DFS plays, and I may even toss in a trade column this week because I'm starting to get trade fever (treated by an 8 oz. glass of water, 2 ibuprofen, and a no-brainer acquisition of Brandin Cooks). Check back later in the week to see if you're the lucky winner.
1. Carson Wentz: I mentioned last week that the kid looks good, and he went into Pittsburgh and truly proved that he's a pro ready to make things happen. I know QB is deep, but you should give him a look if you're having inconsistency issues (and there have been plenty at the position).
2. Trevor Siemian: Siemian was nothing more than a game manager to me (and many others) before Sunday, but he showed some downfield aggression that paid dividends for the defending Super Bowl champs. His upcoming matchups are Tampa Bay (allowing 33.7 points per game; just made the Rams look like the Saints), Atlanta (allowing 30.3 points per game), and San Diego (allowing a modest 24.3 per game). The near future looks promising for Siemian.
1. Jordan Howard: Well looky here. Last week I told you to consider stashing Howard because he was likely going to take Howard's job. Langford gets hurt (out for a few weeks), Howard has a solid performance, and suddenly he's the number one RB pickup. Who would've thought?
2. Orleans Darkwa: Intimidating opponents with his Sci-Fi movie antagonist name, Darkwa is an easy number two option at RB this week. Rashad Jennings is banged up but may play (and continues to be, uh, not good), and Shane Vereen is out for anywhere from eight weeks until the end of the season. Keep an eye on Paul Perkins as well in deeper leagues.
3. Wendell Smallwood: The Eagles RB situation is a mess right now, as Darren Sproles is seemingly leading the charge with Smallwood spelling him often while Ryan Mathews randomly sits on the sideline and plays Backgammon, probably. Apparently Mathews is dealing with a leg injury, but I'd be a little wary of him going forward until this mess is cleaned up. Consider adding Smallwood in deeper leagues especially if you have Mathews.
1. Kevin White: There's a chance that White was dropped in your league. He's a physical freak and had 14 targets on Sunday. The Bears may be playing from behind often, so White will be accumulating plenty of garbage time production.
2. Michael Thomas: Thomas's value is dependent on the health of Willie Snead, but Drew Brees seemed to love him on Monday night, as Thomas accumulated 71 yards and a TD on seven catches. With how much this offense spreads the ball around, Thomas should have several bright games down the stretch.
3. Adam Humphries: Who? Humphries finished second for the Bucs (yes, that's who he plays for) with nine receptions for 100 yards. Jameis Winston threw the ball 58 times, so don't necessarily expect that kind of production week in and week out. He should be on your radar, though.
None. They're all awful.
1. Hunter Henry: Just kidding. Henry stepped in for Antonio Gates and performed admirably with five catches for 76 yards. Obviously his value will have a lot to do with Antonio Gates, but Gates isn't the healthiest guy I've ever met (or seen on television, same thing).
2. Cameron Brate: Another Buccaneer? Again, this had a lot do with Winston's volume, but two red-zone TDs for Brate are worth something, especially with the departure of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins.
This might as well be a "Who plays Cleveland and Chicago?" section.
1. Cleveland's opponent - Washington
2. Chicago's opponent - Detroit
3. Houston - Actual writing content! Houston is playing Tennessee, and while I've been a fan of Tennessee's offense so far, they tend to spin their wheels when Delanie Walker isn't on the field. Monitor Walker's health, and, if he's out again, plug in Houston with confidence.
Trade Targets: Buy and Sell
Trade fever is upon me. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I have the itch. Here are some guys I would try to buy while their value is low or sell while their value is high.
FYI: The position ranks that I use are for a 0.5 PPR league. Yours may be slightly different.
Carson Palmer: Palmer let down his owners last week by throwing four picks and zero touchdowns. I wouldn't advise paying a lot for him, but if you have QB problems and can get him cheaply, go for it. He had five touchdowns and zero interceptions prior to Sunday.
Matt Ryan: I like Matt Ryan this year, and I'm not saying he will suddenly be awful for the rest of the year, but he plays Carolina, Denver, and Seattle the next three weeks. If you can get someone to buy him as the best fantasy quarterback in the league, have at it.
Lamar Miller: Miller is currently ranked RB18, but that's mostly because he hasn't scored. He has over 20 carries in all three games this season, and that's enough for me. He'll be fine, so grab him if you can.
Eddie Lacy: I've noticed that a lot of people who own Eddie Lacy actually hate Eddie Lacy. He's definitely a headache, and he's currently RB28. I see Lacy as more of a RB12-15 kind of guy, so if you can get him for a bag of peanuts, go for it.
Todd Gurley: Make sure you trade him for the right price (which is a lot). Gurley finally produced for his fantasy owners in Week 3, but you should be concerned. The Rams passing offense is generally just awful, and that means Gurley probably has to face 13 men in the box (11 defenders plus the defensive coordinator and the water boy). Gurley is averaging a very poor 2.9 yards per carry. I'd be shopping him.
Latavius Murray: Murray is currently RB16, but his future is looking bleak. He has games with 14, 8, and 10 carries and was only on the field for 48% of the team's snaps. He's scored in every game, but I'd look to deal him ASAP.
Julio Jones: He's still Julio Jones. Currently WR28. It's like someone gave you a 70% off coupon. Get busy.
Brandin Cooks: It wouldn't be one of my articles if I couldn't talk about Cooks. He posted a weak two-catch effort in a shootout against the Falcons on Monday night, but it's okay. Cooks still had eight targets. He'll get his share, I guarantee it.
Alshon Jeffery: Sooner or later, the Bears will realize that they need to feed Jeffery to have any chance of winning a football game. He doesn't have less than 70 yards in any games yet this season, but also hasn't scored so he's a wee bit more affordable.
Stefon Diggs: Diggs erupted to start the season, and he's currently WR6. I'm not convinced that Sam Bradford can keep this up, so if someone sees him as a top 12 WR talent, sell him like a 10 year old at a yard sale with his summer reading books.
Larry Fitzgerald: Fitz is really in the same boat as Diggs. He's WR8, but this offense spreads the ball so much that a two catch, 25 yard game wouldn't surprise me in the least. Be prepared to sell for the right price.
Rob Gronkowski: His owners are probably a little grumpy. If their team is faltering after losing their likely first pick, they may be more willing to trade. Entertain them.
Kyle Rudolph: Currently TE2, Rudolph has not convinced me of anything. He's never had more than 495 yards in a season, and I can't just disregard that. Also he cost me a shot at the playoffs in 2012 and I haven't forgiven him yet.
Oh, hello. You're looking for some DraftKings picks? Let me see what I can do for you.
Check out my full projections in the DraftCrunch marketplace. If you used them last week, you would have had Darren Sproles in every lineup, and you would have been happy about it.
1. Cam Newton - $7800: Typically I try not to pay up at quarterback unless there's a stack that I need (usually Brees-Cooks, surprise). This week, however, I have no problem using Cam against the team giving up the second most DK points to QBs.
2. Philip Rivers - $6900: (Insert QB playing the Saints here). As a result of his matchup, Rivers' ownership may be higher than you'd like. Just an FYI.
3. Trevor Siemian - $5400: Siemian more or less exploded onto the scene last week, throwing for 312 yards and 4 TDs against the Bengals. Now he gets the Bucs, who have given up 32 points per game. He's an excellent value play this week.
1. Le'Veon Bell - $7500: Honestly, I just want to use him because I can. Some people may hesitate as a result of being rusty or getting up to game speed or DeAngelo Williams cutting into his work. Meh. I'm using him anyway.
2. Devonta Freeman - $5500: Can you tell this price was set before last week's Monday night explosion? Freeman had over 200 scrimmage yards last week, and while the Panthers D is much better than the Saints excuse for a defense, Freeman will still be involved. At the price it's hard to say no.
3. Carlos Hyde - $4200: I rarely use or endorse using Carlos Hyde in any format, but at a meager $4200, you could do much worse against an often-shaky Dallas defense. Besides, what are they gonna do? Let Blaine Gabbert throw it?
1. Brandin Cooks - $7400: I really have no shame when it comes to Cooks. Clearly. Anecdotally, I think Cooks and T.Y. Hilton (Eugene for short...or long I guess) are similar players. They're not big guys (Cooks is 5'10, Hilton is 5'9), they're both blazing fast (Cooks often races cheetahs, Hilton, antelopes), and they both play in the slot and on the outside. Hilton had eight catches for 174 yards and a TD last week against the Chargers. Here's to hoping for the same from Cooks in San Diego this week.
2. Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders - $6700/$6400: This obviously goes hand in hand with Siemian, but these guys each had long touchdowns last week, and I expect more of the same.
3. Steve Smith - $4500: I mentioned this last week, but Smith will go bananas soon. He had a very solid eight catches for 87 yards last week. Oakland has given up an incredible 340 passing yards per game over the first three weeks. Let's see if the Ravens can keep it going.
1. Greg Olsen - $6000: The Falcons gave up seven catches for 109 yards and a TD last week to Coby "I catch balls when I feel like it sometimes" Fleener. Now they play arguably the most productive TE in the league. I'm paying up for him.
2. Zach Miller - $2700: He's so cheap, so he'll be highly owned, but I don't know how much I care. There are two things I'm sure of in this life: Brandin Cooks is a legend and Detroit is awful against tight ends. Can't go wrong here.
Available here for your viewing pleasure.
So Week 2 was awful.
Not only did a ton of running backs suffer serious injuries, but a bunch of almost-guaranteed solid performers left their fantasy owners out to dry. Yes, I’m looking at you Drew Brees. And you Antonio Brown. And, yep, I see you over in the corner A.J. Green. Todd Gurley? Yeah you’re giant man; you can’t hide behind that 3-year old.
Your Week 3 Guide starts...now? No wait. Not yet. Okay now:
1. Carson Wentz: Okay. I believe. According to some tweet I saw this morning, Wentz is the only rookie quarterback to start a season 2-0 without throwing any interceptions. He looked very composed against the Bears on Monday night, and it looks like the sky is the limit.
2. Sam Bradford: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Bradford looked good Sunday night, but I’m going to need to see a bit more consistency before I endorse him as a starter. If you’re in a very deep league with QB problems, he’s worth a look.
1ish. Charles Sims: Sims should be owned already, but if not go snag him. He has value when Doug Martin is healthy, and will absolutely be heavily involved when Martin is out.
1aish. Theo Riddick: Ameer Abdullah has an apparently-minor foot injury. Riddick should have been owned before. Riddick should definitely be owned now.
1. Fozzy Whittaker: Jonathan Stewart suffered a hamstring injury that is supposed to sideline him for a few weeks, and Fizzy Whitaker hopped in and accumulated 100 rushing yards on just 16 carries. I’d assume Whittaker gets the majority of the work, but I think Cameron Artis-Payne will be the guy on the goal line. Only time will tell how this split goes.
2. Jay Ajayi/Kenyan Drake: Arian Foster went down with a groin injury (I’M SO SURPRISED), and Ajayi and Drake stepped into the Dolphins backfield. They didn’t run much as they were behind most of the game (45 passes vs. 16 rushes, and 6 of those rushes were by Ryan Tannehill), so it’s hard to get an idea of who the first guy will be. Ajayi had five carries for 14 yards and four catches for 31, while Drake had two carries for 12 yards and two catches for six, but Drake got the goal-line carry. I don’t hate the idea of adding one of them, I just don’t know which to advise. Back against the wall? Ajayi.
3. Jerick McKinnon: Adrian Robot Peterson suffered a torn meniscus on Sunday, but may play this week apparently (???). If AP sits, McKinnon should see most of the work with Matt Asiata spelling him occasionally and stealing the goal-line work. It goes without saying that McKinnon’s value and production is tied very tightly to Peterson’s health.
4: Jordan Howard: Howard may be here next week as well, but I think it’s best to be ahead of the game. Jeremy Langford has been disappointing this season averaging a hair above three yards per carry, but has saved his fantasy days with touchdowns in both games. After a critical fumble Monday night, I think Langford’s days are numbered. Howard looked the best out of the Bears running backs against the Eagles, and I think his workload should increase in the very near future. I’d grab now and wait a week or two, then brag to your silly league-mates.
1. Quincy Enunwa: Enunwa (say that ten times fast) quietly has 13 receptions on 14 targets thus far in 2016. He left Thursday night’s game with a rib injury, but seems to have standalone value when healthy. In the event that Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker go down, Enunwa’s stock will skyrocket.
2. Michael Thomas: You know I can’t resist my Saints. Thomas is the third option behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead, but he’s been very efficient thus far, catching 10 of his 11 targets for 114 yards. Definitely worth an add in deeper leagues.
3. Phillip Dorsett: Dorsett is currently the third receiver behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, but Moncrief is currently being evaluated for a shoulder injury. If Moncrief is out, Dorsett becomes a great under-the-radar option over the next few weeks, as he faces San Diego, Jacksonville, and Chicago.
4. Jamison Crowder: Crowder is in a bit of a wide receiver rotation with Pierre Garcon and Josh Doctson, but he is currently tied with Jordan Reed for most receptions and targets on the Redskins with 12 and 18, respectively. Crowder has averaged just 8.1 yards per game, so his value is really in PPR formats. Regardless, his involvement is a good sign.
1. Dennis Pitta: The Ravens have always loved their tight ends, and Pitta is no exception. He is currently tied for the league lead among TEs with 12 receptions and is second with 141 yards. It’s not a fluke as long as he can stay healthy.
1. Miami: And the team facing the Browns this week is…
2. Dallas: Dallas never really has a good defense, but the Bears offense looked so atrocious on Monday night that I’d endorse pretty much any defense against them.
Starts of the Week
Alright. You know the drill. Remember to keep an eye on these guys in DFS as well.
1. Marcus Mariota - I really have no idea how this Marcus Mariota obsession surfaced. I feel like I endorse him every week and he ends up doing fine - but nothing special. Oh well. We're at it again. Tennessee plays Oakland this week, and the Raiders defense has given up 34 and 35 points so far this season. That's enough for me.
2. Melvin Gordon - Hi there. Just writing to let you know that Gordon is for real, and I really can't imagine a situation where you can't start him. He looks a trillion times better than last season, Danny Woodhead is out for the season, and the Colts defense is atrocious. The stars hath aligned.
3. Theo Riddick - Similar to Gordon, the stars have aligned for Riddick. He's playing a (usually) very good offense in Green Bay, and Ameer Abdullah got placed on IR with a foot injury. The Lions should be throwing often, which typically means Riddick is very involved. He probably won't get the goal line work because he's a little man, but I'd try to get him in your lineup in PPR leagues especially.
4. Darren Sproles - Sproles is strictly a deeper league play, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a Sproles game. Sproles out-snapped Ryan Mathews 41:21, and the other two backups in Barner and Smallwood combined for 13 - and that was in a game that the Eagles were winning the entire time. I don't expect the same against Pittsburgh. If the Steelers offense does what it's supposed to (aka scores...a lot), Sproles should be on the field while the Eagles try to match the Steelers high octane offense. Again, just a deep league play, but I think he'll be heavily involved.
5. Allen Robinson - If you own ARob, you've probably had a fairly stressful two weeks. Don't bench him. Honestly I'd probably advise you not to bench him regardless of matchup, but he's playing a Ravens defense that made Josh McCown and Corey Coleman look like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison last week.
6. Phillip Dorsett - I've been waiting for Dorsett to get his chance in this offense since he was drafted in 2015, and now's the time. He's been mildly involved thus far, averaging 62 yards per game, but the real kicker here is that Donte Moncrief is out for 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. I fully expect the Colts to light it up at home vs. San Diego, and it'll be Dorsett's coming out party.
7. Coby Fleener - Okay. Let's be clear. Fleener isn't a Start of the Week. He's been incredibly frustrating to own, as he only has three catches to start the season on what seems like 88 targets. This is his last chance. The Saints are at home against the Falcons, and these teams should be slinging the ball all over the place. If Fleener's going to come through, it has to be this week. LAST CHANCE, SIR.
We're gonna win $1 trillion this week. As always, here are my favorite DraftKings value picks.
I neglected to mention this before, but my comprehensive projections for all positions for both DraftKings and FanDuel can be found in the DraftCrunch marketplace. Here are some things that cost more than my projections on a monthly basis:
1. McDonald's McChicken sandwich
2. Guacamole at Chipotle
3. An Almond Joy Bar
4. An hour of parking in many major cities
They're $0.99. I literally made them as affordable as possible just for you. Thank me later.
Take note that Darren Sproles (above) is $3700 in DraftKings.
1. Philip Rivers - $6,700: I find myself trying to follow the Colts defense wherever they go, and Rivers is always a good bet to go bonkers. Sign me up.
2. Carson Wentz - $5,500: I think Wentz will be throwing a lot and he is yet to throw an interception, so there's a good chance he returns good value. That's pretty much it.
1. Christine Michael - $5,000: So apparently Thomas Rawls isn't going to play, so Michael should get most of the work. Apparently San Francisco is good against the run, but I'm not buying it. Michael's value grows on me by the minute.
2. Isaiah Crowell - $4,700: I'm not a huge fan of Crowell, and I think he's going to start regressing rapidly. However, this week the Browns are starting Cody Kessler, and I have a feeling they're going to try to run as much as possible. I'm a little worried about the Dolphins defensive line, but Crowell is cheap enough that it's worth the risk.
1. Jarvis Landry - $6,600: Landry is pretty cheap, and he has a great matchup this week. He's targeted constantly and will have a very solid game in DK.
2. Steve Smith Sr. - $4,100: Smith has started slow, but he's always good for a few eruption games. I think this is one.
1. Dennis Pitta - $3,400: Pitta is going to be very highly owned, but he's probably the best value at tight end this week. He should return value, but it may not come at a huge advantage as a result of his high ownership.
Always available here.
I hope Week 1 was everything you wanted it to be and more. Hopefully you didn't get obliterated by Brandin Cooks (legend), DeAngelo Williams, or any of the other guys that went wild. Here's what you need for Week 2:
1. Marcus Mariota: I was on the Mariota train before the season and, while he didn’t have an absolutely stellar first game (271 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, and 19 rushing yards), I still like his potential this season in an already-much-improved offense. Oh yeah, and he plays Detroit this week who just got lit up by the Colts.
2. Carson Wentz: Wentz turned some heads on Sunday, as the Eagles rookie threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns when expectations about the Eagles offense were pretty low. He plays six games against the QB-friendly NFC East, plus he plays the shaky-at-best Bears defense this week. In deep leagues, you could do much worse.
1. Danny Woodhead: I’ll be brief. Make sure he’s owned. If you’re in a PPR league and he isn’t, you should be ashamed.
2. Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah: Picking which one of these guys will have the good week is going to be a nightmare, but both should absolutely be owned. Riddick is currently looking at top 20 RB numbers in PPR, and Abdullah is right behind him. Make sure they aren’t available.
3. Tevin Coleman: The widespread fears about Devonta Freeman’s workload came true on Sunday, as Freeman had 15 touches compared to Coleman’s 13, and Coleman had 77 more yards (although 47 of those yards came on one play). If you own Freeman, you need to have Coleman. If you don’t have Freeman, it’s probably best to own Coleman just in case.
4. Shane Vereen: Rashad Jennings out-carried Vereen 18 to 6, but when I was watching, Vereen looked like the better back. He averaged 6.8 yards per touch compared to 4.1 for Jennings. I’m not one to endorse owning or starting any of the Giants running backs, but if you insist on having one…
1. Travis Benjamin: There’s a good chance that Benjamin is already owned in your league, but definitely take the time to double check. After leading receiver Keenan Allen went down with a heartbreaking ACL injury, Benjamin’s work should increase a bit.
2. Tajae Sharpe: The hype continues. Sharpe quickly became everyone’s favorite sleeper in the offseason, and he backed that up with a seven catch, 76 yard performance on 11 targets. Get this guy.
3. Will Fuller: Fuller had a very solid NFL debut on Sunday with five catches for 107 yards and a TD, and he dropped a big play that likely would have been another TD. I’m not saying he’s going to be amazing or he’s better than DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s definitely worth a pickup.
4. Victor Cruz: It’s been a while, but we finally got to see an end-zone salsa from Mr. Cruz on Sunday. Cruz caught all four of his targets, and Sterling Shepard caught three of his four. Time will tell who the true number two receiver on the Giants will be, but Cruz looks promising.
5. Tyrell Williams/Dontrelle Inman: Similar to Benjamin’s situation, someone has to literally step in for Keenan Allen. My gut is telling me Tyrell Williams will be the guy, but Inman is worth an add in deeper leagues as well.
6. Eli Rogers: The kid looked good. I didn’t even know who Eli Rogers was two weeks ago, and now he looks like the clear Steelers WR2, at least while Markus Wheaton is out. The Steelers offense is usually clicking on all cylinders – at least while Ben Roethlisberger is healthy – so I’m all for getting a cheap piece of it.
1. Eric Ebron: The tight end landscape is very rough as always, but Ebron offers you some fairly high potential. He may already be owned, but he should be in all leagues.
2. Dennis Pitta: Pitta returned to the Ravens this past Sunday after not playing since what feels like 1877. He had three catches for 39 yards, and that should only increase as the season progresses. Definitely worth a look in deep leagues.
Starts of the Week
You know the drill. Which guys should you be looking to start this week in both your season-long lineups and probably DFS as well?
1. Literally any offensive starter in the Saints-Giants game: Need I remind you of last year when these teams met? There were 13 total passing touchdowns, over 850 passing yards, six receivers with at least 6 catches, and a whole bunch of fun.
2. Ezekiel Elliott: A lot of Ezekiel Elliott owners are a little grumpy about how last week went. They spent a likely first round pick on Zeke, and he rewarded you with a mere 52 total yards, though he did score a touchdown. Don't fret, friends. The Redskins just got gashed by DeAngelo Williams for 143 rushing yards, and I'm expecting a similar performance from Zeke.
3. Thomas Rawls: My rankings don't even reflect this change as of this writing, but Rawls was named the starter against the Rams for Week 2, and Carlos Hyde just made Los Angeles look silly on Monday night. I suddenly need to think harder about getting Rawls in my starting lineup.
4. Dez Bryant: Don't get silly. Start him. I know he was disappointing, but he's Dez. I can almost guarantee that he's been chirping in Dak Prescott's ear about how he needs to get targets.
5. Michael Floyd: If 2015 was any indication of how the Cardinals offense worked, that means that this week should be Floyd's or John Brown's time to shine, since Larry Fitzgerald took the honor last week. Floyd was the better of the two last week, so he wins the tiebreaker. Gut call here.
6. Kevin White: He has to go off eventually, right? What better opponent than the Eagles in primetime? White actually led the Bears receivers in offensive snaps in Week 1, so I like his chances to get loose against Philly.
7. Gary Barnidge: Yada, yada, yada, Josh McCown is back, yada, yada, yada, McCown <3 Barnidge, yada, yada, yada.
As mentioned previously, I pretty much exclusively use DraftKings, so that's where I'm going to identify some values for this week. Also, check out the guys listed above in the Starts of the Week section: there's a good chance I'll be using them as well. Let's get into it.
Matt Ryan - $6,800: Oakland's pass defense gave up a ton of yardage to Drew Brees and the Saints last week and, while I don't expect insane numbers from Ryan and the Falcons, I think he'll do well enough to return your investment.
Marcus Mariota - $6,000: I have a feeling I'll be writing about Mariota a lot. He faces Detroit's defense who Andrew Luck just picked to shreds, and he's one of the cheapest QB options. Sign me up.
Trevor Siemian - $5,200: Siemian is a guy to look at if you're really trying to save money at QB. He was decent in Week 1, but faces the Colts who Matthew Stafford feasted upon in Week 1. I kinda like it.
C.J. Anderson - $6,800: Anderson is the sixth most expensive RB, but coming off an excellent Week 1 performance with extra rest facing a team that just gave up over 40 combined fantasy points to Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick? Uh, yeah, where do I sign?
T.J. Yeldon - $4,700: It looks like Chris Ivory will be out again. Yeldon had a decent week in terms of fantasy points accumulated last week, but he was pretty bad in terms of efficiency. Hopefully that lets up this week against the Chargers who were dreadful against the run in 2015 and also let Spencer Ware put up almost 36 DK points last week.
LeGarrette Blount/James White - both $4,000: I'm not really sure why these guys are so cheap. At least one of them will have a good game, and they're an excellent price.
Shane Vereen - $3,800: Just needed to point out how cheap he is in that ridiculous Saints-Giants game mentioned above. Carry on.
Emmanuel Sanders - $6,000: If Demaryius Thomas doesn't play or is limited, Sanders will be in line for a ton of targets. Even if Demaryius plays, Sanders has a modest price tag with a good matchup.
Travis Benjamin - $4,400: I know it's an obvious choice, but Benjamin is likely in line for more targets with Keenan Allen gone for the season. His price isn't staying this low for long, I can promise you that.
Steve Smith Sr. - $4,300: One of these days, Steve Smith is going to go absolutely bananas. Why not against the Browns?
Tajae Sharpe - $4,100: Tajae Sharpe - everyone's favorite preseason sleeper and member of the waiver pickup section above - was easily the Titans most involved receiver in Week 1 with 7 catches. I see a bunch of Mariota/Sharpe stacks in my future.
Delanie Walker - $4,500: Once Gronk is officially ruled out, Walker will become my second TE this week (and maybe even rise to number one). The Lions gave up three touchdowns to TEs in Week 1, and Walker is exponentially more talented than them. Big week comin'.
Clive Walford - $2,900: Not a guy I expected to endorse, Walford is generally fairly involved when the Raiders are throwing, and I expect them to be throwing.
I usually try to grab cheap defenses, but I'm actually paying up this week. It's hard to pass up the Panthers ($3,900) against San Francisco and Seattle ($3,800) against that "lovely" Rams offense. We always follow the Browns here at FantasyFusion, so the Ravens ($3,000) is a great value. If you want to go cheap, I don't absolutely despise the Dolphins ($2,500) against New England, but remember that the Patriots always have the potential to light the world on fire.
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