Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd came through last week for those who played him. The Chargers stack did not pan out due to Mike Williams’ crazy lack of targets. Kerryon and the Lions D/ST failed to provide what we hoped for since Patricia insists Kerryon is getting enough carries (Why oh Why is Blount still so involved?) and the Cowboys took the ball out of Dak’s hands and put it in Zeke’s which makes sense, but there was no reason to expect that coaching staff to do anything that resembled sense. Brees and Thomas were duds, but Kamara was still nice to us, but Shepard panned out as a solid game stack with Kamara. Enough about the past and let’s look to stacking it up this week with some edges!
Ben Roethlisberger – $6900 / Juju Smith-Schuster – $7500 / James Conner – $7500 / Vance MacDonald – $3700 vs Falcons
Big Ben returns home to face a reeling Falcons defense. Vance has been showing us his own version of “Beast-Mode” and the replacement players in the middle of the field and the Atlanta secondary aren’t ready for him. Juju is still averaging over 12 targets, 7 receptions and 100 yards per game this season. Atlanta’s defense is 7th worst in fantasy points to WRs. The over/under is 57.5 and there is no reason to believe that this won’t be a high scoring affair. Don’t over think playing players in this game. Instead spend your cycles trying to figure out how to maximize your exposure to this game.
For good measure we could add Conner to this stack. Atlanta is giving up receptions to running backs on a 10 reception per game pace. This pace includes over 77 receiving yards to the position, and they are 30th in rush DVOA. If Conner can get anywhere close to the 88 yards on the ground allowed by Atlanta, catch 5 receptions (near his average) for 40 yards, and score, we could hit 3x upside. This comes with some risk as the Steelers haven’t shown a willingness to lean on Conner as a passer.
Bottom-line: While not all of these players are likely to make it in your line up, there should be plenty of these players in at least one of your lineups this weekend. Many will be playing a Steeler or two in their lineup, but getting a little extra exposure to this offense should separate you from the pack.
Game Stack: Matt Ryan – $6600 / Julio Jones – $8500 / Calvin Ridley – $5800/Austin Hooper – $3000 @ Steelers
Exposure to this contest will be key and you can stack this game utilizing these players. Julio has at least one game in the past two seasons where he absolutely explodes and while he did have 9 receptions for 173 yards last week, there have still been no TDs. Because of this I would expect his ownership to be a little lower than it should be, but in a matchup like this he should be treated as a “free square”. Ridley had two more scores last week and the Steelers are worse than the Bengals giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to receivers. While Ridley’s price is rising, he does have a 17% share of the red zone targets for the Falcons. Matt Ryan’s pace would land him a QB3 finish for the season and he has been moving the ball like it’s 2016! Some of Ryan’s production could impact Austin Hooper. With the Steeler being dead last in fantasy points to tight ends and Hooper being tied for 3rd among tight ends in red zone targets, his match up might be a great low-ownership opportunity to buy into the crazy amount of expected points.
Mix and match these players as much as you can. The only caution for you to consider is that the Falcons have been at home over the last 3 weeks in the perfect conditions of the dome….. Just something to think about. The most expensive stack combination of the players mentioned will run you 53% of your cap. Swapping in AB over Juju brings that cost to 56%. The only real feasible way to make this happen is to dig into the bargain barrel at the end of this post.
Cam Newton – $6400 / Christian McCaffrey – $8000 vs Giants
Cam and McCaffrey have a combined average of 135 yards per game on the ground, and now they both have fresh legs after a bye. Just when you think the connection can’t become any better between this pair, they surprise you. McCaffrey has established himself as a true 3-down back. The Giants are 29th in DVOA on the ground which explains their 6th most points to rushers this season. They also give up the most rushing yards on the ground to QBs. This pair could easily combine for 2-3 scores on the ground alone, and we haven’t even discussed the passing game yet. These two provide a nice floor with potential for an awesome ceiling.
Andy Dalton – $5900/ Tyler Boyd – $5700 vs Dolphins
Miami is ranked 8th in pass DVOA and 1st against WR1s in DVOA. This is awesome for the WR2 facing the Dolphins which makes this an awesome match up for Boyd. Also the injury to Eifert should open up some additional opportunities for him. Boyd, in his last 3 games, has averaged 10 targets, 7 receptions, and 107 yards and almost a TD.
Dalton is still on a crazy pace having averaged almost 300 yards and 3 TDs per game. While the DVOA and fantasy-points-against metrics do not look appetizing Dalton was able to perform well against Baltimore who I believe to be a better defense. Because of this many average DFS players will overlook this pair. Draft ’em, save cap space, fill in with studs, and win!
Blake Bortles – $5500 / T. J. Yeldon – $5600 / Jaguars D/ST vs Chiefs
This game will be an ultimate test of Mahomes who faired well against a solid Broncos defense. The fact that the Jaguars are traveling explains the low price as it is tough to play at Arrowhead. However, the total in this game is still high at 48.5 which means that if Mahomes continues to state his case as a dominant passer, Bortles is going to have to keep up. This will mean more pass attempts and they have to go somewhere. Yeldon will be a beneficiary to some degree (100 scrimmage yards and 2 TDs last week) which is an added bonus to the workload he just inherited for the foreseeable future. Why is an RB stacked with Bortles instead of a WR? Other than the fact that Kansas City yields the 3rd most receptions to running backs, there is the uncertainty of the primary wide receiver this week for Jacksonville. If you have a good way to guess who it will be, by all means do it because it will be someone.
The Jags D/ST is a pure gamble. The first half of Monday Night Football started to show some flaws in Mahomes game. This appears to be evidence of how film study eventually catches up to new QBs. If there is a defense that would be able to shutdown Mahomes completely, it has to be the Jags. If this is proves to be a bad play, then Mahomes is officially matchup-proof. This is the cheapest you will ever be able to play the Jags D/ST so why not take a chance on the low ownership?
Josh Rosen – $4900 / David Johnson – $6300 / Christian Kirk – $3700 @ 49ers
This is a completely contrarian stack and people should be totally off this in general. This is the cheapest you will be able to own David Johnson all season, and that’s crazy because he had 112 total yards including 3 receptions and a score last week against a much tougher defense than the 49ers. Rosen did not do much to impress except look more competent than Bradford, but it gave the offense a little boost. Rosen goes from facing the team giving up the 6th least fantasy points to passers to the team giving the 8th most. Kirk has had 15 targets over the past two weeks, and Rosen clearly trusts him. Don’t worry about Chad Williams and his touchdown last week; with the targets should the scoring opportunities come for Kirk. This stack costs only 30% of the cap leaving a lot of room to get other studs in your lineup.
C. J. Uzomah – $2900 / Tyler Kroft – $2900 vs Miami
Eifert’s gruesome injury has created an opportunity vacuum of about 5 targets and about 41 air yards per game for one of these two to fill. There could be additional opportunity being that John Ross is also likely out with a pulled muscle. Kroft was used more than Uzomah last season and has three more targets (including one more redzone target) than Uzomah as well. However, it seemed that everytime I saw a piece of a Bengals game where a tight end was making a play it was Uzomah. The stats support Kroft, but my eyes tell me Uzomah. As long as Marvin Lewis doesn’t just split the snaps right down the middle for these two, one of them should gain decent upside for the price.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – $3300 @ Lions
Randall Cobb has been dealing with some injuries and currently sits on the injury report with the dreaded questionable tab, but more importantly Geronimo Allison has a concussion. While it’s entirely to clear the protocol in a week, it is atypical. This could create an opportunity for MVS to prove himself valuable to Aaron Rodgers. He has had a total of 5 targets for 79 airyards (an aDOT of 15 yards) which indicates to me that he is in a great position in this offense to pick up where Allison left off. Detroit has not been giving many points to receivers, but Football Outsiders DVOA has them 22nd or worse against all types of receivers. This is the weirdest conundrum, but considering how bad Detroit has been on the ground, it becomes easier to understand. MVS will likely be overlooked and his price makes him a bargain for exposure in a game with a 51 point total.
Aaron Jones – $4300 @ Lions
Aaron Jones is clearly the best rusher in the Packers backfield. Aaron Rodgers wants to win and he wants the best playmakers on the field which means that Jamaal Williams and Ty Mongomery are situational players. The dynamic ability of Aaron Jones cannot be denied, and Rodgers wants him on the field. Jones now gets to show off those skills against a Lions defense that just got beat to death by Zeke. I’ll take the upside of Jones dynamic skillset against a defense giving up the most rushing yards and the 5th most fantasy points to running backs.
Courtland Sutton – $3400 @ Jets
Many may be overlooking Sutton and his potential. He is showing promise when he is targeted with quality passes from Keenum. If he can post a similar line to his game against the Chiefs and add a score, he could easily return 4X value. There will be an opportunity to realize this potential against the Jets who give up the 5th most yards to wide receivers. If nothing else he is worth a shot based on his airyard potential alone. Among receivers priced below $3800 he has the second most airyards behind only Kelvin Benjamin, and the next closest player is a full 69 airyards behind him.
While the Jets look tough on paper, they have faced Stafford (who wasn’t himself in week 1), Tannehill, Tyrod(mostly)/Baker, and Bortles. Not awesome competition necessarily. Moncrief showed us what is possible with 5 receptions for 109 yards and a score. Westbrook also blew up with 9 receptions for 130 yards. Sutton should be able to turn those potential yards into real ones this week.