We had some solid hits last week along with a few misses, but as the world continues to spin we must continue to live our lives moving forward. This week we will be deprived of a few solid options in Detroit and New Orleans since they are on bye. Let’s see if we can continue to sharpen our edge this week.
Todd Gurley – $10000 / Rams – $3100 @ Broncos
Todd Gurley is the unquestioned dominant force we thought he would be this season especially in that Rams offense. This is a game script that plays perfectly into his hands, maintaining his season pace of 400+ fantasy points, as Case Keenum has not been who we thought he was last season. Errant, ill-advised, and inaccurate throws are the only way to describe his game today. The Rams defense has looked a little shaky in recent weeks, but Minnesota has great playmakers and Seattle has found a way to run the ball and resurrect their offense. Denver has had no such success which means they are likely to afford more opportunities for Gurley to face a defense giving up the fifth most points to running backs (including the most rushing yards).
Jordan Howard – $6500 / Bears – $3300 @ Dolphins
This play is more a speculation on game flow where one could see the Bears totally pressuring Tannehill and company into turnovers. The big lead they build off of short fields will like come through a ground attack because they are 5th in pass DVOA. Given they give the third most points to rushers and 6th most rushing yards on the ground, it seems like a great game for Jordan Howard. Howard’s performances have been disappointing recently, but coach Nagy’s comments indicate that the game plans are tailored to the opponent which means attacking their weakness. Tampa Bay’s weakness was the passing game so it makes complete sense that they went to Cohen. This week lends to Howard’s strengths so we should be able to leverage this as a tournament play.
Matt Ryan – $6800 / Julio Jones – $7900 / Mohamed Sanu – $4800 vs Buccaneers
This is not a call to super stack these players, but rather an “either-or” between Sanu and Jones. It’s hard to imagine a winning lineup that doesn’t have these players especially when the Bucs give the second most points to receivers and the most to QBs. There is no reason to list a bunch of stats to convince you here as you have witnessed how potent the Falcons offense is at home and how terrible the Tampa Bay defense has been as well. “Why no Ridley?” you may ask. His price at $6300
Game Stack: Jameis Winston – $5800 / Cameron Brate – $3700 @ Falcons
Winston appeared to love Brate last season. Assuming they pick up where they left off, there is an interesting opportunity in this high scoring game. If you want less expensive exposure to the 57.5 points then you can stack these two up with a Falcons receiver or two depending on how much you believe in the points. This could be the answer to getting Gurley in your lineups as well. Of course there has to be additional value found elsewhere.
Andy Dalton – $6300 / Joe Mixon – $7500 / Tyler Boyd – $6000
With the highest total on the main slate going to Bucs @ Falcons, some people may overlook this game. There is plenty of opportunity for pieces on Bengals. In the last 4 weeks the Steelers have allowed the 3rd most points to passers and the second most points to tight ends and receivers.
A.J. Green is probably a good contrarian play as well given his history against Joe Haden, but with this being a challenging matchup for him, Tyler Boyd seems like a great choice. Boyd has already been turning in some nice performances, but he has not played in a game with this high of a total before. Boyd’s average fantasy production would return close to 3x value based on his current price which is the best metric of expected active Bengals in this game.
Since there are supposed to be more points, we could expect more opportunities for him. Mixon just makes sense from a volume perspective. He has almost 70% of the 10-zone rushing attempts, and Gio Bernard (who had the rest of them) is out. There is also C.J. Uzomah who is discussed below.
Kirk Cousins – $6700 / Adam Thielen – $8500 / Dalvin Cook – $5700 vs Cardinals
The Cousins – Thielen stack has been quite good this season. Sure the Cardinals pass defense has been solid recently, but the last three weeks have included Seattle, Chicago and post-Garoppolo San Francisco. This is a stack we should be able to continue using as a foundation until otherwise notified. Adding to this stack is Dalvin Cook…. He was a full participant in practice and he appears to be coming back just in time to face the worst running back defense based on fantasy points given. Add to that the 7 reception average given to rushers and we have a solid floor of points. This is clearly risky though as hamstrings have a tendency to be re-aggravated rather easily.
Cooper Kupp – $6500 @ Broncos
Why would I mention someone battling with a concussion, facing a defense ranked 13th in fantasy points to receivers? That’s because it is imperative to examine Kupp’s status upto game day. If he clears the protocol, his average is reaching 3x fantasy points. If both him and Cooks return to action, our confidence in this play should rise as he will likely draw the least effective coverage. He currently owns about a third of the red zone targets for this team and has the same amount of targets as Robert Woods who costs an extra $400.
Tevin Coleman – $5400 vs Buccaneers
Devonta Freeman has already been declared out giving Coleman yet another opportunity to perform. At $5400 and facing the 5th worst defense against the run based on fantasy points yielded, he is worth the opportunity he presents. There is a little “TD vulture” risk as Ito Smith has more 10-zone rush attempts than Coleman. Given this some may want to consider Smith as a “shot-in-the-dark” penny pinching play.
T. J. Yeldon – $6400 @ Cowboys
Fournette … out. Grant … on IR. Guaranteed opportunity. Sure it’s a stiffer defense than what he faced last week, but the dollars per projected opportunity makes this too juicy to pass up especially with his recent use in the passing game (Dallas allows an average of 7+ receptions per game over the last 4 weeks). His lower cost affords us capital for higher priced players.
Bilal Powell – $4500 vs Colts
Crowell was reported as sitting out Thursday’s practice with an ankle injury, but was seen with a helmet in Friday’s practice session. This tenative situationof Crowell’s playing status may give many pause about playing Powell at all, but there are two things that are encouraging. Powell has already been involved with 15 opportunities per game and Crowell’s situation only creates potential for more. The Colts are also giving up an average of 8 receptions and 23+ points to running backs which if Powell were to get most of that would put him really close to a 4x per $1k return. Keep an eye on Crowell’s status, but I’ll probably play him anyway for a chance at that return.
C.J Uzomah – $3000 vs Steelers
Uzomah is the last man standing in the tight end ranks, at least those worth any fantasy attention on the bengals. Kroft was reported to be wearing a walking boot so this is a simple attack of opportunity in a high scoring game. With many people gravitating toward Cameron Brate, there may be some lower ownership opportunity with Uzomah. Make it all the sweeter is the Steelers defense giving up the 2nd most tight end points on the season. While his average indicates only a 1.78 return on investment, his snaps and targets could easily double. 30 yards and a TD are all he needs to hit 3x, but his ceiling has to be higher.
Tyler Lockett – $5100 @ Raiders
With the crazy amount of high scoring games so far this season many may forget that games with totals above 47 points were considered to be “high scoring” games. With that said Tyler Lockett is sitting at $5100 and if he produces his average in fantasy points he will hit over 3x value at his current price. Given that Oakland gives the 8th most fantasy points to the receivers, we could probably count on 15 points as his floor with a high ceiling potential given his 850 airyards on the season.
Chris Carson – $4400 @ Raiders
It’s hard to understand how players averaging over 18 opportunities per game could be priced this low. Now consider that Oakland are giving the 7th most points, the 5th most rushing yards, and the second most TDs per game to runners over the last four weeks. This is something that cannot be overlooked, especially if you plan on fitting Gurley in and getting exposure to these premium game totals. He’s healthy, no longer showing up on the injury report. On word of caution: because this game is in London, there is a possibility that all performance expectations for this game go out the window. Jet lag is crazy and the only team that has seemingly conquered it is Jacksonville, so we’ll see.
Bargain Bin Shot
Ronald Jones – $3900 @ Falcons
Ronald Jones has done absolutely nothing to impress anyone this season. This is why almost no one will own him, and when you have a lineup you had to squeeze every possible dime out of the cap to build, Jones is going to be like that lottery ticket some of us buy on the way out of the grocery store. This Falcons defense is 2nd worst in DVOA and points to rushers. The caveat here is that the Falcons have faced some of the top producers at running back including McCaffrey, Kamara, and Conner. However Gio Bernard beat up on them also two weeks ago. We have seen Ronald Jones’ talent in open space. Carolina, New Orleans, and Cincinnati have shown the blueprint for running back usage in space. If Tampa Bay has been paying attention and they are able to execute, this could be Ronald Jones’ breakout game.