Kareem Hunt – $7700 / Chiefs D/ST – $2700 @ Browns
Kareem Hunt is finally being utilized the way we all imagined, and he is crushing people while doing it. He has the second best matchup when looking at RB points earned and opponent RB points allowed over the last 4 weeks, despite Cleveland’s top ten ranking on the seasons in fantasy points to rushers. Stack him with the Chiefs D/ST because Baker is top-10 in giving up sacks, and there is sure to be some challenges with Hue Jackson and Todd Hurley getting canned.
Kirk Cousins – $6200 / Adam Thielen – $8900 / Stefon Diggs – $6800 vs Lions
In a home game, give me the most productive receiver with the most consistent volume on the season. Even though he is priced at $8900 his cost per opportunity is 3rd lowest in the group of receivers above $7k. Thielen is like the “Todd Gurley” of receivers right now giving you that super solid high floor. Stack him with Cousins simply for the sake of synergy in your lineups. There is an option to save some coin here by going with Diggs at $6800 who has the 2nd best cost per opportunity in receivers above the $6k mark.
Cam Newton – $6600 / Christian McCaffrey – $7800 / D.J. Moore – $4300
This is pretty simple… play any halfway decent stack against the Tampa Bay defense. This is the third best receiver matchup and the best QB matchup on the main slate. Add to that Cam’s rushing floor and his high level of play recently and it becomes extremely hard to pass up this combination. Even though the rushing matchup doesn’t look great, we know McCaffrey will see his share of targets and gives us a nice floor of production. But for GPPs we should look to get on the D.J. Moore train as he is emerging into a legit fantasy threat. He had his best fantasy day yet against one of the stouter defenses in the league; how much more will he produce against the worst pass defense in the NFL?
Game Stack: Ryan Fitzpatrick – $5500 / Mike Evans – $8100 / Desean Jackson – $5000 / O.J. Howard – $4300 @ Panthers
People may look at Carolina’s performance against Baltimore last week and begin thinking, “Oh no, their defense is on the rise!”, but let’s pump the breaks on that for a second. The matchup is great for Tampa Bay, based on data from the last 4 weeks (5th best for WRs and 2nd for QBs on the main slate). Also we get Ryan Fitzpatrick back who makes Evans better by two targets and 50 yards per game. Jackson is also elevated with Fitzmagic by about 30 yards and a score per game. Chris Godwin even benefits by at least 1 more target, 10 yards, and a score per game with Fitz. With this game we might as well add Howard who was 30 yards per game better with Fitz, and based on the last 4 weeks, this is the best TE matchup on the weekend.
Case Keenum – $4900 / Emmanuel Sanders – $6400 / Phillip Lindsay – $5500 vs Texans
This is a complete contrarian play considering that Houston yields the 6th least points to the quarterback position and middle of the road against the run. There are a few factors that make this play interesting. First, the Texans are going to Mile-High from a location that is at or below sea level which will affect their endurance. Second, the Texans’ secondary has two injuries which should provide the very inexpensive Case Keenum some opportunities downfield. Third, the overall expense of this stack is low especially considering you are getting the 6th best receiver in DraftKings points and the a rusher with the 6th most yards in the NFL. Fourth, the revolting nature of the matchup on paper will keep the stack low owned. If they all return their average production, they would return 3x value as a group, however the upside introduced by points 1 and 2 could make this an unexpected explosion that also affords you cap space for studs in these other stacks.
Courtland Sutton – $3900 vs Texans
Demaryius Thomas was traded to this week’s opponent, opening up the door for Sutton who is facing a secondary that has been struggling lately and sustaining injuries (Joseph and Colvin are already declared as out). The only reason this matchup doesn’t look better on paper is because Houston’s pass rush has been getting home more often in recent weeks. What we do know about this game is there is an expectation of 46 total points, but it appears as though no one is favored. This is cheap buy into a significant portion of the 7 targets per game vacated by Thomas. This is inexpensive upside that make selecting safe point floors like Thielen and Gurley possible.
Cooper Kupp – $6000 @ Saints
Cooper Kupp has a good chance to return this week, and if he does we should downgrade Robert Woods a little and just play Kupp instead. His price in context of what we know about his production and chemistry with Goff are simply too hard to pass up. Before his injury he was averaging 6 receptions for 87 yards and a score on about 8 targets per game. If he gets that on this price it is already 3x value. Keep in mind that fantasy points in the last 4 weeks indicate this would be the 6th best matchup on the weekend for receivers.
Bargain Bin Shots
DeVante Parker – $4600 vs Jets
With Wilson on IR due to a hip issue and Stills currently on the injury report sporting a “questionable” tag, DeVante Parker has yet another opportunity to show the NFL that he is not a bust. Will he sieze the opportunity? Maybe he can. This week he faces the Jets who allow the 6th most points on the season to receivers and they are bottom half in DVOA vs WR1s which is the role he will be filling. Parker flashed some of that WR1 potential against the Texans last week. He is a little expensive for a player might have just been a flash in the pan, but if he can repeat his performance and add a score (somebody on Miami has to do it) he could return 5x value.
Nick Chubb – $4500 / Duke Johnson – $3800 vs Chiefs
On the season the Chiefs are dead last in fantasy points to the running back. There is no reason that the Browns are going to lay down the rest of the season, so if we believe that then they should be trying to do everything to win. A good strategy to use against prolific passers and their offenses is to kill the clock by running the ball, thus keeping the opponent off the field. Chubb has had 18 carries in each of his last two games and his price is nice for that kind of volume. If they plan to win this volume will be a byproduct of the afore mentioned strategy. The Browns have about 2 more rushing attempts per game at home so as long as the Browns can keep it close Chubb should be able to provide some value. Fortunately, the Chiefs have remained soft against the run in the last month, giving up the 5th most rushing yards and yards per carry to running backs. Even if the game script betrays Chubb’s usage, he should still get the 10-zone carries.
However, if you are confident that the Browns chasing points is inevitable and this will cause them to fade the run, then Duke Johnson Jr. is probably your guy. With this inexpensive price and a likely scenario that will force the Browns to pass, we should have little reluctance in spending some of out cap here. The removal of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley could allow us to experience more rational coaching and better use of their playmakers in given game situations. The Chiefs do allow the 4th most receptions and 12th most receiving yards to running backs over the last 4 weeks, so close your eyes and pray that rational coaching prevails come Sunday.
Bills D/ST – $2300 vs Bears
This might be the hottest take in this entire post, but there could be hidden value here. The Bills have held opponents to the third least fantasy points in their last 4 games. They have also held all but one opponent to less than 300 passing yards, and they have faced the likes of Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Andrew Luck, and Tom Brady (passed for 311 yards, but no TDs). Mitch Trubisky is not on the same level as any of these. The fact that he is missing wide open easy throws is well documented, and his decision making, while improving, is still questionable. Trubisky has not yet faced a defense quite on the level of the Bills yet so if nothing else, this is at least a pump the breaks on him as a passer. This defense may be lower owned than expected, and with that come the reasonable upside of a performance similar to week 3 when they faced the Vikings. This is the contrarian play you should chew on to make some of your top-heavy rosters work.
This is a new section that I felt needed to be added this week. Some observations were made this week while I was crunching data from the last 4 weeks from RotoGrinders where I would look at positional fantasy points earned and compare them to this week’s opponent’s positional fantasy points allowed. When looking at the results there was something alarming that came to my attention: Rams-Saints does not appear to be the matchup that Vegas indicates from a fantasy points perspective. With an over-under of 60 points one would expect that recent fantasy point data would indicate a more explosive fantasy output. However, the Rams and Saints have the 9th and 13th best matchups on the weekend.
This has me fading standard QB/WR stacks in this game and I would also expect any game stack to return less than spectacular results. Gurley is an every week consideration due to his ridiculous floor, but aside from that there are a bunch of questions everywhere else. The Rams have a pretty good WR matchup, but where do the targets go if Kupp returns for the Rams? The only thing we know for sure is that Reynolds is out and Cooks and Woods could see a reduction of targets. Both QBs have a middle of the road matchup based on the earned vs. allowed fantasy points comparison (I need an acronym for that – EVAFPC? Meh, I’ll figure something else out later). This is kind of unexpected given how prolific these offenses are in our minds. But to that point, these two passers have only put up one game over 300 yards in their last 6 games combined. Likewise, each of these defenses has only allowed 1 300+ yard passer in 6 combined games.
This is nothing more than a consideration for you, the reader, when building your lineups and the temptation to go heavy on this high total arises. A fade here could prove to set one up for a significant advantage as many DFS players focus heavily on the Vegas total. For me, I will take a chance at saving on Gurley so that I can spend on Thielen if I want who is in an excellent matchup this weekend against Detroit.