I have a friend, let’s call him Allan (his name actually is Allan, so this is convenient), who is an excellent season-long fantasy sports player. Allan drafted Sammy Watkins and Eric Decker as two of his top 3 receivers this year, and now has a fantasy team that is hemorrhaging at wide receiver and will have a tough time making our league’s fantasy playoffs. Why do I bring this up? People often ask me why they should play daily fantasy instead of, or in addition to season-long fantasy, and this example is one reason.
Football is a game of attrition, and your yearly fantasy roster may already be in tatters. But in daily fantasy, you hit the reset button every week and always have an opportunity to draft the best players. Want to find out who the best players are on DraftKings this week? Read on. And, as a reminder, if you are a FanDuel and not a DraftKings player, please be sure to check out my buddy Eric S’s Plays and Stay Aways.
Any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter Follow @AssemblyNeil
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jets ($7,200) – We have all heard about Darrelle Revis’ struggles this season, but he is not the only problem with the Jets’ pass defense which ranks 31st in DVOA. Roethlisberger was on fire last week and threw as many incompletions as he did touchdown passes. This will be a pass heavy game plan for the Steelers as the Jets are still great against the run and I expect a huge game from Big Ben.
Bang for Your Buck
Eli Manning vs. Packers ($6,000) – Eli has struggled a bit recently with only one touchdown versus three interceptions over his last three games. But I think that changes this week against the Packers in what should be a wide open affair. The Packers have excelled against the run this year, allowing a ridiculous 1.8 yards per carry, but they have been vulnerable against the pass, ranking 22nd in DVOA. Eli will be passing early and often and should have a nice day at a fairly low price.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Steelers ($5,100) – This is a boom or bust tournament play only as Fitzpatrick has 1 touchdown versus 9 interceptions over the last 2 games – that is not great! But I expect the Steelers to score a bunch and expect that the Jets will be in catch-up mode, or keep-up mode, and will have to pass to stay close. He costs just about the minimum on DraftKings and should put up some decent points.
David Johnson vs. 49ers ($7,900) – Carson Palmer has been declared out for the Cardinals and that means that Drew Stanton steps in as the QB for Arizona. This is essentially a must win for the Cards and I can’t see them trying to win this game with Stanton’s arm. I expect 25+ carries for Johnson and potentially 5-7 targets in the passing game. With that kind of usage he is bound to have some serious production.
CJ Anderson vs. Falcons ($6,900) – The Falcons rank 25th in run defense DVOA and I expect CJ Anderson to take advantage. He has had 20+ touches in 3 of 4 games this year so workload will not be an issue, and he has made the most of those touches, going over 12 DraftKings points in 3 of 4 games as well. Trevor Siemian will likely play. but I think the Broncos will want to protect him, so expect a heavy dose of Anderson and a heavy dose of production.
Bang for your Buck
Jordan Howard vs. Colts ($5,200) – Sometimes elite talent can fall through the cracks in the NFL, and that looks to be the case with Howard who was a 5th round pick last year. Boy did he look good in his first NFL start last week with 23 carries for 111 yards and 3 catches for 21 yards. The sledding does not get much tougher for Howard this week against the Colts who rank 26th in DVOA versus the run. I like Howard for another great game.
Devonta Freeman vs. Broncos ($5,000) – Freeman’s value thus far this season has been undermined somewhat because Tevin Coleman has been getting a lot of playing time. However, Coleman may not play, or at the very least will be limited because he has a sickle-cell trait that could be exacerbated by the high altitude in Denver. The Broncos’ pass defense might be the best in the NFL, but they are 23rd in DVOA against the run. Freeman will likely be very low owned and could be in line for a good game.
Terrence West vs. Redskins ($4,800) – Speaking of bad run defenses, can I introduce you to the Washington Redskins? The Redskins are allowing a putrid 4.9 yards per carry on the season and are also last in run defense DVOA. West looked amazing last week with 21 carries for 113 yards and he has the backfield all to himself after the Ravens got rid of Justin Forsett. West is a must own in cash games, and, despite the fact that his ownership will be high, is a great GPP play as well.
Jerick McKinnon vs. Texans ($4,000) – McKinnon is always a risky play since Matt Asiata gets the goal line work, but the Texans are surprisingly vulnerable against the run ranking 30th in DVOA in run defense. McKinnon has had 18+ targets in both games since Adrian Peterson went down and went for 95 total yards last week. I love him at this low price.
Antonio Brown vs. Jets ($9,800) – A couple of seasons ago it would have been unthinkable to play the top priced wide receiver against Derrelle Revis, but Revis is obviously not the player he once was. Brown has gotten double-digit targets in 3 of 4 games this year, and gets to face the 31st ranked pass defense in DVOA. Roethlisberger will be throwing a lot and Brown should have a huge game.
Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Packers ($8,500) – As mentioned in the Eli Manning section, the Packers have been amazingly good against the run, meaning that the Giants should be all about the pass this week. OBJ has mentally checked out of his last two games, but he still has 8+ targets in all 4 games this season. The Giants will be looking to get their star wideout on track and his first good game should come at the hands of the defense ranked dead last in defensive efficiency versus #1 receivers.
Mike Evans vs. Panthers ($7,500) – Like many other DFS players, I have thus far faded star players going against the Panthers. I will not be making that mistake again after Julio Jones torched Carolina for 300 yards receiving last week. The Bucs do not have Doug Martin and Charles Sims is hobbled as well, meaning that they will be in throw mode. Evans has gone over 10 targets in 3 of 4 games and he should get plenty of opportunity and plenty of results.
Bang for your Buck
Jarvis Landry vs. Titans ($7,000) – Landry is 3rd in the NFL in targets and has gotten double-digit targets in every single game this year. The Titans struggle against receivers coming out of the slot, ranking 20th in defensive efficiency. Landry should get most of his targets out of the slot and could be in for a good game.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. Bucs ($7,300) – Because of the uncertainty of the quarterback situation in Carolina, Benjamin may go low owned on DraftKings this week. Don’t make that mistake as he faces the Bucs who are ranked 27th in DVOA against the pass. Either Cam Newton or Derek Anderson (who looked surprisingly effective last week) should be able to torch Tampa Bay through the air, and Benjamin will be the beneficiary.
Demaryius Thomas vs. Falcons ($6,900) – Lost amid the Falcons nice start to the season is that they are still not a good defensive team, ranking 31st in overall defensive DVOA and 30th versus the pass. Thomas has consistently received 6 or 7 targets thus far this season and has caught more than 2/3 of his targets every game. I think his targets go up this week and so does his production.
Quincy Enunwa vs. Steelers ($4,600) – Since Eric Decker’s injury, targets have essentially only gone to two places in New York – Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa. And only one of those guys is priced under $5,000. Enunwa has had 6+ targets every game and has gone for 6+ catches in 3 of those 4 games. As I mentioned above, I think this game will be a shootout and Enunwa will have heavy involvement at a low price.
Eddie Royal vs. Colts ($4,200) – Royal has had 6+ targets in 3 of 4 games this year and had great production in his last game with 7 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Now Kevin White is out for the Bears, meaning that Royal will get even more targets. The Colts are 30th in defensive efficiency on the season and I think Royal has a nice game.
Robert Woods vs. Rams ($3,900) – The Rams have a strong defense, so I am not expecting a huge game from Woods, but at $3,900, an above average game will suffice. Sammy Watkins is not playing so Woods is the de facto #1 receiver and last week he received 10 targets after getting 8 the previous game. I think Woods is in line for 8+ targets again, and that should give him plenty of value.
Delanie Walker vs. Dolphins ($4,700) – Walker only caught 2 balls for 34 yards last week, but he still got 8 targets which is excellent news. This week he faces off against the Dolphins who rank 30th in DVOA versus tight-ends on the season. I think this is Walker’s breakthrough game.
Bang for your Buck
Zach Miller vs. Colts ($3,600) – I love those Bears this week against the Colts and Miller is no different. Indy ranks dead last in DVOA versus tight-ends and Miller, who has touchdowns in his last two games, should get plenty of opportunity. This is a nice cheap play.
Zach Ertz vs. Lions ($3,500) – Ertz is not even on the injury report, so it looks like he is all systems go against the Lions. That is great news for both he and the Eagles because the Lions rank 29th in defensive efficiency against the tight-end position. Ertz is an excellent talent when healthy. Get him in your lineups.
Bang for your buck
Eagles vs. Lions ($2,900) – The Eagles are ranked 2nd in defensive DVOA and are still priced very well this week. The Lions could not score against the awful Bears defense and the Eagles stifled the mighty Steelers offense. I think the Eagles will have a nice game.
Titans vs. Dolphins ($2,400) – The Dolphins have been out of sorts on offense this season and the Titans quietly have a pretty nice defense. If you are going to punt defenses, this is a good way to go.
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