Usually I begin my DraftKings scouting for the week when the salaries are released on Tuesday. I will scroll through the match-ups and salaries and jot down some of the plays that I like before actually studying the numbers. This week I performed that exercise and I must have set a personal record for the fewest guys that I liked.
All this to say, this looks to be a challenging week for DFS. I actually think that this works to our benefit as if we put in some work and look beneath the surface we can find the diamonds in the rough that nobody else is looking for. Let’s see what we came up with for this week.
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Russell Wilson vs. Saints ($7,200) – As we all know, the Saints struggle defensively and are allowing 297.3 passing yards per game which is 3rd worst in the NFL. Wilson has struggled to find his mojo this year, but the Saints defense should cure what ails him. As an aside, as a GPP play, I don’t hate the other QB in this match-up as I anticipate low ownership for Drew Brees who is always dynamite at home.
Bang for Your Buck
Marcus Mariota vs. Jaguars ($5,900) – Mariotta had his best game as a professional in his last outing against the Jaguars as he amassed 268 yards and 3 TDs through the air as well as 112 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Mariota has been over 17.5 DraftKings points in his last 3 games and has rushed for 60+ yards in 2 of those 3 contests. I think his good form continues today.
Jameis Winston vs. Raiders ($5,700) – This is a fantastic price for Winston against the Raiders who rank 26th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA versus the pass. In Winston’s 4 games versus non top 10 defenses against the pass, he has gone over 21 DraftKings points in 3 of them. He should have a great game at a low price.
DeMarco Murray vs. Jaguars ($7,200) – Murray is among the most consistent performers in fantasy football as he has had 20+ carries in 4 straight games and has amassed 4 touchdowns over that span. The Jaguars rank 24th in DVOA against the run, and Murray should have a chance to shine again – and shine he will.
Spencer Ware vs. Colts ($6,800) – The Colts allow the 5th worst yards per carry in the NFL at 4.7. Ware has 75 yards rushing in 4 straight games and has gone for 20+ DraftKings points in 2 straight. I don’t see the Colts as a team slowing him down.
Bang for your Buck
Giovanni Bernard vs. Redskins ($5,200) – Bernard faces the Redskins who are 31st in DVOA against the run and is in line for a good game. Jeremy Hill may get a lot of work if his arm is healthy, but it is Bernard who has 15+ touches for 3 games in a row. He should get significant work and that work should pay off.
Mike Gillislee vs. Patriots ($3,800) – The Patriots have an excellent run defense so I do not expect Gillislee to have a transcendent day. That having been said, the Bills would be foolish to risk playing LeSean McCoy once again on his gimpy hamstring. If Gillislee gets 20+ touches at this price, he is an excellent play on volume alone.
Devontae Booker vs. Chargers ($3,700) – Everyone and his mother will be on Booker this week after the news surfaced that CJ Anderson will be missing for a significant period of time. He will be getting all of the work and faces a Chargers team that has allowed 9 rushing touchdowns already this year. Booker is a must play in cash games, though I don’t hate a fade in GPPs as his ownership will likely creep into the 35-40% range.
Rob Kelley vs. Bengals ($3,000) – Matt Jones is slightly injured and is also suffering from fumbilitis. While Chris Thompson will get the passing down work, don’t be surprised if Kelley manages 15+ touches this game. If that is the case, he is tremendous value at this price.
Mike Evans vs. Raiders ($8,100) – Evans has double-digit targets in 5 straight games and 20+ DraftKings points in 3 of 4 games. While he does not get the same publicity as some of the other big names, Evans is a top flight receiver. Against the Raiders who struggle with pass defense, he should have a huge game.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Lions ($7,400) – It has not been a banner year for Hopkins who has been held under 60 yards receiving in 5 of 7 games this year. It is not all bad news though as Hopkins’ usage has been increasing in recent weeks as he has 9+ targets in his last 3 games, including double-digit target games in his last two. The Lions are 29th in DVOA versus #1 receivers and 32nd versus the pass. I think this will be Hopkins’ breakout game. Don’t miss the boat.
Doug Baldwin vs. Saints ($6,900) – The Saints struggle against the pass ranking 28th in DVOA, and Baldwin is still Russell Wilson’s #1 receiver. He has been quiet over his last few games, but as we saw last season, when Baldwin breaks out, he breaks out in a big way. I like him for a good game here.
Bang for your Buck
Randall Cobb vs. Falcons ($6,400) – Cobb has been picking it up in recent weeks with double digit targets in 3 straight games, 95+ receiving yards in 2 of 3 games and touchdowns in his last 2 outings. The Falcons will struggle to slow him down as they rank 29th in defensive efficiency versus slot receivers. Cobb should get a lot of work again and is line for a good outing.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Vikings ($5,900) – Yes – the Vikings have an awesome defense. But while the return of Jay Cutler is not exciting to most, it has to be exciting for Jeffery, who Cutler looks for on nearly every play. Even without Cutler, Jeffery’s usage has been increasing with double-digit targets in 2 straight games. This is as low a price as you will see for Jeffery and I would not be surprised to see him amass 80+ yards and a touchdown which would be great value.
Quincy Enunwa vs. Browns ($4,800) – After an excellent start to the season, Enunwa has tailed off somewhat recently. He gets a cake match-up, however, as the Browns rank 31st in DVOA versus #2 receivers. If there is any week for Enunwa to break out of his mini-funk, it is this week against the lowly Browns.
Brandon LaFell vs. Redskins ($4,300) – LaFell is a guy that I have been targeting in recent weeks as he seems to be pretty underpriced. The Bengals #2 man has 4 touchdowns in his last 3 games and 18+ DraftKings points in 2 of his last 3 outings. I like him for another good game against the middling Washington defense.
Cordarrelle Patterson vs. Bears ($3,300) – This is one of my favorite GPP dart throws of the week. The Vikings’ former first round pick has been a dynamic special teams player for some time, but has struggled to make his mark as a receiver. He may be starting to turn the corner though as he has 6+ targets in 3 straight games and has scored touchdowns in his last 2. If the Vikings can get the ball in his hands again this week, he could explode for 20+ points at a near bare minimum price.
JJ Nelson vs. Panthers ($3,000) – Jaron Brown is on injured reserve, John Brown is struggling with a medical issue, and Michael Floyd has been terrible and is slightly injured. Nelson may be the Cardinals #2 receiver this week. This is actually a great match-up for the speed merchant as the Panthers have allowed 8.6 yards per pass attempt, comfortably the worst in the NFL. Nelson got a season high 7 targets last week and could be in line for even more this week. It would not shock me to see him catch 1 or 2 long touchdowns and is an excellent speculative GPP play at this price.
Rob Gronkowski vs. Bills ($7,000) – As you may know, Rob Gronkowski is from Buffalo. He absolutely loves to play in his home town. In his 5 games in Buffalo starting with his rookie season, these are Gronk’s stat lines:
- 2010 4 catches 54 yards 2 TDs
- 2011 7 catches 109 yards 2 TDs
- 2012 5 catches 104 yards TD
- 2014 7 catches 94 yards
- 2015 7 catches 113 yards TD
Start him with confidence.
Bang for your Buck
Delanie Walker vs. Jaguars ($4,700) – Walker’s usage is among the best of any tight-end in football and it has only increased as he has 8+ targets in 3 of his last 4 games. Walker also enjoys facing Jacksonville as he had 8 catches for 109 yards and 8 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in his two meetings with the Jaguars last season. If you can’t afford Gronk, Walker is a fine play.
CJ Fiedorowicz vs. Lions ($2,800) – If you want to go El Cheapo with your tight-end, Fiedorowicz is an excellent play this week. He has 5+ targets in 4 straight games and double-digit DraftKings points in 3 of 4 outings. The Lions ranks 27th in defensive efficiency versus the tight-end, and Fiedorowicz should see plenty of opportunities in the middle of the field once again this week.
Bang for your buck
Vikings vs. Bears ($4,100) – This is more than I would like to spend on a defense, but the elite Vikings defense gets to face turnover machine Jay Cutler. If you have the budget, this is your play of the week on the defensive side of the ball.
Cardinals vs. Panthers ($2,700) – The Cardinals are an excellent defensive team and have gone for double-digit DraftKings points in 2 of their last 3 games. This is really a good (and discounted) price for them. And while the Panthers have a good offense, they have struggled to keep Cam Newton upright, allowing the 7th most sacks per game in the NFL. Look for Chandler Jones to have another big game and for the Cardinals to score a bunch of points at a low price.
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