What a great time to be a sports fan! I am exhausted as I write this on Thursday morning with the Cubs and Indians keeping me up all night. But there is no rest for the sports fan. Being a huge NHL fan and DFS player, I have a 12 game slate to analyze and consume tonight. And, of course, there is another wonderful NFL weekend that starts tonight with the Falcons against the Bucs. I actually like quite a few players from that game – and perhaps not the guys that you might be thinking of. Let’s get right to my favorite DraftKings picks of the week.
For you FanDuel players, don’t forget to check out my buddy Eric’s Plays and Stay Aways – which come out on Fridays!
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Colts ($7,800) – The Colts are running out a truly dreadful defense both against the pass and run as their overall defensive DVOA is an abysmal 31st, while it sits at 29th versus the pass. Aaron Rodgers comes into this game red hot with 3+ TDs and 27+ DraftKings points in his last two games. He will have some fun again this week.
Bang for Your Buck
Jameis Winston vs. Falcons ($6,100) – I am looking for it to be a shootout tonight as the Bucs face the Falcons. Winston threw 4 TD passes against these Falcons in week #1 and they allow the 3rd most passing yards in the NFL. I like this price for Jameis and I will have some good exposure in my Thursday-Monday lineups.
Nick Foles vs. Jaguars ($5,200) – Foles looked great in relief of Alex Smith last week going 16/22 with 222 yards and 2 TDs in about a half a game. Now he is starting this week at near minimum price against the Little Sisters of the Poor – I mean the Jaguars. I have him locked and loaded and ready to put into my lineups.
Ezekiel Elliott vs. Browns ($7,900) – Elliott has been perhaps the most consistent running back in the NFL and has proven to be match-up proof in the early going of his career. Now, he gets a cake match-up against the Browns who allow the 2nd most rushing yards in the NFL and the 4th most yards per carry. Elliott should be a staple of your cash game lineups.
Devonta Freeman vs. Bucs ($6,700) – Tevin Coleman is out this week meaning Freeman gets all the work against a Bucs defense that ranks 29th in DVOA against running backs catching balls out the backfield. Freeman has 5+ targets in his last 4 games and should be a big part of both the Falcons running and passing attacks. I like him for a big game tonight.
Bang for your Buck
Mark Ingram vs. 49ers ($4,800) – The 49ers are comfortably the worst run defense in the NFL allowing a league worst 5.1 yards per carry. They have also allowed 185.1 rushing yards per game which is far worst in the league, as Cleveland is next worst at 143.8 rushing yards per game allowed. Ingram should be a force in this one, and his ownership may not be that high given his benching last week. I think this will be an excellent bounce back game for the Saints lead back.
Charcandrick West vs. Jaguars ($4,400) – With Jamaal Charles on IR and Spencer Ware in the concussion protocol it looks like West will be getting the bulk of the work for the Chiefs. The Jaguars allow the 6th most rushing yards per game and West is a capable back. He is too good to pass up at this price.
Isaiah Crowell vs. Cowboys ($3,900) – First the bad news: a) this is not the best match-up as the Cowboys are 7th in DVOA versus the run and b) Crowell has been held under 30 rushing yards in 3 of his last 4 games. Now the good news: a) Crowell is way too cheap for a lead running back; b) he has touchdowns in his last 2 games; and c) Crowell is 12th in the NFL in rushing yards. He is hard to pass up at this price.
Antone Smith vs. Falcons ($3,000) – With Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers missing tonight’s game, it looks like the lead back duties will be Smith’s. He will likely split work with Peyton Barber, but at a minimum price, to get a running back who will likely have 15+ touches against the 21st ranked rush defense per DVOA is a steal.
Antonio Brown vs. Ravens ($8,900) – I am assuming that Big Ben is back which would obviously be a big boost to Brown. The Ravens have a great defensive reputation but rank a below average 24th in DVOA versus #1 receivers. I am confident that Brown has a nice week this week.
Jordy Nelson vs. Colts ($7,800) – As I mentioned in the Aaron Rodgers section, the Colts struggle with pass defense ranking 29th in that metric. They also allow nearly 10 catches per game to #1 receivers. This should be a nice game for Nelson.
Brandon Marshall vs. Dolphins ($7,300) – Marshall, DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson have burned me numerous times already this season, but I am going back to the well one more time with Marshall. He has received 8+ targets in 7 of 8 games this year and the Dolphins are 27th in DVOA versus #1 receivers. If Marshall doesn’t perform this week, I vow not to write about him again this year.
Bang for your Buck
Demaryius Thomas vs. Raiders ($6,000) – The Raiders are tied with the Falcons in allowing the 3rd most yards in the air this season. Thomas’ targets have been consistently high recently as he has had exactly 10 targets in 3 straight games. He should continue to see good volume and should perform this week.
Donte Moncrief vs. Packers ($5,800) – TY Hilton is hobbled this week and Moncrief is back. Last week in his return from injury he managed 9 targets and caught a touchdown pass. If Hilton does not play, Moncrief might see 13-15 targets this week and is not priced as a #1 receiver. I love this play if Hilton is out and still like this play a lot if Hilton plays.
Jordan Matthews vs. Giants ($5,700) – Matthews saw a steady diet of targets last week as Carson Wentz looked for him 14 times which led to 11 catches. Matthews should continue to see heavy usage this week which should equal heavy production against the Giants.
Michael Thomas vs. 49ers ($5,500) – Thomas is still priced too cheaply as he is 23rd in the NFL in receiving yards and has had 6+ targets in 6 of 8 games this year. The 49ers have a terrible defense and Thomas should have another great game.
Tyreek Hill vs. Jaguars ($3,400) – Hill seemed to have some good chemistry with Nick Foles last week as he caught a long touchdown and had 98 yards receiving. Foles starts again this week and at this price it is worth it to see if Foles to Hill is a magical connection or a 1 week wonder.
Dontrelle Inman vs. Titans ($3,100) – It is rare to see a player with fairly consistent usage priced this low. Inman has 6+ targets and 58+ receiving yards in 2 straight games. If he gets a similar amount of work and can find the end zone this week, that would be excellent value for a nearly minimum priced player. I love him for GPPs.
Jimmy Graham vs. Bills ($5,700) – Graham is my favorite of the high-priced tight ends this week as he has had 8+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games. The Bills have struggled against the tight end, ranking 22nd in DVOA against the position (although in fairness, they have played Gronk twice). I like Graham to have a solid game this week.
Bang for your Buck
Kyle Rudolph vs. Lions ($4,000) – Rudolph has been a consistent target for Sam Bradford, having been thrown the ball at least 6 times in 6 of 7 games. Against the Lions, that volume should generate fantasy points as they rank a paltry 27th in DVOA versus the tight end.
Antonio Gates vs. Titans ($3,000) – The future hall of famer has started to be more involved in the offense this year as he has 9+ targets in two straight games. If that volume continues, $3,000 is a steal for Gates who is still an excellent red zone player.
Bang for your buck
Chiefs vs. Jaguars ($3,500) – I watched Blake Bortles and the sad sack Jaguars play one of the worst halves of football last Thursday night. I will take my chances with the Chiefs defense this week.
Saints vs. 49ers ($2,300) – If you want to save money on defense, the Saints are not a bad idea. They have been a bit better on defense recently and are playing a pretty pathetic 49ers offense. This will allow you to get many high-priced players in your lineup and the Saints D can still put up a decent fantasy point total.
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