Greetings everyone! As I write this, I am currently sweating a DraftKings golf tournament as I have a top 40 lineup that has a lot of possibility of moving up. Hopefully that means a big score this weekend. But you can hear me talk all about golf again in March – I am here to talk to you about football now. This should be another good week of DFS football with another nice slate of games on tap. I have some pretty strong opinions and have done my homework. Let’s see if we can pick some winners.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Matt Ryan vs. Dolphins ($7,000) – Obviously it has not been the same type of year for Matt Ryan this year as it was last year, but I think the 2016 version will emerge soon. At home last year, Ryan threw for about 322 yards and 3 touchdowns per game. This week he faces the Dolphins who allow the 10th most yards per game in the air. Even more importantly, per Football Outsiders’ awesome Defensive Efficiency metric, the Dolphins rank 29th versus the pass and 2nd versus the run. The Falcons will need to throw the ball to win and I think Ryan will lead the offense to a breakout game.
Bang for Your Buck
DeShaun Watson vs. Browns ($6,700) – Can I pat myself on the back for a second? For anyone who read our pre-season rankings here on Fantasy Assembly, I was the only one to rank DeShaun Watson and even recommended drafting him as a late round flyer. How right I was! Watson has 5+ touchdowns in consecutive games and 25+ DraftKigns points in 3 straight games. He has increased his DraftKings points every game this year and he is scoring in every which way, including rushing for 30+ yards and/or a touchdown in 4 straight games. The Browns are 3rd in DVOA versus the run but 31st versus the pass. Watson should challenge for most points by a QB again this week.
Brian Hoyer @ Redskins ($5,5100) – While the 49ers are an unimpressive 0-5 on the season, Hoyer has quietly put together a pretty decent fantasy campaign. The well traveled veteran has 330+ yards and multiple touchdowns for 25+ DraftKings points in 2 of his last 3 games. The Redskins have a nice defense, but this game has shootout potential. I think Hoyer will more than hit value this week.
Kareem Hunt vs. Steelers ($8,200) – This is not a terrible price for the NFL’s leading rusher. Hunt has amassed 100+ total yards in every game this season and has become the safest thing in football. This is especially so against the Steelers who are the 2nd worst in the NFL in yards per carry allowed at 5.1 and 28th in rush yards per game allowed at 136.6. Hunt should hover around the 25 point mark on DraftKings once again this week.
Todd Gurley II @ Jaguars ($7,700) – I recommended Gurley last week, and that didn’t go so well. But I am coming back for more this week. The Jaguars are the #1 ranked team in Defensive Efficiency versus the pass but only 31st against the run. The Jaguars are also 31st in the league in rush yards per game allowed and dead last in yards per carry allowed at 5.4 yards given up per tote. The Rams game plan will certainly be to run the ball. Gurley has had an amazing year thus far with 20+ DraftKings points in 4 of 5 games and 95+ total yards in 4 of 5 games. He should be money in the bank again.
Bang for your Buck
Doug Martin @ Cardinals ($5,800) – Sometimes fantasy is about analytics and sometimes you get a feel for your fantasy lineup from watching a lot of football. In his first game back from injury last week, Martin looked positively dynamic against the Patriots and I love this price for him. The Cardinals have a good rush defense, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry and are 7th in Defensive Efficiency versus the run. It does not matter to me as I think Martin is cheap and I will be playing him plenty.
Javorious “Buck” Allen vs. Bears ($5,400) – Allen is essentially a three-down back for the Ravens now that Terrence West is out this week. Allen had 21 carries last week and was getting all of the goal-line work. Add to that the fact that Allen has 5+ targets and 4+ catches each game in his last 4. I like Collins for another solid game.
Alvin Kamara vs. Lions ($4,500) – Just a reminder that DraftKings uses full points per reception scoring. Kamara has had 5+ targets each game this year, culminating in a 10 catch performance last week. The rookie’s DraftKings points have increased every week this year. With Adrian Peterson gone, Kamara’s usage will only go up. This should be another banner week.
Jerick McKinnon vs. Packers ($4,100) – McKinnon stepped in last week after the season ending injury to Dalvin Cook and looked fantastic in amassing 146 total yards. He now faces the Packers who rank 20th in Defensive Efficiency versus the run and 22nd in rush yards per game allowed. McKinnon should see a lot of usage and he is dirt cheap. He should be a staple of your cash lineups and is certainly usable in GPPs as well.
Julio Jones vs. Dolphins ($8,300) – With Mohamed Sanu missing this game, this has all the makings of a huge Julio Jones game. The Dolphins rank a terrible 29th in Defensive Efficiency versus #1 receivers. Jones has not yet caught a touchdown and has not had a breakout game this year. I am going to boldly predict 150 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns for Julio this week.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Browns ($8,100) – Hopkins should rename himself “the Target machine” as he has seen the ball thrown to him 12+ times in 4 of 5 games this year. He will surely get the looks again this week, and he gets to face the sad-sack Browns who rank dead last in Defensive Efficiency versus #1 receivers. Hopkins has 25+ DraftKings points in his last 2 games. I think he makes it 3 in a row this week.
Mike Evans @ Cardinals ($6,900) – GPP PLAY ALERT! I would not use Mike Evans in cash games since he will be shadowed by the excellent Patrick Peterson. But despite the anticipated blanket coverage, Evans is just too good a receiver to be priced this low. He has 8+ targets each game this year after leading the league in targets last year. And he continues to see a huge amount of looks in the red zone. He will likely go low owned, but I am throwing him in a few lineups. I think he is good enough to put up numbers to well exceed value, even against Peterson.
Bang for your Buck
Pierre Garcon @ Redskins ($6,300) – I always like playing players versus their old teams as they play like they have something to prove. Garcon has been fantastic for the Redskins this year with 90+ receiving yards in 2 of his last 3 games and double digit targets in 3 of 5 games. The 49ers will likely have to throw a lot this week and Garcon should see plenty of action.
Adam Thielen vs. Packers ($6,000) – Stefon Diggs is out this week for the Vikings and that should mean extra work for Thielen. Thielen has already seen a lot of looks this year as he has had 8+ targets in 4 of 5 games thus far. The Packers are ranked only 26th in Defensive Efficiency versus #1 WRs. Thielen is the #1 WR this week for the Vikings and should put up a nice game.
Amari Cooper vs. Chargers ($5,000) – WARNING! ANOTHER GPP ONLY PLAY! I refuse to believe that a 23-year-old receiver who already has two 1,000 yard receiving seasons under his belt has suddenly completely lost it. Cooper has single digit receiving yards in his last 3 games which almost defies belief. His price is reflective of his current level of play. Cooper is going to break out one of these weeks and be back priced around $7,000. I am not going to be left behind that week he breaks out. Another similar player this week is Sammy Watkins ($4,000) who is also really struggling but is priced to low.
Taylor Gabriel vs. Dolphins ($4,600) – You may have noticed that I love the Falcons this week. With no Mohamed Sanu, Gabriel steps in as the #2 receiver in what I think will be the best offensive team of the week this week. Last year with no Sanu, Gabriel stepped up for 83 yards and a touchdown. It would not surprise me if he put up similar production this week.
Ricardo Louis @ Texans ($3,900) – Louis is the #1 receiver for the Browns at the moment, but you would not know it by his price. He has 17 targets in his last two games, and 6+ targets each of his last 3 games. Those targets have equated to production as well as Louis has 60+ receiving yards in his last two. The Texans are going to score a huge amount of points. The Browns will need to throw plenty to keep up. Louis is a steal at this price.
JuJu Smith-Schuster @ Chiefs ($3,600) – Aside from having one of the coolest names of all time, JuJu Smith- Schuster has been producing for the Steelers recently. He has 6+ targets in 2 of his last 3 games. And he is playing quite a bit, having replaced Martavis Bryant in 2 receiver sets much of the time. Smith-Schuster is cheap and is getting playing time in a great offense. I will be using him in a bunch of lineups.
Rob Gronkowski @ Jets ($6,800) – Gronk is good at football. He has 80+ receiving yards in the last three games that he has played and 80+ receiving yards in his last two games against the Jets. Gronk is only the 3rd most expensive Patriots pass catcher on DraftKings this week behind Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks. That makes very little sense. I love Gronk at this price.
Bang for your Buck
Ryan Griffin vs. Browns ($4,000) – Insert tight-end versus Browns here. Cleveland is ranked an abysmal 30th in Defensive Efficiency versus the tight-end and, truth be told, I am surprised that there are two worse teams. A week after allowing Tyler Croft to score two touchdowns, they let Austin Sefarian-Jenkins get a score last week. I think Griffin makes it 3 good performances for tight-ends against the Browns in a row.
David Njoku @ Texans ($3,000) – Although he only had 3 targets, Njoku looked like he had a good rapport with new Browns QB Kevin Hogan. One of those 3 targets, was a highlight reel touchdown grab that exhibited the athleticism that turned Njoku into a first round pick. At $3,000 I am going to pay to see whether Njoku can do even better this week.
Rams @ Jaguars ($3,200) – The Rams have multiple sacks each game. Blake Bortles loves throwing the ball to the other team. This is a good spot for Los Angeles.
Bucs @ Cardinals ($2,600) – I don’t love many of the cheap defenses this week, but Carson Palmer has already thrown 5 picks this season and has a good chance to throw some more this week.
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