Greetings boys and girls. Welcome back to another edition of your weekly DraftKings NFL preview. A friendly reminder that my preview only covers the main slate on DraftKings, which covers the 1:00 and 4:00 games. That means that the player pool is really thin this week with 6 teams on bye and 8 other teams playing outside of the 1:00 and 4:00 window. I am feeling pretty good about my selections, but the pickings are pretty thin out there. And with that, away we go…
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Carson Wentz vs. 49ers ($7,200) – Wentz is quickly rising in the MVP race and a date with the 49ers should only bolster his case. Wentz has 30+ DraftKings points in his last 2 home games and has 3+ touchdowns in his last 3 games. He is even running the ball quite a bit as he has 6+ rushing attempts in his last 5 games. The 49ers, on the other hand, are 27th in passing yards allowed and 28th in passing yards per attempt allowed. Wentz should have another huge game.
Bang for Your Buck
Cam Newton @ Buccaneers ($6,600) – The public’s reaction to one bad Cam Newton game is truly mind-boggling. Prior to struggling against a really underrated Bears defense last week, Newton had scored 23+ DraftKings points 3 games in a row. He should excel again this week as Tampa Bay ranks 32nd against the pass per Football Outsiders always excellent Defensive Efficiency Ratings. Not to be overlooked as well is that Newton has started to run the ball again as he has 8+ rush attempts in his last 4 games and that has amounted to 44+ rushing yards in 3 of those 4 games.
Andy Dalton vs. Colts ($5,700) – Dalton has had a rough season, but he has looked good against weak opponents. The Colts are one such opponent as they are 30th in Defensive Efficiency versus the pass, 32nd in pass yards per attempt allowed and 31st in pass yards per game allowed. The Red Rifle should be firing again this week.
LeSean McCoy vs. Raiders ($8,700) – McCoy is one of the top players in the NFL in terms of usage and his production has started to match that usage. McCoy has 19+ carries in his last 3 games and 7+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games. He has also totaled 85 or more yards in each of the last 3 games. Oakland is 19th in yards per game allowed on the ground. McCoy should have another big game.
Devonta Freeman @ Jets ($7,200) – Freeman is one of the most consistent producers among running backs as he has amassed 75+ total yards in his last 5 games. The Jets, on the other hand, are 28th in rushing yards per game allowed and 22nd in Defensive Efficiency versus the run. In my humble opinion the Falcons have not been running the ball enough. I expect that to change and for Freeman to have his best game of the season this week.
Bang for your Buck
Lamar Miller @ Seahawks ($5,200) – Miller is unquestionably the #1 running back in Houston as he has had 14+ carries in every game. His production has been excellent recently as he has 80+ total yards in his last 3 outings. The Seahawks have a good defense, but they are much stronger against the pass than against the run. Seattle ranks 26th in yards per carry allowed and 23rd in rushing Defensive Efficiency. Miller will likely be low owned, but I think his production will be nice.
Wendell Smallwood vs. 49ers ($4,900) – I have been going back and forth between Smallwood and LeGarrette Blount ($5,100). The 49ers, after all, are 30th in rush yards per game allowed and Blount has been the feature back. I have decided to play more of Smallwood though thanks to DraftKings’ full PPR format as he is involved in the passing game and San Francisco ranks 31st against running backs catching passes. And it is not like Smallwood does not get involved in the running game as well as he has 10+ touches in his last 3 outings. This could be a big week for Mr. Smallwood.
Dion Lewis vs. Chargers ($4,600) – When the Patriots are firing on all cylinders, they are an extremely diverse offensive team and will take advantage of their opponent’s weakness. The Chargers have an explosive pass rush but they rank 27th in Defensive Efficiency versus the run, 32nd in rushing yards per carry allowed and 31st in rushing yards per game allowed. I think the Patriots will attack that weakness and this game will be run heavy. Lewis seems to be the Patriots’ feature back as he has increased his carries each of the last 5 games. His production is increasing as well as he has 50+ rushing yards in his last 2 games. I think Lewis will have a huge game. Don’t miss the boat.
Jalen Richard @ Bills ($4,300) – Marshawn Lynch is suspended for this game and Richard will likely split carries with DeAndre Washington ($4,100). I like both players but like Richard slightly more because of DraftKings’ full point PPR format. The Bills are an excellent run defense team but they rank only 19th against running backs catching balls out of the backfield. That is Richard’s strength and he should more than exceed value.
AJ Green vs. Colts ($8,600) – The Colts are not a good team defending the pass and Green is one of the best receivers in the league, ranking 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards. The Colts are 32nd in yards per game against the pass, 31st in yards per attempt and 29th against #1 receivers. Green has caught touchdowns in 3 of his last 4 games. I like him to make it 4 of 5 and add in 100 yards receiving to boot.
Michael Thomas vs. Bears ($7,600) – The perception seems to be that Thomas is having a tough season. That, however, has not really been the case as he ranks 16th in receiving yards and has had 80+ receiving yards in 4 of his last 5 games. Thomas is seeing increased activity recently as well with 11+ targets in 2 of his last 3 games. Chicago has a tough defense but they are ranked 27th against #1 receivers. I love Thomas this week.
Mike Evans vs. Panthers ($7,900) – I think the Bucs vs. Panthers game will be a shootout, perhaps the highest scoring game of the week. Evans should benefit as he has 8+ targets in every game this year and 85+ receiving yards in his last 2 games. The Panthers have had trouble shutting down top targets as they rank 24th versus #1 receivers. Evans should get a lot of looks and that should equate to good production.
Bang for your Buck
Alshon Jeffery vs. 49ers ($6,700) – Jeffery has not had the best year thus far, but it is not because Carson Wentz has not looked for him. The erstwhile Bears receiver ranks 14th in the NFL in targets. The 49ers are 28th versus #1 receivers and 29th in Defensive Efficiency versus the pass. I like Jeffery for a breakout game.
Kelvin Benhamin @ Bucs ($6,400) – In case you were not paying attention in the Cam Newton section, the Bucs rank 32nd in Defensive Efficiency versus the pass and 30th in pass yards per game allowed. They are also ranked 27th against #1 receivers. Benjamin has 65+ yards receiving in 3 of his last 4 games and quietly ranks 14th in the NFL in receiving yards. Benjamin is good value this week.
TY Hilton @ Bengals ($5,600) – This is a GPP play that I would not recommend in cash. But in a short slate, you have the receiver who is ranked 6th in the NFL in receiving yards, despite mediocre QB play. While Hilton has been held to 30 yards or less receiving in 3 of 4 games, he is also the only receiver aside from Antonio Brown to have 2 150+ yard receiving games this season. He could have another huge week this week at low ownership.
Mohamed Sanu @ Jets ($4,900) – Sanu is as consistent as they get as he has double digit DraftKings points in 4 of his last 5 games and 6+ targets in 4 of his last 5 games. The Jets rank 20th in pass yards per game allowed. I love Sanu in cash games this week.
Josh Doctson vs. Cowboys ($3,900) – Doctson is a guy trending in the right direction as his snaps are increasing and his targets have increased (or maintained) in every single game this season. The former first round pick out of TCU looks like he is ready to have a huge week at any time. I will be playing him until it happens.
Brandon LaFell vs. Colts ($3,700) – I like a full-on Bengals stack (including Tyler Croft $3,000 who I did not write about). On top of all the pass defensive difficulties that I have already written about, the Colts rank 28th versus #2 receivers. LaFell has 7+ targets in his last 2 games. He should produce.
Zach Ertz vs. 49ers ($7,000) – Ertz might be the most consistent player in fantasy this year. He has 80+ receiving yards in 4 of 7 games and 55+ receiving yards in 6 of 7. The one game he did not have 55+ yards receiving, he caught two touchdowns. This has amounted to between 13 and 20 DraftKings points each week this year. Ertz is 9th in the NFL in targets and faces a weak defense in San Francisco. His great season should continue.
Bang for your Buck
Jordan Reed vs. Cowboys ($4,700) – Look at the wide receiver section and see what kind of receiver you are getting for this price. Jordan Reed is an elite NFL talent who has had 5+ targets every game and 10 last week. He turned that into 2 touchdowns and 26+ DraftKings points. Take advantage of this price and reap the rewards.
Jack Doyle @ Bengals ($3,500) – Doyle has quietly become a very reliable source of fantasy points as he has 7+ targets and 5+ catches in each of the last 3 games. In fact, Doyle is 6th among tight ends and 27th among all players in catches in the NFL this season. This is a great price for a guy who has consistent involvement in the passing game. I will have quite a few shares.
Saints @ Bears ($3,400) – The Saints used to be a defensive laughingstock but that is no longer the case. This team has 4+ sacks in 3 of its last 4 games. It also has interceptions in each of the last 4 games. The Bears’ offense is less than great. The Saints defense should be a good play again.
Patriots vs. Chargers ($2,400) – The Patriots’ defense has been looking better these days. But on top of that, the early forecast calls for wind and rain in Foxboro, potentially a torrential downpour. If that is the case, there will likely be fumbles to recover. The Pats could be a great play at a low price.
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