I’ll keep the FanDuel review short because it was just overall pretty bad. I took overweight positions on Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and Chase Edmonds. That went poorly. Edmonds got hurt, the other four were just awful. As a result of having at least one of them in almost every lineup, I didn’t have much of a shot at doing anything. The ancillary plays were pretty bad too, and I lost $6.71. The FanDuel bankroll dropped to $41.78.
Draftkings lost as well, but I think there’s at least more to review there. The Bengals stack didn’t work out despite getting a pretty great game environment. Joe Burrow led them right down the field before throwing an interception at the goal line that was returned for a touchdown. Nick Chubb scored two touchdowns, including breaking a long run, which forced the Bengals to throw a lot. Burrow just wasn’t that effective, Ja’Marr Chase dropped a touchdown, and the stack failed, but I would run it back again and feel like this was a little bit of an unlucky result. Austin Ekeler never got going and ended up failing as a pretty popular play. I regret playing him given his popularity and the overall popularity of the rest of the lineup. Myles Gaskin averaged 1.7 yards per carry, which ruined an otherwise fantastic spot for him as he got 20 carries to go with six targets. The receptions and a touchdown bailed him out, but 16.7 points were nowhere near enough. Albert Ogwuegbunam briefly left with an injury and didn’t do much, but at his salary he was fine. Hunter Renfrow had a nice game but was a little too popular to justify given his low-upside role. Atlanta DST was doing alright before falling apart late and came in rostered on just 1.7% of lineups, which is probably the play I’m happiest with from this lineup. The Draftkings bankroll drops to $33. Let’s hope to run better in the second half of the season.
Buffalo Bills, team total of 30.5
After getting burned last week I’m going right back to Josh Allen ($7900 on DK/$8700 on FD) and the Bills facing another weak opponent. Allen had the volume last week, throwing the ball 47 times and rushing five times, but he was inefficient and turned the ball over three times. Thankfully, he doesn’t have to face the other Josh Allen again this season and should be able to bounce back against a Jets defense that has been getting lit up. Stefon Diggs ($7500/$7900) has been a weekly favorite here and it hasn’t worked out yet. I can’t quit his talent or his target share, so I’ll be back on Diggs again this week as well. Emmanuel Sanders ($5700/$6300) continues to rack up air yards as the featured deep threat but his price has come up to the point where I only want to play him in-game stacks. Cole Beasley ($5400/$6100) has also gotten a little expensive for his role and should lose some of his target share this week as Dawson Knox ($4500/$5800) returns.
From the Jets side, Jamison Crowder ($4800/$5800) is a perfect fit with Mike White’s check-down-heavy style and has earned at least six targets every game. Elijah Moore ($4700/$5700) is starting to break out with at least six targets in three straight games and a two-touchdown performance last week. Moore came into the season with a ton of hype, and if White can get him the ball we should start to see some of that potential play out on the field.
Los Angeles Chargers, team total of 28.5
Justin Herbert ($7300/$8000) bounced back from two weak games to score 35.64 DK points last week while playing a near-perfect game. Herbert is a safe bet for at least mid-30s pass attempts against a bad Minnesota secondary that also has a banged-up pass rush. If Herbert has time to throw he should easily eclipse 300 yards and throw for multiple touchdowns. Keenan Allen ($7000/$7200) was limited at practice this week but looks likely to suit up and is back to being more expensive than Mike Williams ($6600/$6900). Allen has the superior target share, but if you’re only playing one I prefer taking the discount on Williams. Williams hasn’t had a good game since his Week 5 explosion due in part to a tough slate of matchups and should feast against a softer secondary this week. Austin Ekeler ($7600/$8600) shouldn’t be popular this week given all of the strong plays at running back but retains an elite every-down role.
Dalvin Cook ($8000/$8500) is my preferred bring-back because the Chargers have a terrible run defense, and also have a solid enough pass defense that they funnel teams towards running the ball. Cook has over 20 touches in every game he’s been fully healthy in and has a solid passing-game role but he’s priced down because he hasn’t had the touchdown luck, scoring just two on the season. Cook is due for an explosion, and this is possibly the best spot for him to pop.
Dallas Cowboys, team total of 31.5
The Cowboys face an Atlanta team that can’t generate any pass rush, which alleviates the concerns about how mobile Dak Prescott ($6900/$8100) is as he continues to recover from his calf strain. If Prescott has time to throw he should shred the Falcons defense and continue his streak of multi-touchdown games. Aside from an outlier game in Week 2 against the Chargers Dak has thrown for two touchdowns or more every game, with the only game under three touchdowns being last week in a bizarre game against the Broncos. CeeDee Lamb ($7000/$7700) was on a tear prior to last week and is in a good bounce-back spot as there won’t be anyone lining up on the other side that can cover him. Ditto Amari Cooper ($6200/$7300), who looked limited by his hamstring last week but doesn’t have an injury designation heading into this week’s action. Michael Gallup ($4000/$5500) is too cheap if you expect him to return to his full role, but since he’s missed almost all of the season so far it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him eased back in. Dalton Schultz ($5000/$6000) is expensive, but his involvement in this offense is elite for a tight end. He has at least five targets in every game, aside from that aforementioned Chargers game, but it’s hard to want to spend that much on a tight end that doesn’t offer huge upside.
There are only two players I really want from Atlanta; Kyle Pitts ($5800/$6900) and Cordarrelle Patterson ($6600/$7800). Pitts is the alpha in this offense with Calvin Ridley out indefinitely, which brings with it both targets and defensive attention. Pitts is too athletic to be kept in check for long if he keeps pushing for ten targets, and while it’s possible the Cowboys just scheme to take him out of the game I’m willing to bet on the talent here. Patterson is the only other playmaker this offense has. He’s always a threat for a big play and has been their go-to in the red zone, and almost no one is going to play him over the other available running back plays on this slate. Patterson should be penciled in for at least five targets and close to double-digit targets, which is enough volume for him to pay off his salary with upside for more if the Falcons offense can get going.
Tom Brady ($7600/$8300) and the Buccaneers have the top implied total on the slate and should be able to pass all over the Washington Football Team. Brady already has five games this season with at least four touchdown passes and has shown no hesitation to keep running up the score even when Tampa has a big lead.
Russell Wilson ($6700/$7500) is back from injury and comes at a bit of a discount thanks to his missed time. With their running backs banged up the Seahawks should be forced to pass more than usual this week against the Packers. Green Bay has a depleted secondary and has been struggling to generate pressure, which should set up well for Russ to get back to cooking.
Mason Rudolph ($4100/$6300) probably isn’t very good but he’s priced close to the minimum as a surprise starter this week due to Ben Roethlisberger getting ruled out. At this point in their careers, I’m not sure there’s a huge difference between the two and you can’t ask for a much better matchup than the Lions. If you want to spend up elsewhere Rudolph looks like a fairly decent punt option, just don’t expect much of a ceiling here.
D’Ernest Johnson ($4700/$5400) and Mark Ingram ($4500/$5500) are the top value options this week as backups being thrust into bigger roles due to injury. Johnson has flashed when given the chance, as seen in his Week 7 explosion for 146 yards, and the Browns are going to need to lean on him with no other healthy running backs to power their ground and pound offense. Ingram might not have quite as much left in the tank, but he should have a better role as a receiver. He earned five targets in his first game back with the Saints and is clearly comfortable in this offense.
Christian McCaffrey ($8400/$9000) doesn’t have an injury designation this week and handled 18 touches last week. Assuming he’s back to the old CMC he’s way too cheap for his role, even with XFL legend P.J. Walker under center.
Davante Adams ($7900/$8700) is the clear top receiver play and looks to be too cheap on Draftkings. Reunited with Aaron Rodgers, Adams should get whatever he wants against the Seahawks. Adams will be popular but it seems hard for him to fail given his massive 35% target share and heavy red-zone usage.
Tyler Lockett ($6500/$7100) also gets his quarterback back and is coming off his first good game since the start of the season after catching 12 balls for 142 yards. Lockett’s chemistry with Wilson should help him get going early as Russ works his way back into game form. Lockett leads the team with a 28% target share and a 41% share of the team’s air yards.
Jerry Jeudy ($5300/$6200) earned eight targets last week as he continues to get healthier. If he’s back to full health this week, a reasonable bet now that he’s played in two full games post-injury, this game sets up as a great spot for him. Philadelphia funnels short targets to the center of the field, the exact area Jeudy thrives in, and with Darius Slay locking up Courtland Sutton the Broncos should rely heavily on Jeudy.
Dan Arnold ($3500/$5100) quickly established himself as a huge part of the Jaguars’ offense, for whatever that’s worth, and has an 18% target share since his arrival. The Colts have been giving up a lot of production to tight ends this year and Arnold is one of the few tight ends in this price range that should be a featured part of his team’s offense.
Noah Fant ($4300/$5700) is back this week and should succeed for the same reasons outlined above for Jeudy. Fant will likely see fewer targets than Jeudy but has a much lower bar to clear to be relevant at his position.
Detroit DST ($2300/$3100) is priced near the minimum and gets to play Mason Rudolph. The Lions have been pretty terrible as a fantasy defense this year but they’re coming off a bye, desperate for a win, and any defense should be able to produce against Rudolph.
Tennessee DST ($2600/$4100) is also pretty cheap and just shut down the Rams’ high-powered offense. The Titans have had strong defensive showings against the Colts and Chiefs as well, and their pass rush is due some respect after being doubted early in the season.
I’m going to start this lineup with a Dallas stack, pairing up Dak Prescott with CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. The Cowboys are in a great spot this week but they don’t seem to be too popular as of this writing, and with Gallup coming back I wouldn’t be surprised if the field shies away a bit from Lamb and Cooper. Kyle Pitts has a significantly higher ceiling than the rest of the tight ends on this slate and may also come in a little less popular than he should because of concerns about the defense game-planning him out. I tend to think concerns like that are overblown and am happy to bet on Pitts in this spot. This stack is pretty expensive, so I’m just going to eat the chalk and play the top two value running backs. D’Ernest Johnson and Mark Ingram will be popular but both are in such great spots that I don’t mind. I’m a little concerned about their respective ceilings, but running backs locked into these types of roles have a hard time failing at these salaries. Jerry Jeudy is my favorite one-off play this week so I’m locking him in. That leaves the flex and the DST, and Mike Evans and Tennessee DST fit almost perfectly. Evans should benefit from the great spot the Tampa offense finds itself in and could see his target share expand even further with Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and Chris Godwin either out or playing injured.
No super aggressive stands for me this week as right now I have pretty flat exposures across every position, with D’Ernest Johnson being the lone exception currently sitting on over half of my lineups. I expect to be over the field on Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers lineups, and I’m paying up at defense a little more this week with a healthy amount of Arizona DST and Buffalo DST.
My top five plays at each position right now, by how much exposure I have to them:
QB: Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers
RB: D’Ernest Johnson, Mark Ingram, Jonathan Taylor, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook
WR: Davante Adams, Mike Evans, A.J. Brown, Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb
TE: Kyle Pitts, Dallas Goedert, Jared Cook, Dan Arnold, Adam Trautman
DST: Arizona, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
Good luck this week!
Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire