With the controversial decision to pull the Sunday Night Football game off of the main slate, we’re left with just 12 games to choose from this week. The lack of teams like Green Bay and New Orleans on the main slate have led to some lower over/unders this week. To me, that opens up some unique opportunities in regards to game theory because ownership should be a bit spread out. If we can find an edge this week, we’ll make some money…so let’s dive right in.
If FanShare is to be trusted (and it should be) it appears that Deshaun Watson ($5,100) will see a healthy level of ownership this weekend. He put on a bit of a show in Foxboro last weekend, hitting the 300 yard bonus and throwing for two scores while adding 40+ yards on the ground. He seems to be hitting a bit of a stride early in his rookie season. While he is a strong cash game consideration there’s a clear tournament pivot off of him.
Trevor Siemian ($5,200) and the Broncos are implied for 3.5 more points based on Vegas lines at the moment. They get the Oakland Raiders this week and if you saw the game last week, you know that’s a good thing. These cheap QBs have real upside in their contests this week, but the savings they provide are where their true value lies. They can allow you to pay up for the Le’Veon Bells ($8,700) or Antonio Browns ($9,300) of the world.
If you don’t care about paying up for QB this week, there are solid option at the top of the salary range. Tom Brady ($8,000) is going up against the Carolina Panthers at home. The Panthers are coming off of a game where they allowed Drew Brees to complete 20 of 26 passes and 3 TDs. Brady has a healthy Rob Gronkowski ($6,600), an emerging Chris Hogan ($6,000) and a guy named Brandin Cooks ($7,600) who’s been known to play well against the Panthers in the past. His weapons coupled with an exploitable matchup could mean that Brady ends this week as the QB1 on DraftKings, but he won’t be the highest owned QB this week.
A bounceback game is coming this week from Derek Carr ($5,800). No one is going to be on him, he literally has no start tags on FanShare at the time I’m writing this. I know he’s going to the No Fly Zone but I’m not talking about playing him in cash. The Broncos have allowed 67-of-103 passes to be completed and have given up 7 receiving touchdowns in 2017. Don’t go crazy on him this week, but it’s not a bad idea to throw him in a few GPP linups.
FanShare’s RB start tags are littered with shiny new toys this week. Joe Mixon ($5,700), Leonard Fournette ($6,700), Dalvin Cook ($6,500), and Wendell Smallwood ($4,100) are all in the top ten of start tags this week. Give me all of the Dalvin Cook in cash this week. He’s averaging over 24 opportunities (carries + targets) per week this season. It’s quite a joke to think that we as a community were scared of Latavius Murray coming into this year. Cook has had the 6th most valuable workload according to Rushing and Receiving Expected Points.
Todd Gurley ($7,800) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,200) are in the same game this week and have valuable workloads in their own right. Todd Gurley has been seeing 5.7 targets per week to go along with his 20+ rush attempts. Gurley sees all of the important touches in Los Angeles even though no one sees him live during home games. Zeke continues to be involved at a heavy clip and has seen an added pass catching role in 2017. He’s seeing nearly 5 targets per game so far this season after averaging just 2.6 last season.
Despite my anti-Christian McCaffrey ($6,800) stance in the past, I think he’s worth a GPP flyer this week. Yes, he’s up to nearly $7k on DraftKings but that shouldn’t stop you this week. New England has been #bad on defense and they don’t really have any reason for optimism this week. You saw what Kareem Hunt did to them right? Don’t overthink it, McCaffrey is seeing opportunities and he deserves to be rostered in this spot this week.
AJ Green ($8,600) is the high-priced chalk at WR this week. He’s going against the Cleveland Browns and there’s no real resistance from their secondary. So far this year, the Cleveland secondary has been great against passes that travel 5 yards or fewer. After that though…they’re well below average. You don’t need me to tell you the Browns are bad, though, so let’s move on.
You’ll read more about the chalk at other sites, so let’s get into some pivots. DeAndre Hopkins ($6,400) will see a ton of ownership this week, but I like Dez Bryant ($6,500) and Demaryius Thomas ($6,300) as pivots in GPPs.
Much has been made about Dez and Dak’s chemistry but he has 10 TDs in the 16 games that they’ve played together. They’ve come in bunches which makes Dez an ideal GPP play this week.
Thomas is another receiver that’s catching my eye this week. Trevor Siemian has looked great this year and you know where the targets are going for the Broncos. It’s a two-man show in regards to pass catchers in Denver. It’s rare that we have such a clear picture of who will be targeted heavily.
DeSean Jackson ($5,200) presents unique upside week in and week out. He’s seeing a fair share of targets and went off last week. Yet, for some reason, he only has two start tags this week. I get the Giants secondary is scary, but DeSean Jackson has a history of torching the Giants. I don’t care if he’s in green or red, he shows up against New York.
Give me all of the Rob Gronkowski ($6,600) in every format this week. Team Total is one of the highest correlated indicators to TE upside and New England has the highest team total on the slate. Zach Ertz ($6,300) might also be approaching must-play territory. He’s averaging over 9 targets per week and is in a close game with a high over/under. Both of these players are in big time “don’t overthink it” spot.