We saw some incredible performances last week in the NFL. The most impressive of which was without a doubt the clinic Matt Ryan and Julio Jones put on against the Carolina Panthers. The dynamic duo combined for 87.52 points in Draft Kings, so if you were one of the 6% of people with Julio in your lineup it likely went well for you this weekend. We’ll take a look around the NFL this week to try to identify a few players at each position that I think are solid options to roster in daily leagues this week. Hopefully, we can help you make some selections that will lead you to a big payday.
Side note: the values and scoring we use are from Draft Kings. I prefer them for two reasons. They utilize PPR scoring and have an additional flex spot on the roster with no kickers. Everyone hates kickers.
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $5,800
Jameis Winston has been an enigma so far this season. In weeks two and four he was a top 5 quarterback. In the other two weeks he scored a combined for 22.7 points. Tampa Bay has weapons at every position on offense, and the team has the opportunity to score a lot of points on any given week. There’s a clear pattern in Winston’s performances. The two weeks he struggled the Bucs were facing elite defenses in the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. When he’s performed well it’s been against subpar pass defenses, and the Bucs will face a Panthers team that was just embarrassed by the Atlanta Falcons last week. At only $5,200, Famous Jameis is the 17th most expensive quarterback available. That’s tremendous value that could pay off big.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $6,400
Wentz has been one of the most discussed players in the league this season. The Eagles intended to let him sit and learn this year until trading Sam Bradford to Minnesota, which has worked out surprisingly well for both parties. The rookie out of North Dakota State has been impressive through 4 games and turned in his first fantasy relevant performance against the Steelers before the Eagles week 4 bye. Wentz scored 24 points in that game, which was the first time he surpassed the 20 point mark in his young career. Philadelphia will play a Detroit team this week that has been decimated at the running back position by injuries. The thinking here is the Lions will likely rely on Matt Stafford to make plays through the air, which could make this a higher scoring game than the 46 point total that is being projected. Wentz is still a value pick as well and very well could be a good investment if he can continue his upward trend.
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,800
Fair warning, Derek Carr will be a popular pick in daily leagues this week. If you grab him make sure you find some more obscure players at other positions. While Carr hasn’t had that one huge game so far this season, he’s been very consistent from a fantasy perspective, if we chalk up the performance against the Titans as a slip up. Last week was the first time Carr failed to surpass the 200 yard mark in passing yards. However, he more than made up for it with the 4 touchdown passes he threw. The most impressive aspect of Carr’s season to this point is the 9/1 touchdown to interception ratio he boasts, so it’s encouraging to see that he doesn’t make many mistakes. Oakland plays a Chargers defense that just gave up 35 points last week, so I’m fairly confident Carr has a big game. He has two dynamic receiver in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, so I don’t think you’ll be let down by Carr this week.
Tom Brady – New England Patriots
Value – $7,500
I was a little surprised to see Brady as the third most expensive option on Draft Kings this week. It’s his first game after missing four weeks. Then again, he’s Tom Freaking Brady. The vast majority of the football community is anticipating this will be Tom Brady’s revenge game. After suffering a harsh suspension that many saw as too extreme it’s hard to argue that point. It certainly helps that he’ll face a seemingly inept Cleveland Browns team that is starting their third string quarterback and has few bright spots outside of Terrelle Pryor and Isaiah Crowell. The Browns have surrendered 30 or more points in the last two weeks against teams that have half the talent the Pats do. If Brady does indeed have his “revenge game” this week, then you’ll want him on your roster.
Hail Mary Play:
Brian Hoyer – Chicago Bears
Value – $5,500
This should be an obvious statement, but Hoyer only applies here assuming Jay Cutler doesn’t play. Bears Head Coach John Fox stated today that there’s no guarantee that Cutler will be the automatic starter once he returns. In all honesty, good call by Fox here. Cutler has been mostly inconsistent and borderline awful over the last couple seasons. If Hoyer continues to play well in Cutler’s absence, then he could get that nod even after the latter is healthy. To be fair, I’d even consider Jay Cutler in this spot solely because of the matchup. The Bears will travel to play the Colts this week, and Indianapolis has a particularly bad/injured secondary. As long as top target Alshon Jeffrey is healthy and able to play, I don’t see any reason to not take a chance on Hoyer this week.
Terrence West – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $4,800
West has been sneakily gaining ground all season in the Ravens backfield and finally got the chance to be the featured running back against Oakland last week. The result? Justin Forsett is released from the team and West is the starter entering week 5. If I’m being honest with myself I think this opens the door for rookie Kenneth Dixon to supplant West as the starter in the next few weeks. However, we’re not playing for the future here. We’re playing in the here and now. For that reason Terrance West is going to be included in basically every daily lineup I construct this week. West ran for 113 yards and a touchdown last week against Oakland, so it seems ludicrous to think that a rookie will automatically step right in to the starting job. Baltimore faces a Redskins’ defense that allowed Isaiah Crowell to run wild last week. At a price of under $5,000 I’m taking West all day.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
Value – $5,200
The rookie out of Indiana got the starting nod after Jeremy Langford was ruled out with an ankle injury and made the most of this opportunity. He averaged over 5 yards per carry as he racked up 111 yards on 23 carries. Howard had been nipping at the starter’s heels over the last couple weeks and easily had the best performance of any Bears running back this season and now officially leads the team in fantasy scoring at his position after just one start. Howard’s value jumped up $1,500 over last week and will be highly owned again this week, but I’m still rolling him out in a few lineups mostly because he faces another soft defense in the Colts and is still an inexpensive option. If you decide to go with Howard make sure you select some more contrarian players at other positions.
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $7,900
Johnson has accumulated at least 100 yards of total offense in each game to start the season and is as consistent as they come at the running back position. While the Cardinals have had some struggles offensively, DJ has certainly been the one guy that’s performed well each week. His a shifty runner with great pass catching ability out of the backfield but just so happens to be the priciest option at running back this week. However, I’d feel comfortable playing him for two reasons. First, Carson Palmer suffered a concussion last week and is questionable to play on Thursday night. If he sits out I think the Cardinals rely more heavily on Johnson with Drew Stanton under center. Secondly, Arizona plays a San Francisco defense that has allowed between 24 and 40 points in the last three games and allowed Ezekiel Elliott and Christine Michael to have huge days against them. I don’t often spend big at the running back position, but I feel confident in rolling with DJ this week.
CJ Anderson – Denver Broncos
Value – $6,900
Anderson got off to a hot start this season as he averaged over 24 fantasy points through the first two games. He cooled off a bit against the Bengals and Buccaneers, but I think this is the week we see another strong performance from the Bronco running back. Trevor Siemian is likely going to have to sit out this week due to a shoulder injury, which would pave the way for rookie Paxton Lynch to make his first start in the NFL. I would think the Broncos would want to utilize Anderson as much as possible to take the pressure off the rookie and keep the ball away from a red hot Falcons offense. Even if Siemian starts, I think Anderson will see a major work load to protect his quarterback. Only six teams are allowing more points to running backs this season than the Atlanta Falcons, so Anderson has a very advantageous matchup as well. He’s listed under the $7,000 mark, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes as the top scoring running back in fantasy this week.
Hail Mary Play:
Duke Johnson Jr – Cleveland Browns
Value – $4,100
Johnson was a popular sleeper pick this season, but Isaiah Crowell has gotten most of the attention due to his impressive play. However, Johnson is still involved in the offense and has seen 7 and 8 targets in the passing game over the last two weeks. The Cleveland Browns have the rotten luck of drawing the New England Patriots in Tom Brady’s first game back and are 10.5 point underdogs going into Sunday. I would be surprised if this game doesn’t become one sided very quickly, which means the Browns will likely be playing from behind early on. These are the types of games where Duke Johnson shines. I can see him being heavily involved in the passing game this week and racking up points on those receptions. He’s only $4,100, and I think he has a solid chance to greatly outperform that price point.
Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,900
Michael Crabtree, not Amari Cooper, is the highest producing receiver in the Oakland offense. If you compare targets, catches, and yards they’re actually very evenly split. What’s set them apart is the fact that Crabtree has 4 touchdowns on the season whereas Cooper has none, although to be fair 3 of Crabtree’s scores came last week. The matchup between the Raiders and Chargers boasts the highest projected point total in the NFL this week at 50.5 points, and this game should produce a lot of fantasy points for both teams. With Cooper set $300 higher than his counterpart, I like Crabtree in this one.
Robert Woods – Buffalo Bills
Value – $3,900
This is purely a value pick that has some upside, since Woods is officially the number one wide receiver in Buffalo after Sammy Watkins was placed on injured reserve. The Bills aren’t exactly a premier passing offense, but Tyrod Taylor has been serviceable at times this season. Woods also dominated the targets seen by the Bills receiving core with ten, which doubles the second most targeted player. Buffalo will play a Rams defense on Sunday that has given up the fourth most yards to wide receivers through four games this season, and Los Angeles gave up 405 passing yards to Jameis Winston two weeks ago. At only $3,900, Woods is well worth a gamble this week and won’t likely be very highly owned.
Steve Smith Sr – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $5,300
The old man is back at it again. After a slow start to the season, Smith has had back to back games where he has produced well. Which includes his 8 catch 111 yard performance on Sunday that saw him score his first touchdown of the season. Joe Flacco has targeted the veteran receiver 22 times over two weeks, and Smith seems to have reasserted himself as the primary pass catcher in this offense. Mike Wallace will continue to be the player that has potential to strike it big or leave you lacking on a weekly basis. Baltimore will host a Washington Redskins team this week that just allowed 20 points to the Browns and have given up 27 points or more in their other games this season. I think Smith has a shot to have another big day on Sunday considering is recent reconnection with Joe Flacco.
Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $7,500
It feels odd to advise you to target the Panthers defense in fantasy football, but that’s exactly what I’m doing this week. Unless you’ve been in a cave the last week, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Julio Jones’ historic day this past week against a young and vulnerable Carolina secondary. To be fair, Jameis Winston doesn’t have the experience that Matt Ryan does. However, I think Winston is talented enough to get the ball to his star receiver against the same beatable defense that surrendered 42 points to the Falcons last week. Evans has scored a touchdown in every game except last week against the Broncos, and I think he gets back on track this week. He should also be fairly under owned due to the matchup scaring away more casual players.
Hail Mary Play:
Dontrelle Inman – San Diego Chargers
Value – $4,100
I see Inman as a complete boom or bust play this week. He was targeted 11 times last week by Phillip Rivers and hauled in 5 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. The yards and targets were both career highs for Inman, and the Chargers have another advantageous matchup against the Raiders this week. Oakland is giving up just under 27 points per game this season and have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. This West Coast matchup boasts the highest projected point total of the week as well, so we should see a good deal of scoring. If Inman can retain his quarterback’s attention he has the opportunity to have another big day.
Zach Miller – Chicago Bears
Value – $3,600
Zach Miller has performed at a much higher level with Brian Hoyer throwing him the ball while Jay Cutler has been out. He has three touchdowns in two games and is averaging just a hair under 20 fantasy point per game during that span. There’s a very real possibility that Cutler has lost his job to Hoyer for the foreseeable future, which I believe boosts Miller’s value quite a bit. The Bears will play a vulnerable Colts team this week that has given up 22 points or more in each game this season. They’ve been particularly susceptible to the pass, and I think both Hoyer and Miller could each have big games this weekend. Miller isn’t the bargain play he was last week, but I still like his price tag at only $3,600.
Martellus Bennett – New England Patriots
Value – $3,700
You’ll notice a recurring theme this week in daily fantasy leagues with the Patriots. Brady, Edelman, and Gronk will all be popular picks. However, if I’m targeting a New England tight end this week I’m going to Bennett over Gronk. The latter continues to be limited in practice with a hamstring injury that has left him out or ineffective so far this season. If he continues to struggle this week, then Bennett could be a sneaky play in a game many believe will be a complete blowout. He’s proven he can play at a high level as he has two games where he’s caught 5 passes for over 100 yards, and that was with Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo under center. You have to think he can improve with Brady back. He’s relatively inexpensive at $3,700 and has the potential to breakout this week.
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $2,900
Brate continues to prove himself as a reliable option for Jameis Winston and has steadily become the number two pass catcher in the Bucs offense. Since Seferian-Jenkins was dropped, Brate is averaging 9 targets, 5 catches, and a touchdown. With Mike Evans seeing most of the attention by opposing defenses, the tight end out of Harvard has found success in the middle of the field and the end zone. Tampa Bay will face off against a struggling Carolina secondary this week, and the Panthers have allowed tight ends to find the end zone four times in the last three weeks. I like Brate’s chances to continue his streak and outperform his price point.
Hunter Henry – San Diego Chargers
Value – $3,300
Henry certainly seems to be earning the trust of Phillip Rivers with Antonio Gates injured. The rookie was targeted 7 times last week and was able to turn the opportunities into 4 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. There’s a chance Gates plays this week which makes me rethink selecting Henry if he does, so keep an eye on his status over the next few days. Henry is second on the team in yardage over the last two weeks and deserves your attention if Gates continues to sit out. The Chargers play a Raiders defense that was notorious for giving up big games to tight ends going back to last season, so Henry is a solid pick this week.
Who I’m Stacking:
Jameis Winston/Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Total Value – $13,300
As I mentioned earlier, this just feels wrong to me considering the Bucs play Carolina. However, the stats don’t lie, and this should be a decent matchup for the dynamic duo in the Tampa Bay offense. Winston has been hit or miss this season, but we know he has the talent to go off in any given game. Evans is a little pricey, but Winston provides some value. You’ll be able to fill your roster out nicely if you roll with these two this week.
Tom Brady/Julian Edelman – New England Patriots
Total Value – $14,200
Like I said, I like the Patriots this week against a winless Cleveland Browns team. The only problem is many daily players have similar thoughts that I do regarding the slaughter this game may turn out to be. Both Brady and Edelman should be popular picks this week, so make sure to select less obvious players at other positions. That being said, the New England offense has never been a very run heavy team under Brady. I think we see them transition back to throwing the ball more and getting the ball into Edelman’s hands early and often.
Hail Mary Play:
Brian Hoyer/Eddie Royal – Chicago Bears
Total Value – $9,700
This one is a total gut call for me this week. Hoyer has played well the last two weeks and has scored over 22 fantasy points in each game. Alshon Jeffrey is bound to have a good game at some point, and it could be this week against a soft Colts secondary. However, I’m rolling with Eddie Royal simply because of the chemistry he seems to have with Hoyer. He’s caught all ten of his targets over the last two weeks, and one would think Indianapolis will want to limit Jeffrey as much as possible. You could also look at pairing Hoyer with Zach Miller for another low cost, high potential lineup.
Steal of the Week:
John Brown – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $4,400
After being eased back into the offense to start the season, Brown finally had the type of game last week we all know he is capable of. He was targeted a whopping 16 times against the Rams and caught 10 passes for 144 yards. Since he’s been back to full speed, Brown has been targeted 27 times in the last two weeks, so it’s clear the offense is trying to get him involved. The Cardinals play a 49ers defense that’s allowed anywhere between 24 to 40 points over the last three weeks, so they’re prone to giving up a lot of touchdowns. If Carson Palmer doesn’t play Thursday night, I’m still rolling with Brown because of the connection he has with backup Drew Stanton. All in on Brown this week.
I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it each week. I’m truly passionate about fantasy football and love any opportunity to share my opinions with you.
As always, hit us up @No_HuddleFFB on Twitter for any questions you might have. Get rich this week!!!