What a week for daily fantasy players. We again saw big name receivers lay eggs when they should have excelled. AJ Green, Odell Beckham Jr, and DeAndre Hopkins were all underwhelming. On the flip side, we saw some huge performances from lesser known receivers that vaulted lineups to a big payday. Adam Thielen, Cameron Meredith, and Sammie Coates all had at least 25 fantasy points, and most of the winning lineups incorporated at least one of these players. Let’s take a look around the league to see if we can help identify a few players that will improve your chances to make some money this week.
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.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Value – $7,500
Big Ben has been on an absolute tear over the last two weeks as he has accumulated 680 yards and 9 touchdowns for a total of 70.1 fantasy points. Outside of a dud of a game against the Eagles in week 3, the Steelers signal caller has thrown for three or more touchdowns in each game this season. The emergence of Sammie Coates has provided Roethlisberger with another receiving option outside of Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell has picked up right where he left off. The Steelers will travel to Miami this week to play a Dolphins defense that just gave up three touchdowns to Marcus Mariota, so you have to think Big Ben has a good chance to keep his strong start alive. He’s the 4th most expensive quarterback option this week, but I think he’s well worth the investment.
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $6,300
After a shaky start to the season, Bortles finally seemed to get on track against Indianapolis in week 4 before Jacksonville’s early bye. He has thrown for at least 320 yards or two touchdowns in each game this season, however, inaccuracy and turnovers have been an issue. The rushing attack for the Jaguars this year has been underwhelming at best, so we can anticipate that Bortles will continue to have to move the ball through the air often. Jacksonville will face a soft Chicago defense this week that has given up 29 or more points in three out of the last four weeks. I expect Bortles to hook up with his star receiver, Allen Robinson, often this week as both players have the opportunity to shine.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $5,900
While Dak hasn’t necessarily blown anyone away with his numbers this season, the rookie has been extremely consistent and has yet to throw an interception this year. The Cowboys are content to let Ezekiel Elliott pound the ball in the ground game and let Dak manage the offense. While the rookie out of Mississippi State has only thrown for 4 touchdowns this season, he’s added another three scores on the ground. While Zeke has been extremely impressive this season, the Cowboys will face a Packers defense this week that has not allowed a player to rush for more than 40 yards in a game so far this season. Granted, Green Bay hasn’t faced a running back with Zeke’s talent this year, but if they’re able to slow him down Aaron Rodgers could score some points in a hurry. If that happens Dak may be tasked to keep his team in the game by moving the ball through the air more than he’s been asked to do so far. He’s an inexpensive option this week that has an advantageous matchup against a depleted Packers secondary.
Brian Hoyer – Chicago Bears
Value – $5,800
Bears fans groaned when Jay Cutler went down with an injury knowing that meant Brain Hoyer would be the starting quarterback. Three weeks in, and they’re hoping Hoyer remains under center. The former Texans quarterback has been solid in the last three games as he’s thrown for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in each contest. He’s yet to score less than 22 points, which makes him a very consistent option at his price point. In case you need further convincing, the Bears face a Jaguars defense this week that has allowed 27 points or more in three out of four games this season. All three of those teams have strong passing offenses, so Hoyer is an inexpensive option with a high floor and additional upside considering the matchup.
Hail Mary Play:
Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans
Value – $5,400
Before you freak out, remember this is my Hail Mary play. Osweiler has been bad this season. Real bad. However, if he’s going to have a big game this season it should be this week. Houston faces an Indianapolis defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in pass defense. They have allowed 22 or more points in four out of five games and have just one interception on the season. Houston has two talented receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller that should be able to get open often this week. The hope is that Osweiler can get on the same page with them and have the type of game the Texans were expecting when they signed him. Again, remember: Hail Mary play here guys. This is not a sure thing by any means.
DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans
Value – $7,700
There were a lot of Murray haters out there before the season began. Man, were they wrong. The former Eagle has dominated the Titans backfield touches and looks reminiscent of his big year in Dallas a couple years back. He is the averaging the most points in Draft Kings leagues this season and barely squeaks by David Johnson by less than a point. Murray, however, comes in at $300 less than Johnson this week and faces a Browns defense that has been embarrassed all season. Cleveland has allowed more than 30 points in each game over the last three weeks, so Murray should continue his dominance in this game as well.
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
Value – $6,900
McCoy is the Buffalo Bills offense. He’s without a doubt the best player they have, and it’s not even close since Sammy Watkins went out with a foot injury a couple weeks ago. Since then, Shady has been on a tear and is averaging 24.4 points over the last three games. Tyrod Taylor is only averaging 29 passing attempts over that time span, so clearly the Bills feel comfortable leaning on McCoy to carry the offense. As the 6th most expensive option at running back in Draft Kings this week, Shady has the ability to finish as the highest scoring player at his position and comes at a discount. I think he’ll run rampant against a 49ers defense that is giving up 33 points per game over the last four weeks.
Christine Michael – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $6,800
Michael really starting heating up the last two games leading up to Seattle’s bye as he posted back to back games of 28 and 20 points. With Thomas Rawls still out of commission, this backfield should be in Michael’s full control. There is some concern that Russell Wilson will have had time to recover from injuries that have limited his running ability, which would cause his running back to take a slight hit from a production standpoint. However, the Seahawks face a red hot Falcons team that is flying high after traveling to Denver to defeat the Broncos. The game plan for Seattle this week should be to control the game on the ground and keep Atlanta’s offense off the field. If that holds true, then we can expect a heavy dose of Christine Michael.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
Value – $6,200
Jordan Howard is perhaps the hottest player in daily fantasy right now. After pushing Jeremy Langford for carries, he was awarded the opportunity to lead the Bears backfield after the starter went down with an injury. Two weeks in and Howard has back to back games with over 110 rushing yards. He’s averaging an impressive 4.8 yards per carry over the last four games, and I can’t imagine Langford gets his job back once he’s healthy. The only downside here is price and ownership. The rookie has seen a $2,900 increase in price since Langford went down and was almost 29% owned in lineups last week. However, that really doesn’t change the fact that the Bears will want to continue to utilize Howard in an advantageous matchup against an overhyped Jacksonville defense. Just be sure to roll with more contrarian plays at other positions, as he’ll be highly owned once again.
Hail Mary Play:
Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $5,100
It feels odd to use the Chiefs all-time leading rusher as a Hail Mary play, but here we are. After a long wait, Jamaal Charles should be ready to reenter the Chiefs lineup this week. He saw limited action in week 4 before Kansas City’s bye last week, so an additional week should have allowed the star running back enough time to get back up to speed. Head coach Andy Reid has already stated that Charles will not handle all the carries in the offense upon his return. However, he doesn’t need 20 carries a game in order to be effective. There is some concern that Charles might still be a little limited or have some rust to shake off. At only $5,100, he’s well worth the gamble. The Chiefs face a Raiders defense this week that has allowed the sixth most rushing yards per game. Charles could be in for a big day, and you can grab him at a discount this week. Just be sure to monitor the practice reports and keep an eye on his activity.
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
Value – $10,000
Yes, it will cost you $10,000 to get Brown into your lineups. Yes, that’s a fifth of your budget. He’s a pricey option, that’s for sure. However, what you’re really paying for with Antonio Brown is consistency. He only has one game this season where he hasn’t scored over 22 fantasy points. The Steelers offense is clicking, and the emergence of Sammie Coates and return of LeVeon Bell should help keep defenses from focusing solely on the number one receiver in this offense. Another reason I’m choosing this week to roll with Brown is the fact he’s facing the Dolphins this weekend. Just last week Miami surrendered 3 passing touchdowns to Marcus Mariota and the rag tag team of receivers they employ in Tennessee. You have to think Big Ben can double that number. If you’re able to find enough lower priced options to justify paying the price for Antonio, then this may be the week to do it. If he has a big game this may be the least expensive he’ll be for the foreseeable future.
Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos
Value – $7,000
It’s been three weeks since Sanders’ hissy fit where he complained he wasn’t being targeted enough in the passing game. Well, ask and you shall receive. After seeing 16 targets in the first two weeks, Sanders has seen 35 passes come his way in the last three games. That has obviously equated to additional fantasy points, and I believe that he has overtaken Demaryius Thomas as the go to receiver in the Broncos offense. Denver’s offense as a whole suffered last week with Trevor Siemian unable to play and rookie Paxton Lynch performing at a mostly unimpressive level. The feel in Denver is that Siemian will be healthy enough to play this week. If so, Sanders has an optimal matchup against a Chargers defense that has given up 34 points or more in the last two weeks. Even if Paxton Lynch ends up getting another start, this matchup is too juicy to not deploy Emmanuel Sanders.
Cole Beasley – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $4,400
I dare you to find a receiver that makes more out of his opportunities than Cole Beasley has this season. Beasley is the most targeted receiver in the Cowboys offense this season. He has 27 catches on 33 targets for 332 yards with Dak Prescott under center. While the yardage is less than impressive, Beasley is catching an outstanding 81% of the passes thrown his way. As I mentioned earlier, this offense is centered around Ezekiel Elliott. However, the Cowboys face a Packers defense that is allowing a mind blowing 42 rushing yards per game this season. If Zeke falters and Aaron Rodgers can get his team ahead early, then I think Dallas will have to turn to the passing game. This will allow Beasley to continue his Edelman-like role in this offense and excel. With a price point of only $4,400, Beasley is essentially guaranteed to give you at least 10 fantasy points this week but has the opportunity to rack up a lot more.
Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints
Value – $6,400
Snead got off to a solid start this season before injuring his toe and sitting out a week. He toughed it out against the Chargers before the team’s bye last week but was visibly limited. After getting a week off to rest, Snead should be ready to roll against the Panthers in New Orleans this week. There is a clear correlation between Drew Brees’ performances on the road compared to at home. He’s averaging 32.6 points in the dome this season compared to a meager 14.2 points on the road. This obviously directly impacts fantasy production from his wide receivers as well. I think both Cooks and Snead are solid plays this week, but I’m rolling with the latter simply due to price. Michael Thomas could be a sneaky pick as well against a vulnerable Panthers secondary.
Hail Mary Play:
Cameron Meredith – Chicago Bears
We all saw Cameron Meredith coming, right? They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but I’m taking a gamble on the Bears receiver after his breakout game last week. He stepped right into Kevin White’s role and torched the Colts for 130 yards on 9 receptions and a touchdown. Brian Hoyer targeted Meredith 12 times in the loss against the Colts, which was double the amount Alshon Jeffrey come his way. Considering Meredith was mostly an unknown last week, it’s hard to endorse him as a starter after one big week. However, the attention he saw from his quarterback is encouraging. The Bears face a Jaguars teams that should be fresh coming off a bye week. The Jags have allowed 27 points or more in three games they have faced strong passing offenses and have a high powered passing offense of their own. This game could involve a lot of scoring, so Meredith is worth a gamble this week.
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
Olsen is the highest scoring tight end through the first five weeks of the season. He has 200 yards more than the second highest scoring player and is leading the league in targets at the tight end position as well. He has been by far the most consistent player in the struggling Carolina offense. Cam Newton missed last week due to a concussion but should be able to take the field this week against a hapless New Orleans defense. The Saints have allowed 34 or more points in all but one game this season and have struggled to contain high powered passing offenses. Drew Brees plays well at home in the dome, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take an early lead in this one. If that’s the case, then look for Olsen to be targeted often.
Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Value – $5,500
There are two consistent fantasy players on the Titans roster. DeMarco Murray and Delanie Walker. That’s really about it. Marcus Mariota racked up 4 touchdowns last week but still only threw for 163 yards. It is clear Walker is still the favorite target of the young quarterback, and he’s been fairly consistent this season when he’s healthy. The Titans play the Cleveland Browns this week, who rank dead last in the league in defending against the tight end position. Walker very well could finish as the top scoring tight end this week, and at only $5,500 he’s an absolute steal. The hope is Cleveland can play well enough to keep the game competitive to avoid an extra heavy dose of Demarco Murray if the Titans get ahead early.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $5,000
I feel like Kelce has been a little overlooked this season. He’s quietly produced a top 5 scoring season so far and is the second most targeted player on the offense behind Jeremy Maclin. My love for Kelce this week is twofold. First, he’ll face a Raiders team that is ranked 27th in the league in terms of defending against the position and have allowed at least 10 fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Second, the Raiders look to be the real deal this year. They have an explosive offense that should be able to put up some points on a defense that looks better on paper than they have on the field. At only $5,000, Kelce is a high floor value play with solid upside.
Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $4,900
Graham has been a source of frustration for fantasy owners over the last couple seasons. However, he finally had the type of performances we anticipated in the two games before the Seahawks bye week. 213 out of his 266 yards on the season came in his big games against 49ers and Jets, and I look for him to ride the hot streak into this week against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed more passing touchdowns than any other team in the league this season, so I look for Russell Wilson to have a big day as well. Matt Ryan and company have been red hot this season and are riding high after defeating the Broncos last week. I think this will be a competitive game that could produce a lot of points, even with Seattle’s imposing defense.
Who I’m Stacking:
Drew Brees/Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints
Total Value – $14,300
There’s one characteristic about Drew Bree’s that frustrates fantasy owners more than anything, and that’s the performances he churns out when he plays on the road. He’s scored 93.7 fantasy points in Draft Kings scoring this season. 65.3 of those came from the two Saints home games. The good news this week is that Brees and his dynamic receivers will host the struggling Panthers. I love this matchup and will be playing any Saints receiver I own. You can even get a little bold and roll out Michael Thomas at a discount if you’re feeling lucky.
Russell Wilson/Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Total Value – $11,800
You already know I like Graham this week from my reasoning earlier, so it makes sense to stack him with Russell Wilson. In a week that boasts a lot of advantageous matchups for quarterbacks, I may like this one the most. Atlanta has allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season, and the Seahawks have the advantage of playing at home fresh off a bye. I wouldn’t hate the idea of pairing Wilson with Doug Baldwin either. At $13,400 it’s a little more expensive than the Graham stack, but that’s still a low enough price point to allow for other big names at other positions.
Hail Mary Play:
Brock Osweiler/DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
Total Value – $12,900
Osweiler makes his second appearance this week as a Hail Mary play, but this time we’re stacking him with the equally disappointing Hopkins. I won’t go into all the reasons why I think Hopkins has gotten off to such a slow start again, but I feel like if either of these players are going to click it has to be this week. The Texans will face the Colts at home, so there’s really no reason why this shouldn’t work. Indianapolis has given up a ton of points to receivers this season, so if Hopkins and Osweiler continue to struggle you can probably move on from them. This shouldn’t be a very highly owned stack this week, so if it pays off you could be in for a big day.
Steal of the Week:
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $5,100
Carlos Hyde should not be priced so low. We’re looking at a top 10 fantasy running back that will cost you the same amount of money this week as Jonathan Stewart, who isn’t even a lock to play and is currently questionable. He has six touchdowns on the season and has double digit fantasy points in every game except against Carolina. This seems like a no brainer here. The only detail that concerns me in the slightest his the fact that the 49ers have swapped out Gabbert for Kaepernick. Still, Hyde is the focal point of this offense and should have another solid outing against a Bills defense that is ranked 20th in the league against opposing running backs this season.
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!!!