by Byron Hamilton
In all of the big performances last week one stood out from all the rest. Derek Carr had a historic game against the Buccaneers as he threw for 513 yards and 4 touchdowns with zero interceptions. His performance set a new franchise record for passing yards and was just the 20th 500 yard passing game in NFL history. It’s only natural to assume that after such a big day his star receiver would be high on the list as well. Amari Cooper also set a career high with 173 yards on 12 catches and a touchdown. The dynamic duo combined for a whopping 78.12 points in Draft Kings scoring, so it’s no surprise most of the winning lineups out there featured those two players. Each week we do our best at No Huddle to help you pick out a player or two that’ll help lead you to a big payday. Let’s take a look around the league and see what we can find.
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.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Value – $7,800
After a slow start to the season, Aaron Rodgers is finally looking like the quarterback we all know. He would’ve finished as the top scoring quarterback last week had it not been for Derek Carr’s huge game. Rodgers has thrown for over 570 yards and seven touchdowns over the last two games. With both Eddie Lacy and James Starks out, the Packers lack any true running game outside of Don Jackson and receiver/running back hybrid Ty Montgomery. In fact, Rodgers actually led the team in rushing last week with 60 yards. The perennial Pro Bowl quarterback has a good chance to put up big numbers once again this week against a Colts defense that ranks 25th against opposing quarterbacks and has allowed 14 passing touchdowns so far this season. At $7,800 Rodgers is the most expensive signal caller on the slate this week, but he also has one of the best matchups as well.
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
Value – $7,200
Drew Brees has looked unstoppable at times this season. Through the first eight games he’s the third highest scoring fantasy quarterback and looks primed to carry fantasy owners to a championship with more than favorable matchups in almost all of his games the rest of the season. Expect to see him included in this column often. Brees was a popular fade player last week against the Seahawks but was still able to throw for 265 yards and a touchdown. While his 20 points were nothing to write home about, it showed that the veteran quarterback can still have a decent day against an elite secondary. This week the Saints face off against a 49ers defense that is 22nd in the league against quarterbacks. I like his chances of having a big day, even if he’s playing on the road.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $7,100
This season’s Cinderella has been up and down over the last few weeks. Outside of back to back big games to start the season, Matty Ice has essentially turned in fantasy relevant games in every other week this season. After working a Seattle defense to the tune of almost 27 fantasy points in week 6, Ryan only put up 14 points against a beatable Chargers secondary. After redeeming himself last week against the Packers, he is due for a down game if the recent pattern holds true. However, Derek Carr just threw for over 500 yards in the Bucs last Sunday. Tampa Bay comes into this week as the 27th ranked defense against opposing quarterbacks. Again he’s a pricey option at $7,100, but I think Matty Ice cures his “every other game” disorder against a Tampa Bay defense that is extremely vulnerable to the passing game.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $6,100
I said last week that Dak Prescott would have his highest scoring fantasy total against the Eagles, and he finished with 287 yards and three total touchdowns for a season high 28.3 points. I also said that Carson Wentz would have his lowest scoring game of the season, but we don’t need to dive into that one. If you watched the game you’ll know that Dak didn’t look quite as sharp early on as he has over the first part of the season. What I think is telling, however, is that the rookie quarterback willed his team to win in overtime and put the team on his shoulders when it mattered most. Dak Prescott isn’t going to be a guy that puts up huge passing numbers, but he’s got a solid floor and is relatively expensive considering Dallas plays Cleveland this week. At only $6,100 you’ll have some extra funds to spend up at other positions.
Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $5,600
In my opinion, any quarterback playing the New Orleans Saints this season is a worth a look in daily fantasy. It just so happens that happens to be Colin Kaepernick this week. He’s not played very well since taking over for Blaine Gabbert a few weeks ago and hasn’t surpassed 190 yards in two games. However, he has shown he still has the ability make plays with his legs and has racked up 150 rushing yards in his first two starts. The whole “Drew Brees is garbage on the road” theory was proven false two weeks back when he threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns against the Chiefs, so I think the Saints will score enough points to force Kaepernick to air the ball out in an effort to keep his team in the game. He’s a huge risk but could have a decent enough day to outperform his price tag of only $5,600.
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $7,900
The league’s rushing leader fell back down to Earth a little last week against a tough Eagles defense. It’s comforting to know that a down week for Zeke is a game where he rushes for 96 yards and adds another 52 yards receiving. The rookie is averaging 114 yards this season and has lived up every bit to all the hype surrounding him in the offseason. He draws an extremely advantageous matchup this week against a Browns defense that is ranked 28th in the league against opposing running backs. He’s the most expensive running back out there this week, but he should have no trouble outperforming his price point.
Devontae Booker – Denver Broncos
Value – $6,400
Booker received his first start last week after CJ Anderson was lost for the season, and his performance wasn’t necessarily anything special. However, he still scored a touchdown and racked up 84 total yards which was good enough for 18.4 fantasy points in Draft Kings scoring. San Diego boasts a top 10 run defense against, so it’s not terribly surprising he didn’t have a breakout game. What I like most about Booker is the fact that he’s one of the rare running backs in the league that owns essentially 100% of the carries on his team, albeit due to injury. With Trevor Siemian still developing the Broncos are going to want to run the ball as much as possible. This should prove to be especially true this week when the Broncos face the Raiders on the road. Derek Carr is having an MVP caliber season and just roasted Tampa Bay for an incredible 513 yards and 4 touchdowns. You have to think Denver is going to want to run in order keep the ball out of Carr’s hands as much as possible. Booker should have a solid outing as the Raiders also rank 22nd against running backs.
Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers
Value – $6,300
I keep waiting for this kid to break down. Each week I keep thinking he’s irrelevant if he doesn’t score I touchdown. I think it might just be time to bite the bullet and accept the fact that Melvin Gordon isn’t slowing down. He rushed for 111 yards and caught 4 passes for another 44 yards in route to a 22 point performance against the Broncos last week, so he’s definitely earned a look each week in daily fantasy leagues. Gordon’s complete integration into the Chargers offense has made him one of the rare three down backs in the league, and his pass catching out the backfield gives him additional value. He’ll have a tough test against a Titans defense that’s 5th in the league against running backs, but I’m not too concerned considering his previous performances. Gordon is averaging 20.9 points per game, which is good enough to be ranked 4th among running backs. His $6,300 price tag is at least $1,300 under the three guys above him.
Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions
Value – $4,900
I know, I know. Detroit plays the Vikings, and I’m an idiot. Well that’s what I was saying Monday night about Jordan Howard, and look what happened. The rookie racked up 202 total yards and scored a touchdown, which was good enough for over 33 fantasy points. While I agree that Howard is a better between the tackles runner than Riddick, the latter is no slouch in terms fantasy football production. The former third down specialist has essentially become an every down back for the Lions and has scored 53.5 fantasy points over the last two games he’s participated in (he sat out two games due to injury). Riddick has now scored 26 or more points in three out of six games. While I agree Minnesota is a more imposing defense the Houston, I like the situation Riddick is in. He’s a bargain play at $4,900 and shouldn’t be very highly owned due to the matchup.
Hail Mary Play:
Tim Hightower – New Orleans Saints
Value – $4,000
I feel by now my opinion on Mark Ingram should be fairly apparent. I think he’s been overrated for the majority of his professional career. I understand the offense he’s in limits his potential greatly, but I just never saw much out of him that would lead me to believe he’s a top tier running back in the NFL. Most weeks he’s good for around 50 yards and possibly even a touchdown, but that’s about it. Things came to a head last week when Ingram was benched due to his recent and uncharacteristic fumbling issues, and Tim Hightower rushed for over 100 yards on 26 carries. Ingram’s season high came in week 3 against the Falcons. I’m not entirely convinced Ingram’s benching is something that’s going to last, but Hightower is worth a flier against a 49ers defense that’s ranked 30 in the league against running backs.
Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $8,500
Evans burned me last week pretty badly. Between him and TY Hilton I only gained a deplorable 14 points in Draft Kings last week, but I think Evans has a solid outing this week. He’s one of the most targeted receivers in the National Football League as he hasn’t seen less than 11 targets from Jameis Winston since the first week of the season, and there isn’t a clear second receiver on this team. Evans is tied with Julio Jones with the second highest fantasy average on the season with a 20.6 fantasy points per game. I’ll take Mike Evans this week at a discount of $1,100. If there’s any way you can get both Julio and Evans in the same lineup that would be optimal, since their teams play each other in what should be a high scoring game.
Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers
Value – $5,900
The Green Bay Packers are on a little bit of a hot streak in terms of fantasy production over the last couple of weeks, and Davante Adams is one of the main benefactors of Aaron Rodgers’ return to form. Without any source of reliable running game, Aaron Rodgers has put the team directly onto his shoulders and even finished as the team’s leading rusher last week. He’s also formed a special affinity for Devante Adams over the last couple of weeks. Through the first five weeks of the season Adams saw 27 targets come his way. Over the last two games he’s been targeted by his quarterback 30 times. That’s a huge increase in activity, and most of is directly related to injuries at both the wide receiver and running back position. With no relief in sight in terms of the Green Bay rushing attack I think Adams will continue to see lots of attention from Aaron Rodgers, particularly this week against a Colts defense that hasn’t been able to stop hardly anyone this season. Adams still has great value at $5,900, so he’ll likely be a staple in most of my lineups this week.
Kenny Britt – LA Rams
Value – $4,400
After a huge game against the Lions in week 6, Kenny Britt came crashing back down the following game against the Giants. That was also a game in which Case Keenum played particularly bad as he threw four interceptions. I think Britt is worth a look again this week against a Panthers defense that ranks 29th in the league against opposing wide receivers. I realize Keenum is nowhere near the close to the level of guys like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, but I like his chances to have a decent game. If he does I think Britt is one of the main benefactors. He’s scored double digit fantasy points in all but two games so far this season and has played much stiffer competition than what he’ll see from a young and inexperienced Panthers secondary. At only $4,400 he’s worth a little bit of a gamble this week.
Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Value – $7,100
Landry enjoyed a good bit of success early in the season but has been mostly held in check over the last several weeks. Most of the struggles aren’t necessarily related to anything Landry has been doing wrong but more so the shaky play of Ryan Tannehill this season. Tannehill has failed to throw for more than 200 yards in three games this season and only has 7 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. That being said, I like the situation the Dolphins find themselves in this week as they host a Jets team that just allowed Josh McCown to throw for 341 yards and two touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor chewed up Darrelle Revis, and Landry operates out of the slot a good amount of the time. The emergence of Jay Ajayi should cause the Browns defense to pay more attention to stopping the running game than teams have had to worry about over the last few weeks, so Landry should find plenty of room to operate. While he hasn’t scored a touchdown since week 3, I like Landry’s chances to get back on track this week.
Hail Mary Play:
Tavon Austin – LA Rams
Value – $4,200
I know this is the second Rams receiver listed this week, so I apologize. While Kenny Britt has a safer floor, I also like Tavon Austin’s odds to have a big day this week. The speedy receiver was targeted a team high 15 times last week against the Giants and hauled in 10 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. While the yardage isn’t great, that’s a huge amount of targets which breeds opportunity. JJ Nelson, a player similar to Austin, obliterated the Panthers secondary last week, and if in the Rams my plan is to get the ball into my playmaker’s hands as much as possible. He’s been very much up and down, but I think Tavon Austin is worth a roll of the dice this week.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $4,000
The Vikings are a team that is in desperate need of some sort of offensive consistency. Stefon Diggs has been up and down with injuries, the running situation is abysmal, and Sam Bradford is looking like Alex Smith 2.0. Kyle Rudolph is the most targeted player for the Vikings so far this season and offers Bradford the most consistency out of anyone other receiving option he has. After going three straight games with a touchdown, Rudolph has cooled down quite a bit over the last few weeks mostly because he played three defenses that were particularly stingy against the tight end position. I think he gets back on track this week against a Detroit Lions defense that ranks dead last in the league against tight ends. There aren’t many options at the position with particularly favorable matchups this week, which makes Rudolph my favorite tight end in daily fantasy heading into week 9.
Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Value – $4,600
Walker is almost always worth a look in daily fantasy, and I don’t hate rolling him out this week. He’s been up and down this season but is still one of Marcus Mariota’s favorite targets. The veteran tight end is the second most targeted players in the Titans offense and has the third highest fantasy points per game on average among tight ends not on a bye this week. Walker is coming off two solid games and the first time he’s scored double digit fantasy points in back to back weeks this season. He’ll face a Chargers defense that is middle of the road against tight ends, and this game could generate more points than some might think. Walker is a solid option this week.
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $3,300
Brate has been a welcome surprise for fantasy owners and has grown his role in Tampa Bay’s offense since the release of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. While there aren’t many targets up for grabs with Mike Evans seeing so much attention from Jameis Winston, Brate has proven to be a reliable receiving option. I would argue he has even developed into the second best option on the team. The Bucs are coming off a rough overtime loss in a shootout with the Raiders last week and will now face one of the best offenses in the league in the Atlanta Falcons. This game has points written all over it, so I’m sprinkling in players from both teams in a lot of lineups this week. At only $3,300 Brate is an inexpensive option with a lot of upside against a Falcons defense that is 27th against tight ends.
Who I’m Stacking:
Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant/Cole Beasley – Dallas Cowboys
Total Value – $13,500/$11,400
I feel like each week I watch Dak Prescott I’m more and more impressed with his play. He’s thrown for over 220 yards in each game this season and has 13 total touchdowns to his credit with only two interceptions. I like pretty much every fantasy option this week against the Browns and feel comfortable matching up Dak with either of his main receivers. Dez has more potential to put up big numbers, and the only thing that puts me off is the fact Joe Hayden has come back for Cleveland. Beasley is the safer play that will essentially guarantee you double digit points at a discount.
Aaron Rodgers/Devante Adams – Green Bay Packers
Total Value – $13,700
As I stated previously, I like both of these guys a lot this week against the Colts. Adams seeing 30 targets in two games makes me feel pretty confident in his role in the Packers offense moving forward, and Aaron Rodgers has turned it on the last two weeks throwing for 7 total touchdowns. There’s not much to dislike about this one against an Indianapolis defense that’s giving up over 26 points a game.
Hail Mary Play:
Ryan Tannehill/Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Total Value – $12,700
Ryan Tannehill has played terribly this season. He’s only averaging 15.7 fantasy points per game, which is .1 point more than Blaine Gabbert. Let that sink in, I call these Hail Mary plays for a reason. That being said, Tannehill faces a terrible Jets defense at home this week, and the thought process is he should be able to reconnect with his star receiver for a big game. I’m not incredibly confident in this one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if each player posted season high numbers this week against a Jets team that’s giving up almost 24 points per game.
Steal of the Week:
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $6,100
Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $4,900
Hyde is expected to return this week after suffering a shoulder injury back in week 6 against the Bills. If he does play and is able to handle his usual 15-20 carry load, then I think he’s got a shot to have a huge game against a Saints defense that next to last in the league against running backs. In case he doesn’t play, I included Sproles as well. He’s a little more risky, but if he does see a starter’s workload he’s a great value at only $4,900.
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!!!