Welcome back ladies and gents. As I look back at last week there were some hits and misses with my daily fantasy suggestions. Without a doubt the most surprising was Le’Veon Bell. The stars were aligned for Bell to demolish a Browns defense he’s made mincemeat out of in the past. Instead he posted only 47 total yards, which was the lowest total of his career. Chalk that one up as a fluke. Hopefully you took my Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs stack. If I didn’t know better I would think it was actually Drew Brees in Bradford’s uniform with the way he played. Let’s take a look around the league and see if we can pick some winners out 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.
Tom Brady – New England Patriots
Value – $7,900
I’m thinking we’ll see a pissed off Tom Brady this week after losing to the Chiefs in the season opener. What’s most surprising about his underwhelming performance was the Patriots were marching up and down the field to start the game. It wasn’t until the second half when the wheels started falling off. I’ll chalk up last week as a fluke and double down on the future Hall of Famer this week. Brady has a very advantageous matchup against a Saints defense that was torn apart by Sam Bradford on Monday night. I think Brady bounces back this week in a big way.
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,500
Newton was obviously rusty in his season debut. He barely played in the preseason as he worked his way back from shoulder surgery, so a sluggish first game isn’t anything to panic about. While the first half of the game was hard to watch, Cam was able to string together a couple strong drives in the second half. Sure 171 passing yards is less than ideal, but he salvaged the day by completing two touchdown passes. I’m willing to roll the dice on Cam against the Bills this weekend.
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $6,300
I’m excited to see what Famous Jameis does with his new toys this season. While we had to wait a week due to Tampa Bay’s season opener getting postponed, we will now have the chance to see this high powered offense in action. Winston draws a favorable matchup at home against a Bears defense that just surrendered over 320 yards to Matt Ryan last week. The question will be how well the Buccaneers can move the ball on the ground with Jacquizz Rodgers subbing in for the suspended Doug Martin. If they can run the ball and keep pressure off Winston, then I think he has a good shot to have a big day.
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills
Value – $5,300
I don’t feel like Taylor gets the respect he deserves from most of the fantasy community. While he’s not the type of player that’s going to finish in the top five every week, he’s generally in the low end QB1 conversation at the end of each season. At $5,300 he’s a value play for me this week. The Panthers are a better defense than he faced in San Francisco, but they can still be beat through the air. I also think Taylor has the mobility to evade the pressure of Carolina’s pass rush. I wouldn’t be surprised if he improved on his 20 point performance from last week.
Hail Mary play:
Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $5,500
If you’re taking notes, I included Bradford and Stefon Diggs as one of my stacks last week. Boy did it pay off. Bradford absolutely picked apart the Saints defense on his way to completing 27 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Granted, he had the opportunity to open the season against a subpar New Orleans defense so it’s not like he put those numbers up against an elite team. Considering Minnesota has found what appears to be their new bell cow in Dalvin Cook, I think Bradford has a chance to have a pretty solid season. He’ll travel to Pittsburgh to face a decent Steelers defense, but he’s worth rolling out there again this week in hopes he can put up similar numbers to the season opener.
Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $6,800
Everyone saw this coming right? Spencer Ware goes down, and Kareem Hunt goes off for 239 total yards in his NFL debut. I thought this kid was going to be a decent player, but I don’t think anyone anticipated the performance we saw last Thursday against the Patriots. Hunt put up more yards in his first game in the league than any other player since 1970. Not only did he rack up 148 yards on the ground, but he also added 98 receiving yards just for fun. Do I think he’s going to match that production again this week against the Eagles? No. However, I do believe that his price tag is low enough to warrant putting him in a few lineups. If he has another big game this will be the least expensive he’ll be for the foreseeable future.
Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,000
I’m so happy Beast Mode is back from retirement. He was one of my favorite running backs when he was with the Seahawks because of the pure aggression he displayed when running the football. Lynch is the type of player to make an effort to run over the opposing team rather than trying to outmaneuver them. He doesn’t seem to have lost a step so perhaps some time off did him well. While he didn’t find the end zone, Lynch did rack up 76 yards on 18 carries last week. His 4.2 yards per carry isn’t too shabby for a guy his age, and the Raiders will want to use him to keep defenses honest. Beast Mode’s next test comes against a Bills defense that let LeSean McCoy run wild on them last week, so I think he puts up a solid stat line.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $5,900
We saw some incredible rookie performances last week to kick off the season. Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, and Cooper Kupp are just a few players that started their careers off on the right foot. Dalvin Cook perhaps had the best day out of anyone other than Hunt, and he looks to be a legit threat for the Vikings. The rookie looked like a veteran as he carried the ball for 127 yards on 22 carries. That’s 5.7 yards per carry, which is insane. With Sam Bradford playing at such a high level, Minnesota was able to utilize the rookie and keep the Saints guessing. Cook has a much tougher challenge on the road this week against the Steelers, however, I think he still sees enough of a workload to put together another big performance.
Kerwynn Williams – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $4,800
Fair warning. This is a ballsy pick this week. We don’t really know how the backfield situation is going to shake out in Arizona with David Johnson out. While Williams has been named the starting running back, there’s been talk of the Cardinals bringing back Chris Johnson. Andre Ellington to still on the team as well. Any hopes of Carson Palmer returning to form after a rough season last year don’t look to be paying off, but this offense has to generate some production. Williams did score a touchdown last week and has a very advantageous matchup heading into the game against a soft Colts defense. If you’re feeling lucky, then Kerwynn Williams is your guy.
Hail Mary play:
James White – New England Patriots
Value – $4,000
Yes, I am endorsing a New England running back albeit in a “cross your fingers” situation. Last week we saw Mike Gillislee steal the show with three touchdowns in a tight game against the Chiefs. Take those away though and Gillislee was mostly mediocre carrying the ball 15 times for 45 yards. My case for White is the fact that the Patriots have always utilized their running backs based on the flow of the game. They’ll face the high powered Saints offense this week, which could lead to a lot of scoring. If the Patriots happen to fall behind, then I see James White taking over as the primary pass catching back. I’m not saying it’ll happen. I’m just saying there’s a chance.
Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Value – $7,900
I had the matchup between the Seahawks and Packers circled on the schedule last Sunday. I thought we were going to see two elite quarterbacks go at it and produce a ton of fantasy points. Well, that didn’t really happen as both teams combined for 26 points. Jordy Nelson was one of the bright spots for fantasy purposes and caught seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Any talk of Davante Adams supplanting the veteran as Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target was quickly shut down. Nelson was able to put up 21 points against a stout Seahawks secondary and has a favorable matchup this week against the Falcons. He averaged five catches, 80 yards, and a touchdown against them last season, so history shows he can put up the numbers. He’s one of my favorite top tier receivers this week.
Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $7,700
Similar to Jameis Winston, I just want to see Mike Evans on the field. I’ve already said on our podcast that I think he finishes the season as the highest scoring wide receiver in the league. Some people think that the signing of Desean Jackson in the offseason will put a dent in Evans’ targets and production, but I actually think he will benefit from it. While there are benefits of being the main point of attention from your quarterback, that also draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses. The presence of Jackson, as well as the emergence of Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries last season, should take the pressure off Mike Evans and draw less double teams. He’ll face a Bears defense this week that held Julio Jones in check in the season opener. However, Matt Ryan still threw for over 300 yards. I think Winston has similar numbers and Evans as a big day in his season debut.
Kennan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $5,800
Keenan Allen is actually $300 cheaper this week than he was against the Denver Broncos, which is a little surprising. He didn’t have the best game, but he was still targeted ten times and scored a touchdown against an elite defense that was focused on shutting him down. He has a much more beneficial matchup this week against the Dolphins at home. I’ve already said I think Allen as a chance to finish the season as a top 10 receiver to finish the season if he stays healthy. Let’s hope he starts down that road this week.
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
Value – $4,100
This kid is a dark horse to end the season as the top scoring rookie wide receiver. Kupp was targeted more than any other receiver by Goff last week and continued the impressive play we saw in the preseason. Before first year head coach Sean McVay accepted the head coaching job for the Rams he was the offensive coordinator for the Redskins. You know who thrived in that system? Jamison Crowder, who is purely a slot receiver. I see Cooper Kupp having a bigger season than we thought this year, and it should continue this week against the Redskins.
Hail Mary play:
Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions
Value – $4,000
If you’re paying attention and scratching your head you’ve realized I’ve included more than a few rookies this week. It’s not my fault that so many players I liked after the draft have performed so well. Golladay was reported to have taken a backseat to TJ Jones prior to the matchup against the Cardinals, but that ended up being entirely false. The rookie was on the field for 25 more plays than his counterpart and finished the day with two touchdown receptions to his name. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this week against the Giants. I believe Matt Stafford is a more reliable option than Dak Prescott and hope to see the former Bulldog make short work of the Giants defense. If the focus of New York is to limit Golden Tate, then Golladay could add to his already impressive resume.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $5,300
Holy price correction, Batman. Last week Ertz would’ve only cost you $3,500. That’s a $1,800 swing, and that’s a massive increase at the tight end position. Even with the increased price, I’m still taking Ertz this week. Most of the big name tight ends will cost you some cash, but I like Ertz’s floor more than players priced at a similar level. On paper this is a tough matchup when you think about how the Chiefs shut down Gronk last week. Sadly Eric Berry was the main reason for that, and he’s done for the season at this point. It wouldn’t shock me if Ertz led all tight ends in scoring this week.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $4,200
Rudolph was one of the surprises at tight end last season as he finished third at the position. By looking at Sam Bradford’s numbers in the season opener you would have thought that the big tight end would’ve had a better outing. While he scored a touchdown, he was only targeted three times and gained just 26 yards. Some of that has to do with the Vikings receivers getting open down the field and taking away opportunities from Rudolph, although it is encouraging that he’s still the focus in the red zone. The Steelers aren’t the defensive juggernaut they’ve been in the past, but they should be more of a test than the Saints. If they slow down the downfield passing attack that could open things up for Rudolph a bit more this week.
Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders
Value – $3,300
Cook put together a decent stat line in his debut for the Raiders catching five passes on five targets for 56 yards. While he wasn’t targeted as often as Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, he caught just as many passes as both of the starting wide receivers. Cook will have another shot to build rapport with Derek Carr against a Jets defense that allowed Charles Clay to put up 15 fantasy points last week. He’s a low cost option that will free up cash at other positions.
Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills
Value – $3,000
Speaking of Charles Clay, he’s an incredibly affordable option at tight end this week. As I mentioned, Clay caught four passes for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. What’s more telling is the fact that he saw nine targets come his way. Tyrod Taylor is playing with all new receivers in Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones, so there’s a trust factor with Clay those guys just haven’t earned yet. The Panthers are going to be a tougher test for the Bills this week. They’ve got a strong front seven that will make it a point to slow down LeSean McCoy. If that happens I see Taylor looking for Clay down the field to move the ball.
Hail Mary play:
Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $3,500
It may seem odd to use Austin Hooper as a dart throw this week considering the big game he’s coming off of. When you look at the numbers, however, there’s reason to be wary. Hooper was only targeted twice in a game where Matt Ryan attempted 30 passes. Granted those two targets turned into 128 yards and a touchdown, but it’s apparent the second year tight end isn’t a huge focal point of the offense. I get plugging him in this week, but just remember there is some risk there.
Who I’m Stacking:
Tom Brady/Danny Amendola – New England Patriots Total Value – $13,000
This one is obviously contingent on Danny Amendola clearing concussion protocol and suiting up this week. The veteran was filling Julian Edelman’s role nicely before exiting the game against the Chiefs. He hauled in six passes for 100 yards, so it was a shame he wasn’t able to stay on the field. Tom Brady should bounce back in a big way this week against a Saints defense that was picked apart by Sam Bradford in the season opener. If Amendola doesn’t play I like Chris Hogan here as well.
Carson Wentz/Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles Total Value – $11,200
This is a borderline Hail Mary play, but I went ahead and included it here. Wentz played well against the Redskins and would’ve put up more points had he not been responsible for two turnovers. Zach Ertz led the team in receiving yards and was heavily targeted by the second year quarterback. They do face a Chiefs defense this week that shut down Tom Brady, so this is a risky play. I do think, however, that Wentz should have another solid outing with Kansas City losing Eric Berry.
Hail Mary play:
Jared Goff/Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams Total Value – $9,200
The jury is still out on whether or not Jared Goff can develop into the player the Rams thought he was when they drafted him. However, he put up a solid stat line against the Colts last week throwing for 306 yards and a touchdown. We’re talking about those numbers against a bad Colts team without Andrew Luck though. I’ve already given my reasoning on Cooper Kupp, so it makes sense to pair him with his quarterback and hope the two can stay on the same page. Goff will face a better defense in the Redskins this week, but Washington just gave up over 300 yards to Carson Wentz. This is a cheap stack that could generate enough points to make it worth it and give you some money to spend in other areas.
Steals of the Week:
Terrance West – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $5,100
There will be some out there that will be touting Buck Allen as a sleeper pick this week after his involvement in the rushing attack for Baltimore against the Bengals. Make no mistake, this is Terrance West’s job to lose. The Ravens ran the ball on 42 out of 60 plays last week due to both the game flow and Joe Flacco coming off an injury. Due to Le’Veon Bell’s freakish no show last week against Cleveland, the Browns are currently ranked 2nd in the league against the run this season. Don’t let that throw you off. West should see plenty of carries and will score enough points to be a bargain this week.
Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $5,000
Minnesota’s passing game was fantasy gold last week against the Saints. Sam Bradford, Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen all had huge games. The chemistry Bradford formed with the mostly unknown receiver last season has seemingly carried over into this year. While I don’t believe Thielen puts up another performance of over 150 yards this week, I do think he’ll outplay his price point. He should be a solid play this week against a Pittsburgh defense that gave up a decent amount of point to Corey Coleman.
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!!!