We hit big on a few players last week, and you should have been able to plug in a couple of my stack suggestions to build yourself a high scoring lineup. Our Hail Mary pairing of Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garcon would’ve scored you 42 points, which was great considering they hit your budget for less than $11,000. The stack of the week by far was Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins, which resulted in a whopping 62 points. Let’s take a look around the league to see if we can pick out some big winners again this week.
Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $6,400
Alex Smith has been one of the more surprising stars in the NFL so far this season. Typically labeled a game manager, Smith has been instrumental in the Chiefs success this season and now has thrown 11 touchdowns without a single interception. The Steelers are typically stingy against opposing quarterbacks, but I’m optimistic Smith can put together another solid performance considering how he picked apart Houston last week.
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
Value – $6,800
After a slow start, Cousins strung together two solid performances before the team’s bye week last week. He threw for 585 yards and five touchdowns against the Raiders and Chiefs, and there’s no reason to think he can’t keep up his hot streak against the 49ers at home. San Francisco just allowed Jacoby Brissett to throw for over 300 yards against them, so there’s no reason to think that Cousins can’t put up similar numbers.
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
Value – $6,700
How impressive has this kid been so far this season? The comparison I keep coming to is what we saw out of Dak Prescott last year, but I think Deshaun Watson is actually playing at a higher level much earlier. The rookie has accounted for ten touchdowns in the last two games and is playing with a kind of confidence you don’t see out of some of more seasoned veterans. The fact that he was able to move the ball the way he did against the Chiefs was incredibly impressive. I think he has another great performance against a Browns defense that’s ranked 21st against opposing quarterbacks.
Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $6,100
I’ll be the first to admit that I was down on Palmer after the first two games of the season. I immediately thought of his disappointing season a year ago and assumed this season would be no different. While he’s definitely not the same player he was in the past, Palmer has had some decent games so far. He threw for over 300 yards in weeks two through four and nearly hit that mark again with 291 yards against the Eagles last week. Palmer seems to have developed what I like to call Roethlisberger syndrome, which is what happens when you tend to have your bad games on the road. Fortunately, the Cardinals face a Tampa Bay defense at home this week that has been prone to giving up a lot of points at times this season. Palmer shouldn’t have too much trouble filling out the stat sheet in this one.
Hail Mary play:
Trevor Siemian – Denver Broncos
Value – $5,500
Siemian looked like a completely different quarterback than last season through the first two weeks of the year when he racked up 450 yards and six touchdowns. Sadly, the two weeks after that looked very much like the Trevor Siemian from a year ago. This could be the week he gets back on track with an inviting matchup against a decimated Giants team at home. New York has given up at least 24 points in four straight games, and Siemian has the weapons to put up points. He’s also inexpensive at only $5,500
Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $8,200
We’ve gotten a little spoiled by Kareem Hunt early on this season. The simple fact that his 107 yard performance against the Texans last week felt like a disappointment is a little telling of what we’ve come to expect from the dynamic rookie. While he still scored 17 fantasy points it was the second straight week he failed to score a touchdown. I think that trend changes this week when the Steelers come to town. Pittsburgh was just decimated by Leonard Fournette to the tune of 181 yards and two touchdowns. Hunt is about as safe a play as there is this week.
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of Leonard Fournette, this kid has been impressive so far this season. Unfortunately, his price tag has jumped up to an area that makes him a little riskier to play this week. Still, the rookie out of LSU has been incredibly consistent and has scored a touchdown in each game so far this season. He’s also coming off the biggest game of his young career. While the Rams rush defense should put up more of a fight than Pittsburgh did, Fournette should still see enough carries to continue producing at a high level.
Elijah McGuire – New York Jets
Value – $4,600
This is a borderline Hail Mary play, but McGuire’s price is simply too enticing to ignore. This also depends entirely on if Bilal Powell or Matt Forte are able to suit up this weekend against the Patriots. However, the rookie running back is one game removed from a 93 yard one touchdown performance against the Jaguars. New England is ranked 23rd against running backs, so there’s definitely a chance McGuire outperforms his price tag this week.
Hail Mary play:
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
Value – $4,500
Funny enough, I actually had included Alvin Kamara in this column prior to the news of Adrian Peterson getting traded. Kamara has steadily increased his production in each of the first four games before the Saints bye last week, and his 96 total yard, one touchdown performance against the Dolphins in week four was by far the best game of this young career. New Orleans will host another strong offense in the Lions, and this game could end up being a fairly high scoring affair. I think Detroit should be able to stop Mark Ingram and force Drew Brees to pass the ball, which is where Kamara shines. He’s a solid play this week with a cheap price tag.
Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
Value – $7,300
After a sluggish first game, Michael Thomas is right back to where he left off at the end of last season. In three games the second year Ohio State product has at least 85 receiving yards, five catches, and has been targeted eight times or more. He’s also coming off two back to back games with a touchdown. Thomas is one of the reasons Brandin Cooks is now in New England and is without a doubt the focal point of the Saints’ passing attack. He should be able to put up similar numbers to what we’ve seen through the first part of the season against the 22nd ranked defense against wide receivers in the Detroit Lions.
Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
Value – $6,800
Golden Tate has been somewhat disappointing over the last two games. He’s typically a PPR machine but, but he just hasn’t been able to get things going outside of a couple of games. Matt Stafford has targeted his favorite receiver at least eight times in three out of five games, so the opportunities are there. I see this week being the game Tate makes the most of it. The Saints are known for two things. An explosive offense and a porous secondary. Both of those factors bode well for Tate in what could turn into a shootout.
TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $6,700
Hilton was an absolute steal last week. I had him in just about every lineup I threw out there, and he did not disappoint. I realize Jacoby Brissett is no Andrew Luck, but he’s been a competent enough quarterback in the right situations. One of which was last week when he connected with his star receiver for 177 yards. The Colts have another advantageous matchup this week against a Titans secondary that has been exploited continuously so far this season. Hilton is a solid play and is relatively cheap when you consider his matchup and ceiling.
Terrelle Pryor – Washington Redskins
Value – $5,700
If Terrelle Pryor is ever going to start earning his paycheck with Washington, then this is the game where it happens. The former Browns receiver has been completely underwhelming so far in a Redskins uniform, although the did catch his first touchdown in week four against the Chiefs before the bye. San Francisco just gave up 26 points to a Colts offense led by Jacoby Brissett, so you have to assume the Redskins will tear this defense apart. Pryor is a gamble but could pay off in a big way.
Hail Mary play:
Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Value – $5,000
This is an extremely odd feeling. Here we have an elite wide receiver listed as a plug and pray option. Unfortunately, that’s what Amari Cooper has become. The stars were aligned for this to be his breakout season. His price tag certainly reflects his recent performance as well. Cooper will cost you a measly $5,000 this week. Four weeks ago he was $8,100. That alone speaks volumes about his outlook. Early reports tell us that Derek Carr will return to action this week, but it’s uncertain if he’ll be at full capacity. Amari Cooper is still an extremely talented receiver, but there’s a lot of uncertainty here. However, $5,000 is a very small price to pay in hopes that he gets back on track.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $6,300
I’ve made this same statement for five weeks in a row. Keep. Playing. Ertz. This guy has proven his worth by now and is as active as anyone at his position in the passing game. While he’s currently ranked third in fantasy points per game at tight end (albeit only 0.4 points behind Gronk in first), Ertz has been the most consistent tight end in the league by far. He’s not scored less than 13 points in a game yet this season and has seen at least eight targets through the first five weeks. Although the Panthers defense is ranked in the top five against tight ends, it’s not like Ertz hasn’t faced good defenses. He was able to put up TE1 numbers against Kansas City and Arizona. Keep playing Ertz until the wheels fall off.
Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Value – $4,800
I’m crossing my fingers on this one. Walker’s upside depends entirely on if the Titans have Mariota or Cassel playing quarterback this week. Delanie Walker has generally been one of the most reliable fantasy tight ends over the last few years. When you think about it, he and Mariota created quite the chemistry when his tight end was his most reliable target. Walker hasn’t scored more than ten fantasy points since week two, but he’ll have every opportunity to pull out if this slump this week against the Colts. Indianapolis has allowed at least 23 points in all but one game this season. That gives Walker some upside, especially if Mariota’s ends up suiting up.
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $3,900
After a slow start in the season opener, Cameron Brate has now scored a touchdown in three consecutive games. The general concern with Brate coming into this season was how much attention rookie OJ Howard would see from Jameis Winston. As it turns out, the answer is not very much at all to this point. Howard was targeted nine times in the loss to New England last Thursday night and hauled in five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Howard only saw one target. While the matchup against the Cardinals this week is less than ideal, I still think Brate should see plenty of looks to put together a decent enough stat line. He’s also one of the less expensive players at his position.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $6,100
Outside of Gronk, Travis Kelce is the most dominant tight end in the NFL. He was on his way to a career day before exiting the game last week with a concussion, but he still managed to snag eight catches for 98 yards in the first half against the Texans. While this week’s matchup against the Steelers looks daunting on paper, I think it’s important to look at the teams Pittsburgh has faced. In five games only the Vikings have what I would call a top tier tight end. With Alex Smith playing at such a high level, Kelce should continue to see enough targets to continue his recent hot streak.
Hail Mary play:
George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $3,400
This one is a direct result of Kittle’s career best performance last week. The rookie tight end finished with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in the loss against the Colts and was heavily targeted by Brian Hoyer. It’s not very realistic to think that Kittle is suddenly going to be a focal point of the offense, but he’s got a great matchup this week against a Redskins defense that’s ranked second to last in the league against tight ends. The 49ers could be playing from behind against Washington, so Kittle is an inexpensive dart throw if San Francisco has to throw to stay in the game.
Who I’m Stacking:
Cam Newton/Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers
Value – $12,800
I really debated this one. I said two weeks ago that it would be a long time before I trusted Cam Newton enough to play him again, and yet here we are. Newton has strung together two quality games in a row and has thrown for 671 yards and six touchdowns over that span. While Kelvin Benjamin is a viable option here, I like Devin Funchess for two reasons. He’s less expensive, and he’s scored more touchdowns. Philadelphia is ranked 27th against quarterbacks and 29th against wide receivers. This is an inviting matchup and these two could pay off in a big way.
Drew Brees/Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
Value – $14,500
This one is going to put a big dent in your budget, but it could very well be worth the price. It seems like every year there’s that one monster game that Brees has that captures everyone’s attention. I think that could be this week. Drew Brees, at home, against another top tier quarterback. I like the set up here. There’s really not another option outside of Michael Thomas to pair Brees with, and the second year receiver put together two very solid performances before the Saints bye week. While the Lions aren’t terrible on defense, they have had a tendency to give up points at times this season.
Hail Mary play:
Jacoby Brissett/TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $12,500
In case you haven’t noticed, Jacoby Brissett has been a valuable daily fantasy contributor in the games where the matchup suits him. Last week he threw for over 300 yards and had a rushing touchdown against the 49ers, which marks the second time he’s scored more than 20 fantasy points in four games as a starter. Coincidentally, in those two games TY Hilton has exploded. The star receiver caught seven passes for a whopping 177 yards last week and is clearly getting on the same page with Brissett. The Titans are not the 49ers, but this is still a defense that’s giving up a lot of points to quarterbacks and receivers. There’s no guarantee these two put up the kind of numbers we saw last week, but they’ve got a good enough chance to make it worth the risk.
Steal of the Week:
Evan Engram – New York Giants
Value – $3,800
I’m calling this a steal for two reasons. First, Engram is extremely affordable at only $3,800. Vernon Davis is more expensive. Second, the Giants lost literally every single one of their starting wide receivers in one game, two of which are done for the season. It won’t shock me if the Giants start utilizing Engram exclusively as a wide receiver moving forward. The rookie should see plenty of attention from Eli Manning and has proved he can handle a large workload. There is some uncertainty here, and the Giants do face Denver this week. However, the Broncos are ranked 28th against tight ends, so there’s some optimism that he could still perform well. This week should give us a better idea of what this offense will look like moving forward.
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!!!