We had some hits and misses in what turned out to be a weird week for fantasy football. Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson both continued their hot streaks, and Leonard Fournette is making his case for offensive rookie of the year. I surely didn’t see TY Hilton only hauling in one catch against a poor Titans secondary, and Amari Cooper continues to be a disappointment. Bye weeks eliminate a lot of players this week, but there are still some excellent plays for daily fantasy. Let’s take a look around the league and see if we can pick out some winners.
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.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $7,300
I have one strategy that’s been mostly foolproof so far this season. Start quarterbacks against the 49ers. San Francisco is this year’s Saints, so any opposing signal caller is a strong start. I particularly like Dak Prescott this week, and last year’s rookie phenomenon started to heat up before the Cowboys’ bye. In the last two games Prescott threw for over 500 yards and scored seven total touchdowns. He’s a little pricey this week, but he should perform at that level or better.
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
Value – $6,500
I think I’m going to ride Kirk Cousins for a while until he snaps this little hot streak he’s on. He has thrown for 330 yards or more in two of the last three games and is responsible for multiple touchdowns in each of those three contests. Cousins has looked much more like the elite quarterback we’ve gotten used to seeing over the last couple of seasons. He looks confident in the pocket and has done an excellent job of spreading the ball around. His matchup against the Eagles doesn’t scare me the way it has in the past. Philadelphia is ranked 29th in the league against quarterbacks and has given up 23 points or more in four out of six games. Cousins is a solid play with an affordable price tag.
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills
Value – $5,100
Tyrod Taylor quite simply has not been a very good fantasy quarterback to this point in the season. He has yet to throw for more than 225 yards in a game and only has two games where he’s thrown for more than one touchdown. A lot of his struggles can be attributed to not having much talent to work with in his wide receiver core. Zay Jones is a rookie, and both Charles Clay and Jordan Mathews are hurt. That being said, Taylor has an opportunistic matchup this week against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is next to last in the league against the quarterback position and has given up a lot of points this season. Consider Taylor a gamble, but he’s cheap and shouldn’t be very highly owned.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $7,500
I think just about everyone expected Matt Ryan to take a step back this season, but I’m not sure I expected this. Matty Ice has been just that over the last four games. Cold. He has seven turnovers on the season compared to only six touchdowns, and his yardage totals have been up and down. I’m banking on this being the week he breaks out of this slump he’s in. The Patriots are dead last in the league against quarterbacks and just alllowed Josh McCown to throw for 354 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan will put a dent in your budget, so hopefully he turns things around.
CJ Beathard – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $4,900
Whelp, Brian Hoyer didn’t even make it halfway through the season before getting benched. Rather than continuing to watch the veteran struggle, San Francisco is choosing to give their rookie quarterback a chance to see if he can provide any sort of spark to this offense. While Breathard didn’t exactly set the world on fire, he made some nice throws and finished the day with 245 yards and a touchdown. Breathard has an outside chance to have a decent game this week against a Dallas defense that’s given up 29 points or more in three out of five games this season. He’s a long shot, but if the rookie puts up serviceable numbers it’ll free up a lot of cash at other positions.
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $8,600
How impressive has Leonard Fournette looked so far this season? I’ll admit I had my doubts, but the rookie has been just as good as advertised. He has at least 100 total yards in four out of six games and has found the end zone every week. The Jaguars game plan has been fairly straightforward this season: run the ball with Fournette and keep Blake Bortles from screwing things up. From a fantasy perspective that’s worked out pretty well. You’ll have to pay up for the rookie this week, but he should have no problem putting up big numbers again against a weak Indianapolis defense.
Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $6,300
Seriously, where in the hell was this version of Jerick McKinnon last season when the Vikings needed him? As awful as it was for Minnesota to lose Dalvin Cook for the season, there is a small silver lining in the fact that McKinnon has played so well in his absence. This kid has racked up 164 rushing yards, 81 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in the last two games. While Latavius Murray is still looming around, McKinnon is clearly the back to own in Minnesota. I think he should have another solid performance this week against a middling Ravens defense.
Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins
Value – $6,200
Jay Ajayi is the type of running back that needs volume to really get going. Similar to Adrian Peterson, Ajayi wears down the opposing defense over time until he finally rips off some big runs. In the two games he received less than 20 carries he didn’t surpass 50 yards. In the other three games Ajayi had 122, 77, and 130 yards. See a trend there? I think he’s a solid play again this week in what should be a close game against the Jets. If Miami can take an early lead they should use Ajayi to keep the ball away from New York’s offense.
Adrian Peterson – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $5,800
I mean, holy hell. Adrian Peterson getting traded to the Cardinals after a mostly ineffective run with the Saints and then exploding in his first game is something out of a movie. Peterson worked the Buccaneers defense and ended up with 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Talk about a redemption game. His performance last week is the only reason he’s on this list. Peterson showing he’s still got some juice left in those legs coupled with the fact that he plays a Rams rush defense that’s 31st in the league is all I need to take another chance on the future Hall of Famer.
Hail Mary play:
Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
Value – $5,000
I thought Joe Mixon would eventually take over as the primary back at some point this season, and my prediction came to fruition in week three. Unfortunately, the rookie hasn’t done much with his opportunity. Mixon has seen at least 15 carries over the last three games but hasn’t rushed for more than 65 yards. He did score his first touchdown before Cincinnati’s bye a couple games back, and to be honest this kid has faced some pretty tough run defenses. Green Bay, Cleveland, and Buffalo have all been stingy against running backs this season. If Mixon is going to have a breakout game this year, then this could be the week he does it. Pittsburgh is 26th in the league against running backs and has allowed some players to have big games this season. At $5,000 Mixon is a steal if he can get things going.
Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $8,500
This has to be the week, right? Julio Jones is currently 38th in fantasy scoring at his position, and it’s about time he has the type of game that reminds you why he was drafted in the first round in redraft leagues. Don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t been terrible. Jones just hasn’t had that one big game to help alleviate a little bit of stress his owners are feeling. It also doesn’t help that Matt Ryan looks far removed from the player we saw last season. My hope here is that a soft Patriots secondary can help remedy the sluggish start Atlanta’s offense has endured. New England is ranked 30th against wide receivers and 32nd against opposing quarterbacks. Julio’s price tag is going to cost you and there’s some worry here, but he could pay off big time.
Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,100
Amari Cooper might be dead to me. I just don’t know what exactly has happened to cause him to become so ineffective. Fortunately, the Raiders still have Michael Crabtree. He’s been Oakland’s saving grace so far this season and is the only player on their roster I feel confident in this week. If you don’t count the one abysmal week Crabtree had back in week three against the Redskins, then the veteran receiver is averaging six catches, 74 yards, and a touchdown in the other four games. Despite being known for their defense, Kansas City is currently second to last in the NFL against wide receivers. That makes Crabtree a cheap play at $6,100 if he continues to produce at the level we’ve seen so far.
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
Value – $4,600
I don’t know why, but I have a pretty big man crush on Cooper Kupp this season. Unfortunately, the rookie has been extremely inconsistent so far in his young career. In order to avoid boring you with a bunch numbers, his stat lines read as follows: good game with a touchdown, bad game, bad game, good game with a touchdown, bad game, bad game. Now I’ve been helping my seven year old with her homework, and from what I can see there’s a pattern here. While Arizona is good at limiting big name receivers, they’ve struggled as a whole against wide receivers. I think this should play into Kupp’s favor this week. Todd Gurley should struggle a bit against this defense, and Jared Goff may need to throw the ball to win this game. I like Kupp this week as a boom or bust play.
Chris Hogan – New England Patriots
Value – $7,000
It’s unfortunate that Chris Hogan laid an egg the week his price jumped up into the $7,000 range. Heading into week six he had at least 60 yards and a touchdown in four consecutive games, and his one catch 19 yard performance was the worst game he’s had since the season opener. Games like this happen when you’re in a Patriots uniform. Tom Brady doesn’t play favorites if your name isn’t Rob Gronkowski, so there will be ups and downs. I think Hogan gets back on track this week though. Although the Falcons offense has struggled in the passing game, they still have the weapons to turn this into a high scoring game. If this Super Bowl rematch turns into a shootout, then Hogan should be heavily involved.
Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Value – $5,500
I think I’m going to keep playing Amari Cooper until he has a good game or his price gets above $6,000. I mean, it’s got to happen at some point right? He’s not had more than 40 receiving yards since week one. Cooper is arguably one of the most talented receivers in the league, so it should be a matter of time until he gets out of this slump. Kansas City is 31st against wide receivers, so Cooper has a chance to put up decent numbers this week.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $6,900
Sorry if you’re getting tired of seeing Zach Ertz’s name on this list, but all this guy has done this season is score touchdowns. In fact, Ertz has at least 80 yards or a touchdown in every game this season. I said a few weeks back that I was going to keep playing Ertz until he has a down game, and that hasn’t happened yet. I particularly like him this week against the Redskins, who have had a tendency to surrender a lot of points to tight ends this season.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – New York Jets
Value – $5,000
ASJ has improved his point total each week since he’s been back on the field. While his yardage totals are nothing to get excited over (he hasn’t had more than 50 yards in a game), he’s a big target that Josh McCown has been utilizing in the red zone. ASJ has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games and should have scored twice against the Patriots last week. It’s hard to endorse the veteran as a daily fantasy option simply because he is so dependent on touchdowns. However, the Dolphins are 27th in the league against tight ends. There’s some uncertainty here, but Serferian-Jenkins could pay off considering his usage around the end zone.
Evan Engram – New York Giants
Value – $4,400
Evan Engram was one of my steals last week, and he did not disappoint. Eli Manning targeted the rookie often in the first half, and Engram finished with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. As I said last week, at this point who else does Manning have to throw to? The only other proven pass catcher for the Giants is Sterling Shepard, and there’s no guarantee he plays this week. There is some risk involved with playing Engram against the feared Seahawks defense, but he should see enough attention from his quarterback to have a good chance to put up points this week.
Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $4,200
After an extremely sporadic start to the season, Hunter Henry has finally gotten more involved in the Chargers offense. Over the last two games he’s seen 15 targets and has had eight catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. While the matchup against Denver looks rough on paper, their defense is actually 29th against tight ends. If it helps you feel any better Phillip Rivers threw three touchdowns against the Broncos in the season opener. Play Henry with confidence.
David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
It’s about time for David Njoku to score another touchdown, and I think he has a good chance with DeShone Kizer being the named Cleveland’s starter again. The rookie tight end had scored three touchdowns through six games, so it really is a crap shoot on whether he’ll find the end zone. This is a true boom or bust play, because Njoku is essentially worthless if he doesn’t get into the end zone. His matchup isn’t ideal against the Titans, so cross your fingers if you play him.
Who I’m Stacking:
Carson Wentz/Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $13,600
Carson Wentz has made his way into the weekly fantasy starter conversation, and Zach Ertz is arguably the hottest tight end in the game right now. Seems like a match made in heaven right? Wentz has thrown for 526 yards and seven touchdowns over the last two weeks and faces a middle of the road Redskins defense at home. If you want to save a little money, I also like Nelson Agholor as well. He’s $2,000 less expensive than Ertz and has 148 yards receiving and has scored two touchdowns over the last two weeks.
CJ Beathard/Pierre Garçon – San Francisco 49ers
Value – $10,700
Consider this a Hail Mary play. There’s just something I like about a rookie getting his first start at home. Beathard didn’t look terrible after Brian Hoyer was benched and would’ve finished with an average game had it not been for an interception late in the game. The rookie threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, which is funny because Hoyer only surpassed 245 yards twice in six games. Despite poor quarterback play for much of the season, Pierre Garçon is still averaging 72 yards per game. The Cowboys defense is weak against quarterbacks and receivers, and they are ranked in the bottom third of the league at both positions. This is a risky play that will allow you to fill out the rest of your lineup if it pays off.
Brett Hundley/Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Value – $11,900
Honestly, I’m ok with whicheverwide receiver you pair Hundley with, because it’s going to be a toss up. If Adams is your guy and you want to save $1,000 by all means slide him in there. A lot of people are knocking Brett Hundley for throwing three picks last week, but imagine yourself in that situation. There’s no way this kid thought he was getting into the game, and it didn’t help that he was facing a strong Minnesota defense. I like Hundley’s chances this time around after having a week to prepare and facing a much friendlier defense. As I mentioned earlier, the wide receiver situation with a new quarterback is going to be a crap shoot. Hell, play Randall Cobb if you’re feeling frisky. This stack has an outside chance at paying off, and none of these players should be owned in many lineups.
Steal of the Week:
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $4,800
Stay with me here. Tevin Coleman has at least ten fantasy points in four straight games. With this pick I’m going with consistency over huge numbers. Coleman has only two touchdowns to his name in six weeks, but his involvement in the passing game has kept him relevant for most of the year. I think the Patriots make a point to stop Devonta Freeman and limit Julio Jones as much as possible. If that turns out to be true, then Coleman could see a lot of work against a soft New England defense. Play Coleman and thank me next 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!!!