Whelp, we’ve certainly had better weeks, but nobody is perfect. Hopefully you took my Hail Mary play at wide receiver, because Amari Cooper finally absolutely exploded. Dak Prescott was one of my favorite quarterbacks last week, and he didn’t disappoint against the 49ers. Unfortunately, just about all of my running backs last week bombed. I’m not counting Fournette, because he was a late scratch. Perhaps the biggest disappointment on my list last week was Jerick McKinnon. This kid was electric for two straight games, and then suddenly Latavius Murray came out of freaking nowhere and dominated the touches. I’ll try to redeem myself this week. You all deserve better, I will be better. With that being said, let’s get to work.
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.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $7,200
First off, Carson Wentz has taken a huge step in his second year as a starting quarterback in the National Football League. Secondly, any quarterback playing the 49ers is an automatic start for me this season. Consider them the Saints from years past. I’ll be honest, due to scheduling conflicts I’m having to write this column a little earlier than I normally would. We’re early in the third quarter on Monday night football, and Wentz already has 213 passing yards and three touchdowns. When you consider the Redskins are quite a step above San Francisco, playing Wentz this week is a no brainer. He’s a little pricey but should put up big numbers.
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,600
As a Cam Newton owner, I’m so sick of this guy. Just when you think he’s put his struggles behind him, he goes out and throws two interceptions, no touchdowns, and only manages to throw for 211 yards against the Bears. I just don’t get it. Now that we have addressed the elephant in the room, I think Newton has a chance to bounce back this week. Tampa Bay’s defense has been flat out bad at times this season, and they’ve given up at least 23 points in four out of the last six games. I’m hoping we see Cam get back on track.
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
Value – $6,400
Similar to Wentz, I’ll show my hand here and say that I really have no idea how Kirk Cousins finishes this matchup against the Eagles on Monday night. To this point he’s thrown for 246 yards and two touchdowns, which isn’t too shabby against the Eagles. What really gets me excited is the fact that Cousins faces a Dallas defense that ranks 26th in the league against quarterbacks. Considering the struggles Washington has had running the ball, Kirk Cousins is without a doubt they’re best bet at moving the chains. He’s probably my favorite quarterback this week due to his price tag.
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
Value – $5,700
Consider Dalton a fringe Hail Mary play for me this week. The Red Rocket has struggled in all but one game this season, but it makes sense when you look at the defenses this guy has faced. This week he has the opportunity to redeem himself against the Colts. Dalton has scored more than 20 fantasy points just once this season, but I like his chances to break out of his slump against an Indianapolis defense that has given up at least 23 points in all but one game this season. Fingers crossed on this one.
Hail Mary play:
Josh McCown – New York Jets
Value – $5,600
Hear me out here. If you look at the last two weeks Josh McCown has actually strung together two solid performances. He threw for a season high 354 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots and followed that up with 209 yards and three touchdowns against Miami last week. I’m a little surprised to see McCown priced this high, but he’s still a very affordable option. Generally speaking Atlanta SHOULD be able to put up a lot of points against the Jets. If that turns out to be the case, then McCown will likely have to throw to keep the game competitive. He’s on a hot streak, so this is a pick that could pay off if things go according to plan.
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
Value – $8,700
I wouldn’t say LeSean McCoy has been bad this season, but he’s certainly not put up the numbers we’re used to seeing. He finally got back on track against the Raiders last week and finished the day with 23 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. It was his highest scoring output of the season, and I think he has a good shot at putting up similar numbers this week. The Raiders are 23rd in the league against running backs, and Buffalo will give Shady as many carries as he can handle.
Christian MacCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,200
MacCaffrey has been exactly the type of player most of us expected to see so far in his young career. While he rarely sees carries and has been mostly ineffective as a runner, the rookie does his damage by catching passes out of the backfield. Carolina struggled as a whole against the Bears last week, but Tampa Bay has been a much friendlier defense so far this season. I think this should be a high scoring game that Cam Newton will have to make a lot of throws in. That plays right into MacCaffrey’s strengths. I view him as having a safe floor of around 10-12 points but could easily put up 20+ points this week.
Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $6,500
Let’s try this one again, shall we? I can’t imagine that Latavius Murray is suddenly an explosive running back. Despite having an off day, it’s not like McKinnon lost carries to his counterpart. Both Murray and McKinnon had near the exact same amount of carries as to what they’ve seen over the last few weeks, but the big difference was that McKinnon did little in the passing game and failed to find the end zone. I think he bounces back this week against Cleveland. The Browns are a tough run defense, so Case Keenum will have to throw in this matchup. That plays into McKinnon’s favor. Start him with confidence.
Joe Mixon – Cleveland Browns
Value – $4,700
Consider this a last ditch effort when it comes to Joe Mixon. He’s handled the majority of the work out of the backfield for Cincinnati over the last few weeks, but he’s done very little with his opportunity. The rookie has just two games with more than ten fantasy points, which can be partly attributed to the Bengals offensive struggles in general. If there’s going to be a week Mixon breaks out it should be this week. He’ll face an Indianapolis defense that’s ranked 30th in the league against running backs, and this is a game where the Bengals as a whole should be dominant. If Mixon has a breakout game, then he could be a steal at $4,700
Hail Mary play:
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $4,000
Over the last few weeks Frank Gore has slowly lost more and more carries to Marlon Mack. The rookie has shown flashes at times this season and has scored ten or more fantasy points in two out of the last three games. He’s also been getting more work in the passing game and saw a season high six targets last week against the Jaguars. The Colts matchup against the Bengals does not bode well for neither Mack nor Gore. However, the Colts will have to throw to stay in this game. That plays into Mack’s favor. At only $4,000, Mack is a steal if he can put up at least 12-15 points.
Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $7,300
While Keenan Allen has been able to put together some good games this season, he has really struggled over the last two weeks. I understand a down game against Denver, but only five catches and 45 yards against the Raiders was a little surprising. I think he has a good shot to get back on track this week against New England. While the Patriots defense has looked better in recent weeks, they’re still ranked 30th in the league against wide receivers. This matchup could turn into a high scoring game, and Allen should be heavily involved if that turns out to be true.
Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Value – $6,500
I’ll start by saying this isn’t the greatest matchup for Jarvis Landry. The Ravens are currently third in the league against wide receivers. However, Landry is borderline matchup proof simply because of the volume of passes he sees come his way. He’s been targeted at least ten times in all but one game this season and is coming off a season high performance against the Jets. I actually think Matt Moore could turn out to be an upgrade over Jay Cutler, and he knows who his playmaker is. If Davante Parker misses another game this week that boosts Landry value as well. He’s as consistent as they come.
Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,400
I’m rolling the dice here. We just don’t know what version of Cam Newton we’ll see each week. I’m hoping a favorable matchup against the Buccaneers will be the remedy the Panthers need to get back on track. We’re a long way removed from Kelvin Benjamin’s rookie season where he was an absolute touchdown machine, but he’s still clearly Newton’s favorite target. Tampa Bay boasts one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and I can see them putting up a fair amount of points against the Panthers. If Cam has to air the ball out to keep up with Jameis Winston, then Benjamin should see plenty of attention from his quarterback.
Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions
Value – $5,500
Yes, I’m aware Detroit plays the Steelers this week. Yes, I realize they’re first in the league against wide receivers. However, this is a simple scenario where Matt Stafford is without Golden Tate, his favorite target, and Marvin Jones makes the most sense to pick up additional targets. Stafford targeted Jones 14 times last week against the Saints, and the former Bengal finished the day with 96 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Jones’ price tag is low enough to make him an intriguing play this week despite the matchup.
Hail Mary play:
Bennie Fowler – Denver Broncos
Value – $4,000
Keep in mind that Bennie Fowler is on this list purely due Emmanuel Sanders unlikely availability for this weekend. If Sanders plays then this becomes an even longer shot at paying off than it already is. However, Fowler should get the start along side Damaryius Thomas. While Trevor Siemian has looked terrible at times this season, both Thomas and Sanders have been able to put together some solid performances. The Chiefs secondary has struggled against both the quarterback and wide receiver position this year, so Fowler makes for an interesting play.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $6,800
Despite having his ups and downs, Travis Kelce is still the third highest scoring tight end behind Gronkowski and Zach Ertz. Now, you might be thinking I’m an idiot for suggesting that you play Kelce against the Broncos. While the first part of that statement may be true, Denver is actually ranked 25th in the league against the tight end position. They’ve given up two solid games to Evan Engram and Hunter Henry in back to back weeks, and it’s hard to argue that either of those players are more of a focal point in their offense than Travis Kelce. He’ll cost you a pretty penny, but he should be able to produce.
Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers
Value – $4,800
After a slow start to the season, Hunter Henry as been an extremely consistent tight end option. Unfortunately, his price tag has steadily increased by $1,000 over the last few weeks. This may be the last week we see his salary under the $5,000 mark if he continues to do well. As I mentioned with Keenan Allen, while the Patriots defense has improved, I believe their secondary is still exploitable. New England is currently 29th in the league against tight ends, and this may be the last time to get Henry into your lineup at a discount.
Tyler Kroft – Cincinnati Bengals
Value – $3,000
The tight end position for the Bengals has proven to generate a good deal of fantasy points over the last few seasons, and Tyler Kroft is now the starter in Cincinnati with Tyler Eifert done for the season. Kroft has scored three touchdowns in the last three games, and is shaping up to be a player Andy Dalton looks for in the end zone. While his yardage totals haven’t been anything spectacular, I’d still take a player that’s often targeted in the red zone. As I mentioned before, the Colts defense has been flat out bad this season. While there’s some risk here, Kroft is a steal if he can manage to rack up 50-60 yards and a touchdown or two.
AJ Derby – Denver Broncos
Value – $2,900
View this pick as a fringe Hail Mary play. AJ Derby’s role in Denver’s offense has increased over recent weeks, and he actually led the Broncos in targets, receptions, and yards against the Chargers. Trevor Siemian has just been plain bad recently, so it’s hard to trust any pass catcher in this offense. That being said, Denver faces a Chiefs defense that has been uncharacteristically soft against the passing game this season. If Emmanuel Sanders sits out, then Derby could see another healthy amount of targets from his quarterback. He’s a risky play, but he’s shown he can produce over the last three weeks.
Hail Mary play:
OJ Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $2,900
I’m a little surprised OJ Howard’s price didn’t jump up more than it did after a stellar performance against Buffalo last week. The rookie had more catches and touchdowns in one game than he had all season, and his 98 yards were a season high. It’s hard for me to believe that Jameis Winston is suddenly going to forget that Cameron Brate exists, but Howard is worth a shot just in case. Carolina’s defense has been stout against tight ends, but Tampa Bay’s offense has been explosive enough to generate some big plays against them. At only $2,900, OJ Howard is worth taking a chance on just in case he gets anywhere close to the amount of production we saw last week.
Who I’m Stacking:
Carson Wentz/Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $14,200
I’ve already said everything I needed to say about Carson Wentz at the beginning of this column. There’s nobody else on the Eagles offense you’re going to pair with Wentz than Zach Ertz. He’s been the most consistent tight end in the league this season and hasn’t had a game with less than 13 fantasy points. In fact, he’s only 0.1 points behind Gronk for the number one scoring tight end. This will hit your budget, but you’re pairing one of the hottest duos in the NFL against the 49ers.
Russell Wilson/Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $13,400
Both Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin have struggled at times this season, much of which can be blamed on an absence of a running game behind a below average offensive line. On paper this matchup against the Texans is intimidating, but this isn’t the same defense we saw last season. They’ve given up 23 points or more in half of their games this season, and the teams they have held in check do not have very good offenses. Considering the upside and affordability here, these two are worth a shot at home.
Hail Mary play:
Mitch Trubisky/Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears
Value – $9,200
I realize this seems incredibly farfetched, and it most certainly is. However, I’m willing to put money down and say that the Bears will not win this game by scoring two touchdowns on defense and allowing Trubisky to throw only seven passes. That’s just not within the realm of possibility against Drew Brees. While I don’t necessarily think Brees will move the ball at will, I do think that Chicago will need their rookie quarterback to make some throws. 70 out of Trubisky’s 107 passing yards went to Tarik Cohen on a big play last week. The rookie may be called on more than he was last week if Chicago falls behind. Again total long shot here, but it’s not crazy to think these two can combine for 30-40 total points.
Steal of the Week:
Chris Thompson – Washington Redskins
Value – $5,800
I honestly don’t understand why Chris Thompson is so damn cheap. This guy is averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game. That’s fifth at his position among the available players this week, and yet he’s the 14th most expensive. I understand the hesitation here. Thompson is a third down back that probably scared you off back in week four when he only scored 2.7 points. Outside of that game, however, this kid has scored anywhere between 15 to 33 points in every other contest. It’s clear that Rob Kelley isn’t the answer to the Redskins running back woes, and Kirk Cousins has been impressive. I’m all in on Thompson against a Dallas defense that ranks 28th against running backs.
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!!!