If you’ve never been to a live final, you’re missing out on perhaps the pinnacle of fun fantasy sports experiences, not to mention a nice payday. I’ve been painstakingly going through game film each week to squeeze out any edge I can find in the quest for a seat in December. The first Thursday of each month for the rest of the NFL regular season, I’ll share my DFS thoughts right here.
I generally like to pay down at quarterback due to the position’s variance, and this allows me to pay up at other positions.
Deshaun Watson ($7500) – After back-to-back easy matchups against the Patriots and the Titans secondaries, the rookie out of Clemson will face a stiffer test this week in the Chiefs. However, too many people are dismissing his accomplishments to this point as being simply the result of good matchups. Watson has underrated weapons in Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington and the underutilized Ryan Griffin at Tight End. That’s in addition to DeAndre Hopkins and the ability to score and rack up yardage points on the ground.
Carson Palmer ($7200) – This is a high-risk pick since the Cardinals offensive line is in shambles. However, the Eagles secondary is very beatable, and if allowed the time to throw, Palmer could easily pay off the affordable salary.
Jacoby Brissett ($7000) – Another QB who can produce rushing yards and touchdowns. The former backup to Tom Brady has shown poise, accuracy down field, and of course the two qualities that sabermetricians love – grit and determination. San Francisco’s defense is improved but still very beatable.
This week, I’m going to attack the slate two ways. You don’t need me to tell you that LeVeon Bell ($9500), Kareem Hunt ($9000), Ezekiel Elliot ($8900) and Todd Gurley ($7800) are really good, but they are facing tough matchups. So I’ll have one core lineup in which I "eat chalk" and go with two of these four (haven’t decided which two yet), and another with some punt plays at RB2 that have high ceilings.
Aaron Jones ($5900) – Ty Montgomery has a rib injury but says he wants to play. Jamaal Williams looked doubtful last Thursday, but a clean MRI has opened the doors for him to start in Montgomery’s place. Even if either talks their way into the lineup, I’m not convinced they’ll get many touches or last without reinjury. Dallas’ run defense has been inconsistent.
J.D. McKissic ($4500)/C.J. Prosise ($4700) – With Chris Carson on injured reserve, the uninspiring duo of Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy are presumably up next for the Seahawks. But both have been dinged up and/or largely ineffective most weeks. At near minimum salary, whether it be McKissic or Prosise, whomever is active presents a ceiling similar to Chris Thompson’s recent outbursts. McKissic looked very good in limited snaps against the Colts and presents matchup problems for opposing defenders when he lines up as a wide receiver.
Wayne Gallman ($5200) – In relief of Paul Perkins, Gallman showed the patience that the former lacks, waiting for blockers to pave the way rather than running into their backs and falling to the turf. This is a roll of the dice hoping that the coaching staff sees the obvious and gives Gallman more opportunities. Check injury reports to see if Chargers LB Jatavis Brown is active and upgrade Gallman’s stock accordingly if Brown is declared out.
DeAndre Hopkins ($7700) – Some may be scared off by Marcus Peters, but my guess/hope is that Peters doesn’t shadow and sticks to one side most of the game (as he usually does). I will have a lot of shares of the most targeted receiver in the NFL.
Jordy Nelson ($8600) – The best receiver on the team with the best quarterback in what could end up being a shootout.
Jaron Brown ($4500) – Puzzling that someone who has been targeted 29 times over the last three weeks would be available at minimum salary. Not to mention he gets the Eagles secondary.
DeVante Parker ($6100) – If you’ve seen Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins this year, then you know why this pick makes me nervous. The matchup is good, the talent is there, and Adam Gase has to right the ship eventually, doesn’t he? The Titans' porous secondary assuages some of my fears.
Austin-Seferian Jenkins ($5500) – Cheap and faces Cleveland, who is weak defending tight ends.
Hunter Henry ($5200) – Cheap and faces a Giants team that also has trouble containing tight end production.
Detroit ($4700), Cincinnati ($4500), *Philadelphia ($4600)
*It may seem like a contradiction listing Philadelphia on the same page as Carson Palmer and Jaron Brown. You obviously don’t want them on the same team, but with Arizona’s offensive line problems, they could get some sacks, pressures, and possibly a pick 6.
Just pick a decent kicker on a team that's expected to win. Teams don’t kick field goals when they’re down 20 points in the second half.
Giorgio Tavecchio ($4800), Adam Vinatieri ($4500)