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Friday 22nd Sep 2017

Week 11 is the last major week of byes (Falcons, Chargers, Broncos, Jets). Then only the Browns and Titans (Week 13) will have byes remaining. From a DFS perspective, it does not really matter, but from a season-long game perspective, I wish that the NFL would just have eight teams on byes in Weeks 6-9 and get them all out of the way. There is no reason to have some teams with byes in Week 4 and others more than two months later. The Titans-Colts game pops off the chart with a whopping Vegas total of 53 and a close point spread. As we saw last week in the Steelers-Cowboys game, a ton of points can be racked up with teams going back and forth in the fourth quarter. How many more points could Marcus Mariota have scored last week if the Packers could have kept the game closer?

There is no shortage of viable QB options in Week 11. Some figure to be on the positive side of blowouts, which usually provides a nice floor but a limited ceiling. Titans-Colts and Packers-Redskins figure to be close back-and-forth games.

QB Tom Brady NE 7800 Disappointed on Sunday night - fear running TDs
QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7600 GB is all pass with no defense
QB Ben Roethlisberger Pit 7500 Needs early TD passes as Pit figures to roll Cle
QB Andrew Luck Ind 7200 Highest Vegas total we have seen in a long time
QB Marcus Mariota Ten 6700 See Luck - can't deny how great he has played
QB Eli Manning NYG 6300 Giants should steamroll Chi but Eli has failed before
QB Kirk Cousins Was 5800 GB will score, so Wash will have to keep up

It is becoming very apparent that the upper-echelon running backs have returned to the NFL. The weekly “formula” has been to fill up with high-priced backs and save at receiver. All four of the guys at the top figure to put up big numbers again.

RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 8800 Best matchup of the upper tier backs
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 8200 Been as good as the Dallas days
RB Ezekiel Elliott Dal 8000 Speaking of Dallas - earning every bit of first round
RB David Johnson Ari 7900 27 was a disappointment - Minn will be a test
RB LeSean McCoy Buf 6900 Should be back to full health - will be overlooked
RB Frank Gore Ind 5000 Fits with Colts stacks - catches passes and scores
RB C.J. Prosise Sea 4200 Bulk of work in Seattle and all the passes
RB Kenneth Dixon Bal 3900 Looked good last week

Very hard to justify a lineup with more than one of the high-priced receivers. There is just too much value in the mid-tier receivers and too much risk in the lower tier backs.

WR Antonio Brown Pit 9500 Very expensive and might be out before 4th quarter
WR Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 8500 Bears defense can get torched
WR Jordy Nelson GB 7800 I can't explain it - but getting most of the looks
WR T.Y. Hilton Ind 7700 Colts stack
WR Stefon Diggs Min 7000 34 catches on 42 targets in past three games
WR Julian Edelman NE 6300 Been disappointing but coming on lately
WR Donte Moncrief Ind 6100 Very cheap in the Colts stack
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cle 5600 Steelers D will give up some points
WR Golden Tate Det 5300 Re-emerged as top dog in Detroit
WR Sterling Shepard NYG 4700 Great hands and knack for end zone
WR Tyreek Hill KC 4500 Consider if Maclin is out again
WR Eli Rogers Pit 4300 Underpriced value

Finally, I hit on a DFS tight end last week. Why do I feel like that was more luck than skill? The tight end spot has been an absolute crap shoot in 2016. Any of the five below could excel, or they could just lay an egg.

TE Jordan Reed Was 5900 Tight end seems like a wasteland - Reed gets targets
TE Delanie Walker Ten 5700 Been the shining star of the TE group
TE Eric Ebron Det 4100 Highly inconsistent
TE Kyle Rudolph Min 3900 Been Diggs and Rudolph in Minn
TE Martellus Bennett NE 3700 Moves up if Gronk is out

There are a few home teams that are big favorites. They are always a threat to get out to a big lead and generate defensive points when their opponent has no choice but to pass on every down.

DST Patriots NE 3600 Have to look at anyone playing SF, but Ari failed
DST Giants NYG 3500 Defense improving and Bears are a mess
DST Chiefs KC 3400 KC at home against mistake-prone TB
DST Lions Det 3200 Det defense not great, but Jax turns the ball over
DST Dolphins Mia 2900 Defense has really stepped it up lately

Last week, the Titans stack and a late switch to Shepard from Hogan (in a full-slate tournament) put me in the money. Here is my DraftKings GPP game lineup as of today. I may be over-Colted and I would like to figure out how to get a Titan or two into the lineup.

QB Andrew Luck Ind 7200
RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 8800
RB Frank Gore Ind 5000
WR Donte Moncrief Ind 6100
WR T.Y. Hilton Ind 7700
WR Eli Rogers Pit 4300
DST Dolphins Mia 2900
TE Martellus Bennett NE 3700
RB C.J. Prosise Sea 4200
      49900

Week 10 features just four teams on byes (Bills, Lions, Colts and Raiders). Several games pop out on the card including Falcons-Eagles, Packers-Titans and Cowboys-Steelers. Expect to see high ownership in both of those games. Speaking of high ownership, I see no way to fade Cardinals RB David Johnson in any game. If there was ever a “lock” for big points, Johnson would be it.

Four of our five quarterbacks come from the three featured games mentioned above. The other is a flier (and one that will make you sweat) in a great matchup – one Jay Cutler. Any QB playing against the Bucs needs to be considered.

QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7600 Another good matchup - still no running game
QB Matt Ryan Atl 7300 Another high total for QB on a roll all season
QB Ben Roethlisberger Pit 6800 Should be fine one week back off injury
QB Marcus Mariota Ten 5700 15 TDs in past five games
QB Jay Cutler Chi 5300 Big risk, great matchup

Cheap Charcandrick West did not work out so well last week. In searching for cheap options for Week 10, I stumbled on Chris Ivory at only $3400 coming off a big game under the Jags new offensive coordinator. Ivory also scored a TD in real life which replay fails to overturn to make it count.

RB David Johnson Ari 8400 Only injury keeps him short of scoring 30
RB Ezekiel Elliott Dal 7900 Consistently earning 3x salary
RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 7700 36 catches in five games - no TDs is a pure anomaly
RB Jay Ajayi Mia 7000 High price but great past three games
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 6900 Consistently excellent
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 6800 Stopped several times at goal line last week
RB Chris Ivory Jax 3400 High-risk off one good game

We have a long list of viable wide receivers in Week 10. The challenge is that you are almost forced to pay up at running back, making it very difficult to construct a roster with any of the three highest priced receivers.

 

WR Julio Jones Atl 9500 Disappeared too many times this season
WR Mike Evans TB 9000 At least 11 targets in every game except the first one
WR Antonio Brown Pit 8900 Worried owners for three quarters but was just fine
WR Demaryius Thomas Den 6700 Ten targets in each of past four after four straight with seven
WR Alshon Jeffery Chi 6600 Another high risk, high reward candidate
WR Randall Cobb GB 6400 Have to consider Packers receivers when healthy
WR Davante Adams GB 6300 See Cobb
WR Stefon Diggs Min 6200 Was a target-monster last week
WR Michael Thomas NO 6100 Has been just a monster all season - tough matchup
WR Julian Edelman NE 6000 Salary keeps dropping - will break out soon
WR Chris Hogan NE 4500 Been making big plays in Pats offense

Finally some potential value at the lower end of the tight end list. Just remember what Zach Ertz did in the games prior to Week 9. Austin Hooper is a nice cheap TE play if Jacob Tamme is out again and does not need to do much at his price to earn 3-4x his price.

 

TE Rob Gronkowski NE 6900 Steep price to pay but getting his targets
TE Jordan Reed Was 6200 In-game concussion is always a concern
TE Greg Olsen Car 5900 Belongs in the upper-tier of tight ends
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4600 Good chemistry with Mariota
TE Zach Ertz Phi 3700 A wakeup call - can he repeat?
TE Austin Hooper Atl 3100 A very cheap option if Tamme is out again

Hitting on a defense continues to be a challenge. We were fortunate last week with the late TD kickoff return by the Dolphins. The Cardinals seem like too obvious of a choice.

 

DST Cardinals Ari 3700 Should force plenty of SF turnovers
DST Redskins Was 3000 Minnesota has not been protecting QB very well
DST Rams LA 2900 Game vs. Jets could end up 3-3
DST Chargers SD 2900 Been generating a lot of points on defense
DST Jets NYJ 2800 See Rams comment above

Here is my DraftKings GPP game lineup as of today:

QB Marcus Mariota Ten 5700
RB David Johnson Ari 8400
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 6900
WR Michael Thomas NO 6100
WR Alshon Jeffery Chi 6600
WR Chris Hogan NE 4500
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4600
RB Chris Ivory Jax 3400
DST Cardinals Ari 3700
      49900

Week 8 features our first week with six teams on byes (Dolphins, Rams, Steelers, 49ers, Ravens, Giants) and a London game. That narrows the regular Sunday DraftKings contests to just ten NFL games. If you are playing GPPs, it might take a little more of an outside-the-box lineup to differentiate your team from others. My partner in fantasy contests is pushing a Rodgers-Cobb-Adams-Nelson stack. Now that would be different.

There are some nice quarterback options at the upper end as well as the lower end. Bucs-Raiders figures to be a shootout that can generate some high-scoring QBs.

QB Tom Brady NE 7600 Should we be surprised with how well he has played?
QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7500 Lukewarm seletion in highest Vegas total on the board
QB Russell Wilson Sea 7200 The Saints give up points to everyone
QB Matt Ryan Atl 7000 Tough to envision a low-scoring game here
QB Drew Brees NO 6900 Brees at home - no matter the opponent
QB Derek Carr Oak 5900 Bucs secondary getting better, but not there yet
QB Jameis Winston TB 5700 Bucs are not bad on offense with Evans catching passes

Like quarterback, the running back position offers several high-price options and a few strong cheap options. The injuries to LeSean McCoy and C.J. Anderson figure to open up usage for Mike Gillislee and Devontae Booker. And we have all seen what marginal running backs can do with usage (see Jacquizz Rodgers).

RB David Johnson Ari 7700 Proved to be matchup proof even in 6-6 tie
RB Ezekiel Elliott Dal 7200 Has been a beast so far
RB Spencer Ware KC 6800 Seeing majority of the work and getting the job done
RB Matt Forte NYJ 6400 GPP only - scores well if Jets play from ahead
RB Jacquizz Rodgers TB 5800 Has been the "out of nowhere superstar" the past couple of weeks
RB Mike Gillislee Buf 3800 If McCoy is out - just like last week
RB Devontae Booker Den 3700 A late addition to the list with Anderson doubtful

Tough to bypass the lower-priced receivers this week. Several are in ideal high-scoring matchups. You can easily structure a roster paying up at QB, RB, and TE with money saved at WR.

 

WR Julio Jones Atl 9600 Game should be up and down with Falcons short at RB
WR Mike Evans TB 8100 Turning into a beast
WR Brandin Cooks NO 7300 Instant offense at home
WR Emmanuel Sanders Den 6500 Broncos do not have a third receiver to steal targets
WR Randall Cobb GB 6400 Coming to life in past two
WR Demaryius Thomas Den 6200 See Sanders above
WR Ty Montgomery GB 5300 Is he still going to see touches in the backfield?
WR Golden Tate Det 5100 Matching expectations the past two weeks - underpriced
WR Michael Thomas NO 5000 Might be best receiver on the Saints
WR Davante Adams GB 4900 Tough to trust but getting the job done
WR Cole Beasley Dal 4800 Solid cash game possession receiver
WR Russell Shepard TB 3300 Longshot cheap option as Bucs search for second wideout

Three weeks in a row I have been burned trying to save money at tight end. Not this week. Gronk or Olsen will be in my cash game lineup.

 

TE Rob Gronkowski NE 7000 I am looking to pay up at TE this week
TE Greg Olsen Car 6500 And it is Olsen or Gronk by far
TE Jason Witten Dal 3600 Should lose some looks with Dez back
TE Jack Doyle Ind 3500 Nice play if Allen is out again
TE Coby Fleener NO 3400 GPP play for Saints at home
TE Antonio Gates SD 2700 If Henry is out

I haven't had much luck getting production from my defense. I was nowhere near the Eagles last week. The Jets-Browns game looks like a turnover-fest waiting to happen.

 

DST Jets NYJ 3400 Anyone against Cleveland has to be in play
DST Patriots NE 3300 Pats getting ahead, forcing opponents to throw into mistakes
DST Chiefs KC 2800 Colts can score, but are sack-prone
DST Cardinals Ari 2700 Cardinals defense playing very well
DST Browns Cle 2500 At home against a Jets team that turns the ball over

Here is my DraftKings cash game lineup as of today:

QB Matt Ryan Atl 7000
RB Spencer Ware KC 6800
RB Devontae Booker Den 3700
WR Golden Tate Det 5100
WR Michael Thomas NO 5000
WR Davante Adams GB 4900
TE Rob Gronkowski NE 7000
RB David Johnson Ari 7700
DST Chiefs KC 2800
      50000

And here is my DraftKings GPP game lineup as of today:

QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7500
RB David Johnson Ari 7700
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 6500
WR Randall Cobb GB 6400
WR Davante Adams GB 4900
WR Jordy Nelson GB 7200
TE Jack Doyle Ind 3500
WR Michael Floyd Ari 4100
DST Colts IND 2200
      50000

Week 9 features our second week with six teams on byes (Bengals, Cards, Bears, Texans, Patriots, Redskins). That narrows the regular Sunday DraftKings contests to just 11 NFL games. Several games pop out on the card, including Saints-49ers and Colts-Packers. Expect to see high ownership in both of those games.

The Quarterback list is a little shorter than normal. Three high-end options and two low-price options. That is what happens when Brady, Dalton and Cousins are on byes.

QB Aaron Rodgers GB 7800 Who needs a running game?
QB Drew Brees NO 7200 Who needs a defense?
QB Andrew Luck Ind 6700 See Brees above
QB Marcus Mariota Ten 5900 Three excellent weeks in a row
QB Ryan Tannehill Mia 5600 Not often on this list - Jets D not good

Several running back contingencies are on the list this week. Carlos Hyde is in play if healthy. The last man standing in KC, Charcandrick West, is definitely in play if Spencer Ware is out. Same for Derrick Henry if DeMarco Murray can’t suit up.

RB Ezekiel Elliott Dal 7900 Top back with Johnson on bye
RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 7700 Have to consider every week
RB Devontae Booker Den 6400 Got pricy quick
RB Carlos Hyde SF 6100 Solid play if healthy
RB Jay Ajayi Mia 6000 Back-to-back with over 200 rush yards
RB Derrick Henry Ten 5000 Cheap play if DeMarco can't go
RB Theo Riddick Det 4900 Returns with a vengeance
RB Charcandrick West KC 4400 Only man standing in KC

A very solid, but short list of wide receiver candidates. Packers receivers have been rolling since the running game went on IR.

WR Dez Bryant Dal 7400 Great return - tops the WR list
WR Jarvis Landry Mia 7100 Guaranteed points as possession receiver
WR Emmanuel Sanders Den 6300 Broncos only throw to two WRs
WR Demaryius Thomas Den 6000 Raiders defense still not playing well
WR Davante Adams GB 5900 Dominant since the backs were hurt
WR Ty Montgomery GB 5800 If healthy - and a bump if Cobb is still out
WR Michael Thomas NO 5500 Very dependable
WR Kenny Stills Mia 3900 A flyer for a deep ball (or two)

One of these weeks we will pick the correct tight end. Seems like a wasteland of players in Week 9, so we narrowed the list down to just four (and they all have warts).

TE Greg Olsen Car 6200 TE is really weak this week
TE Travis Kelce KC 5300 Kelce might be better with Foles
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4600 Mariota's top target
TE Eric Ebron Det 3100 Inconsistent but cheap and healthy

We go short on defenses in Week 9 as only four grace our list. Two big home favorites lead the way.

DST Chiefs KC 3500 Jax is sloppy with the ball
DST Cowboys Dal 3400 Anyone vs. the Browns
DST Ravens Bal 3300 If Big Ben is still out
DST Dolphins Mia 3100 Jets struggle if they fall behind

Here is my DraftKings cash game lineup as of today:

QB Andrew Luck Ind 6700
RB Theo Riddick Det 4900
RB Ezekiel Elliott Dal 7900
WR Emmanuel Sanders Den 6300
WR Michael Thomas NO 5500
WR Davante Adams GB 5900
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4600
RB Charcandrick West KC 4400
DST Dolphins Mia 3100
      49300

Here is my DraftKings GPP game lineup as of today:

QB Drew Brees NO 7200
RB Jay Ajayi Mia 6000
RB Carlos Hyde SF 6100
WR Jarvis Landry Mia 7100
WR Kenny Stills Mia 3900
WR Brandin Cooks NO 7500
TE Coby Fleener NO 3400
WR Michael Thomas NO 5500
DST Dolphins Mia 3100
      49800

Week 7 features only two teams on byes (Panthers and Cowboys). We have nine games on the slate with Vegas totals of 46 or higher, including Chargers-Falcons at 53. There is a nice mix of high price and lower price options in each position group. Unlike last week when the overwhelming consensus was to try to fit three high-priced running backs in your lineup, we do not have that situation this week.

Have to love Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers in the potential back and forth game indoors. Marcus Mariota and Andy Dalton appear to be nice cheap options at QB who are playing well recently.

QB Drew Brees NO 7400 Concerned about road game, but high total
QB Matt Ryan Atl 7200 Favorite in highest projected scoring game
QB Andrew Luck Ind 7000 Tends to fall behind with subpar running game
QB Philip Rivers SD 6500 Likely to be playing from behind
QB Marcus Mariota Ten 6000 Red hot past two games. Poised for another
QB Andy Dalton Cin 6000 Great matchup. Concerned about blowout

Unlike last week, there are several strong RB options at under $6,000 while some of the higher-priced backs have a myriad of issues. LeSean McCoy’s injury on Wednesday is troubling. Even David Johnson has a difficult matchup against Seattle.

RB Le'Veon Bell Pit 8000 Nervous about price. Most solid volume floor
RB David Johnson Ari 7400 Back to back 100 yard, 3 TD games
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 7200 Will see high volume again
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 5900 In a nice spot to score and catch passes
RB Spencer Ware KC 5800 Beating out Charles on performance
RB Jacquizz Rodgers TB 4300 Cheap option against really bad rush defense
RB Mike Gillislee Buf 3000 Nice option if McCoy misses time with hamstring

The lower-end WR options are good, but not quite as good as last week. We lose recent fantasy favorite Cameron Meredith.

WR Julio Jones Atl 9200 Best receiver in highest scoring game
WR Amari Cooper Oak 7900 Solid matchup at $1300 less than Julio
WR Mike Evans TB 7800 Concern if Bucs have too much success on ground
WR Brandin Cooks NO 7500 High price to pay for big plays
WR Marvin Jones Jr. Det 7000 Might be best receiver in NFL right now
WR Jarvis Landry Mia 6800 Rebounded nicely. Now if he could ever score
WR Golden Tate Det 4900 One game proved he still has skills
WR Michael Thomas NO 4700 Sees the targets week after week
WR Brandon LaFell Cin 3900 Turning into a solid number two receiver
WR Adam Humphries TB 3000 Cheap slot option with Vincent Jackson out

After being burned by Zach Ertz over the past two weeks, I am done with him for now. A floor near zero is way too low. Hunter Henry appears to be the best option on the board at half the price of Gronk.

TE Rob Gronkowski NE 7200 Seeing the volume with Brady
TE Delanie Walker Ten 4900 The TE pool takes a hit this week with Olsen on bye
TE Dennis Pitta Bal 4000 Good low-price option
TE Coby Fleener NO 3800 Concern about playing on the road
TE Hunter Henry SD 3600 Best value in TE group
TE Vernon Davis Was 2900 A cheap option in GPP

There are not very many defenses that fit the preferred defensive profile – home team, favorite, low Vegas total.

DST Bengals Cin 3600 Matchup with lowly Browns who might miss Terrelle Pryor
DST Bills Buf 3400 Defense has really stepped up their game
DST Buccaneers TB 3200 Teams playing against 49ers must be considered
DST Patriots NE 2900 Take advantage of Landry Jones
DST Ravens Bal 2800 Jets offense is in the dumps right now
DST Titans Ten 2500 Indy allows sacks

Here is my DraftKings cash game lineup as of today:

QB Matt Ryan Atl 7200
RB DeMarco Murray Ten 7200
RB Devonta Freeman Atl 5900
WR Julio Jones Atl 9200
WR Michael Thomas NO 4700
WR Golden Tate Det 4900
DST Bengals Cin 3600
TE Hunter Henry SD 3600
RB Mike Gillislee Buf 3000
      49300

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