Week 6 features only two teams on byes (Vikings and Bucs). The pricing on Steelers players is going through the roof, and rightly so. But I would be a little nervous overplaying them on the road, even against the lowly Dolphins. Tom Brady debuted and posted great stats, but spread the ball around (five players caught between four and six passes), making it difficult to single out anyone for DFS play. The high-end running backs continue to post very high floors and the cheaper backs are harder and harder to find.
Certainly Brees and Brady are attractive quarterback options, but there are several viable options in the mid-tier range that allow you to pay up in other areas.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7900||Panthers defense not what is used to be|
|QB||Tom Brady||NE||7700||Worry about a second week letdown|
|QB||Derek Carr||Oak||6500||Playing at another level|
|QB||Blake Bortles||Jax||6300||Nice matchup after a week off|
|QB||Marcus Mariota||Ten||6100||Worry about running away with a lead|
|QB||Brian Hoyer||Chi||5800||Underpriced solid performer in good matchup|
On the surface, the smart cash game play has to include one of the top four running backs. Unfortunately, it is near impossible to be happy with your lineup trying to squeeze two into your lineup. The other four appear to be solid options for either high volume or a good reception floor.
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||7900||No timeshare in Pittsburgh|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7700||High volume guarantee but the price is big|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||Dal||7000||Earning every bit of the first round money|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||6900||Another high volume guarantee|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||6000||Next level down - if Jacquizz Rodgers can run for 100…|
|RB||Devonta Freeman||Atl||5600||Timeshare is getting the job done|
|RB||Theo Riddick||Det||5300||Gets the receptions but not the guaranteed volume|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||5100||Sneaky underpriced RB has been productive|
While there are several high-end wide receivers that appear to be in great matchups, there is a ton of value in several of the lower-end players. Both Cole Beasley and Michael Thomas are solid plays to post 3-4x their price, right where I want to be in cash games.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||10000||First player to hit $10k this year. Tough to earn 3x|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||7700||At least 10 targets in every game|
|WR||Amari Cooper||Oak||7500||Better than Crabtree everywhere but the end zone|
|WR||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||7500||Gets back on track against bad Colts defense|
|WR||Jarvis Landry||Mia||6800||Too good to throw up two stinkers in a row|
|WR||Chris Hogan||NE||4600||Cheap option in play with Brady back|
|WR||Cole Beasley||Dal||4400||Must consider every week due to nice floor|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||4300||Might he be the best in New Orleans?|
|WR||Cameron Meredith||Chi||4100||Missed him last week - might be more than one hit wonder|
Tight end looks like a land mine this week. Olsen posted a great number on Monday night and it could have been more. But it is hard to get him in with two upper end running backs. Gronk and Reed both have the potential for big numbers and come with high risk that make them more of a GPP play (Gronk’s targets and Reed’s concussion). I still like Ertz even after being burned last week.
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||7000||Worth the price especially if Anderson starts again|
|TE||Rob Gronkowski||NE||6700||Lost the TDs to Bennett last week|
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6100||Surging the past two weeks - watch the concussion|
|TE||Zach Ertz||Phi||4000||Disappointed in return, but ready to roll|
|TE||Coby Fleener||NO||3500||Inconsistent but very cheap on high-powered offense|
A handful of defenses have attractive home games this week.
|DST||Bills||Buf||3700||Bills defense playing great - 1st look at Kaepernick|
|DST||Steelers||Pit||3400||What kills Tannehill first - sacks or turnovers?|
|DST||Titans||Ten||3300||Must consider anyone against Cleveland|
|DST||Lions||Det||3000||Home favorite against a marginal offense|
|DST||Texans||Hou||2900||Bad since loss of J.J. - Colts allow sacks at rapid rate|
Here is my DraftKings cash game lineup as of today:
Week 5 features four teams on byes (Chiefs, Jaguars, Seahawks and Saints) and the return of Tom Brady. Sorry for being a little short on the commentary, but I've been busy getting ready for Hurricane Matthew (so don’t look for me to promote anyone named Matthew).
Using Tom Brady seems too easy. There are a lot of quarterbacks in the mid-price range with good matchups.
|QB||Tom Brady||NE||7500||Would anyone be surprised if Brady threw for 400 and 6 TDs?|
|QB||Andrew Luck||Ind||7300||Limited ground game and bad defense leads to the pass|
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||7200||Thrived with Bell back as a weapon|
|QB||Philip Rivers||SD||6900||Another good matchup for Rivers|
|QB||Derek Carr||Oak||6800||Carr is moving up with the elite level quarterbacks|
|QB||Carson Wentz||Phi||6400||Continues to defy the odds as a rookie|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||6000||A much better scoring matchup than Monday|
|QB||Brian Hoyer||Chi||5500||Might he keep Cutler on the bench?|
The cheap running back options are becoming hard to find. And some of the running backs that we have to pay up for don’t have a very long track record of success.
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||7500||Made a triumphant return on Sunday night|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7200||Been getting it done for Tenn. The Dolphins defense has been bad|
|RB||Melvin Gordon||SD||7000||Fumbles are concern, making up for the lack of TDs from last season|
|RB||C.J. Anderson||Den||6900||Falcons defense has not been exactly stout|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||Dal||6800||Getting the job done. Loses TD carries to Morris|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||6600||Bills best weapon plays almost every down|
|RB||Jordan Howard||Chi||5200||26 touches in first start|
|RB||Darren Sproles||Phi||4300||Getting more playing time than expected|
|RB||Kenneth Dixon||Bal||3600||Expected to make his pro debut|
The high-end receivers have posted some contest winning scores, but their success is far from consistent. Odell could be next for a big number, but he can only be a GPP play given his poor performance so far.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9800||Automatic, but how high is too expensive|
|WR||A.J. Green||Cin||8900||Could have beat Julio's numbers if game was close|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||8500||The frustration is building - is a huge game coming?|
|WR||Jordy Nelson||GB||7900||Been surprisingly good and continues to get scoring targets|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||7400||Taking advantage of Moncrief's injury|
|WR||Brandon Marshall||NYJ||7100||Top man with Decker expected to be out again|
|WR||Jarvis Landry||Mia||7000||Pretty darn automatic - scoring a TD is a bonus|
|WR||Julian Edelman||NE||6700||Will be interesting to see how the receivers do with Brady|
|WR||Terrelle Pryor Sr.||Cle||5800||Tough matchup and starting to get pricy|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||5500||Playing better than Beckham right now|
|WR||Cole Beasley||Dal||4300||Still cheap and still a top target|
|WR||Brice Butler||Dal||3500||Only a GPP consideration if Bryant is out again|
Not very many reasonable tight end choices. Fortunately, several of the more interesting options are still very cheap.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6600||Finally proved his worth last weekend|
|TE||Jason Witten||Dal||4400||One of several Dak safety blankets|
|TE||Zach Miller||Chi||3600||Strong cheap option with Bears lacking other targets|
|TE||Zach Ertz||Phi||3500||Expected to return on Sunday|
|TE||Hunter Henry||SD||3300||Good choice if Gates misses more time|
Only a few defenses hit the mark for Week 5.
|DST||Patriots||NE||3700||Not many great defensive choices on paper. Patriots might be best|
|DST||Steelers||Pit||3500||Fitzpatrick has been an interception throwing machine|
|DST||Bills||Buf||3100||Firing the offense coordinator inspired the defense|
|DST||Eagles||Phi||2900||Takes advantage of Stafford mistakes|
Here is my DraftKings cash game lineup as of today:
Week 2 was a tough one for running backs. Many of us (me included) saw our cash game chances blow up with Danny Woodhead’s blown ACL. Many other running backs bit the dust last week, creating some intriguing low-priced RB options in Week 3.
So the Brees-Manning matchup turned into a bust. This week’s “no-brainer” goes to Luck vs. Rivers with the highest game total on the regular slate. The high priced quarterbacks are easy to fit into lineups with value all across the board.
|QB||Cam Newton||Car||7800||Must always be considered - all offense runs thru him|
|QB||Andrew Luck||Ind||7600||Indy defense is proving to be as bad as advertised|
|QB||Carson Palmer||Ari||7200||Potent offense with many receiving options|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||7000||Had two TDs dropped by OBJ vs Saints|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Det||6800||Not much of a running game|
|QB||Philip Rivers||SD||6700||Highest total on the board|
Must find running backs that can make it through the game. That proved tough in Week 2. The last four on the list below all saw their values rise for Week 3 with injuries to the other back. Johnson and DeAngelo clearly lead the way. Murray has the added benefit of playing against a disappointing Raiders defense.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||7700||Guaranteed 20 touches|
|RB||DeAngelo Williams||Pit||7500||Panthers kept the wrong back|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||6300||Consistent receiving threat|
|RB||Melvin Gordon||SD||5800||Should see all the touches with Woodhead out|
|RB||Theo Riddick||Det||4900||Will be a fantasy star if he can handle the load|
|RB||Charles Sims||TB||4900||Tough matchup vs. Rams but is the main man|
|RB||Fozzy Whittaker||Car||3800||Top dog will finally have a real chance|
Antonio Brown rarely disappoints as he did last week, so expect a big rebound against the Eagles. After a couple of weeks we start to get a good sense of which receivers are in good positions for big targets (and we know that higher targets usually translate to more receptions).
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9600||Quiet last week - that won't last|
|WR||Kelvin Benjamin||Car||7200||Still underpriced|
|WR||Jarvis Landry||Mia||6600||At least 10 targets with Foster out|
|WR||Marvin Jones Jr.||Det||6200||Has hit it off well with Stafford|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||5500||Norman expected to shadow OBJ|
|WR||Travis Benjamin||SD||5200||Heavily underpriced after recent volume|
|WR||Stefon Diggs||Min||5100||Prices did not have enough time to account for Sunday night|
|WR||Quincy Enunwa||NYJ||4800||Heavily involved in Jets offense - up if Marshall is out|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||Was||3800||Cheap source of targets - up more if Jackson is out|
|WR||Cole Beasley||Dal||3200||Continues to be Dak's security blanket|
The pricing on the upper-tier of tight ends is still very reasonable. In a week where there is a ton of value at RB and WR, you can easily justify Jordan Reed or Greg Olsen. But it will be hard to pass up Dennis Pitta after the volume he saw in Week 2. One of my hidden gems, Trey Burton, made the big-time on Monday night filling in for Zach Ertz. Tough to believe how both Burton and Reed were misused together just a few years ago as Florida Gators.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6500||Top tight ends are underpriced|
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5800||Cam targets two people|
|TE||Dennis Pitta||Bal||3400||Cheap with great rapport with Flacco|
|TE||Clive Walford||Oak||2800||Near min price - involved in Raider offense|
|TE||Trey Burton||Phi||2500||Worthy of consideration if Ertz is out as min price|
Defensive scoring was up in Week 2, with the pre-season projected top defenses rising to the occasion. There are some big home favorites to strongly consider this week.
|DST||Seahawks||Sea||4100||At home vs. sub-par offense|
|DST||Panthers||Car||3800||Panthers should be able to pressure Bradford|
|DST||Cardinals||Ari||3600||Bills just fired their offensive coordinator|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||3000||Browns on third QB already|
|DST||Jets||NYJ||2900||Jets control ball on ground and pressue Smith|
|DST||Browns||Cle||2300||Dolphins commit mistakes - even against Cleveland|
My projected lineup (predominantly in DraftKings cash games) as of this writing:
Week 4 features the first teams on byes (Eagles and Packers) and a London game (Colts-Jaguars) that is off the regular Sunday DraftKings slate.
The solid fantasy quarterbacks are starting to sort themselves out. Cam has to remain a consideration even after the dud against the Vikings. This might be the last week of 2016 to get Drew Brees for under $8,000. The Saints defense is just plain bad leading to Brees playing from behind all the time.
|QB||Cam Newton||Car||7800||Rebounds nicely in potential shootout|
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7600||Bad Saints defense leads to big days from Brees|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Det||7300||No running game means big passing attempts|
|QB||Philip Rivers||SD||6900||Anyone against the Saints|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6500||Starting to heat up - blowout probable|
|QB||Trevor Siemian||Den||5400||Still very cheap|
There is an extended list of running back options in Week 4. The main objective with running backs is to try and pick two that will not get injured. There are some solid matchups for the high-priced guys and interesting opportunities for a couple of low-priced players.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||7800||Plays just about every down|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||7500||Have to expect high usage in return|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||Dal||6900||Cowboys may force the run against weak SF|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||6800||Has been solid in passing game|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||6700||Excellent all around so far - continues bump without Watkins|
|RB||Melvin Gordon||SD||6300||Tough to trust, but is the main option and is still priced fair|
|RB||Christine Michael||Sea||6000||Finally got all the carries (before the rout)|
|RB||Charles Sims||TB||5600||Main man still priced down|
|RB||Jordan Howard||Chi||3700||Gains starting job with Langford injury|
Every so often we get a dud from a solid receiver as we did last week from Kelvin Benjamin. Expect a big rebound in Week 4 (and expect low ownership with people falsely scared away). Players like Crowder and Beasley are proving to be consistent cheap options.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9700||Expensive but very high floor|
|WR||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||8400||Due for big return after being shut down by NE|
|WR||Marvin Jones Jr.||Det||7300||Highest scoring receiver stays on list until he is priced right|
|WR||Kelvin Benjamin||Car||7100||Rebounds off zero - should be very low ownership|
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||6500||Every bit the beast that many expected so far|
|WR||Jeremy Maclin||KC||6000||A risk because KC is run-first, but expected high-scoring Sunday night|
|WR||Quincy Enunwa||NYJ||4400||Low price consideration if Decker is out|
|WR||Terrelle Pryor Sr.||Cle||4300||Might have the highest ownership percentage in Week 4|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||Was||4200||Has been solid contributor in 2016|
|WR||Cole Beasley||Dal||3900||Dak's security blanket - pencil in 6 for 60|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||3800||Low price consideration if Snead is still out|
Tight End has proven to be a mine field early in the season, so they all remain very fairly priced. Jordan Reed has been an early-season disappointment but appears to be in a great spot to explode in Week 4.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6300||Top option, even after disappointing Week 3|
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||6000||Continues to see consistent targets|
|TE||Travis Kelce||KC||4800||Should be up and down the field|
|TE||Dennis Pitta||Bal||3900||Flacco's favorite target still cheap|
|TE||Hunter Henry||SD||2700||Great cheap spot if Gates is out again|
|TE||Zach Miller||Chi||2700||Best receiving option on the Bears|
A couple of big home favorites pop up on the list this week in the Cardinals and Redskins. While I usually pay down for defense, I may have to move to Arizona just based on the matchup.
|DST||Cardinals||Ari||3900||Rams one-dimensional offense is easy to contain|
|DST||Seahawks||Sea||3800||Against a QB that just threw six picks|
|DST||Redskins||Was||3500||Browns offense does not intimidate|
|DST||Texans||Hou||3200||Even without JJ, Tenn has been an offensive mess|
|DST||Lions||Det||3100||Not much of a defense, but great matchup|
Last week, I made no changes to my posted lineup and cashed 100% of my double-ups and most of my triple-ups. This was in spite of taking zero from Kelvin Benjamin. That just re-emphasized the cash game strategy of loading up on players that should see high target numbers across the board. Even if one turns into a bum for a week, you can still post a solid score.
I am weighing two potential lineups (predominantly in DraftKings cash games) as of this writing:
|WR||Terrelle Pryor Sr.||Cle||4300|
Week 1 was not a bad time to be on the sidelines to take in all the action. Now, with at least a little clarity, let’s jump right in.
On the Quarterback side, we have to constantly wrestle with paying up for the near sure-thing versus taking a risk and going cheap with a quarterback in a good matchup. I normally try to play the middle-range quarterbacks, but this week I can’t see passing on Drew Brees or Eli Manning.
|Drew Brees||8200||NO||Brees vs. Eli was epic last year for fantasy players|
|Eli Manning||7600||NYG||Can get Eli for $600 less than Brees|
|Derek Carr||7200||Oak||Falcons could not stop Winston last week|
|Kirk Cousins||7000||Was||Cousins was sub-par on Monday. Dallas could not stop Eli|
|Blake Bortles||6700||Jax||Looks like an offensive shoot-out against the Chargers|
|Philip Rivers||6400||SD||Jax defense was better, but far from great|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||5900||NE||Cheap option. Looked capable against good Cards defense|
|Trevor Siemian||5200||Den||Showed well with the whole world watching last Thursday|
The multi-year running back trend held in Week 1 as we had only two 100-yard running backs. Not all was lost as 11 backs caught at least five passes. For those looking to spend up on running backs, please remember that in Week 1, Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson combined to score the same number of points as Charcandrick West.
|David Johnson||7600||Ari||20 touches should be the norm|
|Lamar Miller||7200||Hou||Blew away previous season's touches (32)|
|Spencer Ware||6100||KC||Uber-ly productive with Charles out|
|DeMarco Murray||5700||Ten||Saw the bulk of the work with Henry clearly a backup for now|
|Danny Woodhead||5200||SD||16 rushing attempts was a surprise. Still very cheap|
|Theo Riddick||4300||Det||Seems to be a lock for catches. Lack of rushes need to be considered|
The wide receiver group is crowded with an abundance of choices. While you do not need to have the top of the heap to win cash games, you have to avoid the total duds. Players like Dez Bryant and John Brown (each with 1 catch for 8 yards) wiped people out.
|Odell Beckham Jr.||9500||NYG||Saints could not stop Raiders receivers|
|Brandin Cooks||8000||NO||Best of three-headed group. Could be short targets at times - not this week|
|Kelvin Benjamin||6500||Car||Came back as the clear number one target for Cam|
|Julian Edelman||6200||NE||As close to a guarantee as possible when healthy|
|Willie Snead||5800||NO||A nice pairing with Cooks|
|Mohamed Sanu||5500||Atl||Proved to be a solid compliment to Julio|
|Stefon Diggs||5100||Min||Top target on a low volume team|
|Travis Benjamin||4400||SD||Someone has to take "charge" for the Chargers|
|Will Fuller||4200||Hou||Looked the part of a first round draft choice|
|Eli Rogers||4100||Pit||Very capable complement to A. Brown|
|Tajae Sharpe||4100||Ten||Was clearly the best receiver on the field for Tenn|
|Jamison Crowder||3600||Was||Cheap option. Had the targets on Monday|
TE was a wasteland last week, with only nine tight ends catching at least five passes. Also note that of the eight tight ends that scored, three of those players had only one reception.
|Greg Olsen||5600||Car||Looks like he will maintain his targets with Benjamin back|
|Travis Kelce||5000||KC||Has been good in the past, can he be consistent in 2016?|
|Jason Witten||4300||Dal||Clearly Dak's security blanket|
|Jesse James||3400||Pit||Yes, he can catch|
|Vance McDonald||3000||SF||Only two catches, but had a TD. Risk on low volume SF offense|
|Virgil Green||2800||Den||Was clearly part of the Broncos game plan|
There were only two defensive/special teams touchdowns in Week 1, both coming from the Vikings. While it is almost certain that will change in Week 2, trying to predict defensive scores is a waste of time. Instead, we should focus on the best chance to put pressure on the quarterback.
|Panthers||3900||Biggest favorite on the board against below-average offense|
|Seahawks||3800||The Rams are among the three worst offenses in the NFL|
|Packers||3200||The Vikings showed nothing on offense last week|
|Ravens||3000||Any team playing the Browns has to be on this list|
|Browns||2500||On the flip side, Baltimore did not show much last week either|
My projected lineup (predominantly in DraftKings cash games) as of this writing:
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||9500|