Matthew Stafford, QB Detroit Lions: DraftKings - $7,300
Coming off a big week against the division rival Green Bay Packers Stafford will look to continue his efficient ways against a subpar Chicago Bears defense. The Bears made rookie QB Dak Prescott look like a seasoned vet and being that Stafford is on with lots of experience against Chicago I see him spreading the ball around to a multiple of players and taking some deep shots to his newfound favorite target Marvin Jones. Looking to right the ship and get back to .500 a motivated Stafford should dice up the Chicago defense for around 330 yards and 2-3 scores this weekend.
Joe Flacco QB Baltimore Ravens : Draftkings - $5,900
The Ravens offense has been rather ordinary this year but they have a strong chance to surprise this week vs. the Abysmal Oakland pass defense. Steve Smith Sr. is just getting his legs back and Mike Wallace has shown he can still take the top off of any defense. Combine these two with the emergence of Dennis Pitta and its clear that Flacco has the weapons to get the job done. The Raiders were giving up over 400 passing yards per game before facing the fledgling Titans last week. Flacco’s price frees up a ton of cap space for the rest of your team too, make sure you fit him in a few lineups this weekend.
Melvin Gordon, RB San Diego Chargers: DraftKings - $6,300
Another matchup based play for me this week with Melvin Gordon versus the Chargers this week. No I am not quite fully sold that this year’s Gordon is leaps and bounds above last year’s Gordon (look at his YPC), but after seeing Atlanta decimate the Saints defense on the ground Monday night I believe that Gordon will be seeing some open lanes early in the game. It would be beneficial to see the Chargers jump out to an early lead to maintain his value throughout, but he should be able to do enough damage in the first half to make Gordon a great value play.
Theo Riddick RB Detroit Lions: Draftkings - $5,200
Sneaky contrarian play this week. As my colleague noted Matt Stafford should carve up the Bears defense and he’ll do so using Theo Roddick a good bit. Many will be down on Riddick despite this juicy match up due to his lackluster week 3 outing making this the perfect time to sneak him into your lineup. The cowboys had their way with the Bears last Sunday night and I expect the Lions to do much of the same. Theo’s versatility will keep him in the game in most situations and while he will split time with Washington I’m not worried about his usage. The Lions know he's one of their most effective weapons. Expect his two week hiatus from the end zone to end this sunday in Chicago.
Golden Tate, WR Detroit Lions: DraftKings - $5,800
I know, I know. Tate has been an afterthought so far in 2016 and as I stated earlier Marvin Jones has so far taken over the #1 receiving duties in the Lions offense, but I think this is the week that Tate steps up to the plate. With a terrible linebacker core in Chicago the short, intermediate routes should be open all day which is right in Golden’s wheelhouse. I would not be surprised to see 6-7 receptions this week for around 85 yards and a score.
Steve Smith Sr. : Draftkings - $4,500
Cheap and overlooked. Smith has a prime matchup vs. Oakland this week and many who are looking to the Ravens will be leaning on on the Flacco-Wallace Stack. Steve Smith is primed for a breakout game after having drawn 11 targets last week. He always puts up a huge game early in the season and this looks to be it. For $4,500, you could do far worse.
Dennis Pitta, TE Baltimore Ravens: DraftKings - $3,900
After suffering through injuries throughout his career Pitta never had the opportunity to build on his strong play from early in his career. Coming into 2016 with a clean slate and a healthy Joe Flacco seems to have brought the veteran Raven back into relevance. Week one was not a particularly sparkling performance, but with 15 receptions over his last 2 games it seems to me that Flacco is looking to him as his safety valve. With a weak matchup against the Oakland Raiders this week I think that Pitta hauls in 7-8 receptions with 65-75 yards and a score.
Julius Thomas TE Jacksonville Jaguars : Draftkings - $4,400
Prime “home” Matchup in London. Got to think the English are sick of seeing the Jags lose by now! This is a win both AFC squads desperately need so expect both teams to go all out. I’m expecting a huge passing day for both quarterbacks and Julius should get his feet across the goal line at least once. Many will steer clear of Thomas due to health concerns and a less than perfect matchup but if he plays he could put up big numbers in a semi-contrarian play. The game is bright and early so be sure to check the reports first thing sunday. If he’s out you'll have no problem finding a fill in with his $4,400 price tag.
New England Patriots Defense: DraftKings - $3,300
One thing is for sure and it is the fact that the Patriots do not like Rex Ryan. It does not matter what colors he is wearing or what field they play on New England is going to come out with their ears pinned back. Even after some encouraging play last week for Buffalo I see New England coming out and locking Buffalo down on Sunday. Frustrating rants and raves will be heard from Buffalo fans, players and coaches alike on Monday morning.
Denver Broncos Defense: Draftkings - $3,700
Not the cheapest but not the most expensive either. The Broncos are an elite defense facing a less than perfect Bucs offense in Tampa Bay this weekend. The Pressure better than anyone else in the league and create opportunities for huge fantasy outings every week. The rewards trotting these guys out each week far outweigh any potential risks. Spend a couple extra bucks on the best Defense in the NFL this week.
Phillip Rivers QB San Diego Chargers : Draftkings - $6,700
Philip rivers and the San Diego offense have taken some significant losses through the first two weeks of the season with Keenan Allen in week one and Danny Woodhead in week two, but while some offenses would crumble under the pressure the Chargers have had two solid cases of next man up. Travis Benjamin has seemed to step right into the void that was left by Allen and Melvin Gordon looks to be developing into the back he was expected to be as a high draft pick in 2015. Now I don’t believe the Chargers are playoff contenders, but against a very soft secondary and overall defense in week 3 vs. Indianapolis the veteran Rivers should be able to pick his spots and put up some elite numbers.
Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles : Draftkings - $5,500
This is a cash saver semi-contrarian play for me this week. Pittsburgh has only given up 1 passing touchdown but they are second to last in yards allowed. Wentz hung 19 on Chicago last week and it would have been better if Jordan Matthews owned a pair of hands. He’s throwing it a fair amount and has sneaky decent weapons around him. He is not a world beater but few are going to play him and the potential is there. Like I said, this all about contrarian and cash saving - all that money saved should go right to your running backs this week.
Tevin Coleman RB Atlanta Falcons: Draftkings - $4,500
We are all seeing what Devonta Freeman owners were worried about when taking him early in drafts this season unfold. Coleman has been the more effective back in the passing game and with a pass first offense he will be utilized early and often in the week three primetime matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. Freeman will still see a majority of the goal line work, but I believe that Coleman has what it takes to cruise to a score from 35 yards out. His daily cost is so minimal compared to his potential that he could end up being the steal of the week in what I see as a very high scoring affair.
CJ Anderson RB Denver Broncos: Draftkings - $7,300
CJ is likely to be widely used but I feel like this guy is going to be staple in any big time lineup this weekend. The Bengals have given up the most yards to opposing rushers. they haven’t given up any rushing touchdowns but they’ve given up scores to opposing running backs through the air. CJ is certainly used in the passing game so I could see him hitting pay dirt multiple times this weekend. Not a huge over/under for this game so temper shootout expectations. This should be an ugly ground and pound kind of game while the Denver Defense chokes out Andy Dalton.
Devante Parker WR Miami Dolphins : Draftkings - $4,900
Missing week 1 fantasy owners had to wait to see what they had in Parker. Were his injuries going to be lingering? Would he step up and be the receiver that everyone expects him to be? While he didn’t score in his debut he did haul in 8 receptions on 13 targets for 106 yards. With a matchup against the awful Cleveland Browns in week three I am expecting Parker to flirt with 100 yards again while breaking into the endzone for his first score of the year.
Tajae Sharpe: Draftkings - $4,700
Oakland is by the best matchup for opposing pass catchers so far in 2016 having given up over 800 yards and 7 touchdowns through two games. Sharpe is the only receiver to own in Tennessee and should be a sneaky good option this week given the matchup. This one could backfire given his 9.9 yards per reception average but it could also be that cheap difference maker for your deep tournament this weekend. the over/under lost a point down to 47 but that is still one of the highest lines of the week. I expect fireworks in some form, Tajae is as good bet as any at this price.
Antonio Gates TE San Diego Chargers: Draftkings - $4,600
While he is dealing with a sore hamstring this week and has been limited in practice I think that the matchup for him is just too great to pass up. Gates should be open all day on the short routes and will be called upon in the redzone as Rivers most trusted target.
*If Gates ends up being out make the switch to Jason Witten. He has solid connection with rookie QB Dak Prescott and it only seems to be growing stronger. Sunday night on the national stage Dak will need the veteran for his safety valve.
Zach Miller TE Chicago Bears : Draftkings - $2,900
I wanted to put a Packers’ TE here but I just couldn’t do it! Everyone will be fading the Bears this week - perfect time to plug in a guy like Miller! Huge target for the great Brian Hoyer to hit and the Cowboys are in the bottom 3 against opposing Tight ends this year. Not a great stat sheet so far but the matchup and price are right. You have this ace in the hole come Sunday night and ruin someones million dollar dreams! Last week Miller pulled down 4 of 5 targets, I expect that to rise with Hoyer using Miller as a safety blanket this week in prime time.
Miami Dolphins Defense: Draftkings - $3,000
This is just based on the fact that the Cleveland Browns are really awful and are running a rookie QB out there this week against very strong defensive line. I see rushed throws, interceptions, fumbles and possible a defensive score…or two. Start them with confidence this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense: Draftkings - $3,100
Fresh off a torching in Arizona, Tampa gets a nice welcome home gift in the Rams dead last offense. Thats its, thats all I need to say. Let everyone else plug in Miami this week - the Rams are not the Falcons or Cardinals.
Carson Palmer, QB Arizona Cardinals: Draftkings - $6,900
In week one Carson Palmer and the Cardinals seemed to be a little bit rusty when facing off against the New England Patriots. In week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers I believe that they will be able to execute their game plan with more efficiency. Yes both David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald had productive games, but Arizona has the ability to spread the ball around and keep teams off balance and that just did not happen in week 1. Look for Palmer to spread the ball around in week 1 making him an elite level quarterback at a mid-level price. This should benefit everyone on the Cardinals offense that was left out of the party in their week 1 matchup.
Eli Manning QB New York Giants: Draftkings - $7,600
The Saints defense can’t stop anybody they made that clear last week but we’ll let the entire state of Louisiana forget about that 4th quarter debacle. That said the G-men aren’t exactly known for their defense prowess either - especially against the pass. this one has shootout all written all over it! You want a piece of this and I’m taking Eli at home for the price… you could totally see this being a game where everyone gets a Touchdown except OBJ… spend wisely with Eli and let other blow their budget on his pricey WR1.
Theo Riddick, RB Detroit Lions: Draftkings - $4,300
If week 1 is any indication of how the season will go for the Lions then I am all in on both of their running backs. Riddick put up a monster game even though he missed a few drives due to injury. With everyone on the field being a passing option in an offense that throws it almost 50 times a game there is plenty of love to go around and Riddick will take advantage against the Tennessee Titans just as he did in his week 1 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. While he may not repeat his 2 touchdowns I think he still gets near 100 all-purpose yards and a score. His cost is well below that possible production so it makes him a steal in week 2 for me.
Zeke Elliott, RB Dallas Cowboys: Draftkings - $7,300
26 attempts, 143 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns - that was Deangelo Williams’ stat line Monday night vs. the ‘skins not even counting his 6 receptions for 28 yards! Deangelo Williams is a dinosaur compared to Zeke Elliott who is set to be unleashed this weekend. Granted Big Ben warrants a little more attention than Dak Prescott but still i think only half-shirt warrants the budget this week. C’mon you just saved a bundle starting Eli anyway right?
John Brown, WR Arizona Cardinals: Draftkings - $5,300
Brown is one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL today and is cut from a similar cloth as another Brown that plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His lackluster start in week 1 has his daily cost suppressed for the time being, but after this week I believe that won’t be the case. As I stated earlier with Carson Palmer the Cardinals are going to spread the ball around in week 2 and I believe that Brown will be one of the biggest benefactors of this. When all is said and done I believe that he has the chance to be the top receiver in week 2 catching a few long balls and a TD. Look for a strong bounce back over his one reception and 8 yard performance against the Patriots.
Mohamed Sanu WR Atlanta Falcons: Draftkings - $5,500
pop quiz - who ranks dead last against the pass? If you guessed Oakland you win! Yes, they faced Drew Brees and no Matt Ryan is not Drew Brees… but he’s still effective! The masses will Flock to Julio who again comes with an appropriate price tag but Sanu is the value play of the week for me. Don’t worry, he’s gonna play. (still be sure to check the pre-game reports just in case) at $5,500 who could say no?
Clive Walford, TE Oakland Raiders: Draftkings - $2,900
Let me start out by saying that I have been high on Walford all preseason as being the next breakout Tight End in the NFL. Week one was a bit of a let-down in a sense, but in another he was third in targets and receptions behind only Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. In a week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons I see a shootout where both teams are airing it out a lot and if the Raiders have a first and 10 inside the 20 I see Derek Carr targeting his big Tight End in the endzone for a score or two. I see him doubling his yardage total from week 1 at a minimum and adding a score to boot.
Jason Witten TE Dallas Cowboys: Draftkings - $4,300
9 Receptions on 14 targets is pretty solid for ol’ dad-bod Witten. Weak or inexperienced QB’s tend to lean on their big targets who are close by - thats Witten in a nutshell! I’m picking on the Redskins here but they are bottom ten in passing yards allowed and I’m betting Witten gets another healthy clip of targets this week. He could be cheaper but I’ll take him at $4,300.
Seattle Seahawks Defense: Draftkings - $3,800
I realize that Seattle is a bland pick, but did you see the Rams on Monday night against the 49ers? They were awful, I mean they were just terrible. Now the 49ers strongest part of their football team is the defense and so part of the Rams shortcomings fall there, but the Seahawks defense is an elite unit as a whole. I see them stacking the box and decapitating whatever quarterback the Los Angeles Rams decide to throw out there for sacrifice.
Detroit Lions Defense: Draftkings - $2,800
This one could blow up in my face but its to easy to take Seattle ^ right? the lions have playmakers on Defense and Tennessee isn’t too scary on offense at the moment. I the TN might figure it out this week but I’m betting on the Lions getting a turn over or two here with the titan’s out there trying to run the option! #exoticsmashmouth
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