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.
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