Week 15 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Kirk Cousins vs. Miami Dolphins ($6200)

This won't be a popular play on the main slate this week. Coming off a terrible showing in Seattle last week, and the firing of their offensive coordinator, I think people will be staying away from Cousins this week. I like him in this spot a lot. 

The Vikings are 7 point home favorites in a game they have to win – they now only have a 42.4% chance of making the playoffs. They're projected to score 26 points and their points are typically scored through the air. Miami is ranked 26th, in terms of DVOA, vs. the pass and they just got beat up by Tom Brady last week. To expound on that, they're 22nd vs. WR1 and 18th vs. WR2, so both Thielen and Diggs are in play. 

Mike Zimmer clearly has an offensive game plan in place, or he wouldn't have fired his OC at such a critical point in the season. I could see Minnesota scoring a ton of points in this spot. 
 

Mid-Tier :

Derek Carr @ Cincinnati Bengals ($5400)

Over his last 2 games, Derek Carr has completed 75% of his passes, thrown 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, averaged 307 pass yards and 23.5 Draftkings points per game. He's finally putting it together, and at $5400 vs. the Bengals defense, he should have another great weak for DFS.

The Bengals are allowing the 2nd most DK points per game to QBs ( only 0.02 per game fewer than the Falcons). They're giving up 283 passing yards and 2.08 touchdowns per game. 

The Bengals are going to score points in this game, and Oakland will be passing in response. The price, the spot, and the ownership are right for Carr this week. 

Lower Tier :

Nick Mullens vs. Seattle Seahawks ($4800)

Mullens is coming off back-to-back 22+ DK point performances; the best of those – 26.66 – came in week 13 @ Seattle. Now, he gets to face them again, but at home. At $4800, in a week where the main slate QB selections are very ‘up-in-the-air', Mullens is in play in all formats, and may end up being my cash game play.  

He's thrown 81 times the last 2 weeks and has averaged 373 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think it's safe to say they'll be playing catch up in this game (they lost 43-16 in week 13) so you can expect a lot of volume from him. 


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Ezekiel Elliott @ Indianapolis Colts ($9000)

The Cowboys have finally figured out that they can throw Zeke the ball, and when they do, their offense can be very successful. Over the last six weeks, Elliott has 40 receptions; that's 2nd to only Christian McCaffrey, at the RB position, over that period. 

There's a lot of talk about how Amari Cooper has changed that offense. He's put up incredible numbers since joining the Cowboys, but it's been Zeke's increased early-down usage in the passing game that has opened up their passing game and allowed Cooper to dominate as he has. 

The Colts are ranked 26th in DVOA vs. pass-catching RBs, and they haven't faced any of the elite pass-catching RBs; Lamar Miller is arguably the best ‘combo-back' they've seen since Joe Mixon in week 1, and Mixon went for 25.9 DK points. Zeke is a plug and play in cash and tournaments for this week.   

Mid-Tier :

Chris Carson @ San Francisco 49ers ($5600)

Carson has emerged as the go-to guy in the Seahawks backfield. It's always tough to fully trust Pete Carroll, but at this price and perceived gamescript, Carson is a pretty safe play with big upside. 

The 49ers are 14th vs. the rush; 16th in terms of adjusted line yards. The Seahawks look to run and run and run some more, week after week. This game flow should allow them to do that, and I expect Carson to get at least the 22 touches that he got last week. 

Price and low-ownership put him in play in both cash games and tournaments. 

Lower Tier :

Doug Martin @ Cincinnati Bengals ($4700)

It's odd to be talking about Doug Martin as a DFS play, but he's in play this week. The Bengals defense is climbing the ‘all-time worst defense' rankings, they've given up the most DK points to RBs this season, Martin is the lead RB for Oakland, he's scored in three straight games, and he's only $4700. 

It's the ‘brand' that will keep people away from playing Doug Martin this week, not the spot. He's currently projected to have 1% ownership in tournaments, making him a great option there.  



Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Juju Smith-Schuster vs. New England Patriots ($8000)

This game looks to be the best on the main slate. Lots of star-power, and a very, very important game for the home team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots defense struggled last week vs. the Dolphins, and they have much more to worry about this week at Heinz Field. 

Juju has seen 48 targets in the last 4 weeks – 10, 17, 9, and 12 last week. That kind of volume in that kind of offense (4th highest scoring in the NFL) is exactly what we're looking for when paying way up for a WR.  In his last (and only career game vs. the Pats) he caught all 6 of his targets for 114 yards. He'll largely avoid Stephon Gilmore in coverage, and Pittsburgh will be pass-heavy, as usual. 

Smith-Schuster is a cash game play for me, and I'll have a lot of tournament exposure, as well. 

Mid-Tier : 

Tyler Boyd vs. Oakland Raiders ($5700)

Once again, the Raiders must be picked on. They have the worst pass defense in the league, and they're on the road this week. Add to that the fact that their offense has actually come alive the last couple of weeks, and should be able to produce points again this week against the 27th ranked Bengals pass defense, and Tyler Boyd is the guy for Cincinnati now since A.J. Green is on IR. 

He's averaging 19 DK points in home games, and has 33 targets in his last 4 games; $5700 is too cheap for a #1 WR facing the Raiders, especially in a game that will likely be competitive. 

Boyd is definitely a viable cash game play, and with a projected ownership of 10%, is in play for tournaments. 

Lower Tier :

Marquise Goodwin vs. Seattle Seahawks ($4500)

I like Nick Mullens this week, and I like pairing him with Marquise Goodwin. You've already read what Mullens did to the Seahawks in week 13, and that was without Goodwin. 

The Hawks are 13th overall vs. the pass, but they're 26th vs. WR1. The 49ers will in all likelihood be trailing, and Mullens will be slinging it. Everyone will be playing George Kittle – and he's a solid play – but the Hawks are 8th vs. TEs; they funnel passes to the outside. 

At $4500, Goodwin can easily pay off his salary with one big play, and I think he makes one. I really like the Mullens / Goodwin salary-saver stack this week.


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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Eric Ebron vs. Dallas Cowboys ($5900)

Ebron is having a fantastic season with the Colts; the change of scenery has served him well. He's the second highest priced TE this week, and he's underpriced. He's been underpriced every week. 

In games that Jack Doyle has missed, Ebron is averaging 10.7 targets per game; that's #1 amongst all TEs. He has 12 touchdowns on the season; that's also #1, and he's averaging the 4th most DK points per game @ 15.6. 

In terms of the matchup: The Cowboys funnel 8 targets per game to TEs; that's 3rd most in the league, and they give up the 10th most yards per game to TEs – 62 per game. Ebron can be looked at as a $5900 WR, basically. He's a cash game play, and you'll want exposure to him in tournaments as well. 
 

Lower Tier :

Vernon Davis @ Jacksonville Jaguars ($3200)

It'll be another Big Vern week, for me. Jordan Reed is out, it looks like Josh Doctson will be out and Josh Johnson will be getting the start. The Jaguars have given the 5th most touchdowns to TEs this season, so I'll spend the $3200 on Davis, and hope he catches 3 or 4 passes and finds the endzone. 

Good Luck in Week 13!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 13 DraftKings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Cam Newton @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6600)

We have a full 13-game main slate this week, so there are lots of great plays to choose from.  At the top of the QB heap, the cash game play is quite clear – it's Cam Newton vs. the Bucs. There's no need to over-complicate it. The Bucs get smashed by QBs, Cam has as good a cash game floor as anyone, with high upside to match. 

The Bucs allow 2.36 passing touchdowns per game – the most in the league. They allow the sixth most passing yards per game – 291.45, and the fourth most Draftkings points per game – 22.99, to Qbs. Newton threw for 247 yards, 2 touchdowns and ran 11 times for another 33 yards back in week 9 vs. the Bucs. Considering the Panthers scored 42 points in that game and Cam only had 21.18 DK points, he was extremely unlucky; he could've just as easily had 40. 

I'm still not sure exactly how I'm going to construct my cash game lineups, but I do know that Newton is my QB if I'm paying up.  

Mid-Tier :

Lamar Jackson @ Atlanta Falcons ($5900)

Jackson was my mid-tier pick for last week, as well. I commented that @ $5700, it sort of felt like a reach. Well, this week @ $5900, it certainly doesn't feel like anything than other than a LOCK play. We haven't seen anything close to his ceiling yet, and his floor is about as good as it gets. 

In his first start, he only attempted 19 passes, he didn't score a touchdown in the air or on the ground, threw an interception, fumbled, and still had 19.9 DK points. Last week,  he attempted only 25 passes, had two total touchdowns, two interceptions, fumbled, and still got you 22.2 DK points. Those matchups were against the Bengals and the Raiders, and this week he gets the Falcons. Let the good times roll. 

The Falcons are ranked 29th in pass DVOA and 31st vs. the rush, earning them the honor of being ranked 32nd overall. Jackson should have plenty of great opportunities in both the running and passing games this week. 

Lower Tier :

Chase Daniel @ New York Giants ($4800)

This might be the best sub-$5000 QB play of the season, thus far. Last week @ Detroit, Daniel showed he was quite capable of delivering value at his low-salary ($4400) by putting up 19.4 DK points. This week, he has a similarly advantageous matchup @ the Giants. 

 The Bears are ranked in the bottom five teams in the league in terms of adjusted line yards, and the Giants have the 27th ranked pass defense. If they're going to reach or surpass their 25 point implied total, it'll be done through the air. I wouldn't be comfortable playing Daniel in cash games, but he makes for a decent tournament play at this price.   


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Christian McCaffrey @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8800)

This is the spot. It's been the spot, and it will continue to be the spot until wholesale changes are made by Tampa Bay. Cam Newton / McCaffrey stacks will be all over the DFS landscape this Sunday, for good reason. 

McCaffrey is coming off an explosive week 12 performance in which he tallied 52.7 Draftkings points. He's already lit up the Bucs once this season. In week 9, he put up 32.7 DK points on 22 touches against them. Did I mention the Panthers have a 29 point implied total? Yeah, there's that. 

In cash games this week, he's a lock play for me. His ownership should be high enough that fading him will be a very, very risky thing to do.  

Mid-Tier :

Phillip Lindsay @ Cincinnati Bengals ($5400)

The Bengals season has been in free-fall mode for several weeks now. The defense has been consistently bad all season, and the effort level looks like it's getting worse of late. 

The Broncos are 4.5 point road favorites against the Bengals' 30th ranked rush defense, and 32nd ranked defense vs. pass catching RBs. Lindsay should absolutely roll in this game. Royce Freeman will steal some carries from him, but @ $5400, that isn't a big deterrent from loading up on Phillip Lindsay this week. 

He's one of my favorite plays on the entire slate. He's a definite cash game play for me, and as long as his ownership isn't projected to be astronomical – and I don't think it will be – I'll be overweight on the field in tournaments, also. 

Lower Tier :

T.J. Yeldon vs. Indianapolis Colts ($4400)

T.J. Yeldon is in play this week, primarily because Leonard Fournette lost his mind last week and started throwing punches on the sideline, and also because Blake Bortles is bad at football (as we all know) and it's led to his benching in favor of Cody Kessler. So, this is pretty self-explanatory, right?

The Jags have been a disaster. Cody Kessler has, largely, been one as well. Carlos Hyde's touches will, presumably, be limited by a game-script that will not favor him. It seems to me that the only bright spot from a fantasy perspective on the Jags' side is T.J. Yeldon. A $4400 price tag is pretty interesting in this spot, indeed. 

The Colts rank 28th vs. pass catching RBs. Yeldon is about the Jags best option in this spot, when you consider game-script, and their QB situation. At the lower end, I like this play. Even for cash, if you need to. 



Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Tyreek Hill @ Oakland Raiders ($9100)

I typically shy away from paying for the top WR on the board, especially when that WR is $9100. I have no such concerns this week with Hill. The Chiefs have a 35 point implied total, on the road – where Tyreek thrives – against the 32nd ranked pass defense. It's a fantastic spot. 

On the road this season, he's averaging 7 receptions, 123 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game. That's good for 30.2 Draftkings points. He's had at least 42 DK points in three games – 45.3, 42.2 and 46.5. 

Ownership should be tempered by his big price tag, which makes him a great tournament option as well as a cash game play. He may not make my cash game lineup, but he's definitely my favorite WR on the slate. 

Mid-Tier : 

Corey Davis vs. New York Jets ($5500)

I'm no fan of Corey Davis as a football player. I actually don't think he's a very good player. That being said, he's the clear #1 for the Titans, he sees a lot of targets and he's not priced like it. 

Davis has had two games of at least 23.5 DK points in his last three – 28.5 and 23.5. The Titans are a 9 point home favorite, with a 25 point implied team total. If they're getting there, Davis is going to be involved. 

Lower Tier :

Josh Reynolds @ Detroit Lions  ($4900)

With Cooper Kupp out, Josh Reynolds has become an active part of the Rams offense. A Rams offense that is lighting up the scoreboard every week. In a happy coincidence, the Lions secondary is getting lit up every week! I think this could work out. 

The Lions have given up 330 passing yards, or more, in two of their last three games – games against the Bears and Panthers – and now they get to face Jared Goff? This is a great spot for Reynolds @ only $4900.


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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Travis Kelce @ Oakland Raiders ($7000)

It's Travis Kelce's turn this week. It's not completely arbitrary, however – he's facing the Oakland Raiders. The league's worst pass defense, in terms of DVOA, and also the worst, specifically against TEs, will have to deal with the Chiefs offense this week. 

Kansas City has an implied team total of 34.75 – the highest of the week. The ONLY thing not to like about Kelce this week is his $7000 price tag. It's a bit prohibitive, but like I mentioned regarding Tyreek Hill, the high price will keep ownership down so you can play him more comfortably in tournaments. 

Lower Tier :

Cameron Brate vs. Carolina Panthers ($3700)

This is a really nice price for Brate. The Carolina Panthers have allowed the most touchdowns in the league to TEs this season. They've allowed 9 on the season, in 11 games. We know Jameis Winston loves targeting his TEs. Matter of fact, Brate caught an early touchdown last week vs. the 49ers. He's a nice play at a low price this week. 

Good Luck in Week 13!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 12 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

 Andrew Luck vs. Miami Dolphins ($6400)

This is the third week in a row that I've mentioned Andrew Luck. This week, for the first time, he's priced in the top tier. His elite performances – and other great QB options being on the Thanksgiving Day slate –  have finally forced the Draftkings salary-makers to bump his price over $6000. 

Luck has 29 touchdowns on the season now. He's thrown at least three in  seven straight games. He's at home this week vs. a Miami team that despite facing the fourth fewest pass attempts per game over the last four weeks  – 29 – are allowing the sixth most passing touchdowns per game over that span – 2.33. 

The Colts have the highest implied total of any team on the main slate – 30 – and are 10 point home favorites. Luck is averaging 26.4 Draftkings points at home this season; he has 16 touchdowns, only 2 interceptions and averages 304 passing yards per game at Lucas Oil Stadium. He's an automatic play for me, yet again, this week. 

Mid-Tier :

Lamar Jackson vs. Oakland  Raiders ($5700)

This seems like such a reach, but it really isn't. A home QB, favored by double-digits, under $6000 vs. a team that has totally quit. I know, I know  – ‘but, they won last week!' Yes, the Raiders won last week, against an Arizona team that just hasn't been playing solid football all season. Josh Rosen completed just nine of twenty passes in the game. 

Lamar Jackson certainly isn't going to stand in the pocket and shred defenses with his arm at this stage of his career, but he looked alright in his start last week completing 13 of 19 passes. He runs the ball a little bit, too. He rushed TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES for 117 yards last week vs. Cincinnati. I certainly don't expect that kind of rush volume, but now that he's shown that, he should get more opportunities to look downfield as teams try to contain him in the pocket. 

As usual, the Raiders will provide no resistance defensively, and with a solid start under his belt, I expect Jackson to at least match his 19.7 DK points from week 11 this week.

Mid-Tier :

Russell Wilson @ Carolina Panthers ($5600)

Russell Wilson is less expensive than Lamar Jackson this week. That's certainly an indictment against the Raiders, which is reasonable, but Russ' pass volume has been up, he's facing a secondary that over the last four weeks has allowed 3.0 passing touchdowns per game – the second most in the league, and more than the Raiders – and he's actually been better on the road, averaging 20.1 DK points with 14 touchdown passes and only 4 interceptions. 

The Seahawks are a 3 point road underdog, and the Panthers have faced only 19.2 rush attempts per game over the last four weeks – the eighth fewest over that span – so Wilson should see a high number of pass attempts. He's a nice play at this price, and may go overlooked in tournaments this week. 


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Nick Chubb @ Cincinnati Bengals ($6300)

This is definitely the cheapest ‘top-tier' RB I've liked this season. Between the Thanksgiving Day slate and the teams on bye, Chubb is actually my overall top RB this week. On the road, as a 3 point underdog seems like an odd place to find a ‘lock-and-load' cash game RB, but that's what he is this week. 

The Bengals are on the list; the list of teams you want to target every week. Last week, the Lamar Jackson / Gus Edwards – led Ravens rushed for 265 yards @ a 4.9 yards per carry clip. Read that again, and tell me you don't like Chubb @ $6300.

Chubb is coming off a 20 carry, 3 catch, 209 yard, 2 touchdown, 38.9 Draftkings point game. Now, he gets an even better matchup. I'll have heavy exposure to him this week vs. the Bengals. 

Mid-Tier :

Marlon Mack vs. Miami Dolphins ($5500)

What makes a good cash game RB? A home favorite = check; not just a home favorite, but a 9 point home favorite. A high game total = check; not just a high game total, but a 30 point team total – the highest on the slate. A matchup vs. a bad run defense = check; not only are the Dolphins bad vs. the rush, they're allowing 134 rush yards per game over the last month @ 5.7 yards per carry – 134 rush yards per game is fourth most in the league over that time. 

At $5500, with ALL the boxes checked, Mack is a lock for me in cash lineups. 

Lower Tier :

Josh Adams vs. New York Giants ($3800)

This might be the biggest miss on the slate in terms of pricing. It might also be reasonable, based on the fact that his touches aren't guaranteed. Even if they are, he only had 10 total touches last week, but he did find the endzone to buoy his score, as he finished with 16.2 DK points (@ a $3300 price tag).

The Eagles are a 6 point home favorite vs. a Giants' defense that has allowed the third most rush yards per game over the last month – 135.3 @ 5.3 yards per carry. 

IF Adams is going to be the primary RB in this game, and something to that effect is announced prior to the game, he's going to be the chalk play this week. At $3800, you eat this good chalk, and move on. 


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Odell Beckham Jr. @ Philadelphia Eagles ($8800)

The Eagles' secondary is in shambles. It's been bad all year, and all of their starters are now out. For the second consecutive week, Odell Beckham is my favorite play at the top of the WR heap. 

The knock on OBJ this year is his QB. That's a fair criticism. Eli Manning is nothing more than ‘serviceable' at this point. However, in spots where we've expected him to ‘be good' – he has been. That's all that's needed for Beckham to pay off his price tag. 

The really exciting thing about OBJ is that he hasn't had that game yet. That 10 catch, 200 yard, 2 touchdown game that you KNOW is coming at some point. With all the injuries in the Eagles' defensive backfield, this could be the week for OBJ. 

Mid-Tier : 

Doug Baldwin @ Carolina Panthers ($5100)

The season has been a write-off for the most part, thus far, for Doug Baldwin. He's been dealing with various injuries since the outset. It looks like he's now healthy –  much healthier than he's been, certainly – and it's translating into performance on the field. 

He saw 10 targets last week, catching 7 of them for 52 yards and a touchdown. That's what I've been expecting from him for a few weeks already. 

This week, he gets a road matchup against the Panthers, who have allowed 22 passing touchdowns this season – the second most in the league. 

Lower Tier :

Danny Amendola @ Indianapolis Colts ($4600)

Play someone from the Miami offense? It does make me a bit uncomfortable, but it makes sense. At $4600, in this matchup, Danny Amendola is a solid play. He's a cash game play if you need to save salary. 

Over the last five weeks, Amendola has seen 41 targets – 8.2 per game. He's averaging 14.5 DK points per game over that period, with a high game of 20.4, and only one game under 10 – 9.7 vs. the Jets in week nine. 

He's averaging over 3x value over the last five games at this salary. It does seem like a thin play, but it's actually quite solid. 

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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

George Kittle @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6200)

The TE category continues to be a wasteland outside of the top couple of options. Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski are two of the top-priced players, and sandwiched between them is George Kittle, in a plus matchup against Tampa Bay. 

Kittle has had at least 75 yards in seven of the ten games he's played. He's averaging just over seven targets per game, and 15.4 Draftkings points per game. All he needs to do is have an average game, and find the endzone for him to pay off in all formats. There's a good chance of that this week. The Bucs are allowing the second most DK points per game to TEs this season, and giving up touchdowns at the fourth highest rate. 

Lower Tier :

Nick Vannett @ Carolina Panthers ($2700)

The team that allows more points to the TE position is the Carolina Panthers. They've given up nine touchdowns to TEs in ten games. Russell Wilson spreads his redzone targets around – Doug Baldwin has seven; David Moore, six ; Vannett, five – so Nick should be in line to get a look in the scoring area. At $2700, he's as good a punt play as there is. 


Good Luck in Week 12!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 11 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

 Carson Wentz @ New Orleans Saints ($6300)

There are some really nice options at the top of the QB heap this week. Cam Newton is a very attractive play, as is Drew Brees. Wentz is priced between those two guys and is in arguably the best spot. 

This game has a 56 point implied total, with the Eagles being an 8.5 point underdog. The Saints have been extremely stout against the rush – they currently have the 3rd best rush defense in terms of DVOA – and the Eagles are a pass-first team, so it definitely figures that Wentz will be passing the ball a lot. The Eagles are passing the ball 39 times a game on average, and this game will most certainly be be over that. While the Saints have been stout against the rush, they've been shredded through the air. They currently have the 29th ranked pass DVOA. 

Of the guys at the top, I think Wentz has the easiest path to the highest volume, and for cash games, that's what we're looking for from our QBs; guaranteed volume against bad pas defenses. 


Mid-Tier :

Andrew Luck vs. Tennessee Titans ($5900)

Luck was my mid-tier pick – and cash game play – last week vs. Jacksonville and I have to go right back to him this week, at home, vs. the Titans. He's playable every week at this point as long as his pricing stays in this range, and this week he has a fantastic matchup. I might like him even more for tournaments this week at his current 5% projected ownership. I suspect a lot of people may not be looking at him because of the Titans' win last week vs. New England. There's nothing to be concerned about here, at all. The Titans' secondary is awful. 

Luck has thrown the third most passes in the league. He has the second most touchdown passes, with 26. He's thrown 3 or more in six straight games – the third longest streak in NFL history. The Titans, and namely Malcolm Butler, are 31st vs. WR1s. They're 23rd vs. WR2s, and 17th vs. WR3s. 

This sets up very nicely, yet again, for Luck to have a three or four touchdown day, at a very reasonable price.  

 

Lower Tier :

Josh Rosen vs. Oakland Raiders ($4800)

Three things that you can expect me to write about, most weeks:  How bad the Raiders are, how bad the Bucs are and if you're paying down at QB, I like Josh Rosen. This week is no different. 

While Rosen hasn't really paid off with any type of upside, his salary hasn't sunk cash lineups. Now that the offense is looking competent, and the Raiders are in town, he's actually a very good play AND his salary hasn't been adjusted. 

I don't know how eager I'd be to roster him in my cash game lineups, as David Johnson may simply run all over the Raiders and Rosen won't be asked to do much, but for tournaments, pairing him with Larry Fitzgerald, and/or Christian Kirk, and/or Johnson makes for a very intriguing team stack.  


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

David Johnson vs. Oakland Raiders ($7500)

Just in time. David Johnson is getting touches, valuable touches, just in time for a visit by the Raiders. There is no bigger joke in the league than the franchise that will soon be relocating from Oakland, and Johnson will help deliver the punchline on Sunday. 

The Raiders have the 31st ranked DVOA overall; 32nd vs. the pass; 25th vs. the run, and 32nd vs. RB pass attempts. Add to that the fact that Arizona is a 5.5 point home favorite and Oakland is just as bad, or maybe worse, offensively, and it's pretty easy to see a 22-25 touch game for Johnson here. 

There are five RBs priced above him this week. I'm not sure why that is, and I'm fairly certain that won't be the case next week. David Johnson is back to being the ‘David Johnson' we thought he would be, and at $7500, I'll be playing him everywhere this week.  

Mid-Tier :

Tevin Coleman vs. Dallas Cowboys ($5300)

I don't like the options in the $5000-$5900 range this week. Some are dependant on gamescript – like Coleman is, for me – others, on the health of other RBs – like Philip Lindsay's situation with Royce Freeman possibly making his return. Coleman has gotten 10 or more carries in four straight games, and he's been targeted in the passing game 12 times in the last two weeks. I think he's the safest play here, and has obvious big upside. He scored 32.6 Draftkings points in week nine vs. the Redskins. 

The Cowboys have been very good vs. the run thus far, but have struggled against RBs who catch the ball out of the backfield. They have the 4th best rush DVOA but are 26th against pass-catching RBs. I like the gamescript for him here – I think Atlanta wins handily – and he's definitely in consideration for my cash game lineup. 

Lower Tier :

Alex Collins vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($4400)

The Ravens may be starting someone other than Joe Flacco on Sunday when they face the Cincinnati Bengals. The same Bengals who fired their defensive coordinator on Monday after allowing 500 yards of offense for the third consecutive game. 

Whether Flacco plays or not isn't a ‘make or break' as to whether Collins is in play against the Bengals and their 27th ranked rush DVOA, but if Robert Griffin gets the start, I have to think it gives Collins a boost. Either way, he'll get goal line touches and enough work to pay off his $4400 price tag, with nice upside attached. 


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8400)

I target the Bucs' secondary, every week. I always have some exposure to Beckham, every week. When doing one means doing the other, it sets up a ‘perfect storm'-type situation that I will have a lot of exposure to. 

The Bucs are still on a record-setting pace for passing yardage allowed, and Beckham can break a slate on any given week. This is a pretty easy sell; the only reason for any hesitation is the fact that Eli Manning is no longer good at football, and he could simply check down over and over. Luckily, the Giants defense is quite bad, and Eli will be forced to throw far more than the coaches would prefer. This is obviously good for Beckham. You can lock Beckham in, in all formats, this weekend. 

Mid-Tier : 

Amari Cooper @ Atlanta Falcons ($5400)

What a difference a couple of weeks makes. Amari Cooper was targeted 31 times in six games with the Raiders, and already has 18 in his first games with Dallas. While Dallas isn't exactly re-inventing the ‘air raid offense', they have a much better offense than what he was part of in Oakland. 

Cooper has quickly become the #1 target for the Cowboys; 8 targets in his first game, and 10 in his second. I expect him to see another 10 this week, in a game that Dallas should be trailing, and needing to catch up, or keep pace, at best. At $5400, he's a bargain this week. 

Lower Tier :

Maurice Harris vs. Houston Texans ($4500)

I have no way of knowing exactly what the Redskins' plan was for this season, but I think it's pretty fair to say that not much has gone according to that plan so far. I mean, I'm writing about Maurice Harris as a DFS play, so.. 

Last week, Harris caught all 5 of his targets for 52 yards; the week before that, he caught 10 of 12 targets for 124 yards. The Redskins defense isn't good, and the offense isn't good, either, but they have to pass the ball, and Harris has been the safety valve that ‘gun-shy' Alex Smith has grown comfortable with. At $4500, he's got a decent floor for cash games, and still brings some upside if you want to run him out there in a tournament lineup. 

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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Zach Ertz @ New Orleans Saints ($6600)

This week it's Ertz at the top of the list, since Kelce isn't on the main slate. Ertz is having an unbelievable season so far,, and he's got a great matchup again this week. That kind of goes without saying when you're getting more than 11 targets a game.I've said it before, but it remains true: Zach Ertz is an elite WR; he's just listed as a TE. 

If you're not completely punting the position, play Ertz. Don't try to get cute in cash games by trying to pick the random guy that hits this week. 

Lower Tier :

Ricky Seals-Jones vs. Oakland Raiders ($2900)

If you're not playing Zach Ertz, why not Ricky Seals-Jones? He's got a great matchup at home vs. the Raiders and their 32nd ranked defense vs. TEs. It makes sense to me. 

He's averaging over 5 targets per game, has big play capability, he's playing the Raiders, and he's $2900.. Sounds good indeed. 


Good Luck in Week 10!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 10 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

 Patrick Mahomes vs. Arizona Cardinals ($7200)

Mahomes continues to put up big numbers regardless of opponent. A home matchup vs. Arizona shouldn't change that at all. A $7200 price tag may seem pretty steep, but considering he's performing at a level we haven't seen since Tom Brady's historic fantasy season, it's actually not steep at all. He's underpriced, really. 

The Chiefs are 16.5 point favorites this week. They'll be able to do anything they want offensively. Mahomes is a virtual lock for 300 passing yards, and two touchdowns, and I would say three is very likely. 

I'll be paying down at QB for cash games, as usual, but there really isn't a safer play this week that comes with the upside that Mahomes does. If you're paying up, go to the top of the board and plug in Mahomes. 


Mid-Tier :

Andrew Luck vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($5500)

Too cheap. Andrew Luck is far too cheap this week. This price stood out to me immediately, and for some reason it seems I'm the only one. I haven't heard anyone mentioning Luck this week. The Jags have a ‘name brand' defense that shouldn't be scaring anyone away from playing him. 

In games vs. the Giants, Titans and Jets, Jacksonville allowed an average of 163 pass yards and 0.3 touchdowns. Those were weeks 1, 3 and 4, respectively.  In the last three weeks, vs. the Cowboys, Texans and Eagles, they've allowed six passing touchdowns. Andrew Luck is second only to Patrick Mahomes in touchdown passes this season, having thrown 23 in his first eight games. We can talk about the names in the Jacksonville secondary all we want, but without pressuring the QB, those names don't matter. Luck has been sacked 10 times – the second fewest in the league; one more than Drew Brees. The Jags are 25th in sacks. The only teams with fewer sacks than them? Bucs, Falcons, Saints, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants and Raiders. These are teams that we target every week.

Last I checked, he was projected to be 1% owned in tournaments. I'll be playing Luck in cash games, and if it seems like ownership will actually be in that range, he'll also be in the majority of my tournament lineups, as well. 

Lower Tier :

Marcus Mariota vs. New England Patriots ($4700)

This is a great example of price plus matchup putting someone into play. I'll be very clear: Marcus Mariota isn't good at playing QB in the NFL.  However, in tournaments, in this home game against New England, he's in play because the guys that play defense for the Patriots aren't good at playing football, either. 

The Patriots allow 21.75 Draftkings points per game to QBs; that's the seventh most. They allow 2.1 passing touchdowns per game; that's sixth most. Mariota had his best game of the season last week vs. Dallas, and with a visit from the Patriots coming this week, at this very cheap price, I think that he can continue to look like a startable NFL QB for one more week, at least. 

In tournaments, you could play him on his own because of his rushing upside, or pair him with Dion Lewis, who's about the only other capable offensive player on the team, and also very cheap this week. 


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Melvin Gordon @ Oakland Raiders ($9000)

This was the easiest play of the week for me. Gordon may find his way into every lineup I make – cash games and tournaments. Todd Gurley is in a great spot, as always; Kareem Hunt is in a great spot. Both are fantastic plays, but Gordon is playing a team that has simply quit.

The Oakland Raiders have no answer for anything on either side of the ball. Period. Add that to the fact that even if they did, they don't WANT to be competitive. What the Chargers want to do is give the ball to Melvin Gordon. He's going to rush the ball; he's going to catch the ball; he's going to do anything the team wants to do. 

The Raiders' DVOA: 31st overall; 32nd vs. Pass; 25th vs. Rush; 32nd vs. RB pass attempts. We target the Buccaneers every week because of how inept  they are on defense – they're on pace to set all-time records for futility. Guess what? The Raiders' defense is worse. The only reason why they haven't been torched quite to the extent that the Bucs have, is simply because the Raiders offense is just as bad. They can't respond. If the offense was in any way competent, their defensive metrics would be much worse than the Bucs. Gordon is a virtual lock in all formats. 

Mid-Tier :

Aaron Jones vs. Miami Dolphins ($5000)

This is the week! It's gotta be, right? This is the week that the Packers finally decide to stop fighting reality and simply give Aaron Jones the touches he needs for the team to be successful. This is only difficult to grasp for the Packers coaching staff, apparently. With the departure of Ty Montgomery and a home matchup with the helpless Dolphins defense – this is the week! 

The Dolphins surrender more fantasy points to RBs than the Bucs, Raiders, Lions and Giants – 30.27 per game. That's 6th most. They see the 26.1 rush attempts per week – 2nd most; allow 120 rush yards per game – 4th most; allow 53.7 receiving yards per game to RBs – 10th most. 

There is some risk that Jones doesn't get ‘all' the work, but I don't think it's high risk. He's a great play this week for cash or tournaments. He's likely going to make my cash lineup this week. This is the week! 

Lower Tier :

Mike Davis @ Los Angeles Rams ($4300)

This is a very intriguing play. The Seahawks want to run the ball, a lot, every week. This week, they'll want to run it even more. It's Thursday, and it looks like there's a good chance that Chris Carson won't play. It's being said that he's likely a game-time decision. Not a word that ever comes out of Pete Carroll's mouth can be believed, so there is some risk involved here too, but if it turns out that Carson isn't playing, Davis isn't some type ‘punt-play', he'll be in line for a heavy workload in both the run AND passing game this week. 

Last week, after Carson left the game with injury, Davis totaled 107 yards. He had 15 carries for 62 rush yards and got 8 targets in the passing game, catching 7 of them for another 45 yards. Twenty-two touches last week – in less than 3 quarters of action – heading into a matchup vs. the Rams 24th  ranked rush DVOA for $4300 is a great look this week. If Carson is out, Davis is viable in cash games, for sure. 




Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Jarvis Landry vs. Atlanta Falcons ($6200)

The Cleveland Browns have gotten their identity back. After a few weeks of wild optimism, they're back to being the ‘dumpster fire' that we've grown to accept. They've fired Hue Jackson, and somehow, managed to make their coaching situation even worse. THAT'S Cleveland Browns football! Their defense has eroded to the bare bones, and the Falcons are in town on Sunday. How is this promotional for Jarvis Landry? Well, the Falcons pass defense, and specifically their slot coverage, is also an absolute dumpster fire. 

Maurice Harris – 124 yards; Sterling Shepard – 167 yards; Adam Humphries – 82 yards; Tyler Boyd – 11 catches for 100 yards. These are the last four slot WRs the Falcons have faced. Jarvis Landry is averaging 6.1 receptions per game, and 11.2 targets per game. 

There are lots of guys in this price range that I really like, but Landry is my cash game play, easily, in this pricing group. Pricing, matchup, target volume – all are in Landry's favor here.  

Mid-Tier : 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Miami Dolphins ($5000)

‘MVS' is a thing now. It hasn't taken long for this Packers WR to gain Aaron Rodgers' trust and explode onto the DFS scene. An injury to Geronimo Allison, a great home matchup vs. Miami, and a $5000 price tag make MVS a cash game play for me. 

He's gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games, on only 6 targets in each of those games. All targets aren't created equal, and targets from Aaron Rodgers are more valuable than most. Targets from Aaron Rodgers against the 23rd ranked pass DVOA are more valuable still. 

With the high-end, high-priced RBs in great spots this week, having a clear-cut, slam dunk WR play at $5000 for cash games is fantastic, and MVS is that play. 

Lower Tier :

David Moore @ Los Angeles Rams  ($3900)

“Moore is always more.” That's a motto I've employed for quite some time. Because, it's true! This week, I think it's undeniably true if we're talking about Seahawks' WR David Moore. 

The Seahawks want to run the ball, a lot. The only problem is, they're 10 point road underdogs, and there's a high probability that they'll be down those 10 points very shortly after opening kickoff. There should be many targets to go around, and Moore has shown big play capability, has gotten redzone targets and has scored four touchdowns in the last four games. 

$3900 is a great price. He's a borderline cash game play this week, and a tournament lock. I'll have him across most of my tournament lineups. 



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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Travis Kelce vs. Arizona Cardinals ($7000)

This section is becoming the ‘Travis Kelce section.' It's not by design, it's just falling that way. Kelce is elite; he's one of two elite TE's. If Ertz isn't on the main slate, it's ‘Kelce week' at the top of the salary scale. I'm not forgetting about Rob Gronkowski; he's extremely beat up and can't be trusted to get a full compliment of snaps or any relevant target share. 

The Chiefs are a 16 point home favorite, have an implied total of 33 points, are without Sammy Watkins, and facing the 23rd ranked DVOA vs. TEs. Kelce is a very easy play again this week. 

Lower Tier :

Vernon Davis @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2800)

The Washington Redskins have been very disappointing for DFS purposes this season. That will no doubt continue this week, and they have a prime matchup vs. Tampa Bay. 

Chris Thompson is out, Jamison Crowder may not play, the offensive line has been decimated by injury, and Alex Smith hasn't looked great when the team has been at full strength. Jordan Reed, although a bit ‘dinged up' is one of the last men standing on offense, but he's been very disappointing thus far. How ironic is that? Enter ‘Big Vern'! He's going to be running routes, getting targets and making plays. That's what Big Vern does.

I couldn't write this article and not mention any of the Bucs awful defensive metrics, so: DVOA vs. TEs – 29th. They've allowed the 2nd most points to TEs; the 5th most targets; the 4th most receptions; the most most receiving yards per game, and the 5th most expected touchdowns. I love Vernon Davis @ $2800 this week in all formats. 

Good Luck in Week 10!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 9 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6600)

This is the easiest call of the week, and one of the easier calls of the entire season. Cam Newton is the best cash game QB most weeks, and this week he's clearly the best play on the board, IF you like paying up for QBs in cash games. 

Newton's floor is fantastic because of his rushing upside. He's getting you more than a passing touchdown's worth of points every week on the ground. He's averaging 44.1 rushing yards per game, hasn't had fewer than 29, and has gone over 50 twice. He now gets a home game against the Bucs.

As we all know by now, the Bucs are an automatic target, every week. The league's worst pass defense, and last-ranked DVOA overall.  They allow 332 passing yards, 2.86 tds and 27.3 Draftkings points per game to QBs. If you're paying up, Newton is the play here. 

Mid-Tier :

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Carolina Panthers ($5500)

It never really went away; it was just mistreated, under-appreciated and disrespected. I'm talking, of course, about the #Fitzmagic. It provided early-season NFL with all the fantasy goodness it could handle. Then, attempts were made to extinguish it; to cast it aside like it wasn't there, and never really happened. Try as they did – they couldn't stop it! 

Todd Monken knows what he's doing. His offense is filled with weapons and is humming along. Ryan Fitzpatrick is averaging 26.8 Draftkings points per game. That is higher than anyone on the main slate, not named Patrick Mahomes – who is averaging 30.5 – and he's $1500 cheaper than Mahomes. 

He's a 6.5 point road underdog, facing the league's 20th ranked pass DVOA. The Panthers are going to score at will and it'll be all on Fitzpatrick to respond. He's a great cash game play, and because of his upside, is in play for tournaments, also.   

Lower Tier :

Case Keenum vs. Houston Texans ($4900)

If for some reason you don't believe in #Fitzmagic, Case Keenum is your cash game QB this week.  Write it down so you don't forget. The Texans pass defense is not good, and at $4900, I'll be locking Cash Keenum into my case lineups…or something like that. There's a perception that the Texans defense, particularly their pass defense, is pretty good. Most of the numbers look good,  so why am I saying they're bad? Let's have a look..

Tom Brady : 26/39, 277 yards, 3 touchdowns. 27 points for the Pats. 
Andrew Luck: 40/62, 464 yards, 4 touchdowns. 34 points for the Colts. 
The rest? – Blaine Gabbert, Josh Allen, Eli Manning, Cody Kessler/Blake Bortles, Brock Osweiler and Dak Prescott –  Backups and ‘should be backups.' The lot of them.

Keenum will be the first competent QB they will have faced since Andrew Luck in week 4. Keenum is THE cash play this week. Don't lose your note.


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Alvin Kamara vs. Los Angeles Rams ($7300)

I considered posting a picture of Terrell Owens eating from a five-gallon bucket of popcorn as a lead-in to this game. It is filled with DFS goodness on both sides of the ball. The over/under is SIXTY, as I type this. 60. 

Alvin Kamara is priced as the number six RB this week. At home, as a favorite, versus the twenty-fifth ranked run DVOA, in a game with a projected total of sixty? I'm in. We've seen how the Saints use Kamara. They line him up everywhere and do a fantastic job of getting him the ball in space. He is my second favorite play of the week at RB, and he's a cash game lock for me. 60 points. Get your popcorn ready. 

Mid-Tier :

Mark Ingram vs. Los Angeles Rams ($5000)

When I said that Alvin Kamara was my ‘second-favorite RB play of the week,' it was because Mark Ingram is my favorite play. $5000 in a matchup with the Rams is fantastic. He has the third highest projected tournament ownership at RB at 17.5%, behind Kamara (22.5%) and Todd Gurley (32.5%). I fully expect that by game time on Sunday afternoon that Ingram will be 25 – 30% owned, and rightfully so. 

The Green Bay Packers followed the formula, stuck to the blueprint and put themselves in a position to beat the Rams last week by running the ball. The only mistake they made was not trading Ty Montgomery a week earlier. Montgomery doesn't play for the Saints, Mark Ingram does, and he's going to be a focal point of the offense this week. 

The Rams allowed 101 yards rushing on 18 carries last week. Two of those carries went for touchdowns. With the two-headed backfield that the Saints have, I think playing both of the Saints RBs is a viable strategy in cash games. Home RBs, who are heavily involved in the passing game, in a game with a sixty-point total for $12,300. I like it. As of now, I'm planning on playing them both in cash games.  

Lower Tier :

Isaiah Crowell @ Miami Dolphins ($4200)

I think if you're paying down in this range for cash game RBs this week, you're doing it wrong. That being said, Miami is a really bad football team, and they're allowing opposing RBs to carve them up. They watched Lamar Miller run for 133 yards on only 18 carries and score a touchdown against them last Thursday night. 

The Dolphins have faced the second most rush attempts per game – 26.8; allowed the fourth most rushing yards per game – 125.1; and have given up the fourth most Draftkings points per game to opposing RBs – 31.65. When we add the fact that they're the twenty-first ranked DVOA defense in terms of defending RB pass attempts, and sixteenth versus the run, all the other stats come in to focus, and it becomes clear that all starting RBs are in play vs. Miami…Did I mention Lamar Miller rushed for over 130 yards against them last week? 

If you're going to be wrong this week, at least do it right and play Crowell. 
I mean, if Lamar Miller can do it…. 


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Robert Woods @ New Orleans Saints ($7000)

SIXTY! The over/under is sixty. That was the deciding factor in settling on a top tier WR pick this week. Woods vs. Ken Crawley in THIS game, is as solid a spot as you can wish for. Brandin Cooks is also in a great spot, obviously, but not quite as juicy as the opportunity for Woods. 

The Saints DVOA rankings:  vs. the pass – 29th; vs WR1's – 32nd; vs WR2's – 32nd. So, regardless of who's playing what role and categorized as which WR, the Saints won't be covering them. They'll be chasing them around, just trying to keep them in front of them. 

Woods leads the Rams' WRs in targets, catches, yards and is second in touchdowns. He's as solid as it gets in this matchup, and you must have a piece, or several, of this game. 

Mid-Tier : 

Desean Jackson @ Carolina Panthers ($5000)

This game is playing second-fiddle to the game in New Orleans this week, but you'll definitely want exposure to it. Whether you believe in certain types of magic or not is irrelevant because Desean Jackson does. He's embraced the #Fitzmagic and has THRIVED on it. 

‘DJax' is averaging 84.9 yards per game; a 1360 yard pace. In the first four  games of the season, with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, he averaged 106 receiving yards per game, and caught 17 of his 21 targets. He was efficient AND making explosive plays down the field. Typically, field stretchers are inefficient because of where they see their targets, but Jackson and Fitzpatrick have shown great chemistry and that's led to great efficiency. 

Cam Newton is going to light up the Bucs' secondary like a Christmas tree, all day long, so it's a very safe bet that Jackson will be targeted early and often in this game out of necessity; they'll be trying to not get blown out. 

Lower Tier :

D.J. Moore vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4300)

Do I love Devin Funchess this week? Yes. He's a solid play. Anyone wearing a Panthers jersey who's part of the 53-man roster and active for the game is in play vs. the Buccaneers. There's no doubt I will have exposure to Funchess, however, I like D.J. Moore and his $1300 discount a bit better. 

Cam Newton is going to be able to do anything he wants on Sunday; just like everyone has that has faced the Bucs, thus far. Well, everyone not named ‘Baker Mayfield', at least. With Moore having somewhat of a breakout game last week, it seems very reasonable to me to expect Newton to keep it going and keep building his relationship with his rookie WR; if for no other reason than he simply can. The Bucs can't do anything about it. Funchess and Moore could both easily reach the 100 yard bonus. It's not an ‘either or' situation here. 

I think at this price, if you decide to not pay attention to the value plays that are available to you this week, and go with some ‘questionable' roster construction that leaves you needing a cheap WR, Moore is a solid play. If you build your cash lineups correctly, you won't need him there, but for tournaments? I like him a lot. 

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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Travis Kelce @ Cleveland Browns ($6600)

This is not ground-breaking analysis. Travis Kelce is the only elite play at the position this week and he gets a plus matchup against the Browns. Cleveland is allowing the fifth most targets per game to the position, and the Chiefs may be without Tyreek Hill, though it looks like he'll be good to go. 

Kelce is averaging just under 9 targets per game, and has had 10 or more in four of eight games. He's as a safe as play as there is most weeks, and that definitely applies this week. If safety at TE is what you want, Kelce is who you want. 

Lower Tier :

Chris Herndon @ Miami Dolphins ($3000)

It looks like the Jets are going to be without both Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa this week, and Sam Darnold has already shown some chemistry with Herndon. 

Herndon has caught 7 of 11 targets the last three weeks, and has a touchdown in each game. For $3000, against a terrible Miami defense, Herndon makes for a decent punt play at TE. 

Good luck this week!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 8 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Aaron Rodgers @ Los Angeles Rams ($6400)

Even with 12 QBs unavailable for the main slate, there are some great choices at the top this week. Settling on one was tricky. Ultimately, I'll take the guy who's playing as a 9.5 point road underdog because, well, it's Aaron Rodgers. Having to chase points against a Rams secondary that has been very beatable thus far puts Rodgers in a great spot, and I want him in my lineup this week. 

The Rams have the highest implied total on the main slate this week, which sits at 33 points right now. They're averaging 33.6 points a game and have been scoring almost at will, it seems. The Packers 24th-ranked rush DVOA will not serve them well this week against Todd Gurley and the Ram's run game. The Packers are one of twelve teams that rush the ball less than twenty times per game, so there's little chance they'll even attempt to slow it down and ‘grind it out' on offense. 

The Rams pass defense is very beatable; Aqib Talib is out, and Marcus Peters is playing through an injury. Kirk Cousins threw for 422 yards and 3 touchdowns; Case Keenum – 322 yards and 2 scores; Russell Wilson threw 3 touchdown passes against them, and Derek Carr threw for 303 yards against them. I'll take 35 pass attempts, at minimum, from Aaron Rodgers this week, plus his rushing upside. He's hoping to play without the knee brace this week, so that just adds to his upside. I don't usually pay up for QBs in cash games, but I am this week; Rodgers is the guy. 


Mid-Tier :

Russell Wilson @ Detroit Lions ($5900)

Pete Carroll isn't a good football coach; he's actually quite bad. Luckily for him, he's got Russell Wilson to hide his bad decisions and put the team in a position to win, or at least compete, most weeks. This week should be no different. 

Wilson has 6 touchdown passes in the last two weeks on just 45 pass attempts. He's starting to round into form now with Doug Baldwin back in the mix and the run game able to take some of the pressure off of him. The game currently sits at a 49.5 over/under, with Seattle being a 3 point underdog. If they're going to keep it that close, it'll be on Wilson to do so and coming off their bye-week, he'll be fresh and ready to go. The only real concern I have about this play is that the Lions play at such a slow pace. That's something to keep in mind, but otherwise I really like Wilson here. 

Lower Tier :

Josh Rosen vs. San Francisco 49ers ($4800)

This is the third week this season that I've mentioned Josh Rosen. When I look at QBs under the $5000 price tag, I look at opportunity and the weapons around him, because that's all I can do to try and justify playing a guy in this tier. On the other side of this game, C.J. Beathard was someone I considered but Rosen is simply in a better spot here. 

Arizona has a new OC this week – Byron Leftwich. How good he is as a play-caller remains to be seen, but I'm willing to bet that he's better than Mike McCoy. I'm also willing to bet that he'll get Christian Kirk and David Johnson more involved, and more importantly, put them in situations where their potential is maximized. That has been the biggest issue for the Arizona offense thus far. 

Is it a safe play? No, but if you want to jam in the studs in the high-total shootout games, Rosen is definitely in play at his price and he's currently projected to be around 1% owned in tournaments, as well.  


Running Backs

Top Tier :   

James Conner vs. Cleveland Browns ($7500)

Todd Gurley is the #1 play at any position, every week. You cannot fade him in cash games, and you should have exposure to him in tournaments as well. Saquon Barkley is also a fantastic play for the obvious reason – his usage is crazy high – but, James Conner is $1300 less than Barkley and is in an absolutely prime spot. If you can get up to Barkley, I wouldn't try to talk you out of playing him, but based on the cost savings, I'll be playing Conner in cash games. 

Week 1: 31 carries for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 receptions on 6 targets for another 57 yards and 38.2 Draftkings points. That's how Conner started the season against the Browns. Now, in week 8, we have the Steelers coming off their bye week, at home, facing a Browns team that has been gashed week after week by RBs. They're allowing 112 yards a game, at a 5.2 yards per carry clip, and 1.14 rushing touchdowns per game. 

The Cleveland defense has played more snaps than any other defense in the league, and are coming off yet another overtime game last week. Everything has been catching up to the Browns recently, and I expect Pittsburgh to blow them out this week, and Conner will be leading the way.  I will have Conner everywhere; cash games and tournaments. 

Mid-Tier :

Marlon Mack @ Oakland Raiders ($5400)

The Raiders have a bad defense. Not only do they have a bad defense – they have no way to fix it. Not only do they have no way to fix it – they don't WANT to fix it. They're very bad, getting worse, and don't care. On the flip side, the Colts have a good offense that is getting better, and they're getting healthier by the week. 

The Colts offensive line has allowed the lowest sack rate in the league at 3.1%.  I repeat: The Colts offensive line has allowed the lowest sack rate in the league. This is extremely significant. Last season, the Colts allowed 56 sacks – the most in the NFL. The 10.3% sack rate was also the worst in the league. In 2016, they allowed the fifth most sacks. My point here is that they haven't allowed Andrew Luck the luxury of any protection, OR to benefit from any semblance of a run game – until now. 

In Marlon Mack's two weeks back: 31 carries for 215 yards – 6.9 yards per carry – and a touchdown, plus 3 receptions on 5 targets for another 37 yards and a touchdown. GREAT production. Yes, it came versus the Bills and the Jets, but now he gets the Raiders, and that's an even better matchup. At $5400, Mack is definitely in play for cash and tournaments this week. Oakland is looking for draft picks so they can maybe find a top WR or pass rusher, since they're hard to find. 
**Update: Mack did not practice on Thursday. He was held out because of an ankle injury. Keep an eye on his practice status on Friday and the updates afterward.**

Lower Tier :

Adrian Peterson @ New York Giants ($4900)

Adrian Peterson is his team's entire offense. Yes, it's 2018. No, I don't quite understand it, but it's the case. The Redskins are currently decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Maurice Harris has been talked about as being ‘in play' in DFS, just to illustrate how bad it's been. Even before the injury bug really crippled the receiving core, the offense sputtered. The only consistent player has been Peterson. 

Four of six weeks, he's gotten at least 96 rushing yards – 96, 120, 97, and 99. While those three games that have come up just short of the 100-yard bonus frustrated owners to no end I'm sure, AP has been very dependable in an offense that now NEEDS him. The last two games, he's gotten 17 and 24 carries, and now he faces the Giants in what should be a close, low-scoring game. The price is definitely right for the workload and gamescript he'll see on Sunday.  


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

A.J. Green vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8000)

The Bucs' secondary is the most consistent unit in the NFL. I've talked about them every week, and it sure seems like I'll continue to. I mean, I have to, right? They go out there and earn a spot in this article week after week after week. I can't deny them their due. 

I was going to talk about Tyler Boyd in this spot; he's a fantastic play here, too. If you're looking to save the $1300, he's a fine play over Green. I prefer Green simply because of how much he's moved around in the offense. No one in the Tampa Bay secondary can cover anyone, and the fact that Green moves around so much, just makes it that much more likely that they won't be able to get comfortable, at all, with what he's doing out there. 

The Bucs allow the 2nd most Draftkings points to WRs overall, and the most touchdowns allowed per game at 1.83. I talk about them every week – “no pass rush, no secondary, no answers, no clues” – so I don't need to say too much this week. The Bengals are at home with a 29.5 point implied total, and A.J. Green has arguably the best WR/CB matchup on the entire slate. Add that to the fact that Tampa has an implied total of almost 25 points, and you can see that this is a likely shootout that you'll definitely want a piece of in your lineups. Green is the piece I like the most.   

Mid-Tier : 

Geronimo Allison @ Los Angeles Rams ($5000)

If you like Aaron Rodgers this week, you might want to pair him with one of his pass catchers. I can tell you that I'll be doing both of these things. Allison is expected to be a ‘full-go' on Sunday in a game where WR targets will be aplenty. I like Davante Adams a lot this week, but the fact that he's almost $3000 more than Geronimo (Adams is $7900) will likely mean I'll have more Allison than Adams. Rodgers spreads the ball around, so the cost savings really stands out to me. 

He'll be lined up against either Marcus Peters – who's struggled greatly the last few weeks, as he battles a heel injury – or Troy Hill, who has struggled greatly this season with not being good at football. He'll get to avoid Nickell Robey-Coleman, who's been the Rams best cover cornerback. 

Is Allison a better overall play than Adams? No, but dollar-for-dollar there's an argument to be made for it. You could just avoid choosing one altogether and ask yourself: “Why not both!?” That's what I did, and I couldn't argue with my suggestion.  

Lower Tier :

Sammy Watkins vs. Denver Broncos ($4600)

Last week, I talked about Jermaine Kearse in this spot. ‘Everybody' talked about what a great play Kearse was. Then, he scored zero Draftkings points. That wasn't optimal. I think the main problem with that play was that Jermaine, like Troy Hill, isn't good at football, so it didn't work out. Sammy Watkins IS good at football, and that has been translating into more than zero Draftkings points when you put him in your lineup. 

He's averaging just under 6 targets and 50 yards per game. He's not a sure thing, but he's priced correctly for the role he plays in the KC offense. Tyreek Hill's home/road splits are real. Why? I have no idea, but they're a real thing. That helps Watkins' stock this week at home vs. Denver. 

I won't be playing him in cash games, simply because I don't have to, but if I was down to $4600 to fill my WR3 spot, I would be fine with playing Watkins there. He would be my choice. 

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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Travis Kelce vs. Denver Broncos ($6800)

It's always tough to pay up for a TE who isn't named Zach Ertz. Ertz is playing in London this week, so he's off the main slate, and Kelce stands far and above the rest in both price and in regard to my level of interest. As I say, regularly, Ertz is an elite receiver; he's simply listed as a TE. The same could be said for Kelce. He doesn't get the usage that Ertz gets, but the talent is there, and the QB play is most certainly there. 

He's seeing an average of 8.5 targets a game, and he hasn't gotten fewer than 5 in any game. That game was last week, and he caught all 5 for 95 yards. Not only is he a volume play, but his targets are high-quality targets. Unless this is your first day, you already know that Patrick Mahomes is an exceptional QB. 

In home games this season, Kelce is averaging 6 receptions for 103 yards and he's had no fewer than 95 – 114, 100, 95. Paying almost $7000 for a TE is a tough thing to do most weeks, but Kelce is the safest play, with the most upside, on the main slate this week and could easily outscore WRs in this price range.  

Lower Tier :

C.J. Uzomah vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($3500)

There are three players priced very similarly in this group that I like, and will likely have exposure to:  O.J. Howard ($3900), Vance MacDonald ($3700) and Uzomah. I prefer Uzomah simply because he's the least expensive and he's got the best matchup. 

The Bucs can't stop anything that involves passing the ball through the air to any player on the field. I think I may have mentioned that already, but it definitely applies to TEs and Uzomah has shown he's a capable pass-catcher. 

At home this season, he's caught 11 of 13 targets for 142 yards, and he's caught 17 of 19 targets on the season overall. He's very reliable. What's even more reliable is the Bucs inability to defend the TE position. They allow a league-worst 20.13 Draftkings points per game to TEs. 

Any of the three names I mentioned are good plays, but I'll take the savings plus a matchup with the Tampa defense this week if I'm looking to pay down at TE. 

Good luck this week!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 7 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Kirk Cousins @ New York Jets ($6400)

 The QB position is interesting this week as most of the best matchups involve the QBs in the mid-to-lower price ranges, and the highest priced guy is Jared Goff, who comes with some worry of having Todd Gurley vulture touchdowns. If you do want to pay up, Cousins is a great play this week. 

The Vikings run game hasn't been very successful yet this season, and it's largely been abandoned. They have the eighth fewest rushing attempts in the league after six weeks, and have attempted the fourth most passes. The Jets have faced the fourth most pass attempts, as that's how teams have found success against them. They've allowed the tenth most passing yards, and the sixth most touchdown passes. That's 292 pass yards, and 1.83 touchdowns per game. Cousins is averaging 320 pass yards and 2 touchdowns per game. 

Slot receivers have done the most damage against the Jets so far, and I'm pretty sure the guy who runs the majority of the slot routes for the Vikings is pretty good at it, so this matchup sets up very nicely for Cousins. He might be the safest QB play on the entire main slate. 

Mid-Tier :

Baker Mayfield @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5800)

This is tier is filled with great QB matchups this week. It's harder to find plays I don't like than those I do in this tier. Every week, since week 2, we've talked about picking on the Bucs pass defense, and it has to be talked about yet again in week 7. If Mayfield is going to have a big, breakout game, this should be it. 

The Bucs are on pace to have the worst pass defense in over a decade. They rank 32nd in pass yards allowed per game – 367; passing touchdowns allowed per game – 3.2; completion rate – 76.8%, and QB rating – 128. They're also tied for 32nd in interceptions, with 1, and have the second fewest sacks in the league, with 9. 

Mayfield had his worst game as a pro last week, but the Buccaneers defense in no way resembles that of the Chargers. He should not only have a bounce back game, but he's in line to have the best game of his young career. 

Lower Tier :

C.J. Beathard vs. Los Angeles Rams ($4800)

Last week, there was no one worthy of mentioning in this tier at QB. This week there are two, at least. Beathard seems to carry some stigma with him for some, but he's been good in his starts, and at $4800, he definitely deserves consideration; especially if you really want to play RBs that cost $9800 because you like winning money. 

In three starts, Beathard has scored 19.8, 27.6 and 18.9. That's a very solid floor for cash games, in a game where hes's going to have to throw. A LOT. The Rams secondary can certainly be had, as over the past four weeks, they've allowed 23.25 Draftkings points per game to QBs – the eight most over that span – and that includes giving up 292 passing yards per game, which is eleventh most. 

Marcus Goodwin had a break-out game last week, and George Kittle is emerging as one of the better TE receiving threats in the league. If you like jamming those elite players in your cash games, and you should, of course, playing Beathard in your cash game lineups will help you do it. You need to save somewhere to play guys that cost, say, $9800, and QB is one of the best spots to do that. 



Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Ezekiel Elliott @ Washington Redskins ($8100)

“Todd Gurley is good at football.” This is the third consecutive week I've opened the RB section with that statement. It's still true this week. It's not only true, but it's so completely obvious that Gurley doesn't need to be talked about here. Todd Gurley is the #1 RB play this week, and every week moving forward. Just put him in your lineups. If you're looking to pay up for two elite guys, Zeke is the other guy you'll want. 

Elliott is second in the league in rushing, and is getting a league-high 50% of his team's touches. 50%. That's pretty ridiculous usage, and makes him basically matchup proof on volume alone. The Redskins have been decent against the run, though they've faced the second fewest rush attempts per game over the last four weeks – 15. Last week, Mark Ingram had 73 total yards and scored twice vs. the ‘Skins on 18 total touches. Zeke hasn't had as few as 18  touches since week 1, and over the last three weeks has seen 29, 27 and 25 respectively. 

No matter how this game goes, for Dallas it goes through Zeke. It may be difficult to pay $17,900 to fill your two RB spots, but if you decide to, you can rest easy with Elliot in your lineup. 

Mid-Tier :

Tarik Cohen vs. New England Patriots ($5100)

The Bears' DST wrecked everyone last week. Well, I guess it was Brock Osweiler who wrecked the Bears' DST, so technically, Brock Osweiler wrecked everyone last week. To say that was surprising would be a gross understatement. What wasn't all that surprising was Tarik Cohen; they got him the ball, and he produced. 

The first three games, Cohen didn't touch the ball more than 8 times in any of the games – 8, 5 and 8 – and never really got anything going, even though they had good matchups for him. The last two weeks, he's seen 20 touches and 12. In those two games, he has 14 catches for 211 yards and 84 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. He's looking like a consistent player, and not just an ‘electric, gadget-type' player. Jordan Howard has fallen to the way-side the last couple of weeks, and hasn't looked good at any point this year, besides. 

The Patriots struggle with pass-catching RBs. Over the last four weeks, they're allowing 63 receiving yards per game – the fourth most in the league. They're allowing 154 total yards to the RB position over their last games, including 4.5 yards per carry. Cohen was in a great spot last week vs. Miami, they gave him the ball, he produced. That was the second week in a row, and he's in another great spot here in a game where the Bears will be looking to redeem themselves after the ‘Osweilering' they got last week. I would expect another 12 – 15 touches for him this week, at minimum, and good cash game value with tournament upside. 

Lower Tier :

Peyton Barber vs. Cleveland Browns ($3800)

If I said you could play a team's lead RB in a home game where his team is favored, against a team that is allowing 142 rushing yards per game at a 5.9 yards per carry clip over the last 4 weeks (30th in the league), another 50 yards in the passing game and 1.3 total touchdowns per week for $3800 – Is that something you might be interested in? Does it matter that it's Peyton Barber? It shouldn't. I think this should interest all of us. 

The Browns rush defense has been horrendous. 246 yards allowed last week, and 167 per game in their last three games. The Bucs finally had some success last week. Yes, they were playing Atlanta, but now they play the Browns, and there's little difference in regards to allowing points to RBs. Over the last four weeks, the Falcons allow 35.7 Draftkings points per game to RBs – fourth most in the league. Right on their heels, are the Browns, allowing 32.5 – the sixth most per game. 

Does clicking the button to the right of Barber's name make you uncomfortable? That would be reasonable, but dismissing the great spot and even nicer price simply because of the name associated with it, isn't very reasonable. The spot plus the price make him a borderline cash game play for me this week. 


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Jarvis Landry @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7300)

Adam Thielen is the top play here. Like Todd Gurley, I don't have to explain why, right? 28.5 Draftkings points per game on 13.5 targets. He's on pace to break all-time receiving records and he's playing the Jets. I mentioned the great matchup for Kirk Cousins in the QB section above. IF you'd like to save $1300 and play the WR in the best possible matchup, Jarvis Landry is your guy. 

Landry has had a tough three week stretch, catching only 11 of 29 targets. Facing the Bucs secondary is the best medicine. He lines up in the slot 76% of the time, and M.J. Stewart – one the worst rated defensive backs in the league – plays 93% of his snaps in the slot. 

There isn't a whole lot to sell here. Landry is in a dream spot, he's had double digit targets in every week but one, and that was week 2, and he needs to bounce back this week. I think he's a cash game lock at this price.

Mid-Tier : 

Devin Funchess @ Philadelphia Eagles ($5300)

Jalen Mills. Does that name ring any bells? I may have mentioned him before. Maybe even every week. The Eagles are an extreme pass funnel defense, and when teams look to target the secondary, they target Mr. Mills because it works. A lot. This week, he'll be chasing Devin Funchess around the field about half of the day. 

Mills has allowed more touchdowns than any other defensive back since the beginning of last season. He's allowing a 112 QB rating on the season this far. Considering just how good the Eagles are against the run, Cam Newton will be looking down the field on Sunday. Eli Manning threw for 280 yards;  Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards and a score, and Marcus Mariota threw for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 44 yards and another score. Funchess is projected to be 7.5% owned in tournaments this week. I think that's too low, and I'll definitely have him in a few lineups. 

Lower Tier :

Jermaine Kearse vs. Minnesota Vikings ($4100)

Forty-three targets through the first five weeks. That's what Quincy Enunwa saw from Sam Darnold. Enunwa is now out with an ankle injury, and when Kearse took over that role last week, he got targeted early and often. 

Kearse had 9 receptions on 10 targets for 94 yards. With the boom or bust nature of Robby Anderson on the outside and facing a Vikings run defense that allows virtually nothing on the ground, Kearse is almost a lock to get double-digit targets again this week. For $4100, he's a cash game play, and I like him for tournaments, as well at his current 1% projected ownership. Yes, please. 

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Tight Ends

Mid-Tier :

David Njoku @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4200)

You know I love Zach Ertz. He's an elite WR, just listed as a TE. He's playable every single week. He's the only ‘top-tier' TE I would consider this week. But, he's not the best play. Don't overthink it; don't worry about ownership, or anything else. David Njoku is the best TE play on the main slate this week. 

He's seen 23 targets over the last two weeks. The Bucs allow the most points to TEs this season. The average game for a TE against them is 7 receptions for 97 yards and 0.6 touchdowns; 21.12 points. He would reach more than 5x value if he simply gets the average. Play NJoku in all formats this week. 

Lower Tier :

Charles Clay @ Indianapolis Colts ($2800)

It's Derek Anderson Week! Are you excited? You probably shouldn't be. However, I'm excited to get a chance to play a healthy Charles Clay in a plus matchup, for $2800. 

Over the last four weeks, the Colts have allowed the fourth most Draftkings points to TEs, surrendering an average line of 6 receptions for 84 yards and 0.5 touchdowns; 18.65 points. 

Do you think Derek Anderson will look to check down to McCoy and Clay in his first action off the couch? I think he will, and for $2800, I'll be betting on it because I like rostering players that cost $9800. 

Good luck this week! 

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 6 Draftkings Picks

Quarterbacks

Top Tier :   

Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6800)

One of the main themes, “the easy calls”, through the first five weeks was: Target the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Welcome to Week 6, where that theme continues. Matt Ryan at home vs. Tampa Bay is easily the top QB play on the main slate. He's the highest priced player at the position, but that isn't a deterrent from rostering him in a game that has the highest implied total on the slate, at 57.5 points.  

The Bucs have given up the most points, the most yards per play, the most passing yards, the most passing yards per attempt, and the third most first downs. Add to that the fact that they're 3rd best in rushing yards allowed, and rushing attempts against, AND the fact that they don't get any pressure on QBs – they have the 26th ‘best' sack percentage – and what you're left with is a complete and total pass-funnel defense that has no answers for it.

In Ryan's three home games – weeks 2, 3, 4 – he's scored 31.68, 43.16, and 32.26 Draftkings points. That's a per game average of 355 passing yards, 3.3 tds and 0.3 ints. He's also scored 2 rushing tds. You can roster him without any of his receivers, as he spreads the ball around so much.  If you like the safety of paying up for QBs in your cash lineups, Matt Ryan is the easy and obvious choice this week.
     

Mid-Tier :

Jameis Winston @ Atlanta Falcons ($5800)

If you don't like to pay up for QBs, you'll want to have a look at the guy on the other sideline in Atlanta on Sunday. I've mentioned several reasons why Matt Ryan is a great play vs. Tampa Bay's defense, and now I'll mention several reasons why Jameis Winston may be every bit as good a play based on the $1000 savings you can get by rostering him over Ryan. 

The Falcons have allowed the second most points, the fourth most total yards, the ninth most yards per play, the ninth most passing yards, the second most first downs,  AND have the fourth worst sack percentage in the league. So, to recap: Only the Bucs have allowed more points and first downs than Atlanta, and the Falcons get even less pressure on QBs than Tampa Bay. 

There is a narrative to be made that might say, “Hey! This is Winston's first start; he may be rusty.”  That could be true, but is there a better spot for him to succeed? In Week 15 last season vs. Atlanta, Jameis had 299 passing yards and 3 tds; 3 rushes for 18 more yards, for a total of 25.76 Draftkings points. He'll face a depleted version of that same defense on Sunday. All the weapons he has, the lack of any run game and his team's inability to play defense makes him a great play in this spot. I don't like to pay up for QB if I can help it, so Jameis is my guy for cash games this week.

Mid-Tier :

Russell Wilson @ Oakland (in London, England) ($5700)

I had to go with another ‘mid-tier' priced guy here. There is no one in the lower tier this week worth discussing in any detail, so there's no point in wasting anyone's time mentioning one. I'm willing to bet that rostering Russell Wilson will not be a waste of time, however.  Wilson at $5700 vs. the Raiders, in England – where the majority of NFL games have gone over the projected total – is in play for cash games or tournaments.

It's been said, recently, in terms of pass rushers that “it's hard to find a great one.” The same guy also said, “if I can’t get it done, I’m not going to take their money. ” That guy, of course, is Raiders Head Coach John Gruden.  
The Raiders have allowed the third most points, the second most total yards, the second most yards per play, the second most yards per pass attempt and the eight most pass yards overall. They've also allowed the fifth most rushing yards at the fifth highest yards per attempt. Their defense isn't much of one in any aspect, and the biggest single factor contributing to that may be their third worst ranking in sack percentage. 

This is Doug Baldwin's second game back, and I think it's a certainty that he'll get more than the one target he had in his return last week. Add that to the fact that Tyler Lockett has found a rapport with Wilson, and Wilson now should have two reliable targets in the pass game. If that fails, somehow, his rushing upside against the Raiders' barely functioning run defense provides a nice safety net in cash games, and big upside in tournaments. Wilson is one of my favorite tournament plays this week. I think Russell will definitely get it done, and I have no worries about him taking my money. 

Running Backs

Top Tier :   

Todd Gurley @ Denver Broncos ($10,000)

“Todd Gurley is good at football.” That was the opening sentence from my Week 5 RB article where I suggested that Gurley was a cash game lineup lock. He ended up being the second highest scoring RB, with 33.3 Draftkings points; 4.2 less than James Conner's 37.5. I loved him last week at $9400, and I may like him even more this week at $10,000 heading to Denver. I've heard a lot of mention that because of his price, he should be a fade this week. I'm not sure why that is, when almost everyone around the industry loved him last week.. Does $600 make that much of a difference when you're talking about a guaranteed 25 – 30 point cash game play? It certainly doesn't to me. 

He had 26 total touches last week, and scored 3 times. It could've been 4; one was called back, and they settled for a field goal. In Week 4, 21 touches – 1 score; Week 3, 28 touches – 1 score; Week 2, 22 touches – 3 scores; Week 1, 23 touches – 1 score.

He's averaging 29.3 Draftkings points per game. That's not buoyed by up and down weeks, as he hasn't scored under 25.6 in any game. He's scoring a touchdown every 13.3 times he touches the ball. He's averaging 24 touches a game. He plays behind the league's best offensive line. Two of the Rams three starting WRs may not play on Sunday, in a game, as of now, that is expected to see snow. The Broncos just got torched by Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell for 318 rushing yards. The previous week, Kareem Hunt ran for 121 yards and scored once. Gurley is second in the league in rush yards, 6th amongst RBs in receiving yards, and leads all players in touchdowns, with 9. I could go on, but I think my point is pretty clear. 

There is no player with a safer floor OR higher upside than Gurley.  A $600 price increase shouldn't raise a red flag in terms of him being a cash game play this week.

Mid-Tier :

Nyheim Hines @ New York Jets ($5100)

A Colts RB is in play this week. I certainly had no expectation of suggesting such a thing, maybe, at any point this season. But, Nyheim Hines is being used as a dual-purpose back, and Andrew Luck has a shortage of receivers to target. Eric Ebron is the #1 target for Indy. That's something else I thought I wouldn't be saying. At the price, Hines is a reasonable play. 

First, I do have to mention that Marlon Mack has practiced in full today (it's Wednesday) and is expected to play. This will likely take at least a couple of touches away from Hines, but I don't expect to see much of a decline in his usage, as he's been quite effective as a pass catcher. 

In the last three weeks, Hines has 21 receptions, on 25 targets, for 133 yards and 2 scores. He's also rushed for another 73 yards on 24 carries. His Draftkings points totals in weeks 2 through 4  have been 9.3, 28.3, and 16, respectively.

A 3 yards per carry average isn't going to earn you much favor, even in a bad rushing offense like the Colts, so I think it's fair to assume that he will lose some rushing attempts to Mack, but he should maintain his passing game usage. T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle are out this week, and we've seen Hines upside in the passing game in week 4. At $5100, he'll be a low-owned tournament play that could pay off very nicely for you.

Lower Tier :

Carlos Hyde vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($4900)

Carlos Hyde is under-priced this week. He might be the most most under-priced player on the slate. I'm not going to complain about it; I'm just going to take FULL advantage of it. 

Hyde has 106 total touches this season – 100 rushes, 6 receptions. That's an average of 21 touches per game; he's seen as many as 25, and hasn't gotten less than 17 in any week. He's scored a touchdown in every game but one. The Browns are playing at home this week in a game where they're 1.5 point underdogs, so they're going to want to slow it down as much as they can, and keep Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon off the field. They should be able to accomplish that on the ground with Hyde. 

The Browns have the most rushing yards in the league after five weeks, the sixth best yards per attempt at 4.6, and the second most rushing touchdowns. The Chargers do have a top ten rush defense in terms of yards allowed and touchdowns allowed, but they have also faced the tenth fewest rush attempts. It's only Wednesday, but at $4900 I think Hyde will be in my cash lineups, and he's a great tournament play as well. 


Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

 Mike Evans @ Atlanta Falcons ($8100)

In case you haven't noticed, I really like the Tampa Bay @ Atlanta game this week. It's got so much DFS potential, I simply must have a decent sized piece of it, and so should you. Unlike the Atlanta side, the Bucs that are likely to be targeted in the passing game are much easier to pinpoint; especially now since Jameis Winston is back. 

In two games vs. Atlanta last season,  Evans caught 11 of 20 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown. Only one of those games was with Jameis; the one in which he caught his touchdown. This game should be a shootout and we've seen that Winston loves targeting Mike Evans. I think his target floor is 10, and I wouldn't be shocked if he saw 15. 

The Falcons have allowed 12 receiving touchdowns. That's second most in the league; only one behind the Steelers and, of course, the Buccaneers. I've already talked about how bad the Falcons pass defense is in the QB section as part of my Jameis Winston write-up. Evans is the third highest priced WR on the slate, but the ownership projections I've seen have him projected behind six other WRs, so his cost will likely keep him from being too chalky for tournaments. I like pairing him and Winston for cash games this week, and that's just what I'll be doing. 

Mid-Tier : 

John Brown @ Tennessee Titans ($5500)

Brown had 14 targets last week; 8 of them were over 20 yards. He has 14 such targets this season; that's the most in the league. He leads the league in air yards, and has 6 receptions of 25 yards or more. That's second most in the league, trailing only Tyreek Hill and Desean Jackson who each have 7.  He also ranks 3rd in yards per catch at 20.84. John Brown is back in a big way so far this season. He's being provided with many big play opportunities, and he's delivering. There's more to it than that, though. 

Brown is tied for the team lead in redzone targets with 5, and leads the team in targets inside the 10 yard line (3) and targets inside the 5 (1). So, it's not just deep routes where Flacco is targeting him. He's being used all over the field, in all situations. His price seems too low to me this week, making him a borderline cash game play, and certainly a great tournament play. I haven't even mentioned his matchup. 

When you think of the name ‘Malcolm Butler', you probably don't think ‘defensive liability' or ‘turnstile.' Well, you wouldn't be wrong if you did. In the first four weeks, Butler was targeted 27 times (6th most); allowed 21 receptions (4th most); gave up 397 yards (the most); and 4 touchdowns (the most).  Play John Brown this week. 

Lower Tier :

Mohamed Sanu vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4800)

Have I mentioned the Tampa Bay at Atlanta game? I think there'll be lots of points scored in that game, and at $4800, Mohamed Sanu is a great way to get a piece of it without giving up a huge chunk of your salary cap. I won't recommend Sanu as a cash game play, simply because Matt Ryan has several options at receiver, but in tournaments, he should be the lowest owned of the pass catchers in Atlanta, behind Julio Jones, Austin Hooper  and Calvin Ridley. Even if he isn't fourth on that list, his ownership will be very low overall. 

Sanu will draw M.J. Stewart in coverage. He's the fourth-worst rated defensive back on the main slate, according to Player Profiler. Calvin Ridley draws the fifth-worst rated defensive back, Carlton Davis, and will cost you an extra $1500. Sanu has more targets and receptions on the season than Ridley, and makes for a great pivot off him this week.

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Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Jared Cook vs. Seattle Seahawks ($5000)

How do you know when you should pay down or punt the TE position altogether? When you see Jared Cook near the top of the salary list and he's your favorite play because Eric Ebron is at the top of that list. That being said, Cook is the best receiver on his team right now, and if for some reason, you're looking to pay up at the position, he's in a good spot vs. the Seahawks this week. 

He leads the Raiders in targets, receptions and yards, and is one touchdown behind Jordy Nelson for the team lead there too. League-wide at the TE position, he ranks 4th in targets, 2nd in receptions, 4th in yards and 3rd in touchdowns. 

I expect this game  – which is being played in London, England – to be high-scoring, and if so, Cook will be heavily involved. I have zero interest in playing him, but I certainly understand why he's in play this week.  

Mid-Tier :

Cameron Brate @ Atlanta Falcons ($3700)

Have I mentioned this game yet? Regardless, Brate is in a great spot this week. He gets his QB back! Jameis Winston has been notorious for targeting TEs throughout his collegiate and pro careers, and Brate has been the recipient of it. O.J. Howard has made it back to practice this week, but will not play on Sunday, leaving all the TE targets for Brate. 

*Update : Howard practiced in full today (Friday) and it looks like he may play on Sunday. Brate is still a great play, but you may want to keep an eye on that situation.*

The last two weeks, Brate has caught 6 of 8 targets for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. I'd be satisfied with 3 for 30 and a touchdown for $3700, and in a high passing volume game, like the one on Sunday projects to be, that's a very reasonable expectation for Brate. I think he's certainly cash game viable.

Lower Tier :

C.J. Uzomah vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ($3000)

This is one of my favorite plays on the slate on this week. Seriously.  So many DFS players are going to be focused on so many other plays in this game that Uzomah is going to be overlooked, and at $3000 he's a welcome addition to my lineups. 

The Steelers are seeing 11 targets go to the TE every week – the most in the league. They're allowing 8 receptions a game to TEs – the most in the league. They allow 85 receiving yards per game to TEs – third most in the league. They allow 20.68 Draftkings points per game to TEs – second most in the league. 

Almost 21 points allowed to the position per game. No Tyler Eifert. No Tyler Kroft. A 53 point implied game total. $3000. Sign me up. 

Good luck this week!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com

Week 5 Draftkings WRs & TEs

Wide Receivers

Top Tier :   

Stefon Diggs @ Philadelphia Eagles ($7000)

There are more enticing plays at the WR position this week than we’ve seen in the previous four. Many of them have been priced up, correctly, making our choices tougher than they’ve been. Diggs is WR11 in terms of pricing for the main slate, but if you were to remove all the salaries and ask me to pick one guy, it would be him. Diggs will be matched up against Jalen Mills. If you’re reading this article, you likely know all about Mr. Mills.

Jalen Mills has allowed the most touchdowns of any cornerback in the league since the beginning of last season. Remember Week 2? The #Fitzmagic? The first play of the game for the Buccaneers went for a 75 yard touchdown to Desean Jackson. He beat Mills in coverage. Remember last week vs. the Titans? Corey Davis had 9 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. Corey Davis.

Diggs plays 24% of his outside snaps on the right side – that’s second on the team to Laquan Treadwell –  Mills lines up there over 70% of the time. When not facing Mills, Diggs will see Ronald Darby, who’s been very bad in his own right. Both he and Adam Thielen play the majority of their snaps from the slot, though Thielen plays 70% of his from there, to just over 50% for Diggs. They will see Sidney Jones on virtually all of those slot snaps. Jones is the 5th best cornerback in the league in terms of passer rating allowed, so I see no reason why Minnesota will force Diggs into the slot to face him when the matchups on the outside are so favorable. Diggs is a cash game and tournament play for me this week.    
     

Mid-Tier :

Sterling Shepard @ Carolina Panthers ($5600)

This is a tough choice. This pricing tier is smaller this week, and Calvin Ridley, playing in what is all but certain to be a total shootout, is at the top of it @ $5800. Joe mentioned Shepard in last week’s article, and rightfully so. He was a fantastic play, and I’m going right back there this week.

Shepard has one of the better matchups of the week vs. Captain Munnerlyn. Shepard runs over 75% of his routes from the slot, and Munnerlyn lines up there 97% of the time, and is in man coverage for more than one-third of those snaps. We’ve seen what happens when Evan Engram misses time: Shepard gets a ton of targets and has big games. Last week, he caught all 10 of his targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. This week with the Panthers being favored by a touchdown at home, I expect Shepard to see double-digit targets, again, against a very beatable cornerback. If you’re looking for a pivot to get away from Calvin Ridley, Shepard is your guy.

Lower Tier :

Donte Moncrief @ Kansas City Chiefs ($4100)

This pricing tier is filled with potential large tournamet winning plays this week. ‘Chalk’-full, you could say. That attempt to be humorous may not have landed, but certainly there are any number of players who could, and I have no doubt there will be a few that will in this price range. Donte Moncrief is one that I will betting on to hit this week.

I’ve already talked about Blake Bortles as a potential cash game play this week in the QB section of this week’s picks because of the great matchup. The Jaguars are in Kansas City  against a Chiefs team that has allowed the 2nd most receiving yards in the league thus far, without the services of Leonard Fournette, in a game with an implied total of 49 points. The Chiefs will likely be able to put up points against the obviously great Jacksonville defense, and if that happens, Bortles and his receivers may ALL have big days.

The target share amongst the WR group has been fairly even – 28 for Dede Westbrook, 24 for Keelan Cole, and 22 for Moncrief – but Moncrief has been their most efficient receiver over the past two weeks catching 7 of 8 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. He also leads the team in touchdowns, with 2; in yards per catch, at 14.4; and redzone targets with 2. There will be plenty of opportunity to increase those numbers this week.

Tight Ends

Top Tier :   

Zach Ertz vs. Minnesota Vikings ($6500)

The thought of paying up at the TE position can be… unpleasant. It usually is for me. I usually start looking at the bottom of the salary scale, and scroll up until I see a play that I can put in my lineup that makes me a slightly less nauseated than I would had I paid WR salary for a TE. However, this week I feel good about spending up.

Double-digit targets in every game this year (10, 13, 10, 14),  a per game average of just under 8 receptions per game (7.8), and 82 yards per game for $6500? If Zach Ertz was a WR, he’d be chalk every week. This week he’s at home against the Vikings –  a team that just got torched down the seam by Rams’ WRs in Week 4. This game has a 45.5 implied total, and I think it goes way over that. I lke Ertz for cash games, and definitely in game-stacks with the elite Vikings WRs.

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Mid-Tier :

Austin Hooper @ Pittsburgh Steelers ($3000)

This is the most interesting tier of the week, at any position. There are only four players in it, three of them are in the same game, and that game has a whopping 57.5 implied total.  If you were to tell me that you thought Austin Hooper was the worst play of the three guys involved in the Falcons @ Steelers game, I wouldn’t take issue with it. At all. I chose Hooper for two reasons: One is price, the other, narrative.

The main reason I like Hooper is price. He’s the cheapest of the four guys in this tier. Vance McDonald is the guy on everyone’s radar right now, but he’s $3700 and I’d rather have the savings. The reason is that I think James Conner has a bounce back game here and sees a lot of carries and targets out of the backfield. By now, everybody knows about the Falcons vs. pass-catching RBs – they can’t defend them.

Hooper has 15 targets in 4 games; McDonald has 15 targets in 3 games. They both have a touchdown. They both have a great matchup this weekend, but so does every player in both offenses, and I’d rather have the $700 savings to help pay up for the players who will be doing the majority of the scoring in this game. 

Lower Tier :

CJ Uzomah vs. Miami Dolphins ($2900)

No, I didn’t misspell ‘Tyler Kroft.’ I like the guy who plays more snaps, gets more targets, and has scored more touchdowns, and that’s Uzomah. They’re both $2900 this week, in a game that has sneaky shootout potential. The current Vegas total is 48.5 and I like this game to go over that total. There isn’t a whole lot of analysis to be done at the bottom of the TE salary scale, just a whole lot of hoping that if you choose to spend way down at this spot, that they find the endzone once..or twice…or three times. #MarcedesLewis.

Good luck this week!

Brad Moore is a DFS contributor for TheFantasyTakeaway.com. You can find him on Twitter @Bam79x  or contact him by email at Brad@TheFantasyTakeaway.com