Matt Ryan vs. TB $8,300
Matt Ryan had a stinker last week, but he still leads all QBs on the Sunday slate in FanDuel points per game. He returns home where he’s averaging 355 passing yards over his three games. He has 12 total touchdowns at home compared to one in two games on the road. Ryan has a 76.5 completion percentage at home and a brutal 58.0% on the road. This is also a fantastic spot for Ryan as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are allowing the second-most yards and passing yards per game. They have allowed a league-high 34.8 points per game and the most to QBs. Football Outsiders has them ranked as the worst overall defense and the worst against the pass.
Jameis Winston @ ATL $7,400
Jameis Winston will make his first start of the season and it’s one of the best possible matchups for him, despite being on the road. Atlanta has allowed the fifth-most yards, ninth-most passing yards and the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Winston and the Buccaneers have had two weeks to prepare for this potential shootout. Tampa Bay has allowed a league-high 34.8 points per game and Atlanta has given up the second-most points per game. Winston and Mike Evans may be a popular stack, but it’s a strong one.
Russell Wilson @ OAK $ 7,600
Russell Wilson’s price has dropped where he’s now the ninth-most expensive QB on the slate this week. This is a fantastic spot for Wilson as the Oakland Raiders have allowed the third-most yards per game and the 10th-most passing yards per game. Football Outsiders has Oakland ranked as the 26th ranked defense and 30th against the pass. They are allowing the third-most points per game.
Ben Roethlisberger @ CIN $8,500
Spending up for Ben Roethlisberger in tournaments may be the way to go. He’s the most expensive QB on the board and is on the road. That should scare many people away. He has two unbelievable weapons in Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, which give him a high ceiling. Ben has three games this season where he’s thrown three touchdowns. He also has 688 passing yards in his two road games. This is a division game, but there’s a high total and the Bengals have allowed the eighth-most yards per game and the seventh-most fantasy points to QBs.
Todd Gurley @ DEN $9,500
Todd Gurley is crazy expensive this week, but when you look at the matchup and just how good the Los Angeles Rams’ back is, it’s hard not to pay up. It could even be considered a contrarian play in tournaments given the high price tag. Gurley leads the NFL in touches (120), carries (101) and rushing touchdowns (7). He has nine total touchdowns and the second most rushing yards in the league (415). Denver’s run defense has given up some big-time plays on the ground, including a couple big runs from Isaiah Crowell last week. They’ve allowed the third-most rushing yards and the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs. Their run defense ranks 29th, according to Football Outsiders.
Melvin Gordon @ CLE $8,800
Melvin Gordon is a nice pivot from Gurley, even with the matchup not being as nice. Gordon is a safe bet for looks as his 101 touches rank sixth and his nine red zone targets lead the Chargers (ninth overall). Gordon only ranks eighth in rushing yards (334) and rushing touchdowns (3), but he has three receiving TD’s and he’s Top five among backs in targets and catches. Gordon is averaging 7.6 targets and 5.6 catches this season compared to 5.1 targets and 3.6 catches last season. The Browns have allowed the sixth-most yards per game and it’s nice to know the Chargers will look Gordon’s way in the red zone more times than not.
Christian McCaffrey @ WAS $8,400
Christian McCaffrey has played a league-high 93 percent of Carolina’s snaps this season. The next closest running back is Ezekiel Elliott at 89 percent. CMC’s 90 touches rank inside the Top 10 and keep in mind he already had his bye. It’s very encouraging to see 45 carries from McCaffrey in his last two games. His 5.2 yards per attempt rank sixth among backs.
Tevin Coleman vs. TB $6,300
You can roll out Tevin Coleman with confidence this week as it looks like Devonta Freeman will be sidelined again, this time with a good injury. Coleman hasn’t been as good as predicted when Freeman was sidelined, but he was still touching the ball a fair amount. This is a high total and there will be points scored, plus Coleman checks in pretty cheap as FanDuel wasn’t expecting Freeman to be sidelined.
Jordan Howard @ MIA $6,200
The last time we saw Jordan Howard, he ran the ball 11 times for 25 yards and caught zero balls in the passing game. It’s been two weeks, but I still think many have a sour taste in their mouth when they think of Howard. You shouldn’t as he’s still getting the bulk of the carries and snaps. Howard had at least 17 touches in the previous three games and is getting all the rushing attempts in the red zone. Despite zero catches the last time out, Howard still has 10 grabs on 12 targets. The Dolphins have allowed seven touchdowns to running backs and they are giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to them on the season.
Dalvin Cook vs. ARI $6,300
This is definitely a risky play, but one that I think could work out. Dalvin Cook has been practicing with the team since Monday and it looks like he’ll return. He couldn’t ask for a better matchup as the Arizona Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs and the second most rushing yards per game. They are allowing 35 points per game to RB’s. Last week, Alfred Morris, Matt Breida and Kyle Juszczyk all came away with double-digit fantasy points against them. I truly believe the Vikings wouldn’t roll out Cook unless he was ready to go, in what is a very winnable game for them.
Ronald Jones II @ ATL $5,600
Ronald Jones is a play for people who like to roll out a lot of lineups and want to think outside the box. Jones made his NFL debut in Week 4 as he was a healthy scratch in his first three games. In he debut, he out-touched Peyton Barber 11-8 and out-gained him 29-24. It was nothing spectacular, but after two weeks of running with Winston and the first-team offense, I expect him to begin this game as the starter. He may not get a lot of work in the passing game, but this is a high total and the Falcons have been brutal against running backs. They rank 31st in rush DVOA and Football Outsiders has them ranked 30th overall as a unit.
Julio Jones vs. TB $8,500
Oh yes, I’m going back to Julio Jones this week. Especially given the matchup and the fact he’s dropped in price. There are four WR’s that are more expensive than Jones this week. He burned a lot of people last week, so you may even get him at a low ownership. Despite zero touchdowns, he’s still third in the league with 564 yards and ranks sixth in targets with 55. Tampa Bay has allowed the most points per game and the second-most fantasy points per game to wideouts.
Adam Thielen vs. ARI $8,600
Adam Thielen became the first NFL player ever to have at least 100 receiving yards in each of his first five games of the season. He leads the league in targets (66), catches (47) and is second in yards (589). I don’t care which corner is on him, because he can’t be stopped. Thielen had at least five catches in his first 12 games last season and he has at least 10 targets and six grabs in every game this season. It doesn’t get much safer than Thielen and he’s been ranked as a Top 5 wideout for me for weeks.
Mike Evans @ ATL $8,000
The Falcons’ continue to struggle defensively as they’ve now allowed the second-most points per game, just behind Tampa Bay. This game has shootout written all over it and the total is 57.5 – the highest on the main slate. Atlanta has allowed the fifth-most yards and ninth-most passing yards per game. Football Outsiders has them ranked 30th overall on defense and 28th against the pass. They have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to QB’s and WR’s.
JuJu Smith-Schuster @ CIN $7,800
I like Antonio Brown in this matchup, but I’ll take the cash savings with JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers’ sophomore wideout ranks inside the Top 10 in yards, targets, and catches. Get a piece of this 52.5 over/under total.
Doug Baldwin @ OAK $6,200
If you’re going to play Wilson, you might as well pair him up with Doug Baldwin. It’s a very affordable stack this week in a great matchup as discussed. Baldwin caught his only target last week for one yard. You actually think people are going to feel great about playing him this week? Probably not, but let me remind you that this is a much easier matchup against the Raiders than it was against the Rams last week. Oakland’s defense ranks third worst against the pass and seventh worse overall, according to Football Outsiders. They have allowed the third-most yards per game and third-most points per game. Opposing wideouts are averaging the eighth-most fantasy points per game against them.
DeSean Jackson @ ATL $6,500
Mike Evans and Cameron Brate are two pretty obvious plays this week, but it’s DeSean Jackson who is averaging the fifth-most FanDuel points per game. Jackson has more fantasy points per contest than A.J. Green, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Julio Jones. That’s because he has three 100-yard games with three total touchdowns. The matchup is right and points will be had.
A.J. Green vs. PIT $8,800
A lot has already been made of the Steelers’ defense. This is one of the highest totals of the week and Pittsburgh has allowed the fourth-most passing yards and third-most fantasy points to wideouts. The Steelers have shut down Green in the past, so this is just a tournament play that can differentiate yourself from some of the top priced wideouts.
Austin Hooper vs. TB $5,600
This is all about the total and about how bad both of these defenses are to start the season. Austin Hooper checks in at a decent price and he’s coming off a 12 target, nine-catch game where he racked up 77 yards. You guessed it…no team has allowed more fantasy points to the TE position.
Cameron Brate @ ATL $4,500
You have to love this price tag for Cameron Brate. It doesn’t get any better than this as Brate will start in place of the injured O.J. Howard. Brate has touchdowns in back-to-back games and 14 in the last two seasons. He’s always been a red zone option for Jameis Winston.
David Njoku vs. LAC $5,500
Finding a tight end with volume is what it’s all about in cash. We all want them to find the end zone, but it’s the tight end position after all. Njoku has totaled 18 targets, 11 catches and 121 yards in his last two weeks. Njoku has looked much better in the offense since Baker Mayfield took over.
Chicago Bears @ MIA $4,500
With some of the value at wide receiver this week, there’s a way to fit in the Chicago Bears defense if you want. They rank second in the league with 18 sacks and third with eight interceptions, despite not playing last week. Miami has only made 10 trips to the red zone this season and Chicago has allowed the second-fewest yards and points per game.
Houston Texans vs BUF $4,700
J.J. Watt is tied atop the NFL in sacks with six and nobody has allowed more sacks than the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have committed seven interceptions and rank dead last in passing yards per game, along with points per game.
Baltimore Ravens @ TEN $4,000
There’s a bit of a price discount on the Ravens on FanDuel. This is a team that ranks sixth in sacks with 15 and second in points allowed with 77. They are allowing a league-low 15.4 points per game, ranks third in yards allowed per game, and fourth in passing yards allowed per game.[/mepr-show]