This week there are some intriguing matchups for quarterbacks, however, some of the players with the best matchups are also higher priced guys such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Deshaun Watson is on a tear, and in season long you need to roll him out there, especially against Cleveland. However, in DFS, his price is starting to creep up a little bit and he’s not exactly a value play anymore. Although he’s putting up fantasy points, it has been extremely touchdown dependent off very little passing volume. Watson’s pace is bound to come back down to earth at some point, and I don’t want to be on him in DFS when that happens. As for this week, I feel like everybody will be on him especially given his matchup against the Browns, so I will look to differentiate a little bit.
Kurt Cousins vs SF 49ers – $7,800 Fanduel – $6,800 DK – The 49ers secondary has been getting scorched all season and it doesn’t look like they will be able to slow down Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor and Jordan Reed. Last week, the Colts, led by Jacoby Brissett, were able to light up the 49ers for over 300 yards in the air. If Brissett can do it, I sure like Kurt Cousins chances of doing it at home. All of the Redskins receivers have plus matchups against the Colts defensive backs, but Jamison Crowder will be a huge mismatch for K’Waun Williams, who has been giving up 0.35 fantasy points per route run which is 15th worst in the league.
Jacoby Brissett @ Tennessee Titans – $6,800 Fanduel – $5,800 DK – Everybody has been torching the Titans this year…except for Jay Cutler. Brissett is not the best option to roll with this week because he hasn’t been throwing for many touchdowns, but he is capable of coming through given the right matchup. Brissett took care of business against the 49ers last weekend and he should be able to take care of the Titans this weekend. The Titans have given up 4 touchdown passes to Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, 2 touchdown passes to Derek Carr, and 1 touchdown pass to Blake Bortles and Jay Cutler respectively. At this point, I believe in Brissett more than I do Bortles and Cutler and he should be able to come through with 225 yards passing, 1 passing TD, 30 rushing yards and possibly 1 rushing TD which would give him 22 points in standard formats.
Philip Rivers @ Oakland Raiders – $7,200 Fanduel – $6,600 DK – The Raiders defense has been suspect against the run and the pass this year, and any given week teams seem to either run all over the Raiders or throw all over the Raiders. According to Pro Football Focus the Chargers offensive line has a negative run blocking grade when projected against the Raiders defensive front. That being said, the Chargers are likely to exploit the Raiders vulnerable defense through the air than on the ground given the offensive line matchup. With the Chargers similarly struggling on defense and Derek Carr poised to return this week, the Raiders should put some points on the board and keep the game script in favor of Rivers throwing the ball deep into the 4th quarter.
Josh McCown vs NE Patriots – $6,900 Fanduel – $5,200 DK – Andrew Luck, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Anderson currently cost more than Josh McCown on DK. McCown has been getting it done lately as the Jets sit at 3-2 on the year, and it’s almost equally as unbelievable as how bad the Patriots’ defense has been this year. Being we are talking about the Patriots, I am going to roll out Josh McCown in a few season long leagues this week where I have Dak Prescott on bye, but in the back of my mind I am thinking…they are playing the Patriots….and when the Patriots have time to prepare, they usually figure things out. I understand the Patriots have been simply horrible on defense so far this year, but they haven’t played since last Thursday and have 9 days of preparation for the Jets. I like the matchup, but given the Patriots history, I think it’s just a matter of time before their defense catches up, I just hope it’s not this week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a very exploitable matchup against Patrick Chung and McCown should have some success there.
Matt Ryan vs Miami Dolphins – $8,100 Fanduel – $7,000 DK – Matty Ice won’t have Mohamed Sanu at his disposal this weekend but he should have a healthy Julio Jones. Atlanta’s offensive line grades out well against Miami in both the run and pass according to Pro Football Focus so Matt Ryan should have time to throw. Julio Jones should have his way with Xavien Howard this week and look for Austin Hooper and the running backs to make up for Sanu’s absence. The only downside to playing Matt Ryan this week is Jay Cutler. If you play Ryan you need to hope Jay Cutler doesn’t throw any pick sixes until the second half so the Falcons need to keep throwing for at least three quarters.
At tight end this week, roll Gronk out against the Jets, roll Travis Kelce out against the Steelers (if he’s healthy), and get Zach Ertz in your lineups against the Panthers. Other than those three options, the rest of the tight end field appears to be a crap shoot this year. So far this year, if you have been starting tight ends against the Giants and the Browns you have been getting it done. However, this week that may be easier said that done, because the Texans face off against the Browns and have been targeting both Stephen Anderson (12 targets) and Ryan Griffin (16 targets). Similarly in Denver, the Broncos have been using AJ Derby (12 targets) and Virgil Green (7 targets) but neither gets significant usage. If you chose to attack the Browns or Giants again this week, good luck picking which tight end to play. Without a doubt, people will opt to go with that crap shoot, but in the event you want to differentiate from the field a little bit, here are some other lower cost options who should have some success this weekend.
Evan Engram @ Denver Broncos – $5,300 Fanduel – $3,800 DK – Evan Engram was referred to as an overgrown wide receiver during the pre draft process and now he may actually be used as a wide receiver given the Giants’ injury problems. Teams have had little success throwing at Denver’s perimeter this year and if the Giants are going to move the ball this week, they are likely to do it in the middle of the field, so look for Engram to be heavily involved. Engram figures to be guarded by safety Will Parks, which is a winnable matchup for Engram but one that should be interesting to watch, because Parks is an ascending player as well.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs NE Patriots – $5,600 Fanduel – $4,300 DK – Through 5 games, the Patriots have surrendered 4 touchdowns to the tight end position. ASJ has now hauled in 15 of 18 targets since returning to the Jets lineup 3 weeks ago and he should be able to keep the production going this week against Patrick Chung who is a shell of his former self.
Hunter Henry @ Oakland Raiders – $5,400 Fanduel – $4,100 DK – Karl Joseph is a thumper, but he is suspect in pass coverage, giving up 7 inches of height to Hunter Henry which could pose a problem. Last week Henry seemed to take over as the dominant route running tight end for the Chargers and as long as that continues this week, Henry is a good bet to come through for you, especially since his price is still low in daily.
Austin Hooper vs Miami Dolphins – $4,800 Fanduel – $3,500 DK – Hooper only has 13 pass targets on the year but he is a big play waiting to happen. When you couple Miami’s porous pass defense with the fact that Sanu will be out for the Falcons this week, Hooper’s usage should see a slight uptick, meaning the probability he breaks off a long one goes up. When you couple the projected increase in usage with his near basement level price on the daily sites, he could be a league winner for you this week. Matt Ryan and Austin Hooper are my quarterback/tight end stack of the week.
George Kittle @ Washington Redskins – $5,300 Fanduel – $3,400 DK – The 49ers don’t have many play makers on offense and are struggling on defense. The Redskins should be able to exploit the 49ers defense and put some serious points on the board, meaning game script should dictate a lot of passing for Brian Hoyer. Given the lack of offensive weapons, the projected game script, and the fact that the Redskins have a lot of trouble defending tight ends, Kittle should come through for you this week. The Redskins have given up the following stat lines to tight ends this year:
Zach Ertz – 8 catches, 93 yards, 0 TD
Gerald Everett – 3 catches, 95 yards, 0 TD
Jared Cook – 4 catches, 43 yards, 1 TD
Travis Kelce – 7 catches, 111 yards, 1 TD
Follow me on Twitter @Coachriggall – that’s 2 G’s and 2 L’s, get it right.