Julio Jones @ Cleveland – $8,700 FD/$8,300 DK – The Browns have been fairly decent against the pass this year, but Denzel Ward is banged up and may miss the game. If Ward misses the game, the Browns don’t have anybody that can slow down Julio Jones. Even if Ward plays, he will be slowed by a bad hip giving Julio an even bigger advantage.
Tyreek Hill vs Arizona – $7,600 FD/$7,300 DK – Patrick Peterson hasn’t been shadowing much this year, he’s been playing sides, meaning the Chiefs should be able to avoid Peterson in coverage by lining him up on the opposite side. If that holds to form and Peterson doesn’t shadow Hill, he will be covered by Jamar Taylor. I like Hill in that matchup all day, he could go off.
Amari Cooper @ Philadelphia – $6,500 FD/$5,000 DK – The Eagles have major injury problems in the secondary and that situation doesn’t appear to be getting better any time soon, at least not before Sunday. Cooper had 8 targets last week in his first game with the Cowboys and he demonstrated he’s clearly the best receiver on the team. The Eagles run defense is decent, and their offense can put points on the board which means Dak Prescott will likely need to put the ball in the air quite a few times in order to put points on the board and keep pace with the Eagles offense. This game sets up well for Cooper, especially when you factor in how important this game is for the Cowboys who are still in the hunt for the NFC East title.
Christian Kirk @ Kansas City – $5,400 FD/$4,900 DK – The Chiefs give up over 300 passing yards per game and a healthy 7.6 yards per pass on the season. The Chiefs have a pretty solid slot corner in Kendall Fuller who may be able to slow down Larry Fitzgerald. One thing is for certain, on Sunday, the Cardinals defense will not be able to slow down the Chiefs offense, so the Cardinals will need to throw a lot, likely playing from behind, and it makes sense that Christian Kirk, who seems to have decent chemistry with Josh Rosen, will be able to exploit Orlando Scandrick for a big play or two. The Chiefs have given up a league worst 40 pass plays of 20+ yards on the season, so the likelihood that Kirk pops a big one looks good.
Tre’Quan Smith @ Cincinnati – $5,600 FD/$4,600 DK – The Bengals are bottom 5 in the league in giving up big pass plays, surrendering over 30 passing plays of 20+ yards on the season. This makes Smith a viable option against the Bengals this week. I understand the Saints are a better team than the Bengals given the Bengals injury woes, but the Saints are coming off an emotional week 9 win, and they are on the road, not in the dome, so the Bengals may be able to keep this one competitive, coming off the bye, forcing Drew Brees and the Saints offense to put the foot on the gas the entire game. If that’s the case, the odds of Tre’Quan Smith popping off a big one are in his favor.
Cooper Kupp vs Seattle – $6,500 FD/$6,400 DK – The Seahawks defense surrenders a respectable yards per pass play, haven’t gotten gashed with plays of 20+ pass yards much so far this year and give up a modest 218.5 pass yards per game. This indicates that the Rams won’t be, or at least aren’t likely to have success bombing the ball down the field to Brandin Cooks. However, the Rams will still throw the ball some in this game in order to win. Given the nature of the Seahawks defense, it looks like this will be more of a conservative passing game from the Rams on Sunday, which means Kupp is likely to have success.
Tyler Boyd vs New Orleans – $7,800 FD/$7,500 DK – This recommendation has nothing to do with the absence of AJ Green, but it has everything to do with the fact that PJ Williams figures to cover Tyler Boyd most of the time in this matchup. Last week Cooper Kupp shredded Williams for 6 catches, 89 yards and 1 touchdown and Boyd may put up a similar stat line this week.
Anthony Miller vs Detroit – $5,300 FD/$3,800 DK – Darius Slay figures to cover Allen Robinson now that he’s back, which leaves Nevin Lawson to fend with the talented Anthony Miller. The Bears should have a lot of success on the ground against the Lions, but they will still need to throw the ball at times, and the ball needs to go to somebody. If Darius Slay misses this game, as he’s hurt, it bodes even better for Miller and the entire Bears receiving corps.
There are several high end running backs with solid matchups this week. Given that, you need to try to pick the guys that have the best chance of going off. For that reason, I am staying clear of recommending either of the Saints running backs this week. The Bengals give up 4.9 rushing yards per play, which is 3rd worst in the NFL, and they give up 128.4 rushing yards per game which is bottom 10. That being said, you need to ask yourself, will this be a Kamara or an Ingram game? If the Saints are able to get out ahead in this one early, especially given the Bengals injury woes, then it might be an Ingram game as he will likely serve as a 2nd half banger to run out the clock and get out of the Northern Kentucky Airport with the win. If the Saints struggle on the road and this game is competitive deep into the 4th quarter, this is likely to be another Kamara game. I cannot hang my hat on either of these guys, so instead of trying to pick one, I am just going to stay clear of this decision in DFS, but I will roll both of these guys out in season long leagues. If you feel strongly about the game flow in this one either way, then go get it.
Todd Gurley vs Seattle – $10,800 FD/$9,400 DK – The Seahawks don’t give up a lot of rushing yards on a per game basis, but on a per play basis they are among the worst in the league, giving up 4.8 yards per carry. The Rams will run a lot of plays in this game, and they should be playing with a lead so Gurley will get 20+ touches in this one and will come through in a big way.
Melvin Gordon @ Oakland – $8,900 FD/$9,000 DK – Oakland gives up a terrible 4.8 yards per carry and a league worst 144.5 yards per game on the ground. Gordon will get his in this one, it makes sense to roll him out there in DFS as a high-end option. The Rams will be looking to bounce back with authority after losing their first game of the season last week against the Saints.
Kareem Hunt vs Arizona – $9,000 FD/$8,500 DK – The Cardinals haven’t been terrible on a per play basis against the run, but they haven’t been competitive in a lot of games this year and have been seeing a high number of rushing attempts, leading to a 2nd worst 143.1 rushing yards per game surrendered with bodes well for Hunt’s chances to come through.
David Johnson @ Kansas City – $6,900 FD/$6,800 DK – David Johnson’s price is suppressed on both DFS sites and this looks like the week to use him given how leaky the Chiefs defense is against running backs. The Chiefs give up 124.8 rushing yards per game and are worst in the NFL on a per play basis, giving up 5.2 yards per rush. Moreover, even if the Cardinals fall behind and go pass heavy, Johnson is the pass catching back and will be viable for all four quarters.
Duke Johnson vs Atlanta – $5,600 FD/$4,700 DK – Duke Johnson came back to life last week now that Todd Haley is out as the OC in Cleveland and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with the Browns facing off against the Falcons this week. The Falcons give up catches to running backs at a high rate and given the Browns defensive woes, they will need to sling it to Duke from almost the get go.
Kenyan Drake @ Green Bay – $6,400 FD/$5,100 DK – This is simple, Kenyan Drake is the Dolphins pass catching back and coming off a loss to the Patriots, the Packers will look to make a statement on Sunday against the Dolphins in order to keep pace in the NFC North race. I expect the Dolphins to fall behind early in this one as the Packers bounce back, meaning Drake will be peppered with pass targets. It’s hard to trust Drake because there are times he falls well short of expectations, but given his price on both DFS sites, if he scores, he will come through for you in a big way.
Jordan Howard vs Detroit – $6,500 FD/$4,700 DK – Jordan Howard is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry on the season which at first glance, doesn’t look that good. However, Howard’s struggles may be more to do with the Bears offensive line than Howard himself. Out of Howard’s 3.5 yards per carry, he’s averaging 2.7 yards after initial contact. In comparison, Todd Gurley runs 1.8 yards before contact on average, Zeke Elliott runs 2.9 yards after initial contact and 1.7 yards before initial contact. Joe Mixon is actually averaging slightly fewer yards after contact than Howard (2.6), but the Bengals are opening up 2.2 yards before contact, which makes Mixon look very good. In my view, Jordan Howard has looked good at times this year when the Bears block well up front, But then there are times when Howard is met in the backfield and the play is blown up before it even starts, leading to his poor yards per carry. That being said, the Lions give up 142.5 rushing yards per game which is 3rd worst in the NFL and 5.1 rushing yards per play which is 2nd worst in the league. If Jordan Howard cannot pop off over 4.0 yards per carry this week, then he never will. The weather in Chicago this weekend may be a little messy, which tends to favor offensive players because defensive players need to react to the offense’s movements. Howard is also capable of performing in bad weather, as he’s more of a pounder than a slasher. Things are setting up very well for Howard to have success this week, and honestly, if he doesn’t have success this week, I may step off the Jordan Howard train.
Dion Lewis vs New England – $5,800 FD/$4,600 DK – New England should score a lot in this one and Derrick Henry offers almost nothing in the passing game. This should be a Dion Lewis game as the Titans may lean heavily on him in the passing game since Corey Davis will likely be slowed by Stephon Gilmore and they don’t have a tight end that is capable of coming through.
Elijah McGuire vs Buffalo – $4,900 FD/$3,400 DK – Two weeks ago the Bills gave up 10 catches for 79 yards to James White. The Bills give up only 6.8 yards per catch and only 212 passing yards per game, mainly because they get outstanding play from their corners. Based on that, the Jets will need to lean more on the running game and the underneath passing game in order to move the ball down the field which could open things up for McGuire to have a role.
Digging Deep – Rashaad Penny @ LA Rams – $5,400 FD/$3,500 DK – If Chris Carson doesn’t play, consider Penny as a Hail Mary option. Mike Davis is ok but the Seahawks drafted Penny to be a home run hitter. The Seahawks will likely fall behind to the Rams and they may need to turn to Penny for his home run, pass catching ability. If Chris Carson does play, disregard this message.