As this is a new article, I will list, every week, my picks at each position. Who I think will thrive the most, under the right situation, and who may go under-the-radar. I will occasionally list players who I am weary of, as well as some honorable mentions.
- Russell Wilson – I can see why some will be skeptical about his production from last week. He was not what we expected. However, he was put into situations in which any QB would struggle. His offensive line is not great and the Packers front 7 are highly capable of disrupting any flow from occurring in the run game, which is already quite non-existent for Seattle. Fat Eddie is still only a power back, who will see a reduction in an already minimal usage rate. Chris Carson is great, but I do not see Seattle giving him the ball more than 15 touches, given the comeback of Thomas Rawls. With Prosise lingering behind, there are too many heads to feed with an offensive line that is completely incapable of run blocking. In comes Russell Wilson who is a magician with the pigskin in his hands, against a San Francisco defense that is sub-par. Russell will get plenty of opportunities to scramble, as well as air it down the field against a leaky pass defense.
- Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan will all be great options this week, each with an opportunity to light up their respective pass defenses. Brady will be angry and looking for some redemption against the Saints, who are awful at pass defense. Aaron Rodgers is in a perfect game script, which seems to be heading towards a shootout, in which Rodgers thrives.
These top 6 quarterbacks will be highly owned, so I will give you one which may go under-owned:
- Carson Palmer – Palmer will go highly under-owned due to recency bias, however, Palmer is still capable of putting up big numbers. In an offense where David Johnson is now on IR, and they do not particularly trust their running backs, you will find Palmer throwing a lot against this Colts defense that is abysmal. Palmer threw the ball 48 times against the Lions. This is opportunity for high volume deep balls to the likes of J.J. Nelson, John Brown, and Jaron Brown, all of whom are fast, very fast. I see a great game from Palmer, against a below-average pass rush. The less he is under-pressure, the better he will perform.
- Dalvin Cook is for real and the Minnesota Vikings will continue to run the ball with their new toy in the backfield. He was a great pass catcher in college, so he will continue to be utilized in both scenarios. Cook also had the highest usage of all running backs in Week 1, telling me that a run-first offense will surely run first with Dalvin Cook. His matchup is not favorable by any means, but because of his usage in the passing game, Cook will be a great option for DraftKings. He may go under-owned due to a Pittsburgh run defense that is stingy to the RB position, although his talent can completely bypass that scenario.
- Kareem Hunt is good. Really, really good. Kansas City will continue to utilize him as a pass catcher and a running back. Andy Reid is known to developing great running backs (LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles), both of whom were highly efficient with Reid’s offensive scheme. Kansas City also has Tyreek Hill, because of whom no defense can stack the box against Kareem Hunt.
- Leanord Fournette will be utilized a lot. Thankfully so, as the Bortles era continues. The less they give Bortles the ball, the more efficient they will be, hence the more carries will be given to Fournette, who was fed the ball 26 times. Although he only had 3.8 YPC to show for it, he will have plenty of opportunities to improve that this week against the Titans who have a leaky run defense, giving up a decent game to Marshawn Lynch. He will surely receive at least 3 goal-line touches in what should be a run heavy game, due to the Jaguars’ seemingly great defense. Game script fits well for Fournette.
- Ty Montgomery will continue to be the featured back in Green Bay. This offense will continue utilizing him as a receiver on the outside, slot, and out of the backfield. He has so many opportunities to touch the ball, in so many ways, that it is hard to avoid his usage rate. Against the Falcons, who have been ranked bottom 10 defense against the run. They have also been susceptible to the receiving running backs.
- Marshawn Lynch will be low-owned, against a Jets run defense that has given up their best run stopper, Sheldon Richarson, to the Seahawks. Marshawn is also getting a high usage, over the other running backs in the pecking order, which tells me he is the feature back. He will receive all of the goal-line touches, as he did in Week 1, and will continue being Beast Mode.
Honorable Mentions: Ezekiel Elliot, Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffery.
Running Backs I am a little weary of include Carlos Hyde, against Seattle (need I say more), Demarco Murray, against a strong Jaguars front 7. Murray will also be losing some opportunities to Derrick Henry, although not much, but something to think about when playing Cash. He is a viable GPP play.
My top receivers of the week are:
- Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Doug Baldwin, Jordy Nelson, Brandin Cooks, Amari Cooper and Michael Thomas. All have favorable matchups and are the highest targeted receivers of last week, on Sundays slate.
Some of the under-the-radar (contrarian, GPP) guys that I am high on this week are:
- Davante Adams – Favorable matchup, has Aaron Rodgers as QB. Should go over-looked by the masses. Need I say more?
- DeSean Jackson – Favorable matchup, and an offense that will provide him with high volume targets, as well as a few down-the-field shots from Jameis Winston.
- Martavis Bryant – Recency bias should help his ownership percentage to go lower than it should be, in a matchup that is ranked bottom 12 in pass defense. Bryant also should receive some deep balls to redeem last week’s performance.
- Chris Hogan – Favorable matchup, Tom Brady is angry, and Hogan should be used out of the slot more often this game. He will also be opposite of Brandin Cooks in most 2 TE sets, of which Gronkowski will pepper some double coverage away from Hogan.
- Paul Richardson – Richardson was targeted 7 times last week, more than Doug Baldwin. He is also breaking out as one of their prime targets on deep balls and possession catches. He will continue this against San Francisco. He is also a nice pivot from Baldwin in a stack with Wilson.
- Cooper Kupp – One of my favorite GPP plays this week. He may see increased ownership due to hype and recency bias, but he is also becoming Jared Goff’s favorite target, in an offense that is giving Jared Goff the opportunity to thrive as a passer. The Rams defense will allow their offense to be on the field, for an increased usage, directly correlated to Kupp’s targets.
- Allen Hurns – Strictly GPP. Hurns will get a lot of targets thrown his way with the injury to Allen Robinson. However, Blake Bortles is still his QB and this Jaguars team will run the ball more than they pass it. If game script turns, then Hurns will be a beneficiary of a lot of garbage time targets.
- Rob Gronkowski – My favorite TE of the week, with a high price tag, but worth that price tag. He is the highest projected TE on my projections, rightfully so. A favorable matchup, angry Tom Brady, and his TD potential are just 3 reasons that he has to be in every cash game lineup. He may go low-owned because of his price tag, so GPP is viable.
- Jared Cook – The Raiders love this guy. The Raiders also pass the ball a ton, leaving Cook with plenty of opportunities to convert targets into yardage and touchdowns. Cook is my GPP play of the week, as his matchup is highly favorable.
These are my two TE plays of the week. There are other TE’s that have good matchups, or will receive a high target share of receivers, and are also viable options, like Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, Charles Clay, and everyone’s favorite Zach Ertz. Martellus Bennett also has great upside in a plus matchup.
Kickers and Defenses
These are positions that are very volatile, but in the right game script can thrive.
- Brandon McManus is my kicker of the week.
- Seattle Seahawks defense should be highly owned and chalk for the week. Rightly so. The Oakland Raiders should also be considered as a top defense this week. Cardinals, Chiefs, Rams are also some of my high projections at defense this week.
Thank you for reading and happy DFSing! Good luck!