Gridiron Experts

DraftKings Chalk, Pivots and Punts: Week 12 [Black Friday Edition]

DraftKings Chalk, Pivots and Punts: Week 12

Welcome to NFL Week 12 folks! Let’s recap what we’re doing here. This is a weekly piece on Daily Fantasy plays for Draft Kings with a focus on GPPs, in particular, the main slate. The articles will indicate who I think will be the chalk plays, who some pivots or contrarian plays are to get off the chalk, and some punt plays that could either save on salary or are just so far below the radar they might be tournament winning plays if all goes well. Instead of saying “Player A” is chalk, pivot to “Player B,” there will be a chart showing my data for the match-ups with the chalk/pivots/punts listed after that. In this article, pivots can be a pivot from one player to another player at the same position, from one position to another, or just a way to pivot to the other side of a game that everyone else might be stacking.

Simply put, the pivots will not always be direct pivots, more like other ideas to consider in the macro-view of the slate. Each game will have a brief write up and will include the team’s projected point total and spread as of the time of writing. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the Sunday main slate.

Above is the Vegas implied totals and lines for each game, as well as match-up data I have compiled for pace, opponent fantasy points allowed, and raw Yards & TD data vs. the positions we are looking at for building our DFS rosters. Red is bad, orange is beware, yellow is more neutral, and green is good. The dark green shade is better than good.

Below is my Chalk, Pivots, and Punts Chart based on my opinion of the slate and what the field will likely be on this week.

Websites I use to research are:

  • Daily Roto for Snaps, Targets, Carries, and Red Zone Opportunities (Promo code: “grid10” Save 10%)
  • The Quant Edge for WR/CB Match-Up Data (Promo code: “gridironexperts” Save 10%)
  • Pro Football Focus for WR/CB and OL/DL Match-Up Data

Plus I have a spreadsheet of my own that I use to keep track of defensive points by position (ie. WR1, WR2, Slot, etc) and multi-TD games allowed.

Now, let’s dig into each game and see what the good chalk is, where to pivot, and if there are any good punts on the slate. Games are listed in order of Vegas implied point totals since the higher scoring games are where we tend to focus our attention first when constructing rosters.

San Francisco 49ers (25.5/+3) at Tampa Bay Bucs (28.5/-3) [54]

There are only two games with an implied total above 50 points for this slate, and a meeting between two of the worst teams in football is the top for implied points on the board. Both teams have good offensive minds calling plays and also have some solid pieces on offense, although the 49ers have lost most of their to injuries this year. Matt Breida ($5700) has a tantalizing match-up facing a depleted Tampa front 7 that has allowed 30+ DK points to 3 of the last 4 lead running backs they’ve faced. Breida is the Niners’ leading rusher, and will see a few targets out of the backfield so he’ll be independent of game script and should see action the whole way through. He’s also priced so low for the match-up, I think he could end up being a chalky play this week. George Kittle ($6200) is the other guy likely to ravage the Tampa linebackers and safeties on his way to a fantastic box score. Both of these guys will be toward the top of my player pool this weekend. Nick Mullens ($5400) is intriguing as a punt option as he squares off against a defense that is allowing 2.4 passing TDs per game and allowing a multi-TD passing game in every game in Tampa this year. Tampa is also allowing the most points to opposing QBs on the slate. Marquise Goodwin ($5600) is in a really good spot this week. Tampa Bay is one of three teams on the slate allowing 20+ points to opposing #1 WRs and slot WRs. The 49ers run a multitude of guys out of the slot, including Pierre Garcon ($4300) who I would really only consider if I needed to get this far down the list for some salary relief. Garcon has not been a reliable producer this year, and even in a good match-up, we cannot count on him to get that 20 point ceiling we’re looking for from a punt play. Garcon is also banged up and it appears Dante Pettis ($3300) will play this slot this week. Pettis saw 6 targets last week and has a good match-up, but is a risky punt option worth consideration. The rest of the Niners’ receiving corps is going to be guys shuffling in and out of the line-up as they audition players for next season.

***Saturday morning update: Garcon has been ruled out and Kendrick Bourne ($3900) will start opposite Goodwin. Bourne has been playing a little better every week and in this match-up has a chance to hit 15+ points, making him a reasonable punt option. However, I would stick to Kittle, Breida, and Goodwin if using any 49ers. And even at that I would only use 1 Niner and two Bucs in a stack, but 2 an 2 wouldn’t be a horrible idea.

Jameis Winston ($6000) is back in the starting role for the Bucs, and (barring injury) he’ll have this game to himself without the threat of a benching. The Bucs need to play him the rest of the year so they know what they have at QB moving forward. Winston is supported by a tremendous cast of receivers and TEs, and a pass-happy play caller which gives him a high ceiling this week. The match-up works in his favor as well. As long as he avoids Richard Sherman, the rest of the field is open for business. Mike Evans ($7700) is back from the dead, and the Tampa offense really got going last week once Winston stepped into the game. Evans was the recipient of a 41 yard TD strike from Winston late in the game, which was also his first TD on the year from Winston’s arm. Evans mostly lines up on the left side, which is the side 49ers burn victim RCB Ahkello Witherspoon lines up. Witherspoon will have his hands fulls trying to guard Evans all day. Winston should be looking away from Sherman and towards Evans a lot. The Niners are also prone to giving up short stuff and not making tackles, which allows for big gains. Desean Jackson ($4900) and Chris Godwin ($4100 should see some run after the catch opportunities in this game. With O.J. Howard going to IR, that leaves Winston with his favorite security blanket (especially in the red zone) Cameron Brate ($3600). Brate is going to be up there for me when choosing a TE this week due to his chemistry with Winston, especially in the Red Zone. Brate has 2 TD upside if this game goes as high as the implied total. The Niners defense has done a good job of limiting fantasy points to opposing backfields this year, with only elite talents like Gurley and Gordon going for a large sum. It’s safe to leave last week’s breakout punt Peyton Barber ($3900) out of your line-up this week.

Miami Dolphins (21.75/+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts (29.25/-7.5) [51]

Both of these teams enter the game at 5-5 and are chasing the Ravens for the final wild card seed at this point. The Colts are coming off a shutdown game against division rival Tennessee, while Miami is coming off their bye week. The Dolphins will welcome back QB Ryan Tannehill ($5000) in this one after he had 5 weeks to heal his shoulder injury. With no Brees, Mahomes, or Goff on the slate, a pay down punt at QB is a legit option. However, I would not consider going this far down the board this week. The Colts are playing too good on defense right now to take on the risk of a dusty QB in your line-up. The Colts are playing well enough on defense, there isn’t really any player on the Dolphins I see as an optimal play. They are all contrarian type plays in this match-up. Kenyan Drake ($4700) has the most appeal of anyone, but he’s dealing with a shoulder injury we need to keep tabs on. If for some reason he doesn’t go, then former Colt Frank Gore ($3600) will be on the radar as a punt option.

Andrew Luck FantasyThe Colts are winners of 4 in a row and are looking better each week as they get comfortable in Frank Reich’s offense. Andrew Luck ($6400) has thrown for 3 or more TDs in 7 straight games. The Dolphins have a pretty good secondary, but this trend could continue for an eighth week against a Dolphin team allowing an average of 2.4 passing TD per game on the road. If the trend were to break, it will be because of how soft the Dolphins are against RBs and Marlon Mack ($5500) has a bananas day. Mack is the lead back in a timeshare that allows him 60% of the snaps and about 57% of the carries. Mack gets targets and red zone opportunities as well. He’s in a really good spot in this match-up. T.Y Hilton ($6500) will get high ownership after he roasted the Titans defense for 155 yards and 2 TDs. He is a pretty good play this week, even against Xavien Howard, and his salary didn’t jump too much because of his big day. Due to the strength of the Miami secondary, I’m not going to look farther down the depth chart at WR than Hilton. Although, it should be mentioned that it appears Dontrell Inman ($3900) appears to have carved out the largest role of the other 3 guys that rotate onto the field at WR. Jack Doyle ($4100) will be the other receiving option I will consider in this game. The Dolphins do not allow a lot of points to TEs, but Doyle is one of Luck’s favorite targets. Even though his volume is down a bit right now, I’ll still give him consideration in this spot. For me, Mack is the primary interest on either side of the ball here.

 

 

New York Giants (20.5/+6) at Philadelphia Eagles (26.5/-6) [47]

The Giants are still in the race for the NFC East division, believe it or not, and a win here would go a long way in them climbing the standings. However, the Eagles are coming off a couple of games where they did not look like a team that went to the Super Bowl last year. This game has the feel of the Eagles finding a way to open a can on the lowly Giants. The Giants have been involved in a lot of one score games lately and were able to beat two of the worst teams in the league to put together 2 wins in a row. However, we cannot forget the talent on the Eagles side of the ball and that they went into NY and beat them handily already this season. The Giants are going to want to run Saquon Barley ($9100) until the wheels fall off, and get him some quick screen passes to add to his touches. This should be somewhat effective if they can keep the game close. The blueprint is out there now for how to utilize the RB position against the Eagles after Zeke and Ingram had big games against them. However, if the Eagles come out swinging and run up a quick two score lead, then the game script will require more from Eli Manning ($5700).

Odell Beckham Jr.Eli is a reasonable play this week, against the Eagles decimated secondary. Eli’s two primary receivers should be able to put up solid games, even if Eli doesn’t have a huge day. Odell Beckham ($8800) will undoubtedly be chalk when the field reads the Eagles injury report/secondary depth chart, but let’s remember back to last week when the Eagles did everything they could to take away Brees’ primary read Michael Thomas. Look for that to be the case again here, so pivoting over to Sterling Shepard ($5300) is a way to get points out of this game for $3500 less in salary. The Eagles allowed Tre’Quan Smith and Keith Kirkwood to do all the damage last week, and although Shepard has had limited targets in each of the last two weeks, he’s in a good spot – and he’ll be low owned due to his last two games being quiet.

I really like the Eagles here in what is going to be a game about-face for them. This should be an offensive explosion game for them, and there are plenty of guys in good spots. Right away I’ll be looking at the heart and soul of this offense with Carson Wentz ($5900) throwing to Zach Ertz ($6400). Since Wentz came into the league, Ertz has caught 25% of his TD passes. That TD market share for Ertz is up to 33% for 2018. If the Eagles are going to score a bunch in this one, Ertz is likely to be involved in one or two of those TDs. Other viable plays from this game include Alshon Jeffery ($5800) who caught 2 TDs in the previous meeting with the Giants this season and had 12 targets in that game, and Josh Adams ($3800). Adams is averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the season and 7.0 YPC in the last 3 games. It may have been game-script driven, but Adams also got 6 targets last week to go along with his 7 carries.

Since trading away Snacks, the Giants defense has been getting gashed by the run, allowing 4.9 YPC and 152.3 rush yards per game. If last game was any indication, Josh Adams is now the lead back in Philly and should be in store for a monster game this week. Golden Tate ($4800) is really cheap this week and saw 8 targets in his second game as an Eagle. The Giants have issues tackling after the catch, so we could see Tate break loose a bit in this one. He may not find the end zone, but a 5 or 6 catch game for 100+ yards would be what we’re looking for from a $4800 receiver. A guy to avoid in this one is Nelson Agholor. With Golden Tate now getting acclimated to the offense, he has pushed Agholor to the outside permanently which is where Agholor was when he was considered a draft bust, up until last year when he played the slot. Michael Florio posted an ominous tweet regarding Agholor’s prospects going forward here:

New England Patriots (28.75/-10.5) at New York Jets (18.25/+10.5) [47]

Both of these teams are coming off the bye week and will have each had the extra week of rest and preparation for each other. The line on this game indicates the Patriots are going to run away with this one, and they very well could. However, let’s look at a few trends. Tom Brady ($6500) has a history of putting up only modest numbers in NY, with a slight upswing in the trend in the last couple years, and his home/away splits this year show a decrease of 8 points on the road. The Jets do have a tough run defense, so it will fall on Tom’s shoulders here, most likely. If Tom sticks to form over the last two years, then we’re looking at 2 TD passes from him in a game that New England is expected to score 4 TDs in. Due to the tougher run defense played by the Jets, I think we can move one more of those TDs over to Brady’s box score. So where do these three TDs go? Mo Claiborne and Trumaine Johnson are playing pretty well on the outside, so I would look at the inside and underneath receivers like Julian Edelman ($7000) and James White ($7400). These have been Tom’s most targeted receivers on the season as it is, each has a 24% target share. Edelman, in particular, has been seeing the most targets over the last 3 games with at least 10 per game during that span. Edelman isn’t an imposing TD threat, but he does sneak into the end zone every once in a while, and the Jets are one of the worst teams against the slot (ask Zay Jones who hasn’t done anything all year until facing the Jets), so this could be a big game for him. White has been Brady’s safety valve all year, an even with Sony Michel ($5800) back on the field  White is still seeing plenty of targets (8.6 per game with Michel on the field). Edelman and White can easily account for 2 or 3 of Tom’s TDs in this game. The wild cards and more contrarian plays will be Josh Gordon ($6400) and the “almost free” Rob Gronkowski ($5100) who is looking like he might be back for this one. Gordon is healthy and has been playing well which makes him the better play, but seeing Gronk priced this low gives me FOMO if I don’t use him. He’s going to be high risk coming off a few weeks of not playing an coming back to face a team that has been stout against TEs, so I won’t use him in my optimal line-up, but he needs to be sprinkled in for multi-entry stuff. Gonk, or at least the version of Gronk we’re still hoping to see, is a 2 TD ceiling play any time he’s healthy.

The Jets are beat up on offense, and it’s looking like a no go for Sam Darnold this week meaning Josh McCown ($4300) will be in line for another start. He won’t be on my list this week, but the rest of the Jets offense is so cheap it’s worth exploring a few of them. This year, New England has been weak against RBs and TEs. Slot WRs can give them trouble sometimes, too. For the Jets, that means Isaiah Crowell ($4100) and Elijah McGuire ($3600) at RB, who are similar to the way TEN uses Henry and Lewis (Henry slammed in 2 TDs against the Pats). Chris Herndon ($2900) is their primary pass catcher at TE. Jermaine Kearse ($3500) is the slot receiver. We’re punting with any one from this group, but the salary to ceiling possibility for Kearse and Herndon stand out the most. McGuire is going to get you 5 or 6 targets, and 6 or 7 rush attempts. He’ll need to break off a long TD run to really make an impact on your roster. Kearse though, he could be the key to cramming in a lot of expensive high ceiling guys and you wouldn’t be going too far out on the limb by playing him. His floor is 4 to 6 points, but he does have an 18 point game on the season. It’s possible he could fall somewhere in between and get 10 points, which is not great – but the salary relief he’ll provide could get you to someone who will make that up and more.

Pittsburgh Steelers (24.75/-3) at Denver Broncos (21.75/+3) [46.5]

Ben Roethlisberger ($6100) grew up idolizing John Elway, which is how he chose his jersey number. Now, he gets to go play in the city where Elway made his fame. Narrative aside, this is not going to be an easy game for the Steelers. First, you have the altitude playing a factor, plus there are the TD:INT ratio issues when Ben goes on the road, finally we have very little data in the past few years, but Ben does not win games in cities west of Denver (including Denver). You have to go back to 2009 to find the last time the Steelers have won a game out west, and coincidently, that was against Denver. The Broncos have a great pass rush, but Ben does not take many sacks, so that will be an interesting match-up from a real life football perspective. From a fantasy perspective, Antonio Brown ($8700) and James Conner ($7800) are the top plays to consider for the Steelers. Both will be match-up proof and game script proof as well. Although, Conner did drop a couple of key passes last week that could make Ben hesitate to look his way in come back mode if they end up in that situation. JuJu Smith Schuster ($7500) draws the toughest match-up against CB Chris Harris, but Keenan Allen was able to post decent numbers, including a TD against him last week. Vance McDonald is worth a look here as well. He’s been getting 4 to 6 targets over the past few games and caught a TD last week. Denver has been mostly solid against TEs, but haven’t played many good ones. Kelce has had two good games against them and they let Antonio Gates get loose a few times last week.

There are no glaring match-ups to exploit with the Steelers right now. They used to be vulnerable to #2 WRs and TEs, but health and better play have closed those windows. Right now, the only thing that seems to be working is when teams commit to the run. McCaffrey, Fournette, and Mixon have all had pretty good games against the Steelers recently, but they are also their teams’ workhorse backs. Denver doesn’t implore a workhorse, so it’s hard to see anyone having a 20+ point game from this group. The only guy on the Broncos I would feel comfortable rostering here will be ex-Steeler Emmanuel Sanders ($5500). Sanders is the best bet to approach the 20 point threshold, but his volume has been so low the last few weeks, he’ll need an efficient game like he had in AZ or the volume he saw against the Rams to really hit good value.

 

 

Cleveland Brown (21.75/+3) at Cincinnati Bengals (24.75/-3) [46.5]

The Browns will be coming off their bye week after firing the head coach a few weeks earlier. This should give them that extra time to get settled in with who they are now. It should also be noted that the head coach they fired was hired as a consultant for the Bengals last week. He should have plenty of tips on his old team to provide his new team. Whether that amounts to anything will be seen on Sunday. For the most part, I’m really only interested in one or two players on the Browns. The Bengals get gashed in the running game so Nick Chubb ($6300) and Duke Johnson ($5100) will be on my radar. Chubb is getting around 20 carries a game and will see 3 targets at most in the passing game. If the Browns are able to keep this one close, he should be heavily involved.

If it seems like the Browns don’t stand a chance and will be chasing the game, then Duke Johnson is the better play, since he could see 6-9 targets. The Browns are projected for 2-3 TDs in this one, and if those don’t all come from the RBs, then next place to look will be the TE position, where the Browns on the road are giving up nearly 16 points a game to. David Njoku ($3800) is not a safe play though. Njoku was averaging 7.3 targets per game (including the 0 target game against the Steelers) before Hue and Haley were fired. Since then, he has a total of 6 targets (3 per game). This could be a get right game for him this week, but he’s going into the punt category until we see his production revived. Jarvis Landry’s ($5900) production has also been trending the wrong way over the last 4 weeks. Overall, this whole receiving group is an unstable clusterfunk. The ball seems to be getting spread around more these last couple weeks and no one is really seeing a huge share of work. Higgins and Perriman continue to eat into Landry, Callaway and Njoku’s share. For this reason, I will not be rostering any Browns WRs but may consider rostering Baker Mayfield ($5500).

Andy DaltonAndy Dalton ($5300) has averaged over 21 points in his last 4 meetings against the Browns spanning the last two years. With A.J. Green ($7600) seeming likely to play, this is going to be a boon for Dalton’s projected production. The Browns are one of the top teams to pick on with a QB/WR1 combo. Green only averaged 14.5 points per game in the two meeting last year against the Browns, but he did post a 30 point game in his only match-up with them in 2016. If his knee is fine, he will be coming off a few weeks without taking any hits and should be fresh and ready to tear through the Browns defense here. Prior to leaving the game late against the Bucs, Green had three straight games over 10 targets. The volume should be there again in this one. Having Green back will take the burden of the offense off of Tyler Boyd’s ($6000) back and allow him to resume his normal role as a single covered/zone busting slot receiver. He comes in at an affordable price and will be worthy of pivot consideration against the Browns’ slot corners. Joe Mixon ($6800) is priced a little high for his recent volume since Gio Bernard ($4000) returned from injury, but he makes for an interesting pivot play. That high 6k to low 7k RB range may not see very high ownership this week, and Mixon is in a pretty good spot against the Browns run defense that allows the 5th most rushing yards, 3rd most rushing TDs, and most multi-TD rushing games on the slate. As long as this one stays close, he should see plenty of snaps.

***Saturday morning update: A.J. Green has been listed as doubtful and seems a lot less likely to play now. That puts Tyler Boyd as the top receiving threat inthis game for the Bengals, and strengthens the prospects of Joe Mixon being heavily involved. The best lays out of this game will be Chubb and Mixon, and maybe Boyd. Dre Kirkpatrik was also ruled doubtful which could help the outside WRs for the Browns, but neither is a great play anyway. Damarius Randall provided some bulletin board material when he said that if Cincy was without A.J. Green that the Bengals would “get their ass beat.” Cincy is at home, and will be motivated already, this could fire them up even more. I still expect a run heavy offense on both sides though.

Seattle Seahawks (21.75/+3) at Carolina Panthers (24.75/-3) [46.5]

This will be an interesting match-up of strength versus strength. The Panthers do see too many rush attempts against, don’t allow many rushing yards or rushing TDs, and have not given up more than 1 rushing TD at home this year. The Seahawks, on the other hand, love to get downhill and continue to pound the rock all game. They lead the league in rush attempts per game with 32.3. Something will have to give here, and Seattle may be forced to throw a little more than they would like. Passing against the Panthers has been the best way to move the ball and score TDs. Since we’re likely looking at the Seattle RBs splitting 20 points among themselves and Russel Wilson ($5600), I’ll be looking at Wilson and the passing attack if digging for plays from this game. My concern with this game will be the total amount of plays, so we’re going to have to look for efficiency. Wilson has been one of the most efficient QBs in the league this year, so he’s on my radar. If looking for a stacking partner I’d prefer to avoid Donte Jackson’s coverage and will target Doug Baldwin ($5100) against Captain Munnerlyn in the slot. Donte Jackson has been getting better all year and will likely take Tyler Lockett ($5200) out of this game for the most part. David Moore ($3700) should see the most of James Bradberry, who is a solid corner, but can allow a TD to a physical receiver like Moore. Moore is going to need a couple TDs to reach the 20 point plateau I’m looking for, but he does have some punt appeal at that price. It should also be noted that Carolina has struggled with TEs this year, and Nick Vannett ($2700) has been known to catch a TD from time to time. He’s a good bet to catch one here, which even if it’s a 1 yard TD gets you 7.1 points. He’s also worth a look as a punt at a position that looks ugly if you’re not paying up for Ertz or Kittle.

The Panthers offense has mostly been Cam Newton ($6200) and Christian McCaffrey ($7900) this year. However, there seems to be a third player worth considering and his price is down in the punt range still. That player is D.J. Moore ($4600). He’s going to be super-chalky this week due to his price and recency bias, but he has to be considered when building line-ups this week because of that price and his ascending role in this offense. Moore has seen significant snap shares over the past month and twice has been the highest snap getter at WR for Carolina. He is now 3rd on the team in raw target total and is a more efficient WR than Funchess. He’s damn near a free square this week. It’s ok to play him in smaller field GPPs and single entry games but pivot off him in large field stuff to gain leverage in case he doesn’t have a good game. Cam and CMC are always worth rostering, but neither will likely be in my optimal line-up. Greg Olsen ($4400) has popped up for a solid game only twice this season, and the Seahawks are playing well against the TE position this year. I’d rather use Vannett than Olsen at TE here.

***Saturday morning update: Devin Funchess was given the doubtful designation which will be a huge boost to D.J. Moore here. Move him up in your player pool to almost must play status. Chris Samuel ($3800) also becomes a salary saver/punt option here who should be able to produce some yards and possibly a TD.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals (15.5/+13) at Los Angeles Chargers (28.5/-13) [44]

The Chargers defense is shutting down opponents for fantasy purposes and their only real soft spot comes at RB, especially now with Liuget going on IR and Perryman already out for the year. David Johnson ($7300) is as far as I’ll look into the Cards offense this week. On the other side, I will have major interest in Melvin Gordon ($8600) against a defense that teams are choosing to run on 32 times a game for 141 rushing yards and 1.75 rushing TDs per game. The Cards are allowing the third most fantasy points on the slate to #1 RBs and the entire RB position at 20.0 and 31.2 points per game, respectively. Gordon and Breida were the first two players I plugged into a line-up when I did my preliminary build and Gordon is likely to stay in my optimal line-up as my top play of the slate. I don’t see the Chargers having to get too fancy to win this one, so he should get plenty of work. The other guy on the Chargers that interests me is Keenan Allen ($7100) matched up on Benwikere in the slot. The Cards have allowed other talented slot receivers (Thielen, Sanders, and Tyreek) to go for 29+ points against them this year. The Chargers DST ($3400) should be a good play this week, with Bosa back in the line-up for a second week in a row now.

 

***Saturday morning update: Melvin Gordon will be a game time decision with hamstring and knee issues. The Chargers should be able to rest him and still beat the Cards. If you’re willing to roll the dice this late into the day, save $100 to pivot over to Antonio Brown, or you can pivot down to James Conner and upgrade at other positions you have left to start. Luckily, this is the first of the three late games, so there will be some options. I also believe Phillip Rivers becomes an excellent play if Gordon sits. So, you could set up a roster that way, too. As in pivot down from Luck or Big Ben and upgrade a different position if MG3 is a no go.

Oakland Raiders (16.0/+10.5) at Baltimore Ravens (26.5/-10.5) [42.5]

The Raiders are a disaster this season an there is not a player on this offensive roster worthwhile for DFS purposes. Hard pass. In fact, they’re so bad I’m looking at the Ravens DST ($3300) as the top option at that position this week. They limited a similarly decimated offense (with better players remaining) to 53 total offensive plays last week and Oakland only runs 56 plays per game on the road. The Ravens will be able to run the ball down their throat and control the clock in this one. Baltimore’s 8th ranked sack defense should also be able to get a few sacks against the Raiders, who are tied for 4th most sacks allowed per game. The Raiders are getting run on a lot this year with plenty of rushing yards allowed. That puts Gus Edwards ($4400) and Lamar Jackson ($5700) to the forefront when looking at players to roster here. Those two combined for 232 yards on the ground last week. If the Ravens do add some passing plays to the playbook this week, there is the revenge narrative with Crabtree facing his former team. Crabtree scored 3 TDs against the Ravens in 2016, perhaps they want him to return the favor?

Jacksonville Jaguars (20.0/-3) at Buffalo Bills (17.0/+3) [37]

Leonard Fournette ($6700) sticks out as the only guy worth playing here. With Josh Allen ($4400) back, it could open up a little more for LeSean McCoy ($4200) who is priced so low, he’s worth a look as a punt option. Both DSTs, Jaguars ($4000) and Bills ($2700) are also worth a look here.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of heavy favorites on the slate this week, and several games where there is a large discrepancy in total offensive plays run between the two teams involved. If you pay attention to the fantasy points allowed charts I post every week, we can see there is a huge advantage to rostering home team players, most notably at QB.

A successful roster build this week will likely include a home favorite QB and a home favorite RB. Stack a pass catcher or two with your home QB, and fill in with pivots and/or punts as needed, depending on how much you need to differentiate. As of now, Melvin Gordon is a lock for me and I will try to fill in the rest of my “optimal” line-up with players from the [email protected] and [email protected] games. Other games I like for building a player pool will be the [email protected] and [email protected] games. Good luck this week, and thanks for reading!

Jesse Jones

Jesse Jones

NorCal native Jesse Jones has been obsessed with fantasy football since joining and winning his first league in 1994. He has been a leader in looking for an edge, while others showed up to drafts asking for a cheat sheet and a pencil. He's been writing his own rankings since 2002, and mining data to build spreadsheets since 2006. He's also been a bartender, appraiser, and mortgage industry worker. Married to the amazing mother of his two children. Craft beer and travel enthusiast.

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