Daily Fantasy

DraftKings Chalk, Pivots & Punts: Week 2

DraftKings Chalk, Pivots & Punts: Week 2

DraftKingsWelcome to NFL Week 2! In case you missed this article last week, let me rehash. This year I will be writing a piece on DFS 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 punts 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,” I’ll just have 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.

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Above is the Vegas Implied Scores and Spreads for each game, as well as match-up data I compiled using player strength of opponent roster vs. the positions we are looking at for building DFS rosters. It includes the general match-up, along with what the opponent allowed to that position split into home and away data. Since we’re looking at opponent data, read across the line as such. If you read the CAR line, that is all the data that their opponent (ATL) allowed last week. Red is a bad match-up, orange not good, yellow is neutral, green is good. In the data fields there is dark green which is better than good, and blue which is the most of that stat allowed – ie. Tampa gave up the most points to opposing RBs and WRs in Week 1.

Below is my Chalk, Pivots, and Punts Chart. I used The Quant Edge’s Fanshare Report for a lot of the chalk, as well as my own thinking to determine who the field is likely going to be on this week.

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Let’s dig into each game and see what’s the good chalk, where to pivot, and if need be who to punt with.

Carolina Panthers (19.5/+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons (25.0/-5.5)

With Greg Olsen now out of commission, it would seem that Devin Funchess ($4700) and Christian McCaffrey ($7000) will see a boost in usage. This may also lead to Cam Newton ($6600) running more if Ian Thomas ($2900) cannot adequately fill the role of TE safety valve. Cam is also missing some more offensive linemen this week after starting the season with missing starters, and he could be in for a monster rushing game (he had 86 and 59 yards on the ground against ATL last year). CMC will be understandably chalky, and Cam is someone to pivot to if you’re trying to spread exposure to that tier of QB pricing since he has the rushing floor to keep him up there. Ian Thomas is one of my punt options at that price. Funchess will get some talk as a value play, but my concern is he didn’t do anything of note vs ATL last year, even in the game Olsen missed in Carolina. The loss of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones leads me more to the middle of the field where Cam, CMC, and Thomas will do most of their work.

Everyone watched Julio Jones ($8400) drag the Falcons up the field each drive and get them into scoring position only to see Sarkisian call someone else’s number early on. It was obvious they were going to start going to him on later Red Zone trips, and PHI snuffed it out. Perhaps against a weaker secondary, he’ll find some Red Zone success? With Carolina being a tough opponent to run on, I would expect Julio to be heavily involved in this game plan. He’ll have the yard and catches to be a good play, and any TDs are going to be the cherry on top. He’s my must play this week. In the line-ups I don’t use him, I’ll probably target Captain Munnerlyn with Mo Sanu ($4000) as a cheaper receiving option for this slate. Given the nature of the Panthers defense is to shut down the run, I also have some interest in Matt Ryan ($5700) while everyone else is buying Tyrod, Keenum or Foles in that range.

Indianapolis Colts (21.0/+6) at Washington Redskins (27.0/-6)

This one is tied for third highest point total on the slate, but there’s not much that jumps out for me on the Colts side here. Andrew Luck ($6200) threw a million passes last week. How’s his arm doing? I don’t mind the Indy TEs Jack Doyle ($4000) and Eric Ebron ($3500), as the Skins were susceptible to that position last year, but they’re priced right around Kittle, Cook, and Watson who I think have more upside. Marlon Mack is questionable as of now and could muddy the picture in the backfield by game time, but I do have some interest in Nyheim Hines ($4100) and his 9 targets from the RB position last week. The Skins have a pretty stout run defense so far this year, and the Colts just lost another lineman (J. Webb). If Luck’s arm has any fatigue, and the Redskins can generate pressure, Hines could see another 9 targets this week.  Ryan Grant ($4300) has the revenge game narrative going for him here, and isn’t a bad play if you’re looking to fill your final roster spot with someone in this price range.

Adrian Peterson ($5500) will probably be chalky, and deservedly so. He had a great game last week, and Joe Mixon just gashed the Colts in their house last week. Meld the two, and you have a good play on your hands. Chris Thompson ($5900) is also coming off a nice game and could see plenty of targets if the Redskin WRs can’t get on the same page as Alex Smith ($6000), as would be Jordan Reed ($5000) who had a solid game to get himself back on track last week. Indy’s secondary can be picked on, but it’s still not clear who Smith is going to target enough to get value out of. Going back to preseason reports about Smith and Jamison Crowder ($4900) having rapport points me in that direction – and he’s fairly low priced right now.

Houston Texans (23.25/-2) at Tennessee Titans (21.25/+2)

The Titans just gave up a monster game to Kenny Stills and now have to face DeAndre Hopkins ($8000) and probably see Will Fuller ($5300) in his season debut as well. Fuller is more similar to Still than Hopkins is, but either or both could be in store for a big game this week. I’d prefer to use Hopkins between the two, their pricing is so different it is more about roster construction when choosing between the two. Bruce Ellington ($3800) vs Logan Ryan in the slot also has some appeal as a punt play. His 88% snap percentage and 8 targets from last week will likely be reduced with Fuller coming back, so he will have to be efficient, but he’s in a spot where that can happen. Throwing the ball to these guys will be Deshaun Watson ($6300) who is not discount priced after his 13 point performance in Foxborough last week. Watson is priced between Newton and Mahomes who will likely see higher ownership, so he’s a way to pivot up or down between the two if you’re looking to differentiate. Lamar Miller ($5400) handled 20 carries and 2 targets last week, which is about right where his workload can be expected again this week. He’ll need to find the end zone to pay off though, due to the lack of targets/receptions.

The Titans have a few value plays worthy of consideration this week. With the loss of Delanie Walker, young and talented Jonnu Smith ($3100) will be a chalky punt play this week for those trying to roster the top backs with a top WR. Chalky or not, I’m in! The Texans allowed the second most points to the TE1 position last week – granted that was Gronk, but it’s still a match-up to exploit. Corey Davis at $5100 also comes in as a solid value play. He had 13 of the 17 WR targets last week and a total team share of 34%. If that continues, he could go bananas this weekend against the Texans secondary that has now lost Kevin Johnson for the season. He just needs Marcus Mariota ($5600) to pick up his game. The way Vrabel was talking at Thursday’s press conference made it seem that Blaine Gabbert could enter the conversation as the starting QB if Mariota doesn’t get his poop in pile soon. The Texans did better against the hand-off back than they did against the pass-catching back last week, and Dion Lewis ($5000) is coming off a solid outing making him another intriguing value play in this game.

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles (23.5/-3) at Tampa Bay Bucs (20.5/+3)

Alright, now we’re getting into some of the juicier match-ups on the slate. The Eagles had extra time to rest and game plan for this one coming off their win over Atlanta in the NFL’s opening night game last Thursday. Add to that the loss of Vernon Hargreaves to IR and the questionable status of Brent Grimes and we’re looking at an Eagles team over-prepared to face a bunch of newbies in the Tampa secondary. And if Tampa plays like they did last week, we have a keg of dynamite on our hands with a full book of matches. Nelson Agholor ($6100) saw 10 of the 14 WR targets last week and a total team share of 29% making him the obvious play, especially at his reasonable price. Many folks got burned using Mike Wallace ($3900) last week, myself included, but how can you not go back to that again for that price? Nick Foles ($5700) has publicly stated he needs to get him more involved, so there’s reason to be optimistic. He’ll be one of the chalky punt plays because of that depressed pricing, but is worth a look. Tampa didn’t allow a lot of rush yards, but did allow 2 rushing TDs. This sounds exactly like Jay Ajayi’s ($6300) game, but at his price he’s a bit of a turn-off. If Darren Sproles ($4700) can’t go, then Corey Clement ($3500) becomes a steal at his price. He’ll get the pass catching and change of pace role behind Ajayi and has the ability and potential to outscore him. Zach Ertz ($6100) is always in play as an elite option at the TE position and he’s sort of a pivot play since all of his teammates are cheaper and likely to appear in more line-ups this week.

The Eagles, and Jalen Mills, in particular, got roasted by Julio Jones last week making Mike Evans ($7300) who is coming off a good week himself the top play from the Tampa side in this one. DeSean Jackson ($4900) was super-efficient last week putting up 5/146/2 line (34.6 DK points) on 5 targets and only 20 snaps (30% of team snaps). That’s an insane 1.73 points per snap and 6.92 points per target. Chris Godwin ($4600) also produce some respectable numbers last week and played the second most WR snaps on the team at 46 (70%). Any one of these guys could go off this week, but I’ll have the most exposure to Evans. With that trio of receivers, that puts Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5500) right in play as well. The Eagles have good coverage LBs and safeties, so the TEs for the Bucs might need to wait another week to break out. Same is true for the Tampa running game going up against Fletcher Cox and that defensive front, not much to get excited about there.

Kansas City Chiefs (24.25/+4.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (28.75/-4.5)

This is another game that’s going to attract a lot of attention. It features the highest Vegas Implied Total of the week and is rich with high performing fantasy assets. Patrick Mahomes ($6100) comes in fairly priced after his 4 TD week 1 outing on the road. His weapons are still healthy and in position to fill the box score again. Tyreek Hill ($7600) has moved up to the 6th highest priced WR on the slate now, but is becoming one of indefensible players in the league. No one in the Steelers secondary can run with him one on one, and so you have to think he’s going to see a lot of double and bracket coverages. If PIT does focus on him, that’s going to free up more room for Travis Kelce ($5900) to do his thing in the middle of the field. And if Kelce is doing his thing, that may create a lot of soft fronts for Kareem Hunt ($6200) to exploit. Pittsburgh was able to hold the Browns to 3.3 YPC last week, and Hunt actually did most of his damage through the passing game in this match-up last year, so that bodes well for him in case the PIT defense holds tight against the run again. Reid is far more creative than Haley though, so if there’s an opportunity for Hunt in this game, he could have huge numbers. Sammy Watkins ($4600) remains a low priced/low floor punt option, but we don’t know what his ceiling is in this offense yet, so might be better to hold off until that gets demonstrated. Although, having him the week it happens an no one else has him could be a GPP winner.

The Steelers come in with their QB Ben Roethlisberger ($6900 – 2nd highest QB price) nursing a sore elbow. If for some reason he can’t go, Josh Dobbs ($4000) become a free square. Either QB should be able to light up the Chiefs secondary with the WRs they have on this team. Ben and Antonio Brown ($8800 – highest priced WR) will be the 2nd most expensive stack on the slate after Brees/Thomas, but will likely be popular. Brown will be chalky, but he always will be and he’s always good enough to pay off his price tag. He had to scrap his way to 24 points last week, but this should be an easier match-up against the likes of Steve Nelson and Orlando Scandrick on his own turf. James Conner ($6700) will also be chalky, but with his snap count and workload, he still seems under-priced. He’s in a good spot to build line-ups around him this week after KC gave up the most fantasy points to RBs in week 1 with 51.3. And, with Conner being the lone horse in the backfield, his ceiling is through the roof.

Miami Dolphins (20.25/+3) at New York Jets (23.25/-3.0)

This game has the second lowest Vegas Implied Total on the slate, just a half a point behind LAC/BUF. There’s not a lot to get excited about in this one. Somehow, the Jets knew all of the Lions plays last week…what do they know about their common foe in Miami this week? I kind of like the Jets DST ($2500) this week against a Dolphins team that just doesn’t seem to ever get things clicking. Kenny Stills ($5700) is good at football and is reasonably priced for the slate. Quincy Enunwa ($4700) is mispriced coming off a monster game on MNF. Danny Amendola ($4600) is familiar with the Jets coming over from New England and should be seeing more than 6 targets a game. Last week he didn’t play as well as we saw during the preseason so perhaps he gets a little more going this week. Not sure I trust Isaiah Crowell ($4600) to repeat his performance from Monday night (2.52 points per touch), but he curtails expectations for Bilal Powell ($5100) if they’re going to share the workload like that each week. Drake didn’t do much with his 18 opportunities last week, but is always a threat for a 10+ point play.

L.A. Chargers (25.25/-7.5) at Buffalo Bills (17.75/+7.5)

The lowest point total of the week. The Chargers have a potent offense, and the Bills just got smoked by a Ravens team that looked lost for most of their second game against Cincinnati. I expect the Bills defense to rally now that they’re at home and have to defend against the potential mistakes made by rookie starting QB, and also have the west coast team traveling east narrative in their favor. Still, LAC should be able to just feed Melvin Gordon ($7400) and Austin Ekeler ($4400) and get out of Dodge with a low scoring win. Keenan Allen ($7800) has a great match-up on paper, but his opportunities might be limited if this becomes a slow paced run-fest. I wouldn’t avoid him, but it might be smart to not go all in with him. The Chargers DST ($3600) should be a popular play for those who can find the salary to spend up at defense. That secondary has to be pissed after allowing KC to get the better of them last week, and they’ve got to be licking their chops with the QB change in BUF.

Buffalo is already turning the keys to offense over to rookie Josh Allen ($4600), and if you’re a brave soul, his salary can afford a lot of elite players at other positions if you want to punt and hope for the best at QB. It’s possible this will be the lowest price we see on Lesean McCoy ($5700) this year as well. He should be a focal point of the game plan to keep the pressure off Allen. Shady makes for an interesting pay-down pivot at RB if you’re trying to squeeze in a bunch of blue chippers at other positions. I got burned using Fat Kelvin in some really good line-ups last week, an won’t roster him this week – or any Bills pass catcher for that matter. If you believe in the west coast to east coast travel coma that LAC could be facing, the Bills DST ($2100) could be an interesting punt/cap saver.

 

 

Minnesota Vikings (23.0/PK) at Green Bay Packers (23.0/PK)

Green Bay’s defense did a good job shutting Trubisky and the Bears passing attack down last week, but get a much tougher test against the Kirk Cousins ($6400). There aren’t any jump off the page lopsided match-ups to exploit in this one, it’s going to be a bet on talent type of game. Both sides are going to wins some plays and lose some plays, much like the Vikings game against the 49ers. Stefon Diggs ($6900) will probably find the end zone at least once. Adam Thielen ($7100) will keep the offense on schedule. Dalvin Cook ($6500) will test the coverage of the Packers linebackers. But, at their prices, these guys are going to have to each put up 20+ points each to pay off. One of them will, but not all three. So sprinkling this trio into multiple line-ups one at a time looks like the way to go. Green Bay is hard on TEs, so I’ll avoid Rudolph for another week.

A lot of the Packers outlook depends on he health of Aaron Rodger’s ($6800) left knee. If he doesn’t play, it’s a major downgrade to the whole offense vs a tough defense like the Vikings. If healthy all of the receiving weapons on the Pack are in play. Devante Adams ($6800) isn’t priced up as high as he likely will be by the end of the year, but he is also hurting, so that makes him slightly risky – as does his match-up with corner Xavier Rhodes. Adams only played in one of the games in this series last year, at Minnesota an he put up a respectable 5/54/1 line. That won’t pay off his price tag this year though. Randall Cobb ($4600) and Geronimo Allison ($3800) are more affordable options and have a likelier path to pay off their salaries. I’d pivot to either of them or Jimmy Graham ($4800) this week over Adams. Minnesota just got roasted by George Kittle, and while Graham isn’t the superior athlete he once was, he could still play a similar role in this game. If he were to put up a 5/54/1 line, he would hit the 3x threshold many look for when building rosters. Jamaal Williams ($5200) is over-priced for this match-up and is in danger of losing his grip on the starting job when Aaron Jones comes back next week. If I were to play a Packer RB this week, I’d punt with Ty Montgomery ($3700) who only got 5 opportunities last week compared to Williams’ 17, but Ty-Mo scored nearly a point per opportunity last week, and could see a lot more if GB abandons trying to run the ball on Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson.

Cleveland Browns (20.0/+9) at New Orleans Saints (29.0/-9.0)

Here comes another chalky game with a 49 point implied total, 2nd highest of the slate. Cleveland hung in the game long enough to end up in a 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh last week. Lead by Tyrod Taylor ($5900) and Jarvis Landry ($6300), both of whom are reasonably priced for this slate, Cleveland will have to trade big punches with the Saint offense to stay close in this one. Perhaps Cleveland’s biggest punch could come from troubled star Josh Gordon ($5800) catching a few deep targets/TDs. He’s a great upside play in tournaments if he can get away from Marshon Lattimore’s coverage enough times to hit. Lattimore was embarrassed by Mike Evans last week, so he’s going to be playing with a chip on his shoulder in this one.  Perhaps an even sneakier play will be David Njoku ($3000). Priced as a punt, he could be a game-breaker in this one and allows you to get a piece of this game at the lowest price possible. Duke Johnson ($4200) could be busy in this one if the Browns are playing from behind and get into pass-first mode.

Chalk stars Drew Brees ($7200 – highest priced QB), Alvin Kamara ($9500 – highest priced RB), and Michael Thomas ($8600 – 2nd highest priced WR) won’t come cheap, but should be worth spending up for. There were thoughts that these guys might not have to play through the whole game last week, and TB caught them with their pants down. They won’t be surprised again, but have shown they will need to keep their foot on the gas all game all year if their defense is going to play like that. These guys will be hard to get into a lot of line-ups and will alter roster construction considerably if you try to cram in all three. Another way to go would be to get Ben Watson ($3400) who had a quiet game last week catching all 4 of his targets for 44 yards. Watson was  Brown for a few years before his first stint with the Saints, then faced them twice last year as a Raven and scored just over 17 points both times. If he does that again, he’ll hit 5x salary this week.

Detroit Lions (21.0/+6) at San Francisco 49ers (27.0/-6)

This one will be interesting. We have ex-Pat DC Patricia going up against a QB he saw every day in practice for a 3 ½ years. Familiarity didn’t help him create a game plan to beat an opponent he saw a dozen times in the AFC East, so we’ll see how this one goes.  Matt Stafford ($6100) threw 4 INTs last week at home, and will be facing a similarly young secondary (Sherman aside) this week in San Francisco. The Lions will have redemption on their mind, but so will the 49ers who lost a closer game than the score indicated last week, against a superior opponent than Detroit. Golden Tate ($6500) is my top play from the Lions trio of WRs, but all three can make an impact. Richard Sherman primarily lined up at LCB last week, which is the side Marvin Jones ($6200) usually lines up on. This is a mismatch in Jones’ favor in terms of speed, but Sherman is physical and can disrupt his routes. If Jones gets in a double move, it could be a 13 point play. He would just need a few more catches for a handful of yards to pay off his salary. Kenny Golladay ($4800) will see Witherspoon the most as the LWR, and he has a chance to shine on 50/50 balls. Witherspoon is an up-and-coming corner, so this will be a nice battle to watch. Dalvin Cook caught 6 passes for 55 yards against the 49ers last week putting the pass-catching back Theo Riddick ($4000) in play. He should be able to find space to work with and could get a boost in receptions if Detroit is playing form behind.

Just as Patricia is familiar with Jimmy Garoppolo ($6000), so is Jimmy G with Patricia and his defensive schemes. Detroit kept the Jets deep man in check all game, and allowed underneath man Quincy Enunwa to catch a lot of passes. That role is played by Pierre Garcon ($5000) [80% of total snaps/ 24% in slot] and/or Trent Taylor ($3900) [56% of total snaps/ 75% in slot] for the 49ers, making Taylor an intriguing punt play. The deep routes are mostly run by Marquise Goodwin ($4800), who hasn’t practiced yet this week with a quad injury. If he can’t go Dante Pettis ($4000) is a tasty punt play. He saw 5 targets against MIN and caught a TD, scoring 14.1 DK points. At his price, that’s not hard to imagine a repeat performance and paying off his salary. Probably the best play for the 49ers this week is going to be George Kittle ($3800) who is likely to see his price increased for the rest of the year, so he’s still a value play for right now. Kittle was targeted 9 times last week catching 5 for 90 yards and just missing on a 45 yard TD connection that would have added another 11+ points to his total. He appears to be Garoppolo’s go-to guy, and should be again this week. Another good punt from this game will be Alfred Morris ($3600). Isaiah Crowell, a run-only back just gashed the Lions on 10 carries for 25 DK points, so it’s conceivable Morris can do something similar, or at least hit 3-5x value depending on end zone plunges.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals (16.25/+13) at L.A. Rams (29.25/-13)

Arizona is in for quite a test here. In L.A for the Rams home opener against that defense, in particular those corners. All the Cards WRs are off the table for me this week. Many will want to use Ricky Seal-Jones ($2900) at his bargain price after seeing what Jared Cook did to the Rams last week. This is understandable, and since he’s priced as a punt, I have no problems sprinkling him into a few line-ups myself. The Rams gave up a lot of passes to Jalen Richard, and if Arizona is going to be playing form behind in this one, that put’s David Johnson ($8200) in play for the same type of work. However, at $8200, that’s a tough price to pay for him this week. But, if you’re looking for contrarian/low ownership, he’s your guy.

According to Mike Clay at ESPN, the quartet of the Rams skill guys received 94% of the target share last week. That’s an extremely high concentration to just 4 players, and is reminiscent of how the Saints offense functioned last year. Todd Gurley ($9200) tops the list of guys to use for the Rams this week, and is one of the best plays on the slate due to his workload and pass catching chops. He’ll be chalky, and needs to be in your line-ups this week. Brandin Cooks ($6100) is the deep threat in this offense and just got paid big money, so he could be utilized a bit more in this home opener on snaps where he gets line-up against Jamar Taylor. His upside is huge in this one, and at his price he’s easy to squeeze into most line-ups. Robert Woods ($5900) and Cooper Kupp ($5500) also see a good amount of work, in fact they tied for the lead in targets last week with 9 a piece, one more than Cooks. Depending on your roster construction and remaining salary, getting any one of this trio into your line-ups is a good decision. Stacking a couple with Jared Goff ($6300) will be a moderately priced stack with a ton of upside.

New England Patriots (22.75/E) at Jacksonville Jaguars (22.75/E)

As of time of writing, this game has the most mystery surrounding in, particularly at the RB positions on both sides. Rex Burkhead ($4400) and Sony Michel ($4100) have been limited in practice and their status is uncertain, and may not be made clear until Saturday when NE would call up a practice squad RB signaling that one or both of these guys aren’t ready to go. James White ($4500) and Kenyon Barner (N/A) are the only two healthy back on the roster at the moment. White has a defined role no matter who plays, so he is still safe to use and is priced attractively for where this game might be heading. Aside from one play that contributed 15.8 points to Saquon Barkley’s 23.8 score last week, the Jags had New York’s running game bottled up. They had New England bottled up in last year’s AFC Championship game as well. I don’t suspect a back from injury Burkhead, or a missed a bunch of time in training camp Michel to be as effective as Barkley was (and really, he wasn’t). Jacksonville has good coverage LBs, too, so NE will have to get creative with White, but he may be in line for some extra touches if the other RBs are not good to go. Brandin Cooks ($4500) went for 100 yards in the AFC title game, which is now Phillip Dorsett’s role to play, and slot man Danny Amendola caught 2 TDs, which is where we should see Chris Hogan ($5400) mostly lining up. Rob Gronkowski ($7000) was held to 1 catch and 21 yards in the AFCCG, which would be underwhelming if that happened again at his current price point. This side of the game looks too risky, but not a full fade. White and Hogan should make their way into a few of my GPP line-ups this week as lottery ticket plays.

On the Jacksonville side of the ball, Leonard Fournette ($6800) is also trending toward a game-time decision. Should he miss this game, T.J. Yeldon ($5600) and Corey Grant ($4300) will share the load. Grant has more big play upside of the two, and head coach Doug Marrone says he’d like to get him more touches this week. I’d rather punt with Grant, than spend $5600 on Yeldon here. However, The Pats held both of Houston’s RBs to less than 12 points each last week, so I wouldn’t get too carried away. New England’s defense gave up less than 30 points total to the WRs last week as well, so I’m not running to the well for Jags WRs this week. They only combined for 21 points last week themselves. Going to pass on ASJ this week, too.

Oakland Raiders (19.75/+6) at Denver Broncos (25.75/-6)

Jon Gruden did not have a triumph return to the sidelines last week. Perhaps this is all a part of his plan to tank the season and move on from Derek Carr ($5500) and his enormous contract, and draft a QB #1 overall. Carr looked awful last week, causing the rest of the Raider offense other than Cook and Richard to suffer. The passing game doesn’t look like a go to spot this week either vs the Denver secondary. Sure, Will Dissly had a bonkers game against the Broncos last week, but they’re going to see Jared Cook ($3600) coming this week after what he just did. Still, if points are to be had against the Broncos, it is at the TE position and Cook is mispriced given his output on Monday night. He’s a decent play, but according to the TQE Fanshare Buzz report, he could be chalky as he’s the #2 TE being talked about this week. The Broncos allowed less than 9 points each to Carson and Penny last week, and are a stout run defense, so the Oakland backs have no appeal to me this week.

A match-up to exploit from the Denver side will be in the run game. Oakland lost their Nose Tackle Justin Ellis and the other starting DT P.J. Hall last week. The question is, who to use? Royce Freeman ($4300) and Phillip Lindsay ($4400) each handled 15 totes of the rock last week, but Lindsay also got three targets, one of which he scored on. A lot of folks will lean toward Lindsay in this one because of the pass-catching floor booster, but Freeman will be the one salting the game away once the Broncos get out to a commanding lead. He’ll also see the majority of the carries going into the vacancy left by those two Oakland DTs that will miss the game. At $4300, a 2 TD game from Freeman pays off his salary and any yards he gets on top of that will be gravy. The passing game will also receive attention from the masses after Emmanuel Sanders ($6200) went for 32.5 DK points last week. Case Keenum ($5800) is one of the cheaper QBs that is in a good spot this week, and will likely be chalky. Demaryius Thomas ($5600) is decent pivot playoff Sanders if you’re trying to get lower ownership %. He saw 10 targets last week, giving him a nice workload. If you want to punt with one of the WRs, there’s rookie Courtland Sutton ($3500) who has 4 inches and 20 pounds on his likely match-up mate Gareon Conley.

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