The past few weeks of DFS fantasy have been extremely weird to try and figure out. Two weeks ago, all of the chalk hit on the slate and everyone that played players such as Will Fuller, and Christian McCaffrey cashed their lineups in tournaments as long as they had the correct pieces around them. There were DFS players putting up almost 350 points on the slate from two weeks ago, which is a ridiculous total. Last week, there was not as much action especially on the main slate as the average lineup that put up 150 points were cashing in cash game lineups. This weeks’ slate construction seems as though players are going to want to pay up for the big running backs in good spots, while filling in the rest of their roster with lower salary players.
Matt Ryan – $7,900 Matt Ryan is the optimal cash game quarterback to start off your lineups with this week. Although Ryan is somewhat expensive on FanDuel this week, he will return value at his high price. The Falcons are taking on the LA Rams at home in a game that projects to be somewhat of a shootout as long as the Jared Goff led rams can keep up with the high passing volume of Atlanta. The game has a 54 point over-under which means that vegas is expecting this game to be high scoring. Matt Ryan has been fantastic so far this season, scoring over 20 points in three out of four games he has been on the main slate this season. He also scored over 30 points in two of those games. The Rams’ secondary is nothing to be scared of, as they just put Aqib Talib on IR and traded Marcus Peters to the Ravens, not to mention Ryan has the most passing attempts in the NFL. As long as the Rams can stay competitive in this game, I can see Ryan putting up another 30+ points in this game.
Update: Jalen Ramsey was traded to the Rams this week, but I would still be playing Ryan in this high scoring game.
Leonard Fournette – $7,900 When looking for a good cash play at the running back position, the first thing that I am looking for is volume. Talent does matter when it comes to running backs, but the thing you want more than talent is for your running back to touch the ball almost 30 times per game. Fournette is currently receiving almost all of his teams’ running back touches. He is seeing 19 carries per game which ranks #3 in the league, but he is also receiving six targets per game which ranks #7 in the league at the moment. Fournette is not known for his pass catching ability, but has made a huge leap this year which DFS players should take into account. He will be highly owned this week, as the Jaguars are taking on a bad Cincinnati team. Fortunately in cash, we are not worried about the ownership percentage and should just play the running back receiving all of the volume. The Jaguars should be ahead in this game, which put Fournette in a positive game script. Expect Fournette to get another 30 touches in this game, and to be one of the top players at his position this week.
T.Y. Hilton – $7,600 T.Y. Hilton is going to be my lock at the wide receiver position this week in all of my cash game lineups. I feel as if DFS players have overlooked Hilton these season, myself included, because he has Brissett as his QB instead of Andrew Luck. Brissett has proven that he can produce for the Colts and give Hilton valuable targets even if people did not believe in him coming into the year. Hilton has produced this year, on the back of Brissett being able to get him the ball. Hilton’s targets have been 90% catchable so far this year, which is 27 out of 30 targets. Hilton also has been Brissett’s go-to target in the RedZone this year. He has seen 36.8% of his targets in the RedZone this year, which gives him high upside to be able to score multiple touchdowns in this game. The Houston Texans also have the 27th ranked passing defense this year, and Hilton has been known to have huge games against them. I may be buying into the narrative a bit too much, but Hilton’s proven track record against the Texans is enough for me to believe that it is more of a trend than a narrative.
Hunter Henry – $5,700 Hunter Henry is a great play this week as the Chargers are taking on the Titans. I have been known to have a bullish opinion on Henry, even before the season I had him ranked as my #4 tight end coming into this year. More than anything, I believe that the Chargers’ offense has the potential to be one of the best in the league and with many offensive pieces coming back from injury (or holdouts) I think that the Chargers’ will have great offensive production from this point on. Henry also is one of the most athletic tight ends in the league. In his first game back ct from injury last week against the Steelers, Henry had eight catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. The part that sets Henry apart from other tight ends is that Rivers is targeting him down the field, which makes his targets much more valuable than most other tight ends in the league who are used in the short passing game. Currently, in the two games Henry has played this year, his average depth of targets is 12.7 yards which is ranked #1 in the league. He also saw three RedZone targets last week, which shows that Rivers trusts him near the goalline. At only $5,700 Henry is one of the cheaper plays this week, and I could easily see him scoring 20 points in your lineup.
Jared Goff – $7,800 In tournaments this week, I am looking to play the opposite side of my cash game quarterback pick. While I fully expect Matt Ryan and the Falcons to put up points against the Rams, this just means that Goff is going to have to throw the ball to keep up. One thing that we look for in tournaments, is players who have had terrible production last game, but we still believe they can produce in the matchup this week. Goff ended last week with only 78 passing yards and no touchdowns. DFS players should keep in mind that they were taking on the 49ers who have had a stellar defense so far this year. Goff is in a perfect position to bounce back against the Falcons who given up 30 points per game to opposing offenses, which is ranked 31st in the league this year. The other piece to the puzzle for Goff is that the Rams have had virtually no running game so far this season. Two of the top three running backs on the Rams are currently injured, and they have turned to the passing game to be able to move the ball. Goff is currently throwing the ball 41 times per game which is #3 in the league. As long as the Falcons can move the ball, I would project Goff to have to throw the ball 40+ times in this game as well. At a low ownership percentage, Goff could be one of the best options in tournaments this week.
Tevin Coleman – $6,200 Tevin Coleman is a perfect candidate to play in tournaments this week because of what should be a low ownership percentage. Coleman just came back from injury two weeks ago, and I feel like he is still flying under the radar as far as his role in this offense that loves to run the ball. Ultimately, Coleman is splitting the workload with Breida week-to-week, but as long as you believe in the efficiency of the 49ers running volume, then there should be no reason not to play Coleman at a low price point. Although I do not believe that Coleman is the most talented running back in the world, the thing we should be looking at more closely is the offense that he plays on. The 49ers currently run the ball 39 times per game which is ranked #1 in the entire NFL. Coleman has seen 16 and 18 carries in his two weeks back from injury, he also received three targets last week against the Rams. The other reason to play Coleman is that he is the goal-line back for an above average offense that so far are winning their games pretty easily. He has received 8 RedZone carries in the past two weeks back from injury. The 49ers take on the Redskins this week, and although the Redskins have ranked #2 against the run so far this season, as long as the 49ers can stay ahead in this game like I expect them too, then Coleman should see another 15-20 touches with plenty of goal-line work.
Tyler Lockett – $6,500 Tyler Lockett is going to be in a high scoring game this week, with two dynamic offenses in the Seahawks and the Ravens. This is one of the games that I am looking to stack up this week in tournaments because of the game total being all the way up to a 49 point over under. Most players may believe that both of these teams’ defenses have been elite due to previous seasons, when in reality both defenses have fallen off drastically this year. I think that because of this preconceived notion from fantasy players, they may be scared to play Lockett in a smash spot which will make him lower owned than normal. Lockett has an 85.4% catch rate this year which is #1 in the league, and he also gotten 2.26 yards of separation on his targets so far this year which is ranked #6 in the league. This game should stay competitive, which means that both teams may have to throw the ball to be able to keep up with each other. DK Metcalf has also become a larger part of the Seahawks’ offense recently, which means that DFS players will not look toward Lockett because they will be scared that Metcalf may take all of Lockett’s production. As long as Russell Wilson is throwing the ball to Lockett, he should be in your player pool especially in a game like this that projects to be fairly high scoring.
Darren Waller – $6,200 At the tight end position this week, I can see a predicament where most of the ownership is spread out among many different tight ends. This means that there is not really a stand out candidate for tight end this week. I have decided to go with Darren Waller as my tournament option in my lineups, banking on the hope that fantasy players have forgotten how good he has been so far coming back from a bye week. Waller has been one of the top tight ends so far this season in fantasy, and is receiving 8.4 targets per game which is great volume for a tight end, even if it may be in a mediocre offense. Waller also has 188 yards after the catch, which means that he can at any point can break off a short target into a long gain and possibly take any target to the house. He also has not scored any touchdowns so far this season, but he is seeing 17.6% of his targets in the RedZone and should see some positive regression in the touchdown category soon. The Raiders play the Green Bay Packers this week, and the over-under is currently set at 47 points which is fairly high. As long as the Raiders and Derek Carr continue to rely on Waller to be their top receiving option, he should have a huge week and hopefully will scored his first touchdown in this game.