For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. Footballguys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to consider the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.
CASH ROSTER CONSTRUCTION. Coming off a week where value was abundant for cash games, it's tougher to make cash game lineups this Sunday. DraftKings seems to be trending towards raising the pricing on quarterbacks and tight ends, which has historically been a nice place to minimize risk. This week, there are no quarterbacks below $6.0K who feel safe enough for cash games, which means that you will be scrambling to find value elsewhere. There are a few possibilities, but no sure things, so choose wisely. My early cash game rosters are more balanced than typical, but there are still question marks. YMMV.
HELP ME HELP YOU. After giving it a full week of thought, I do not have anything that I consider to be meaningful enough to share in this space this week. It is perhaps not surprising given that this column has been providing "Tips" for over four years now, but I am asking for your help moving forward: Reach out to me via email ("Home" tab --> "Meet the Staff" tab --> "John Lee" link) or via Twitter (@tipandpick) and let me know the types of things that keep you up at night while thinking about your lineup construction, your results, game strategy, or just football, in general. Anything is fair game and I'll do my best to answer all questions either here or via some other medium. If participation is limited, I may be forced to change the article format in the future, but rest assured, the "Picks" will stay! Best of luck on Sunday.
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. A short summary follows each respective table to fill in the gaps that led to the respective recommendations; that text represents only an overview of the methodology and rationale that goes into each recommendation.
|NAME||OPPONENT||SALARY||CROWD EXPOSURE||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|Jameis Winston||@CIN||$6000||7%||1||8||9x 300-yard games in last 12 complete.|
|Aaron Rodgers||@LAR||$6400||10%||2||4||Goff et al. will force 35+ attempts.|
|Ben Roethlisberger||CLE||$6100||11%||3||3||Big Ben at home is a thing. Get some.|
|Patrick Mahomes II||DEN||$7000||14%||4||7||Averaging over 4x his sky-high salary.|
|Jared Goff||GB||$6000||12%||-||1||Back to the well with anti-Gurley GPP leverage.|
|Andrew Luck||OAK||$6300||7%||-||2||Leads league in attempts and pace.|
|Derek Carr||@IND||$5200||3%||-||5||Loss of Marshawn = additional pass volume.|
|Andy Dalton||TB||$6200||8%||-||6||Play QBs against the Bucs' last-ranked secondary.|
|Joe Flacco||@CAR||$5300||2%||-||9||CAR: Allowed multiple pass TDs in 6 straight.|
|Eli Manning||@WAS||$4900||1%||-||10||Uber-cheap option vs. banged up WAS DBs.|
- Coming off an ugly win that saw him throw for 365 yards with zero touchdowns against the Browns, Jameis Winston may not be the most popular play in cash games on Sunday, but he is worthy of consideration. Over his last dozen games (where he has not left early due to injury), Winston has surpassed 300-passing yards in 9 of those games (75%), an incredible statistic. On DraftKings, hitting that 300-yard threshold equates to 15 fantasy points, which means that Winston needs only one touchdown to reach cash game value thereafter. Now, he is not guaranteed to hit 300-yards, but this week's opponent, the Bengals, have allowed 5 out of 7 quarterbacks to get there in 2018. The implied gamescript also favors Winston, as the Bucs are four-point road underdogs to the Bengals, which should keep him throwing deep into the game.
- On the heels of a much-needed bye week rest, we can expect Aaron Rodgers to be as healthy as he has been all season when the Pack travel to southern California to take on the Rams this weekend. This Sunday will mark the first time the Packers will field their full offensive set of weapons for the 2018 campaign; early in the season, Aaron Jones was suspended and upon his return, we saw Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison miss time due to injuries. Having everybody available could not have come at a better time for Rodgers, as they will need all the bullets they can get to shoot down the undefeated Los Angeles Rams, who are averaging 33.6 points per game. As nine-point road underdogs, the Packers will likely have to lean on Rodgers to keep pace with the Rams throughout, which should result in significant fantasy production. Rested with a full bevy of offensive weapons in a potential shootout, this could mark the 3rd consecutive game that Rodgers scores 30+ DraftKings points.
- It is easy to keep the justification for Patrick Mahomes II short: Dude has reached 3x value on his $7.0K salary in every game this season (!!). Mahomes is actually averaging over 4x his salary and has proven himself to be as matchup-proof as a quarterback can be in 2018. Kansas City is a big home favorite with an implied team total approaching 32 points, which means that there should be plenty of fantasy production amongst the KC offense, but that $7.0K price tag is a big jagged pill to swallow on a week where value options are limited for cash games. In tournament play, Mahomes merits some of your highest consideration given his MVP-like performance to this point in the season.
- Last week, I outlined a multitude of reasons why I thought that you should consider fading Todd Gurley in tournaments. In the end, Gurley compiled less than 100 all-purpose yards, but he did find paydirt on 3 different occasions which meant that his appearance on rosters neither won nor lost tournaments. A week later, Gurley's salary is unchanged and he will once again be the most-rostered running back on the slate. For tournaments, the recommendation is to roll with Jared Goff and his receiving corps in the hopes that Gurley has just an average day (i.e., only one touchdown); if that were to happen and Gurley is not on your roster, you will immediately surpass 35% of the field and be in good position to finish high because spending 20% of one's salary cap on a player who does not deliver > 3.5x is a recipe for finishing below the payline. For his part, Goff is coming off a pair of disappointing games that saw him average only ~ 12 points per game, which could scare a few people away from taking him in this spot. That said, what has helped Gurley has hurt Goff and if the tide rolls back on Gurley's recent fantasy slaughterfest, it will be Goff's turn to deliver the spoils.
- On this week's video edition of "Tips and Picks," I outlined a multitude of reasons to gravitate towards Andrew Luck in DraftKings tournaments this weekend. First, Luck is on pace to break the NFL record for pass attempts in a single season, a statistic that underscores how quickly this offense is running; no team in the NFL runs a faster-paced offense than the Colts entering the mid-point of the season. Given his past injuries, the Colts have designed an offense around quick passes (6.3 YPA) that allows Luck to evade hits and stay upright. The scheme is working, as Luck has not been sacked in his last 125 pass attempts and only 4 teams have allowed less sacks than the Colts. Marlon Mack will return after posting the first 100-yard game of his career and is expected to appear on 2-3x as many tournament rosters as Luck, which would be a mistake against an Oakland team that fields the 31st-ranked DVOA pass defense and has allowed 5 out of 6 opposing quarterbacks to throw at least 2 touchdowns this season.
- Fellow Footballguy, Phil Alexander, author of GPP Domination, pointed out in a group conversation earlier this week that Steve Buzzard's early week projections had elevated numbers for a number of Raiders receivers, but Derek Carr was mysteriously low. Phil nailed that assessment and has me liking Derek Carr's upside and low popularity in tournaments this Sunday. Taking into account what was written in the previous paragraph about Andrew Luck and the pace of the Colts offense, it would stand to reason that the Raiders might have to follow suit and abandon the run, something they might otherwise want to do without gob-smasher, Marshawn Lynch, in the mix. Feel free to pair Carr with Jordy Nelson or Jared Cook, both of whom make a lot of sense, but do not overlook Seth Roberts as a salary-saving option who will be under-represented in the player pool; because Martavis Bryant runs deeper routes and Carr has demonstrated zero ability to hit a receiver beyond 20 yards this season, Bryant is the least favorite option of the bunch.
|NAME||OPPONENT||SALARY||CROWD EXPOSURE||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|James Conner||CLE||$7500||30%||1||4||8-point home fave has 20+ touches in all PIT wins.|
|Jalen Richard||@IND||$4200||14%||2||7||6+ receptions of 3 of last 4. No Marshawn.|
|Todd Gurley||GB||$9800||33%||3||12||Play the TD monster if you can afford him.|
|Kareem Hunt||DEN||$7100||24%||4||3||Destroyed DEN D for 175 yards and score already.|
|Saquon Barkley||@WAS||$8800||9%||5||10||Tough matchup, but 10 receptions is possible.|
|Isaiah Crowell||@CHI||$3700||15%||6||11||Low upside value play vs. tough CHI defense.|
|Joe Mixon||TB||$7300||13%||-||1||Kwon Alexander to IR = easy sledding.|
|Adrian Peterson||NYG||$4900||5%||-||2||'Old man' has 95+ yards in 4 of 6 games.|
|Chris Carson||@DET||$4300||5%||-||5||Plus matchup against poor DEF rush defense.|
|Phillip Lindsay||@KC||$5200||15%||-||6||No Freeman = increased volume. PPR helps.|
|Duke Johnson Jr||@PIT||$3900||4%||-||8||Gamescript should demand his involvement.|
|David Johnson||SF||$6700||11%||-||9||New OC Leftwich wants to reinstall DJ's usage.|
- Rostering running backs from hefty home favorites is a tried-and-true recipe for success in DFS cash games. This week, James Conner, Todd Gurley, and Kareem Hunt all fit that bill. Of the three, Conner is the favorite to deliver on his salary for several reasons: First, Conner has touched the ball 20 or more times in every one of the Steelers' victories this season. Next, the Browns have quietly imposed their will against opponents' passing games, as evidenced by their top-ranked DVOA pass defense; however, they rank 25th against the rush and are allowing 25% more fantasy points to the position than league-adjusted opponents. Lastly, we should not forget what Conner did to this defense back in Week 1 when he throttled them for a 31/135/2 stat line while compiling another 5 receptions for 57 yards as a receiver.
- Now that Marshawn Lynch has been placed on Injured Reserve, the Raiders will look to a combination of Doug Martin and Jalen Richard to move the ball on the ground. Martin, offered up at $4.4K, is a perennial underperformer who has not averaged more than 3.0 yards per carry since 2015; expect him to get early-down opportunities while yielding to Jalen Richard on passing downs and as a change of pace substitution. Because of DraftKings' full PPR scoring format, Richard becomes an intriguing punt option for cash games due to his anticipated increased role in the passing game after Amari Cooper was traded to the Cowboys earlier this week. The loss of Cooper and Lynch means that 23.7 opportunities per game will need to be redistributed amongst other Raiders players. Given that Richard has 26 targets over the past month with those players, it stands to reason that he should have little trouble hitting 3x value on his salary with increased playing time on Sunday against the Colts.
- Outside of his box scores, there should be no justification needed to substantiate Todd Gurley's position in your cash game lineups. Having scored in every game this season, Gurley's $9.8K salary is reasonable, particularly when we consider that he is playing for a team with the highest implied team total on the main slate and is a 9-point home favorite. The only drawback is that you will need to punt at least one, possibly two, other position(s) to get him into your cash game lineups; if you feel comfortable with those punt plays, he is the player you want anchoring your cash games this, and every, week.
- Entering Week 8, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank 32nd, 31st, and 32nd in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends, respectively. Simply put, they have been horrid defending the pass this season and DFS players have been successful targeting those positions against the Bucs. This week, however, it might make sense to leverage the lofty ownership associated with Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and C.J. Uzomah, by rolling with Joe Mixon in tournament formats. While the world's focus has been on just how bad the Bucs secondary has played, few have realized that they have lost several key run-stoppers including DE Vinny Curry, DT Gerald McCoy, and ILB Kwon Alexander, the latter of whom landed on the IR after tearing his ACL last weekend. Mixon could go largely unnoticed in DFS circles this Sunday after back-to-back clunkers in losing efforts; the Bengals are home chalk in this matchup, which should generate 20+ touches for Mixon and result in his first 100-yard performance of the season against a depleted Buccaneer defensive front.
- Despite playing for a one-dimensional offense, Adrian Peterson has been impressive in his short stint with the Redskins. Watching the games, one can see that Peterson is defying his 33-years and legitimately competing at an age where most running backs have already fallen off a production cliff. In Washington's 4 wins, he has touched the ball an average of 22.3 times and collected a shade over 120 all-purpose yards per game. There is reason to believe that he will continue to see significant action again on Sunday, as the 'Skins will play yet another game without Jamison Crowder while Paul Richardson Jr remains a game-time decision. His opponent, the Giants, have allowed 22% more fantasy production than league-adjusted defenses to the running back position and will be without their best rush-stuffers, Damon Harrison (aka "Snacks"), who was traded to the Lions earlier this week and Alec Ogletree, who will watch this one from the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
- Speaking of Snacks Harrison, do not let his roster spot on the Lions scare you away from Chris Carson against Detroit's rush-friendly defense. Harrison will certainly get some time on defense, but it is unlikely that he will play a complete game simply because he will have to learn Paul Pasqualoni's scheme and demonstrate that he is not a liability in key situations. Until Harrison establishes himself as an every-down player, you can continue to roster running backs against the Lions, who allow the 6th most fantasy points per game to the position while also yielding 19% more production than league-adjusted average. Chris Carson appears to be the next man up this week and he could go underappreciated in DFS circles because last week's box score indicates that both Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny stole time from Carson; the truth, however, is that Carson was the lead back throughout the game and in the redzone, but gave way to Rashaad Penny in the 4th quarter when the game was clearly in hand. At only $4.3K, Carson could hit 6x value with a 100-yards and a score, neither of which is an impossibility against this defensive front.
|NAME||OPPONENT||SALARY||CROWD EXPOSURE||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|T.Y. Hilton||OAK||$6300||15%||1||8||OAK has not stopped a slot WR yet.|
|A.J. Green||TB||$8000||19%||2||4||10-, 12-, & 14-targets since Eifert went on IR.|
|Robert Woods||GB||$6800||24%||3||2||Increased volume w/out Kupp. Like the price.|
|Emmanuel Sanders||@KC||$6500||10%||4||15||Back-to-back 100+ yard games. Plus gamescript.|
|Seth Roberts||@IND||$3400||3%||5||11||Discounted pivot from Jordy. Do not overlook.|
|Mike Evans||@CIN||$7800||6%||-||1||TD drought should end in plus matchup.|
|Odell Beckham Jr||@WAS||$7500||10%||-||3||Could feast upon WAS DB backups. Funnel DEF.|
|Doug Baldwin||@DET||$5500||7%||-||5||Avoids Slay shadow. Excellent price point.|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||CLE||$7400||13%||-||6||Should benefit from Ward shadowing AB.|
|Davante Adams||@LAR||$7900||14%||-||7||TDs in all-but-one game. Favorable gamescript.|
|Sammy Watkins||DEN||$4600||9%||-||9||Cheapest, lowest-owned KC receiver with upside.|
|Brandin Cooks||GB||$6900||14%||-||10||See notes on Robert Woods (above).|
|Courtland Sutton||@KC||$3800||4%||-||12||Sneaky GPP punt play. Outsnapping Demaryius.|
|Jermaine Kearse||@CHI||$4300||5%||-||13||Stunk in last, but few options amongst NYJ WRs.|
|Tyler Boyd||TB||$6700||13%||-||14||AJ-like upside at discounted price & exposure.|
- As the WR1 on a team averaging 69 offensive plays per game (4th in NFL), T.Y. Hilton is in a prime spot to continue putting numbers on the board in a mismatch of talent against the Raiders' 28th-ranked coverage unit (ProFootballFocus). Over his previous two games, Hilton only has 8 catches on 10 targets, but he only played 50% of snaps in those contests, which would extrapolate to 16 catches (for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns) if he had not been injured in the first and limited in the second. This weekend, we can expect to see a full set of snaps for Hilton and now is the time to take advantage of his $6.3K salary that rose only $100 from last week despite a pair of touchdowns in that contest. He carries a solid floor for cash games and 4x upside for tournaments and should be considered for all formats.
- Safe value plays for cash games are limited, so it might be difficult to get A.J. Green's $8.0K salary into your lineups, but if you can, you should. Green has averaged 11 targets per game over the past month and shows no sign of slowing down now that Tyler Eifert finds himself on the IR (again). Green gets the best matchup of the week against a Buccaneers secondary that has allowed the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to the position and 7 different wide receivers to score at least 20 DK points this season.
- Elsewhere, give some thought to a few mid-range guys like Emmanuel Sanders and/or Robert Woods in cash games (and GPPs). Sanders will line up across from the Chiefs' 26th-ranked coverage unit (ProFootballFocus) and will continue to benefit from evident chemistry with Case Keenum and a gamescript that favors the pass. Manny has scored double-digit fantasy points in every game this season and has reached cash game value on his current salary in four of his last five games. In Los Angeles, it appears that Cooper Kupp will miss his second straight game, which should push Robert Woods into the slot once again. Despite leading the team in targets, Woods has not scored since Week 4 and could be in line for positive regression against the Packers, who are the league's friendliest defense to opposing wide receivers after normalization.
- In tournament formats, there is good reason to lock down a piece of the fast-paced game in Cincinnati. The Bengals run the 12th fastest offense in neutral situations while the Buccaneers are 3rd, which equates to a lot of offensive plays and is the primary culprit for Las Vegas' 54.5-point game total. This is a get-right spot for Mike Evans, who started the season with three consecutive games with a touchdown only to go scoreless in his next three contests. There is no need to be worried about Evans' long-term prospects, however, as he has clearly been Jameis Winston's favorite target since returning from an early season suspension. With DeSean Jackson's snap count diminishing for three straight weeks, the likelihood of a multi-touchdown effort for Evans increases, particularly against a Bengals secondary that has not been able to contain any elite wide receiver they have faced this season.
- Look for Doug Baldwin to finally be at 100% this week against one of the league's worst defenses, the Detroit Lions. Baldwin entered the season with a knee issue that knocked him out of the Seahawks' first game and caused him to miss the following two weeks; thereafter, Baldwin was used limitedly until Week 6 when he finished with a 6/91/0 stat line against the Raiders. With an extra week to rest during Seattle's bye, we should expect Baldwin at full-strength this Sunday and it would be excellent timing, as the Lions do not match up well against Baldwin. We can expect Tyler Lockett to get a Darius Slay shadow on the outside because Slay rarely goes into the slot, which leaves Baldwin to contend with the beatable Nevin Lawson on the inside. Baldwin's $5.5K price tag reflects the fact that he has not scored yet this season, but we should expect to see him in the endzone soon considering that fact that he has averaged 10 touchdowns per year since 2015.
- Our projections show that the crowd is twice as likely to roster Antonio Brown against the Browns than JuJu Smith-Schuster despite the $1.1K discount that comes along with Smith-Schuster. The truth is that JuJu has been fantastic in his second year in the league, surpassing 100 receiving yards in 4 of 6 games (versus only 2 for Brown) and averaging only 0.9 DK points per game less than Brown. On Sunday, we should expect Brown to deal with shadow coverage from rookie phenom, Denzel Ward, who has allowed only 50% of passes thrown into his coverage to be completed and conferred a 63 QB rating to opposing quarterbacks on those attempts. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster will be running largely out of the slot against former Raiders' reject, Travis Carrie, who ranks 66th out of 75 qualifying cornerbacks this season on ProFootballFocus. Take the discount and lesser coverage. Leave the cannolis.
|NAME||OPPONENT||SALARY||CROWD EXPOSURE||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|C.J. Uzomah||TB||$3500||11%||1||3||TB: Allowed TD to TE in 4 straight weeks.|
|Jeff Heuerman||@KC||$2600||4%||2||10||Punt option in A+ gamescript.|
|David Njoku||@PIT||$4600||10%||3||4||PIT: 3rd friendliest DEF to TE position.|
|Jared Cook||@IND||$5000||10%||4||6||Benefits from Amari trade. Price hurts.|
|Jimmy Graham||@LAR||$4700||5%||-||1||Cheapest primary receiver on GB.|
|Travis Kelce||DEN||$6800||15%||-||2||Embarrassed DEN defense in last matchup.|
|Jordan Reed||NYG||$4500||4%||-||5||Irony = Reed is only healthy WAS receiver.|
|Greg Olsen||BAL||$4200||3%||-||7||Best personnel matchup on CAR offense.|
|Trey Burton||NYJ||$4300||4%||-||8||Scored in 3 straight. 11 targets in last.|
|Chris Herndon||@CHI||$2800||2%||-||9||Lack of NYJ options puts him in play.|
- The recommendation for cash game roster construction this week is to go back to punting the position. Last week, there was a slew of value at the quarterback and running back positions, while punt options at tight end were limited. This week is different, as the safest cheap options appear to reside at the tight end and defense positions. At the top of the list is C.J. Uzomah, who saved an otherwise miserable performance last week with a touchdown against the Chiefs. This week, however, Uzomah gets a shot at the league's most generous defense to tight ends: the Tampa Bay Bucs, who have allowed an average of 19.6 DraftKings points per game to the position, including touchdowns in every game over the past month. Uzomah is relatively cheap at only $3.5K and needs double-digit fantasy production to merit his spot on your cash game rosters; since taking over the lead tight end role for Tyler Eifert in Week 5, Uzomah has hit that threshold in two out of three games.
- An even bigger punt option is to take a flyer on the Broncos' Jeff Heuerman, who is offered up close to the site-minimum at only $2.6K. Heuerman's upside is limited at best, but if he can pull down 3-5 passes in a game where Case Keenum should throw 10-times that number, Heuerman should easily reach value on his salary. The matchup is better than advertised, as the Chiefs allow the 7th most fantasy points per game (15.2) to the position and have allowed 6 different tight ends (in 7 games) to surpass the number needed to justify Heuerman's spot on your cash game roster.
- Only a handful of tight ends possess two-touchdown upside on this slate--Jimmy Graham is one of them. The future Hall-of-Famer has only one touchdown on the season despite trailing only Davante Adams in targets and being the biggest redzone threat amongst the Packers receiving corps. He is averaging eight targets per game over the past month and is bound for positive scoring regression based on his usage and role in this offense. Some might argue that the return of Randall Cobb hurts Graham's numbers, but the Rams will be forced to abandon the bracket coverage that Graham has endured in Cobb's absence, thereby helping Graham's case. Lastly, it would be appropriate to point out that the Rams have allowed the 9th most fantasy points per game to the position, including a 5/98/1 stat line to George Kittle just last week.
- Speaking of two-touchdown tight ends, Travis Kelce is finally playing on the main slate! The class of the position, there is not a good reason to get away from Kelce on any given week. Because he is classified as a tight end, he is considered "expensive" in comparison to others at the position, but if one considers his role in the Chiefs offense (i.e., primary receiver), his $6.8K salary could otherwise be construed as cheap. Matchups do not matter for Kelce, but you can gauge his upside in this one based on what he did against the Broncos at Mile-High Stadium back in Week 4 when he finished with a 7/78/1 stat line (20.8 DK points).
|NAME||OPPONENT||SALARY||CROWD EXPOSURE||CASH RANK||GPP RANK||NOTES|
|Steelers||CLE||$2300||25%||1||1||CLE: Allowing 4.4 sacks per game.|
|Bears||NYJ||$4100||9%||2||2||Nab them if you can afford them.|
|Chiefs||DEN||$2600||7%||-||3||KC defense is always better at home.|
|Ravens||@CAR||$2800||7%||-||4||Best defense in league at < $3K.|
|49ers||@ARZ||$2500||5%||-||5||ARZ allow 2nd most FPs to DEF position.|
|Rams||GB||$2600||4%||-||6||Rams D is overshadowed by their offense.|
|Lions||SEA||$2400||3%||-||7||Better at home. Already beat NE & GB there.|
|Redskins||NYG||$2700||4%||-||8||Stiff defensive front vs. poor O-line.|
TEAM DEF OVERVIEW:
- For cash games on Sunday, you can probably just roll with the masses and lock in the Steelers at home against Cleveland. For as much improvement the Browns have demonstrated with Baker Mayfield under center, they are still allowing a league-high 4.4 sacks per game and have the 2nd-lowest implied team total (20.3 points) on the main slate. For their part, Pittsburgh is not a dominant defense, but they do have double-digit fantasy performances in half of their games this season, which is enough to justify saving the salary and spending those savings on a position where the return on investment is safer.
- On a week where less than half of the teams on the main slate have implied team totals of > 24 points, it makes a lot of sense to spread out your exposure to defenses in GPP formats. At the top, the Bears are interesting because their > $4K salary will shoo a lot of potential players away, but getting the Bears' pressure defense at home against a rookie quarterback without any of his starting receivers while missing a key receiver out of the backfield (Bilal Powell) could be worth the investment. Elsewhere, the Chiefs are historically a much better defense at Arrowhead and they will get a chance to face off against Case Keenum, who was slated to give up his job to Chad Kelly before Kelly was arrested and subsequently released earlier this week; Keenum has thrown an interception in every game this season (9 total) and trails only Sam Darnold (10) to this point in the season. Beyond Kansas City, you might take a look at Baltimore, the league's best defense, on the road against the Panthers or even taking a shot with the Niners against Josh Rosen, who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season and is coming off an embarrassing three-interception game against Broncos just last Thursday.