Welcome to the Exclamation Point!, an analysis of stand-out cash and GPP options for consideration on Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports. Yahoo presents a variety of options to suit the fancy of any DFS player out there, and we are looking to arm you with the information needed to build winning lineups no matter what type of player you are. This week, we have a few key injury situations that, as usual, have created a ton of value--case in point being the New England Patriots, which should see a ton of ownership this week due to the absence of Rob Gronkowski and prime matchup with San Francisco. We have a few plays from that game, along with a ton of other options to help you make winning rosters this week in Yahoo DFS.
ANDREW LUCK - $36 (CASH / GPP)
Andrew Luck is in a great matchup this week against a Titans team that allowed him to finish as the top scoring fantasy quarterback of the week with 27.82 points (353 yards and 3 touchdowns) in their Week 7 matchup earlier this year. This week, Luck is well rested with the Titans coming into Indianapolis in a game that has the highest Vegas total on the slate. The Titans secondary not been good at all this season, ranking 26th against the pass using DVOA. Over the last five weeks, opposing quarterbacks are averaging a whopping 336 passing yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game with three of the five having scored at least 27 fantasy points. With the Titans offense really hitting their stride, expect for this game to be a shootout with a game script requiring Luck to keep his foot on the gas for most of the game. He is one of the top overall plays this week and is an excellent option in all formats
MARCUS MARIOTA - $36 (CASH / GPP)
Marcus Mariota definitely has the hot hand among fantasy quarterbacks right now, ranking as the top scoring fantasy quarterback across the past six weeks averaging nearly three passing touchdowns per game across that span. The Titans offense in general has been a touchdown factory this season with 25 or more points in six straight games while leading the league in red zone touchdown conversion rate at 76.5%. This week, the Titans draw one of the best matchups on paper out there, with the Colts defense ranking 30th against the pass using DVOA. While the Titans will still lean heavily on their run game here, there should be plenty of points to go around. Mariota has been too hot to ignore, even at this elevated salary. While Andrew Luck may be the safer option between the two, Mariota is still in play for all formats as a high upside option due to his knack for finding the end zone and elite rushing ability that has yet to be put on full display this season.
BLAKE BORTLES - $32 (GPP)
Blake Bortles is a dark horse option this week that should have nice low ownership percentage. Bortles has looked pretty bad this season, with at least one interception in all but two games while averaging only 6.4 yards per pass attempt (30th in NFL). However, this week, Bortles draws the best statistical matchup of the week against the last ranked Detroit pass defense that is allowing a 112.4 quarterback rating and the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Lions are allowing over 80% of touchdowns scored against them to come via the pass, with an average of nearly 30 passing yards allowed per possession. The Lions have not exactly matched up with elite quarterbacks this season (i.e. Sam Bradford, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, and Brian Hoyer across their past six games), yet they still are ranked this poorly against the pass. Blake Bortles may have a shot at crapping the bed this week due to his turnover problem, but he has a much higher percentage chance of lighting up this weak Detroit secondary as the Jaguars look to get right. His price is higher than it likely should be due to the matchup, but that is actually a good thing for his GPP upside as it should help keep ownership levels down. Feel free to roll out Bortles stacked with one of his receivers in GPP formats only this week.
ELI MANNING - $29 (GPP / CASH)
The Giants offense is about as one dimensional as it gets, ranking 9th in passing yards per game yet 31st in rushing yards per game this season with 78.2% of their offensive yards coming from the pass—good for the highest rate in the league. This matchup sets up well against a Bears defense that has been mediocre against the pass this season. The interesting thing to note here is that the Bears have only allowed three running backs to rush for more than 45 yards in a game against them this season. They have really become a pass-funnel unit as of late, allowing just over 50 rushing yards per game across their last four outings. Eli Manning has thrown for seven touchdowns in his last two games and should get plenty of opportunities as it would not be surprising to see him attempt over 40 passes. He is at a lower price tier and should have very low ownership. It may be hard to trust him in a cash game, but he has GPP appeal with the expected volume and touchdown rate as of late.
LEVEON BELL - $40 (CASH / GPP)
In a week with some very appealing running back matchups, Le'Veon Bell looks to have one of the best as he squares off against the Cleveland Browns—ranked 29th against the run using DVOA. Cleveland allows the 3rd most fantasy points per game to running backs and has allowed 100+ yard rushing games in eight games this season—more than any other team in the league. While everyone knows how talented of a player Le'Veon Bell, it is the matchup and game script that really makes him such an attractive play here. The Steelers are coming off four consecutive losses as they struggle to stay relevant in their division. This matchup should present a very nice bounce-back opportunity for this offense to put up the numbers it did in the first part of their season, and relying on production from the running back position is what brought the Steelers so much success early on. Bell found the end zone for the first-time last week, and he should be expected to make that a two-game streak as he is one of the most highly utilized backs in the game in all facets of the offense. Look for the Steelers to gain an early lead and hang their hat on Bell here, especially considering the sloppy weather conditions and high winds to be expected. Bell is expensive, but should be worth the salary as a viable option in all formats.
LEGARRETTE BLOUNT - $30 (CASH)
LeGarrette Blount has been a machine this season, averaging the third most carries per game (20.2) with 75.3 rushing yards and a league leading 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game. These stats surprisingly prove that there has been no doubt about the running back position in New England this season—Blount is the key workhorse in that backfield, and as long as the Patriots are leading, he should expect to be heavily involved. This week shapes up to be one of the best possible game scripts of the season for Blount, as the Patriots are nearly double touchdown favorites squaring off against the worst rushing defense in the league. The 49-ers rushing defense is on a different planet this season, allowing a whopping 17% more fantasy points per game to running backs than the next worst team---that is really, really bad. Running backs have scored 13 rushing touchdowns against them, and Blount just so happens to lead the league with 12 rushing touchdowns after his hat trick last week against a solid Seahawks defense. The Patriots have the highest expected team total by a wide margin this week despite the cross-country road trip. Look for Blount to be heavily used again with as good of a chance as ever to find the end zone. He very well may be the highest owned running back of the week and will be a very solid cash game option.
FRANK GORE - $22 (CASH)
Frank Gore is one of those guys who flies under the radar from week to week yet has been one of the most consistent running backs in the league this season. While Gore has yet to put up massive statistics with only one game above 100 rushing yards, he has produced double digit fantasy points in all but two games with seven total touchdowns and 20+ touches in five of nine games. The Titans rushing defense has been pretty solid this season with a middle of the pack ranking, but they showed plenty of vulnerability a couple weeks ago when Melvin Gordon III lit them up for nearly 200 yards on the ground. While Gore may not repeat his multi-touchdown outing from last week, he should have a rock solid floor that makes him a viable cash game option to save some salary at the running back position.
C.J. PROSISE - $18 (GPP / CASH)
C.J. Prosise stacks up to be the primary back for the Seahawks this week. With the release of Christine Michael along with the Thomas Rawls likely to be slow-walked back into the offense, Prosise should have another good opportunity to prove his worth. Prosise has had an ever-increasing role in this offense, seeing his share of snaps increase each week from 25% in Week 7 to 77% last week. With Prosise being a converted wide receiver, he obviously has talent catching passes out of the backfield. Last week, Prosise not only forced five missed tackles on rushing attempts, but he also received the league’s highest receiving grade among running backs (per Pro Football Focus). This week he faces stout Eagles defense, but one that has allowed the highest percentage of rushes of 10 or more yards this season. While there is certainly risk with the matchup and uncertainty of how Thomas Rawls will be used, Prosise comes in at a low salary that doesn’t require much to pay off. He should be a popular play to save some salary, but more so in GPP’s with the uncertainty of his fantasy floor.
A.J. GREEN - $34 (CASH / GPP)
A.J. Green should be considered one of the best options available at the top tier of wide receivers this week. Green is one of the most highly utilized offensive weapons in the league, T-3rd with 11 targets per game this season and leading the Bengals receivers in red zone looks with 11. He has over 120 receiving yards in four game and currently ranks 2nd among wide receivers with 964 total receiving yards this season. The matchup for Green here is very solid as he draws a Buffalo secondary ranked 32nd against WR1’s according to Football Outsiders, allowing 8 passes and 81 yards per game. As a whole, the Bills are allowing 8.7 yards per pass attempt over their last three games, contributing to opposing quarterbacks scoring the 5th-most fantasy points and wide receivers scoring the 11th-most fantasy points against them during that span. Green has some solid value this week as he comes in priced below the elite guys, which comes in handy for a week like this one where paying up for running back appears to be such an attractive option. Feel free to roster Green in all formats due to his high floor and big play upside.
JORDY NELSON - $25 (CASH / GPP)
Jordy Nelson has been one of the most heavily targeted receivers in the league as of late, averaging 13.3 targets per game across the past three weeks with the 2nd most targets among wide receivers during that span. He had a week-high 18 targets last week when the Packers actually had all of their weapons healthy and on the field. This week, Nelson draws what appears to be a much tougher matchup against Josh Norman and a Washington defense that has played relatively well this season. However, when looking at how Washington has fared against different types of receivers, the numbers are quite astonishing. According to Football Outsiders, the Redskins are allowing 10.5 passes per game and a league high 96.5 yards per game to opposing WR1’s. As evidence, top performances include 164 yards from Stefon Diggs last week, 126 yards from Antonio Brown in Week 1, 121 yards from A.J. Green in Week 8, 121 yards from Odell Beckham Jr Jr in Week 3, and so on. As you can see, Josh Norman or not, the Redskins have really struggled to defend opposing top wide-outs. Nelson comes in at a discounted price given his recent performance, and is right near the top of our Footballguys Interactive Value Chart this week. He should be a solid option in all formats.
DEZ BRYANT - $22 (GPP)
Dez Bryant looks to be an excellent tournament option this week. He draws a tough matchup against a Baltimore defense that has been playing well all season, but their strength has primarily been against the run (ranked #1 DVOA against rush). When you break down the Ravens secondary and their play against specific receiving positions this season, they actually rank 24th against WR1’s according to Football Outsiders, allowing 8.3 passes and 80.6 yards per game. Dez Bryant has been boom or bust all season with over 100 yards in half the games he has played in and 40 or fewer yards in the other half. However last week, according to Pro Football Focus, Dak Prescott recorded a 146.8 passer rating when targeting Bryant, with Bryant received the highest offensive grade (83.2) on the Cowboys roster. While Ezekiel Elliott will certainly get his work in, the stout Ravens defense should force the Cowboys into more third down passing situations than usual this week, meaning more opportunities for Dez Bryant to make plays. Given his inconsistency, limit exposure to primarily tournaments—but Bryant very well could have a big game that easily exceeds value at this mid-tier salary.
JULIAN EDELMAN - $21 (CASH / GPP)
The Patriots offense will be ripe for fantasy options, and Julian Edelman is one who very well could be overlooked due to the focus on tight and running back for the Patriots. Edelman has been the most consistently targeted receiver on the Patriots offense, averaging nearly eight targets per game with three 10-target outings while leading among receivers in red zone looks with 10. Edelman had his best outing in terms of yardage last week, catching seven passes for 99 yards. The touchdowns have not been there this season (only one), but this is a prime spot for Edelman to find the end zone, especially with Rob Gronkowski expected to be off the field. The 49-ers have allowed at least one wide receiver to score at least 12 fantasy points in every game beyond Week 1 this season, with five wide receivers finishing with 21 or more points. Edelman has a middle of the road price tag with what should be a high floor and solid ceiling. Any one of these receiving options for the Patriots could very well go off, making Edelman playable in all formats but more so for Cash games.
EDDIE ROYAL - $13 (GPP)
With the recent suspension of Alshon Jeffrey, the Bears wide receivers receive an automatic bump in value this week with both Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith expected to step up. While many in the industry are expecting Cameron Meredith to break out again with a good game, let’s temper expectations as the Bears face off against a stout Giants defense that only allowing around 60 yards per game to opposing WR1’s according to Football Outsiders defensive efficiency ratings. However, in those same rankings, it is clear that the Giants have struggled against “Other WR”, which mainly is referring to guys that play in the slot. Against that category, they have allowed more yards per game (84) than any other team. With Eddie Royal lining up a lot out of the slot, he should be in a good position to do enough damage to hit value against the Giants. Most of the Bears wide receiver ownership will likely be on Meredith in this spot, so Royal is a fairly sneaky GPP play with enough upside to easily exceed value out of this low salary tier.
DELANIE WALKER - $22 (GPP / CASH)
Delanie Walker is riding high just like the rest of this Titans offense right now. Coming off his best outing of the season with nine receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown, he has to be confident in a matchup with the Colts bottom ranked pass defense that he also had success in with his 2nd best outing of the year back when they last met in Week 7. While the Colts secondary has not defended anyone particularly well this season, they have really struggled against opposing tight ends, allowing an average of 13.3 fantasy points per game (5th worst in the NFL). Delanie Walker is the most predictable and reliable option in the Titans passing attack, and with opponents scoring on nearly 50% of possessions against the Colts, Walker figures to have a good shot at finding the end zone against them this week. With the masses likely to be on Martellus Bennett, look for Walker as a differentiating yet reliable option to use in all formats.
MARTELLUS BENNETT - $16 (CASH)
Martellus Bennett will be the chalk tight end option of the week with Rob Gronkowski expected to miss this week. Even with Gronk playing, Bennett has been a very solid option this season, averaging nearly 11 yards per target as he ranks 4th among tight ends in fantasy production. The Patriots are averaging over nine targets per game to the tight end position this season, so with Gronkowski likely out of the picture, Bennett will be in line for all of that work against a pitiful 49-ers defense. While the 49-ers have not allowed a ton of points to the tight end in particular, their defense as a whole ranks 26th in DVOA and would be much lower than 17th DVOA against the pass if teams were not having so much success rushing the ball against them. The price tag on Bennett this week is far too low given the usage he expects to see. Should it be confirmed that Gronk is out, Bennett will definitely be the highest owned tight end of the week, making him a very solid option for cash game rosters.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - $20 (CASH / GPP)
The Chiefs will be the primary target if paying up for defense this week. This is a playmaking defensive unit, leading the league in total takeaways at 22 (13 interceptions, 9 fumbles). The Chiefs have been the top fantasy defense across the past four weeks, and they enter this week in a matchup against a Buccaneers offense with the lowest team implied total on the slate. The Chiefs’ strength has been defending the pass, which is the primary strength of the Buccaneers’ offense. They match up well here, which is why Vegas has the Chiefs as over a touchdown favorite with such a low total on this game. Feel free to pay up for the Chiefs in all formats.
MIAMI DOLPHINS - $18 (CASH / GPP)
The Dolphins are in a very good spot this week against the Rams in a game with the lowest total on the slate. Despite being on the road, the Dolphins defense gets the pleasure of welcoming a rookie quarterback in his first career start. While Jared Goff was the #1 overall pick, any rookie starting his first game can be considered ripe for the picking, especially on this Rams offense that has showed little to no scoring potential all season (ranked last at 15.4 points per game). The Dolphins have been the top fantasy defense across the past two weeks, racking up a total of six sacks and six interceptions across that span. Despite having the hardest schedule this season, Miami still has the #6 overall ranked weighted defense according to Football Outsiders. Keep riding the hot play into a great matchup this week, playable in all formats, especially GPP’s with the rookie quarterback starting.
DETROIT LIONS - $13 (GPP)
The Lions present an interesting opportunity near the bottom of the salary pool this week as they take on the Jaguars at home as nearly a full touchdown favorite. The Lions defense has not played well this season as they are near the bottom of many defensive efficiency rankings out there, however they did play well in the three games leading up to their Week 10 bye, allowing only 17.7 points per game. Jacksonville has turned the ball over 19 times this season, T-3rd most in the league. This is definitely a risky play since the Lions defense has not impressed this season, but for the price and potential upside in facing a turnover-happy Jaguars offense, the Lions are worth a shot in tournament formats.
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