The Docket: Week 2

All the best players to start, sit and fade in Week 2. 

Welcome to Week 2 of The Docket, a weekly column that will offer strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting or avoiding.  

This year I’m going to run through every game and highlighting certain players that I’m loving and hating each week. I’m bringing the energy with a positive, neutral and negative charge.  The home team is listed last and the point spread is listed per the home team. Oh, and if I don’t list a player, it tells you what I think of them. Could they have a great game? Sure, anyone can, but I would not recommend anyone not listed here as a good play. Let’s go!

49ers vs Panthers (-13.5 o/u 45.5)

Positive

  • Cam Newton – If he can play well on the road against Denver, he can dominate at home against this 49ers defense.
  • Jonathan Stewart – Ran well last week against a superior defense, he should shred a 49ers defense that very may well still be sleeping with an early kickoff for a West Coast team coming out East. In a Vegas projected blowout, they should lean on him plenty. Just remember his downside is that he doesn’t catch many (if any) passes and also gets vultured at the goal line by Cam, Tolbert and Whitaker. Last season 60% of the teams’ redzone carries went to Cam or the fullbacks.
  • Kelvin Benjamin – So much for snap count.  He still had12 targets with 6 receptions, 91 yards and a TD against the leagues best secondary. Just keep in mind for DFS, it could be a lot of running come the 4th quarter this week. 
  • Greg Olsen – Along with Benjamin, Cam loves Olsen who was the teams’ clear second option in the pass game last week.  This is a great matchup for him.
  • Carolina Defense – They are a must start in all formats.

Neutral

  • Carlos Hyde – He is a talented back and the foundation of thier offense. Due to the nature of Chip Kelly’s uptempo scheme, he will get the ball a ton and the offensive line actually looked okay. This is a tough matchup, but the front seven isn’t much tougher than last weeks Rams, so trot him out as a RB2 and hope for the best again.
  • Jeremy Kerley – Had 11 targets and the slot is a position that often gets utilized nicely in the Chip Kelly offense. Viable in PPR leagues if you really need help at the WR position, but touchdowns could be a rare thing and he might face off against the Panthers best corner back, Bene Benwikere.

Negative

  • Blaine Gabbert, Shaun Draughn, Torrey Smith, Vance McDonald – This offense is not good despite beating up on the Rams. They now play an early game in Carolina so this won’t be pretty. What were those Torrey Smith truthers thinking? Yes he may have some big games, but with Gabbert at QB, he won’t have many.
  • Ted Ginn Jr – Saw only one target last week. While they will always take a few deep shots, he’s not the most reliable player, especially in a game that they should control from the get go. Have to hope for something early.
  • Devin Funchess – Ran behind Ginn and even Corey Brown at times. Maybe they rest Benjamin more this week against an easy opponent, so there is that.

Bengals vs Steelers (-3 o/u 48.5)

Positive

  • A.J. Green – Green destroyed top notch Jets CB Revis last week and faces a much easier test against a rather weak Steelers secondary. Green had 13 targets and 12 receptions for 180 yards and 1 touchdown last week and has often played better on the road. Amazingly enough he averages 99 yards and .68 touchdowns on the road while only 65 yards and .51 touchdowns at home. It is looking like he may finish the year as the leagues top receiver so get him in your lineups in DFS this week as well.
  • Jeremy Hill – He only had 9 touches last week against a strong Jets run defense and life should be much easier this week.  He looked good and has always been money in the redzone.
  • Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben doesn’t need all his weapons to put up big numbers and he does play better at home. Unfortunately the Bengals play them tough. While I will never tell you to fade Big Ben, in DFS, watch out.
  • DeAngelo WilliamsMatt Forte killed them last week, so look for Williams to do the same this week. Ride him while you can in season long and at his still discounted price from the top few backs in DFS.
  • Antonio Brown – He is truly unstoppable and should be in a tier all of his own like Gronk is with Tight Ends. That said, he was held in check in both games against the Bengals last year. These division rival games are tough tests. He is a 100% must start in season long, but a fade in DFS. I know that sounds crazy.

Neutral

  • Andy Dalton – The Bengals might have to throw it to keep up with a big over under this week. He also had a 77% completion rate last week, so while he doesn’t look great, he is viable in 2QB leagues, but doesn't have upside with this thin receiving core in DFS.
  • Giovani Bernard – Limited touches last week and did poorly against them last year. This is Hill’s offense unless game script goes against them and Vegas thinks it should be close.
  • Brandon LaFell – Went 4-for-4 for 91 yards. That’s a lot of fours … but Mr. Stone Hands is locked into their #2 receiving role and looked competent doing so. This game will probably be won through the air, so he’s viable and can play outside and in the slot.
  • Eli Rogers – A decent PPR play as your WR3 or flex in deeper leagues, even if Wheaton plays. Not huge upside, but should get a few catches every week and the occasional tipped pass for a touchdown.
  • Jesse James – He has 7 targets last week and a very encouraging 2 inside the 10 yard line.  He will be involved in the offense every week, especially in the redzone. Additionally, in the past two games against the Bengals, former Steelers tight end, Heath Miller, had 25 targets. While the Bengals are a tougher defense for tight ends, that doesn’t matter as much when these two rivals meet.

Negative

  • Tyler Boyd – Only three targets for 24 yards. LaFell has a hold of the #2 job for now, but in a shootout, he can always come through.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey – Just a special teamer and didn’t have a target last week.
  • Sammie Coates Jr – Just three targets and had a touchdown slip through his hands right to Eli Rogers. Too raw to trust right now.
  • Markus Wheaton – He got in a limited practice, if he plays he could return low end PPR flex value, but very little upside against this solid secondary.

Cowboys vs WASHINGTON (-2.5 o/u 45.0)

Positive

  • Ezekiel Elliott – Averaged around 2.5 yards a carry and had only one catch, which is not what owners spending a first round pick on him wanted to see. Unfortunately he’s still a rookie and Romo is not commanding the ship to put this offense in the best position to win each snap. That said, the Redskins have a bad run defense and DeAngelo Williams killed them last week. Don’t expect those numbers, but he should bounce back as a solid RB2 this week.
  • Jason Witten – Usually plays well against the Redskins and caught 9 passes on 14 targets last week. Dak is looking his way more than Dez.
  • Chris Thompson – Not only did he out snap Matt Jones 39 to 19, he also got goal line carries. They want Cousins to play a lot out of the gun and that means more Thompson. A very cheap DFS option that could very well pan out. 
  • DeSean Jackson – A healthy 10 targets for 6 catches and 102 yards. Cousins loves him and will go to him every game. He’s killed the Cowboys in the past. A great DFS play if you are looking for potential big points at a cheaper rate.

Neutral

  • Dak Prescott – Played pretty well last week and threw the ball a ridiculous 45 times, but only completed around 55% of them. He was a dink and dunk specialist, and while his running ability could come through at any time, and while he did miss two close touchdown throws, he’s still a rookie that they want to limit more than feature as they did last week. The Cowboys should run the ball better this week too, which means less Dak.
  • Dez Bryant – A bounce back this week could be tough unless Dak decides to feed him the rock, which he has stated he has no intention of doing.  Like Antonio Brown last week, Dez has the ability to beat Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman, but Dak is no Big Ben. I wouldn’t blame you if you sat him.
  • Jordan Reed – Tougher matchup against Byron Jones. Only caught 3 and 4 passes in their games last year.  Your starting him in season long, but he is a fade in DFS this week, and probably this week only. 
  • Alfred Morris – Only had 7 carries, but if Zeke struggles again, don’t be surprised if they go to him more in this revenge game. Who doesn’t like a little revenge?
  • Kirk Cousins – The pass attempts and yards were there, but threw two picks last week and no TDs. With all of his weapons still healthy, look for Cousins to bounce back. If not, he may just be Kirk Cousins.
  • Pierre Garcon – Caught all of his 6 targets for 51 yards. He’s a possession receiver with not much RAC. But if you need some PPR points, he should catch passes every week, giving him an average, yet safe, floor. 
  • Jamison Crowder – Had a solid 10 targets for six catches and 58 yards last week. In PPR leagues he’s a viable starter for teams in need, but he does not have a high ceiling, so you need to be willing to settle for around 10 points.
  • Matt Jones – Saw only 8 touches last week and he’s just not very good, yet Dallas did give up a lot of yards to the Giants run game last week. I’m not a believer, but if he is going to get it done on the ground, this would be the week. 

Negative

Ravens vs Browns (+6.5 o/u 43)

Positive:

  • Joe Flacco – Flacco has actually struggled in the past against the Browns, but this is a much different Browns defense and even Joe Hadden isn’t playing well, giving up 278 yards and 2 TDs to Carson Wentz last week. While he is still Joe Flacco, this is a pass first team and he should be in play in all 2 QB leagues, and in DFS, he provides a good return on value.
  • Duke Johnson Jr – Duke gets a major boost with the return of McCown. Short passes to Barnidge and dump offs to Duke is how he rolls.  Saw 44% of the teams’ snaps last week, so he is a good PPR flex play this week and RB2 if you went Zero RB, averaging nearly 5.5 catches a game with McCown.

Neutral:

  • Justin Forsett and Terrence West – Tough to trust these two since they are in a major RBBC, but the Browns can be run on and I think these guys offer RB3 with upside this week. My money would be on West more than Forsett, but both viable.
  • Mike Wallace – Was second in snaps right behind Steve Smith. He showed he can still get deep and I think Flacco takes a few shots to him every game. Will be covered by Jamar Taylor, who he will take advantage of.
  • Steve Smith – Led the team in targets (9), but very little yards to show for it. He’s a low ceiling PPR flex play until we see him look better. 
  • Dennis Pitta – The clear starter of this tight end group. Only four targets, but this is a plus matchup if you need him.
  • Isaiah Crowell – HC Hue Jackson loves to run and Crowell is the teams lead dog, seeing 58% of the teams’ snaps. Vegas seems to think the Browns will be down a lot, making it a Duke game, but I think it will be a bit closer than people think. He’s not going to go off, but in standard leagues that reward TDs, he’s a good bet to get one.
  • Terrelle Pryor – Saw seven targets last week and looked good as this teams number one receiver. Can McCown hit him deep is the question? At least he has a plus matchup against Jimmy Smith per PFF rankings.
  • Gary Barnidge – He was a top 5 TE in games with McCown last year and should be locked and loaded after a major dud last week. Unfortunately this week he will have to do battle with top notch safety Eric Weddle, formely of the Chargers. I still think he catches at least four passes, but the upside might not be there. 

Negative:

  • Josh McCown – The Ravens defense looked good last week even without Dumervil. He will help his team, but probably not yours.
  • Javorius Allen – Was inactive last week, they probably could have used him in the pass game.
  • Kamar Aiken – Was part of a major WRBC. I think better days are ahead, but he needs an injury in front of him to prove it. 
  • Corey Coleman – Best left on benches until we see him play well and see how he clicks with McCown.  He’ll also do battle with the Ravens better CB, Shareece Wright.

Chiefs vs Texans (-2.5 o/u 43.5)

Positive

  • Lamar Miller – He is the foundation of this offense and has an incredibly high ceiling. The Chiefs defense is still missing DE Houston and got killed on the ground last week by Melvin Gordon III. Gordon is nowhere near as talented as Miller.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Marcus Peters is a solid emerging CB, but he’s not a shutdown guy by any means. Keenan Allen was having his way with him before he got hurt last week and Hopkins should do the same.
  • Will Fuller V – Led the team in targets and looks great running with the ball in his hands. He did drop an 80 yard bomb, but at least he is getting well placed 80 yard bombs thrown to him. This is a tougher test with Phillip Gaines matching up well with him, but he’s a great WR3 and DFS play until proven otherwise.
  • Travis Kelce – While the Texans usually do well against most tight ends, Kelce has their number, going 6/106/2 and 8/128 in his two games against them last year. With LB Cushing out, expect some more of the same.

Neutral

  • Spencer Ware – A tougher matchup and split snaps with West, even though he out-touched him 18 to 9. Ware is an ascending talent and the Texans Defense will be without LB Brian Cushing, yet against this tougher defense, he is more of a solid RB2 play than a RB1, especially since the team will be without both starting guards. 
  • Jeremy Maclin – It’s not a tougher matchup than last week’s battle with Chargers CB Verrett, where he went 5/63/1. He's a rock solid WR3 with upside. In these tougher matchups though, the upside is no sure thing.
  • Brock Osweiler  - The Chiefs defense is not hitting on all cylinders just yet, so he makes for a viable QB2, yet not a great DFS play against this better than average Defense.
  • Alex Smith – He’s a solid QB if you are looking for solid QB2 numbers.

Negative

Saints vs Giants (-4.5 o/u 53)

Positive

  • Eli Manning – Huge over under and the Saints don’t have any semblance of a Defense. This is the game to go heavy on all the main Giants skill players. Thunderstorms could be the only downer. Drowner?  In any event, pay attention to the weather reports.  When they played each other last time there were 13 touchdowns scored.
  • Odell Beckham Jr Jr. – Locked and loaded to dominate. Worth paying up for in DFS, but so will everyone else.
  • Rashad Jennings – Looked good last week as the teams’ main ball carrier and put up 75 yards on a much tougher Cowboys front 7. Vereen caps his PPR upside, but a good bet to score this week.
  • Shane Vereen – Looked good running and catching the ball last week and in order to keep up with the Saints this could be more of a Vereen game. He put up 8/60/1 on them last year and is a viable PPR flex start this week and cheap DFS play with upside.
  • Drew Brees – While you are starting Brees in season long leagues without question, this game could end up being a trap game with everyone chasing last years matchup. Brees has played much worse on the road and this is a much-improved Giants Defense. He very well could go off, but we might find out this Giants Defense and the Brees road hex is for real come Monday.
  • Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead IV – These guys killed it last week, but this secondary is better suited to matchup with these guys. Once again, in season long you are not sitting them, but I’m treading lightly in DFS. I feel more confident in Snead’s matchup with Leon Hall than Cooks facing off against Janoris Jenkins.
  • Coby Fleener – He played on 81% of the teams snaps last week and should see more targets against a weaker line backing core. Brees knows how to take advantage of the miss matches, and Fleener should be one this week. Lots of people are down on him in DFS, so he’s a sneaky play. 

Neutral

  • Mark Ingram II – Played only 42% of the teams snaps last week with Travaris Cadet eating into his passing production, which is worrisome since that was the bread and butter that vaulted Ingram into the Top 5 last year. The Giants front 7 is also much improved holding Zeke in check last week. While I am not high on him this week, he is still a must start RB2 in season long leagues unless you have better options.
  • Travaris Cadet – Had seven catches last week and could be used more if the Giants go off, which they very well could. He didn’t look great, but this looks like a game where he will be a viable deep PPR flex play and a dirt cheap DFS play. 
  • Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz – They eat into each other production at the moment, but both could do well this week against a very weak Saints secondary.
  • Larry Donnell and Will Tye – Both of these guys might score this week … multiple touchdowns. They could also give you nothing. But I’m thinking they score.
  • Michael Thomas – If you play in leagues that start 4 or more receivers, he’s a viable option playing out of the slot. In fact, he might be the receiver that goes off this week more so than his fellow teammates. He caught all six of his targets last week; Brees clearly trust him. 

Dolphins vs Patriots (-6.5 o/u 41.5)

Positive

  • Arian Foster – Will get a good amount of dump offs and has the receiving chops to catch a ton of balls. He will have little room to run, which is okay, since he can’t really run much these days anyway.  But he is a true feature back in this offense, and as of now, he is a RB2 in PPR leagues. One word of caution, monitor the return of Jay Ajayi, he if he is out of the dog house, he could steal the goal line touches. 
  • Jarvis Landry – Tanny loves throwing to him over and over. It's the Foster and Landry show every week with this team. 
  • Julian Edelman – Jimmy G loves him since he runs his routes two yards off the line of scrimmage and can get open in those two yards. Facing this pathetic Dolphins secondary, he could catch 15 passes, for maybe 70 yards and no TDs.  So a PPR beast with little upside.

Neutral

  • Jimmy Garoppolo – Better in real life than for your fantasy team. You have to be desperate in 2 QB leagues, but he likely won’t kill you.
  • LeGarrette Blount – Will be their lead runner, but this team is tough to run on, as the Seattle backs found out last week.
  • James White – This could be a game he does well catching some passes with little room to run up the middle for Blount.
  • Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell – Both of these guys are probably not starting for you in season long eagues, but both have the talent to put up big fantasy numbers once Brady returns. Hogan a decent DFS play for those wanting something minimum priced for their third WR. Total what the heck flexs otherwise this week. 
  • Rob Gronkowski – Has been getting in limited work all week, would be a great target for Jimmy G if he goes.

Negative

  • Ryan Tannehill – This team has no real offense and face a tough Patriots Defense. Can he throw 2 TDs? Sure, but so can anyone. It will be short pass central to Landry and Foster, with the occasional attempt as a deep throw. He actually made a nice one (finally) last week, but Stills dropped it.
  • Jay Ajayi – He’s back at practice and they need him to help this run game; but once in the dog house, it’s tough to get out of it. A trade or cut would help his value. He’s more talented than this team is letting on.
  • Kenny Stills – He’s Kenny Stills. You don’t want to rely on Kenny Stills. Dropped a touchdown right in his mitts. The New England secondary is also very good, so those deep balls will probably land in the mitts of CB Malcolm Butler.  
  • Devante Parker – Limited at practice this week, running behind Stills and facing a tough secondary.
  • Jordan Cameron – What a disaster. What happened to him?
  • Martellus Bennett – With or without Gronk, he should be blocking to help this offensive line missing their left tackle and Tom Brady.

Titans vs Lions (-5.5 o/u 47)

Positive

  • DeMarco Murray - Out snapped Henry 50 to 21 and is the clear lead back in this offense, much like Forte is to Powell, whether you like it or not. He’s also their passing down back and scored twice last week. In a game that looks to be high scoring, you can expect Murray to be heavily involved even if his numbers on the ground are not great against this tough front 7.
  • Marcus Mariota – Didn’t play great, but had 41 attempts last week and put up 19 yards on the ground. The game got away from him but he has the ability to put up numbers against a team that gave up a lot of points to Luck last week despite a mediocre offensive line. This could be a 4 TD Mariota week. 
  • Delanie Walker – The Lions got torched by the Colts Tight Ends last week and this defense gave up a league leading 12 TDs to the position last year. One of the better plays of the week at the position. 
  • Matthew Stafford – He’s been on fire since OC Jim Bob Cooter took over the offense last year in Week 10. A must play in all formats and a great play in DFS once again, get him while his price is still cheap. This is a team without a foundation run game, so the offense runs through Stafford who is money in the redzone.
  • Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr and Eric Ebron – A trifecta of goodness, get these guys in your lineup once again. Golden Tate is the PPR guy with Jones the better bet for bigger yardage. After missing most of camp, Ebron played on over 90% of the teams snaps last week and caught all five of his targets for 46 yards and TD. The Titans are vulnerable to the tight end and even Kyle Rudolph got in the end zone last week. 

Neutral

  • Tajae Sharpe – The teams clear lead receiver, who dominated snaps and touches in this offense. Unfortunately he faces a tough matchup against lock down corner Darius Slay. There is a chance he doesn’t shadow Sharpe and spends some time on Matthews, which would be huge, but lower expectations in the event that doesn’t happen.
  • Rishard Matthews – He disappointed last week with only four targets. He could bounce back in a big way if CB Slay covers Sharpe, if not, he will put up another dud.
  • Ameer Abdullah– The team wants Abdullah to be their lead back and he clocked just over 60% of the teams snaps. The Titans pose a slightly tougher test than the sieve that was the Colts defense last week, making Abdullah a better flex or RB3 play since he will still lose some passing down to Riddick and maybe goal line looks to Dwayne Washington.  If he balls out again this week, he moves firmly into solid RB2 territory. He’s entering the circle of trust, but not there yet.
  • Theo Riddick – He was solid through the air as usual and even put up 45 yards and a TD on the ground. While his rushing numbers were a bit fluky for him, he has a decent PPR floor and should catch around 4 or 5 passes each week. Touchdowns may be hard to come by and last week may be his best of the season, especially after his snaps were scaled back in favor of Abduallah.
  • Anquan Boldin – He is a great fit for this offense, but not a reliable Fantasy starter despite always having a chance to score.

Negative

  • Derrick Henry – Facing a tough defensive line and working clearly behind Demarco, you are simply counting on him breaking one of his carries for a long TD or him getting a goal line TD. It’s a risk play, but there is no denying his talent. Whatever you do though, don't drop him. 
  • Kendall Wright – Still limited and ruled out for the week.
  • Harry Douglas – Running in the slot with Wright out, you can do better.
  • Andre Johnson – Had 7 targets and might do something with top notch CB Slay on Sharpe, but too tough to trust.
  • Dwayne Washington – Touchdown dependent goal line back on a team that likes to throw it a lot inside the ten. 

Seahawks vs Rams (+7 o/u N/A)

Neutral:

  • Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett – The productivity of these three players all depends on Wilson’s ankle. If Wilson can’t run, but is strong enough to throw, I believe he has turned into a more than capable pocket passer to provide good games for all three of these guys against a suspect Rams secondary.  Baldwin and Wilson have serious Mojo and if Kerley can go off against the Rams, then you know Baldwin will produce. Despite an underwhelming stat line, Lockett played on 75% of the teams snaps and saw 8 targets. He is in for better days despite still playing behind Kearse. 
  • Thomas Rawls – HC Pete Carroll stated that Rawls will be the lead back this week and he’s a rhythm and volume runner, so that means he’s back to being a weekly RB2 with upside even against a strong Rams front 7 and despite being used in limited fashion in the passing game. The team also resigned their fullback this week to help lead the charge. 

Negative:

  • Todd Gurley – As my man Lord Reebs from Rotoworld mentioned: “in the past nine games, Todd Gurley has carried 152 times for 580 yards (3.8 yards per carry) while besting 4.0 yards per carry in a game just three times.” Facing this defense and playing in this offense, it’s not good. It’s just not good.
  • Tavon Austin – This offense is totally inept. Can Austin bust off some big plays? Sure, but he failed to do so when they played last year and I don’t think he’s even worth holding onto in Fantasy, even if he goes off by chance. This Rams team is bad, real bad.
  • Christine Michael – Demoted to backup duties, Michael should still see 7 to 10 touches, especially with Wilson banged up. Unfortunately, against a tougher defense, that means he’s best left on benches, but the dude does have talent.
  • Paul Richardson Jr, Jermaine Kearse and Jimmy Graham – Kearse played on more than 80% of the teams snaps, but he will only produce in spurts, as will these other two guys.

Buccaneers vs Cardinals (-6.5 o/u 50)

Positive

  • Carson Palmer - Matt Ryan had a good game against Tampa last week, and though they have a good run defense, they can be had through the air. It should be a passing bonanza. 
  • David Johnson – Will have a tougher go of it on the ground this week, but is an excellent pass catcher, so he is good to go as your RB1. I would fade him in DFS.
  • Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd – Both of these guys should have good games, with Fitzgerald the PPR stud and Floyd getting the shot plays.

Neutral

  • Vincent JacksonMike Evans should see a lot of Patrick Peterson and they are moving Vincent Jackson all over the formation and even into the slot. He should be able to do some damage over CB Justin Bethel.
  • Charles Sims – While Martin may have a tougher go of things on the ground, Sims could actually do some damage through the air, making him a worthwhile PPR flex play. He has averaged 72.3 total yards over his last eight games and put on some Matt Forte type move last week on a great score and run after the catch.
  • John Brown – He was a part time player as they worked him back in slowly after missing so much camp with a concussion issue. He’s a backend WR3 in standard leagues for those in need.

Negative

  • Jameis Winston – After a cakewalk last week, his schedule gets tough starting this week. It won’t be easy against this secondary, so look elsewhere and maybe look to trade him high.
  • Mike Evans – Should see a lot of Patrick Peterson. I am a believer that you should start your studs, so use him if you have him, but temper expectations.
  • Doug Martin – Unless you have better options, you are trotting him out, but it is going to be a tough one on the ground.
  • Cecil Shorts – Could be interesting sleeper once he learns the offense in Tampa on a team devoid of many reliable pass catchers. 
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Cameron Brate – With Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker also getting run at the tight end position, this is a position to avoid. ASJ has the most talent, but logged just 18 snaps and had one catch for 1 TD.
  • Chris Johnson – Barley saw the field, so he’s nothing but a handcuff.

Jaguars vs Chargers (-3 o/u 47)

Positive

  • Blake Bortles – The Chargers don’t have much of a pass rush and only one lock down corner, so Bortles should produce in a game that could end up being a shoot out.
  • T.J. Yeldon – The Chargers got gashed on the ground and through the air last week by Spencer Ware, look for Yeldon to do the same this week if Ivory is out again.
  • Allen Robinson – It’s a tough matchup against top notch CB Verrett, but Robinson is a legit #1 WR and saw 15 targets last week against Sam Shields, another great CB. There is a chance Verrett sticks to the left side of the field, which would mean absoulte monster numbers for Robinson, but Verrett did shadow him last year. 
  • Julius Thomas – He’s the teams second best receiver and with CB Verrett on Robinson, Thomas should do some damage in this one.
  • Philip Rivers – Despite the loss of Allen, which hurts badly, this game could turn into a shootout, and they certainly are not going to start leaning on Melvin Gordon III. This is Rivers' team. 
  • Danny Woodhead – The Chargers love and trust Woodhead more than Gordon and that showed last week when he out snapped Melvin Gordon III 50 to 23 and out touched him in the second half despite having a lead. With Keenan Allen done for the year, Woodhead and Gates look to be the teams’ biggest beneficiaries.
  • Antonio Gates – He faced off against one of the best cover safeties in the league last week in Eric Berry, so he should be back on track this week as a PPR target monster and redzone threat.

Neutral

  • Allen HurnsJulius Thomas kills his bottom line, but if Verrett sticks on Robinson the whole game, Hurns could end up having a big game and makes for a good GPP play. 
  • Travis Benjamin – Rivers will take his shots to him every week, but more of a boom or bust play as the teams deep threat. 
  • Tyrell Williams – He’s big (6’ 4”) and fast (4.43 forty), but more of a deep threat than a possession receiver. They have been talking him up and has tons of potential talent, but can he turn that potential into something come game day? The one knock on him during camp is that he doesn’t truly attack the ball, that’s something tough to change in one week. 

Negative

  • Chris Ivory – Have to see if he is active. If so, him and Yeldon are potential flex options in this great matchup. 
  • Marqise Lee – Not enough volume yet to be viable, but someone to watch. At least he is healthy. 
  • Melvin Gordon III – The Jaguars have a solid run defense and this team trusts Woodhead more than him. While he scored twice last week, they were on plays where the defense essentially let him have them. 
  • Dontrelle Inman – Will be their possession receiver, but he stepped in with Allen down last year and only had a handful of usable games. If you are desperate in PPR leagues, sure, but not huge upside.
  • Hunter Henry – It’s conceivable that the Chargers use more two tight end sets and gets their talented rookie on the field more often. Top notch talent, playing a position that takes time to adjust to in the NFL. 

Colts vs Broncos (-6 o.u 45.5)

Positive

  • C.J. Anderson – You saw what the Lions backs did to this defense on the road, just wait and see what Anderson does to them at home, a mile above sea level.
  • Emmanuel Sanders and Virgil Green – The Colts currently don’t have a secondary, that bodes well for these two, especially with Thomas being limited all week with an injury. Sanders make for decent WR2 and Green is a great cheap DFS play and caught four passes in tougher matchup against the Panthers last week. 

Neutral

  • Andrew Luck – Start him if you have him, but this is as tough as it gets against this tough front 7. At least his offensive line looked decent in pass protection last week.
  • T.Y. Hilton, Dante Moncrief & Phillip Dorsett – The Colts would be wise to follow the Panthers game script and opt for short passes, which means Moncrief may be the best of the bunch.
  • Demaryius Thomas – Despite the great matchup he has been limited with a hip injury all well. With the Broncos running more in this one and the potential to control the game from the get go, they may not use a lot of DT. Then again, against this defense he could take three passes all to the end zone. So use as a WR3 if you have him, but fade if you start 2 wide receivers and have another great option.
  • Dwayne Allen – The Broncos are weakest against the tight ends, so out of all of the teams pass catchers, he has the best chance to come through.

Negative

  • Trevor Siemian – Played well as a game manager last week and looks like a capable QB, but not someone to start even with an easier matchup. The Broncos will run more and limit his attempts, and he only had 23 last week. It’s odd to have him as a negative and his receivers as positives … I get that, but it’s a leap of faith to start this guy.
  • Devontae Booker – Epic failed in first NFL game. But hey, it can only go up from there.
  • Frank Gore – There won’t be much room to run here.

Falcons vs Raiders (-4.5 o/u 49.5)

Positive

  • Derek Carr – The Raiders are at home and the Falcons gave up four TDs to Winston last week at home, Carr should be good to go in a game with a big over under.
  • Latavius Murray – The Falcons can be passed on and run on. Murray looked good last week too, seeing over 60% of the teams’ snaps, although his upside is capped with the emergence of Washington and Richard. Rock solid RB2 this week. 
  • Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree – Crabtree has the easier matchup, with CB Desmond Trufant most likely covering Cooper, but Trufant doesn’t shadow and is not a shut down guy, so look for the Raiders to scheme Cooper into favorable spots. Start both of these guys as you normally would.
  • Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu – Both of these guys are a bit nicked up. Willie Snead IV destroyed the Raiders from the slot last week, which sets up nicely for Sanu, my pick of the week last week.  The Raiders also got lit up on the outside, so Julio will have a bounce back game this week. He’s also a sneaky DFS play for those down on him from last weeks mediocre game.

Neutral

  • DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard  - If you are looking for reach plays or cheap DFS long shots, both of these guys could pop off long runs. I’m still banking on Washington at the moment, but time will tell. The Falcons gave up 8 passes to the running backs last week too.
  • Matt Ryan – Despite putting up decent numbers last week, and Brees lighting up the Raiders in New Orleans, it’s tough to truly rely on Ryan just yet.
  • Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman – Welcome to the new reality, it is a full-blown RBBC. While the Raiders have a tougher front 7, both of these guys should be active enough to be used as flex plays. Yes, Freeman is now a flex play.
  • Jacob Tamme – He’s a low floor and low ceiling play, so only a desperate TE2, but he did catch 6 of 8 passes last week, so Ryan does look his way. Raiders did a good job on Fleener last week, but not sure what we can take away from that just yet.

Packers vs Vikings (+2.5 o/u 44)

Neutral

  • Aaron Rodgers – Facing a tough Viking’s defense in their home opener in a new stadium. Additionally, this offense looked like it was stuck in the same rut as last year. He’s a must start in season long, but not worth paying up for in DFS.
  • Eddie Lacy – Didn’t seem to have much juice and this is a tougher matchup.
  • Jordy Nelson – His legs looked a little shot still so it may take him a few weeks to get back into game mode. Rodgers trusts him, so he will get passes, but more of a backend WR2.
  • Randall Cobb – This is a tough test and he hasn’t done well against them in the past, this whole offense worries me this week.
  • Adrian Peterson – Didn’t look great last week and this is another tough matchup. I sure hope Peterson is not washed up, but there is a just he can no longer dominate like he use to. 
  • Stefon Diggs – Packers CB Sam Shields is out with a concussion, so he should be in for another solid game going up against Quinten Rollins.

Negative

  • Sam Bradford – Hard to expect much his first game with them, but he will take some deep shots as Norv Turner likes to do.
  • James Starks – This might end up being a Starks game.
  • Davante Adams and Jared Cook – Tough to trust either of these guys in this matchup. Maybe Cook breaks out? Probably not. 
  • Jerick McKinnon and Kyle Rudolph – hard to trust these guys too.

Eagles vs Bears (-3 o/u 42.5)

Positive

  • Ryan Mathews - Matthews dominated rushing attempts and out touched Sproles 22 to 7, including 7 red zone carries. While his passing down upside is limited, he should find some running room in this game making him a decent, if somewhat capped, RB2.
  • Jordan Matthews – With Ertz out, Wentz may look to Matthews even more. He should dominate out of the slot and is a great DFS sleeper this week.
  • Alshon Jeffery – Should be able to dominate  Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll who got burned by the Browns receivers last week. Him and Jordan Matthews are great Monday DFS plays for those willing to wait to enjoy their fun.

Neutral

  • Carson Wentz – The Bears defense played well last week, getting to Brock a number of times. While Wentz showed he belongs, without Zach Ertz, it will be a tougher game, especially in Chicago at Soldier Field.
  • Darren Sproles – Saw nearly 50% of the teams snaps and the Bears did give up a bunch of passes to Lamar Miller last week, so he has a chance to do something. 
  • Eddie Royal – Royal looks like the better play after White showed that he was still a bit raw. Royal is a sneaky bet for 5 catches and a TD.

Negative

  • Jay Cutler – The Eagles have a solid front 7 that could cause him to throw a few picks and take some sacks.  This won’t be an easy matchup, but he’s a gun slinger so he can always come through with two or more TDs under the bright lights of Monday night football.
  • Kevin White – He is physically gifted but still learning the finer points of the position.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor – Both of these guys have a shot to score touchdowns, although both will be very boom or bust.
  • Jeremy Langford – The Eagles have a solid front 7 and he will have little room to run, so he will have to do his damage in the pass game.
  • Zach Miller – Didn’t play well last week and the Eagles are stingy in the tight end department.
  • Trey Burton – He’s the Eagles move tight end and a long shot. If you want to punt on the position in DFS, might as well give him a shot.

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