The Docket: Week 3

A rundown of all the matchups, including notes on all the best players to start, sit and stomach in Week 3. 

Welcome to Week 3 of The Docket, a weekly column that will offer strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting or avoiding.  

This past week was brutal for injuries, on one of my teams I have lost Keenan Allen, Donte Moncrief, Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski, Thomas Rawls, Antonio Gates and also have a diminished Josh Gordon due to his quarterback injuries and an undependable Tyrod Taylor thanks to Sammy Watkins injuries. You can research and plan all you want, but when the injuries start piling up, it makes it tough to win weeks.

On the running back front, I urge you to read my 2-2-1 Running Back Draft Strategy, it provides a strategic way to avoid having your team go down the tubes if one of your main running backs is lost for the season.

Lastly, the season is long and that just means you have to play the waiver wire aggressively and seek trades that better your teams.  There is no giving up this early, gut it out and make some moves. Some players have also had really tough starts to the season due to a tough opening schedule; I’m looking at you Jeremy Hill, Allen Robinson and AJ Green. So don’t sell low, do some research and make smart moves, not desperate ones.

Now on with the show …

Texans vs Patriots (-1 o/u 39.5)

Positive

  • Lamar Miller – Even against this tougher run defense, Miller is a true workhorse back, getting 25 carries last week in addition to two catches in the pass game. It’s a tough matchup on a short week, but if you have him, you are using him. Probably not worth paying up for in DFS this week though.  
  • Will Fuller V – With attention shifted to stop Hopkins and Miller, I think Fuller has a good game this week against a secondary that has given up points the past two weeks.

Neutral

  • LeGarrette Blount – They are going to try and run as much as possible and the Texans defense, despite being very good, is giving up 5.3 YPC to RBs, but I suspect they stack the box a lot in this one.
  • James White – I think this turns into a White and Blount game with runs and dump offs.
  • Julian Edelman – If anyone is going to catch passes in this offense it is him. Probably won’t score a TD, but should get at least 5 catches and might actually have to come in and play quarterback. It’s not a great week to use him if you have better options.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – The Pats have two very solid corners and HC Bill Belichick likes to take out one player every game, which means it’s good to lower expectations for Hopkins this week. That said, Osweiler funnels him targets, with another 11 last week for 113 yards and a TD. He is an every week season long play, but a tread carefully in DFS at his high cost.

Negative

  • Brock Osweiler – Continues to throw picks along with a few touchdowns. On the road on a short week, he’s best left on benches.
  • Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell – Extremely low over/under, on a short week with either rookie QB Jacoby Brissett or a very injured Garoppolo. Best to avoid all these guys if you can.
  • Martellus Bennett – Will certainly be asked to block more this week with a rookie QB starting and facing JJ Watt.
  • Rob Gronkowski – Even if he plays his hamstring will hamper him. Not a great week to trust any of this teams pass catchers.

Broncos vs Bengals (-3 o/u 41)

Positive

  • C.J. Anderson – Despite Booker getting some run last week, Anderson is the foundation of this teams’ offense. While this Bengals defense is tough, volume should be enough for him to be your RB1 this week. Not worth paying up for in DFS. 

Neutral

  • Giovani Bernard – The Bengals are not going to have success on the ground, so this should be another Bernard game. He led the team in targets last week and could very well do the same again this week.
  • A.J. Green – This is another tough matchup for Green, it won’t be easy, but in season long you are trotting him out. Kelvin Benjamin did do some damage as a bigger receiver against this tough secondary.
  • Emmanuel Sanders & Demaryius Thomas – Siemian limits this offense and now they go on the road to play a tough Bengals defense. Thomas is also playing hurt.

Negative

  • Trevor Siemian – He couldn’t even throw a TD on the Colts at Mile High, that’s not good. He’s a capable quarterback, but not one your team should be starting.
  • Devontae Booker – Did get 9 carries last week and ran well, which was great to see, but still not trustworthy to start yet.
  • Virgil Green  - Injured so tough to trust even if he plays.
  • Andy Dalton – Not a week to consider him.
  • Jeremy Hill – Has had a brutal three matchups to start the season. Better times lay ahead, so keeping weathering the storm.  Don’t sell low.
  • Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd – Tough to trust either of these guys against this Defense.  Can they come through? Sure, but the odds are against them.

Vikings vs Panthers (-7 o/u 43)

Positive

  • Sam Bradford – This Norv Turner offense suits him well and he looked great last week. He should only get better every week and while the Panthers have a tough defense, they can be beaten on the backend.
  • Stefon Diggs – He’s making that Antonio Brown type leap; precise routes, sure hands and serious YAC ability. This secondary isn’t shutting him down.
  • Cam Newton – By now we know Cam is a must play every week.
  • Kelvin Benjamin – Cam loves him and he is a major target hog in this offense. His size makes him a matchup nightmare and he should do very well against CB Trae Waynes if Xavier Rhodes can’t play.  Temper DFS expectations if Rhodes does play.
  • Greg Olsen – As reliable a tight end as there is in fantasy. Not a GPP play this week, but a solid cash game play every week.

Negative

  • Kyle Rudolph – Bradford has breathed new life into him, but the Panthers have a great linebacker core to cover the tight end.
  • Adam Thielen – He’s caught 4 passes the past two weeks and seems to be the second option in this pass game, which should be improved now with Bradford at the helm. There is PPR potential here for 10 points, but probably little upside.
  • Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata – Not an easy team to run on and we don’t know exactly how the snaps will be split. McKinnon should be the better PPR play and adds a dynamic weapon in the pass game that even AP doesn’t posses.  The offense may actually be higher powered with him in the game.  Unfortunately for McKinnon though, the coaches trust Asiata and he will most certainly be their goal line back, a role he thrived in when Peterson was out last time. In PPR role out McKinnon and in standard take a shot on Asiata.
  • Fozzy Whittaker, Mike Tolbert and Cameron Artis-Payne – Wait and see how this breaks down. Just remember, Cam is a redzone vulture on the ground and rarely checks the ball down in the pass game to his running backs, opting to run instead.
  • Ted Ginn Jr and Devin Funchess – Probably not a week for either of these guys against a tough secondary.

Raiders vs Titans (-1.5 o/u 47)

Positive

  • Derek Carr – He’s thrown for around 300 yards and averaging 2 touchdowns a game. That should continue this week.
  • Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree – The Titans have given up a ton of yards to opposing receivers the first two weeks, especially teams lead receivers, which bodes well for Cooper, who is a top DFS play and will feast on CB Jason McCourty. Crabtree is the preferred standard league redzone target.
  • Marcus Mariota – The Raiders have given up a lot of yards through the air, viable this week if you need him especially stacking him with Walker.
  • DeMarco Murray – Leads the league amongst running backs with percent of a teams targets which provides him with a solid PPR floor. He’s also the teams’ unquestioned lead back whether people want to admit it or not, handling 25 carries (5.2 yds per carry) and 14 targets this season. Meanwhile Henry is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry.
  • Delanie Walker – The Raiders are still getting destroyed by Tight Ends, giving up 8 catches and giving up 159 yards to the Atlanta tight ends last week. As long as his hamstring checks out, he’s this week’s top play at the position.

Neutral

  • Latavius Murray – Split carries (8) nearly evenly with Washington (7) and Richard (6) last week, which is concerning. The Titans have allowed the second fewest rushing yards in the league this season and the fewest catches to running backs as well.
  • Clive Walford – Saw a healthy 7 targets, going 6/50/1 last week. The Titans gave up a similar number to Lions TE Eric Ebron last week, so use him if you need him.
  • Tajae Sharpe – Was covered by shut down corner Darius Slay last week and came up small, he should have an easier go of things this week against solid, yet under performing, Raiders CBs Sean Smith and David Amerson,

Negative

  • Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington – See Murray above, probably not the best week to use these guys until we see some sort of separation. Both guys have broken off big runs though, so if you are desperate, anything can happen.
  • Derrick Henry – Like the Raider backups above, he’s not getting enough usage or doing enough with his touches to rely on him just yet.
  • Rishard Matthews – If Delanie Walker sits with a hamstring, his value goes up, but he’s behind Murray, Sharpe and Walker for targets in a run first offense.
  • Andre Johnson – Scored last week, but that’s about it.

Browns vs Dolphins (-9.5 o/u 42)

Positive

  • Ryan Tannehill – Browns are giving up more through the air than on the ground and the emergence of Parker should help Tannehill have a good day.
  • Jarvis Landry – Will see a ton of short targets and should put up some big PPR numbers.  He should abuse slot corner Tremon Williams.
  • DeVante Parker – This could be the week for him to finally go off, he played on 92% of their snaps last week and was targeted on 22% of them. He faces off against CB Joe Hadden, who despite being paid like a top corner, hasn’t played like one this year.
  • Dolphins Defense – They are finally playing at home against a rookie quarterback that is in no way ready to handle the NFL game.

Neutral

  • Isaiah Crowell – He will have a heavy workload with a rookie QB at the helm. Has come through the first two weeks, yet this offensive line has not looked great.
  • Jay Ajayi – Should be their lead back, should see a positive game script, should see good field positioning and should be in your lineup if you have him.  Oh, and for someone who can’t catch, he caught all four of his targets for 31 yards last week and 50 passes his final year of college. It’s now or never for Ajayi, lets hope he doesn’t fumble this opportunity away.
  • Jordan Cameron – The Browns have give up a ton of production to the tight end position this year and he finally came through with 5 catches for 49 yards and a TD last week. He’s not in the circle of trust just yet, but it could be two games in a row.

Negative

  • Kenyan Drake – A know people want to get excited about him, but Rotoworld’s draft analyst Josh Norris called him the “worst pass protector he has ever seen. Ever.” He’s more of a change of pace back and not ready for the lead role.
  • Duke Johnson Jr, Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor and Gary BarnidgeCody Kessler kills the value of al of these guys. I just don’t know how you trust them. Can one of these guys go off? Sure, but I have no idea who and I doubt it.
  • Rashard Higgins – Talented slot receiver who could produce with Coleman gone, if only they had a quarterback.

Redskins vs Giants  (-4.5 o/u 46.5)

Positive

  • Jordan Reed – The Giants are weakest in their linebacker core, so Reed should be Cousins’ go to option this week.
  • Eli Manning – A major dud last week in a cake matchup so it is tough to go back to the well on him, but he has a great 74% completion percentage and Washington is giving up around 24 FPG to opposing QBs.
  • Odell Beckham Jr Jr. – He should be up for this rematch against Josh Norman, who he got the better of last year physically, but got beat by his own emotions. Look for Norman to shadow him, but look for Beckham to best him. This is going to be fun!
  • Sterling Shepard – He has the easiest matchup of the three Giants receivers going up against beatable CB Dashaun Phillips.

Neutral

  • Chris Thompson – It’s easier to throw than run on the Giants, so Thompson should hold PPR flex value once again against a team giving up 5 catches every week in the pass game to running backs.
  • DeSean Jackson – The Giants secondary has been a shutdown unit, holding the Saints in check last week.   He can always pop off a big play, but this is a tougher matchup against a division rival who knows him.
  • Jamison Crowder – The Giants are best attacked through the slot, so he has a chance to catch 5+ passes, but probably not for a ton of yards. He’s also inexplicably been the teams’ main receiving target in the redzone, although that has to change.
  • Shane Vereen – While Jennings has been stalled, Vereen has run well and played on 51% of their snaps last week. He’s become a decent PPR flex option and could take over this backfield.

Negative

  • Kirk Cousins – This is a tougher matchup and he’s not playing well. At least they still throw it a ton.
  • Matt Jones – The Giants have been solid upfront and the Redskins have not committed to the run game.
  • Pierre Garcon, Josh Doctson – Both of these guys are seeing limited snaps and offer limited upside. If you need a deep reach, at least Doctson got some redzone looks last week. I think he eventually emerges sometime this season, so keep him stashed.
  • Rashad Jennings – Dealing with an arm injury and while he hasn’t looked bad, he isn’t getting it done on the field. Avoid until he shows us something in the stat line.
  • Victor Cruz – It’s a tougher matchup for sure since he is now playing on the outside where he will tangle with talented CB Bashaud Breeland. While Breeland has had a rough two weeks, he is a good corner.
  • Larry Donnell and Will Tye – They could always score, but you don’t know which one and they offer very limited upside.

Cardinals vs Bills (+4 o/u 47)

Positive

  • Carson Palmer, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald – All three of these guys should have big games this week against a Bills team that is getting gashed in all three phases of the defense.  The only thing to watch out for is the early start (10am) for a West Coast team headed East.

Neutral

  • Michael Floyd – A tougher matchup with CB Ronald Darby and he has only caught five passes this season. It’s a beatable matchup, especially with John Brown not seeing much action, but he’s no more dependable than a WR3 and not trustworthy in DFS.
  • LeSean McCoy – Out of sheer volume he is a Top 20 running back and the Cardinals are giving up 17 FPG to the position. In a game full of garbage time, he just might get his too.

Negative

  • John Brown – Something’s not right with him. Has only seven targets on the year so far and is being out snapped by Jaron Brown.  In fact, if you are in a deep league, Jaron could come through again this week.
  • Tyrod Taylor – Besides the deep shots, he would be unusable this year and the Cardinals are tough to throw on. That said, in 2QB leagues, there should be some solid garbage time and catch-up to be played and he does throw those deep shots and can run. If only Watkins was healthy this could have been a great year for him.
  • Sammy Watkins – He’s horrible at playing hurt and this week he gets Patrick Peterson, no thanks.
  • Robert Woods and Charles Clay – Tough to trust either of these guys, but with Peterson on Watkins, there is a chance for garbage time and catch-up points. Once again, unless you are in a deep league, that’s not what you are looking for in a player.

Lions vs Packers (-7.5 o/u 47.5)

Positive

  • Theo Riddick – With Abdullah on IR, he should see a ton of volume and this is a team built on the pass. He’s a PPR RB2, and probably a flex in standard leagues.
  • Marvin Jones Jr – Has seen double digit targets in both games this season and is currently Stafford’s go to guy. CB Sam Shields is out again this week, which means he faces off against PFF’s 75th rated CB LaDarius Gunter. The TDs are coming.
  • Eric Ebron – The Packers have given up touchdowns to tight ends in back to back games and Ebron is emerging.
  • Aaron Rodgers – With Lions DL Ziggy Ansah out this week, Rodgers should have all the time in the world to make things happen. Frustratingly though, this teams offense is still out of synch and there has been few signs of it taking flight again.
  • Randall Cobb – With CB Slay on Nelson, if Cobb can’t produce in this game, forget it. This is as good as it comes with all the injuries on the Lions defense and playing at home.
  • Matthew Stafford – They should throw the ball even more with Riddick taking over the backfield reigns. This is Stafford’s team and this could be a shoot out, especially with all the injuries on the Green Bay defense. 

Neutral

  • Dwayne Washington – He’s never produced at a high level, but he’s a gifted athlete, a better runner than Riddick and their goal line back. He’s boom or bust, but the boom could be huge.
  • Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin – Boldin has taken over slot duties, which has led to a decline in Tate’s production this year, but both are getting a good amount of targets each week and both just missed touchdowns. Keep trotting out Tate as a high end WR3 and Boldin as a WR4 or back-end PPR flex option.
  • Eddie Lacy – The injuries on the Lions defensive line should help him. It’s now or never.
  • Jordy Nelson – Looking a bit better and he is Rodgers go to guy, but lower expectations slightly with top notch CB Slay on him this week.
  • Davante Adams – Hard to trust him as anything more than a backup, but with CB Slay on Nelson, he should see a lot of good looks. He just doesn’t take advantage of his opportunities, but a TD this week is certainly is possible. 
  • Jared Cook – The have been killed by tight ends this year. If you are hurting at the position or looking for a GPP play, this could be his week.

Ravens vs Jaguars (+1 o/u 47)

Positive

  • Joe Flacco - Great streamer this week against a beatable secondary and with a lackluster run game. Good, cheap DFS play that could easily throw for 3 TDS.
  • Mike Wallace – He’s scoring touchdowns every week and Flacco is the perfect quarterback to take advantage of his talents. Keep rolling him out as your WR3 with upside as he gets downfield shots every week.  
  • Allen Robinson – Another tough matchup against CB Jimmy Smith, but he’s not a shutdown guy and I think Robinson returns to fantasy dominance this week. 

Neutral

  • Dennis Pitta – He’s emerged as Flacco’s go to guy once again and has supplanted Steve Smith as their most reliable possession receiver. The Jags are tough against the tight end. A reliable PPR league TE, especially ones that provide 1.5PPR.
  • Blake Bortles – This could very well turn into a shootout with both teams doing little on the ground. It’s a shame you have to rely on garbage time and shootouts for this guy to put up numbers, but that’s where we are.
  • Allen Hurns – Has the easier matchup this week against CB Jerraud Powers and had 10 targets last week. Tough to trust as anything more than a WR3, but could be a sneaky DFS play.
  • Marqise Lee – Only someone to use in the deepest leagues, but decent matchup in the slot and had 5 catches for 75 yards last week.
  • Julius Thomas – Tougher matchup against a tough Ravens secondary with safety Eric Weddle helping to contain tight ends.

Negative

  • T.J. Yeldon – They’re not featuring him on the ground and if he can’t get it done against the Chargers, it’s not looking good. In PPR leagues his receiving chops at least keeps him in the RB2 and flex category.
  • Chris Ivory – If he plays, I think he performs better than Yeldon, but a tough matchup this week, so not the week to try him before we see how he does.
  • Justin Forsett and Terrence West – They eat each other’s fantasy value. Even if you combine their numbers, they’re not doing anything special. Rookie RB Kenneth Dixon is a must add and stash in all leagues.
  • Steve Smith – He’s getting targets but has no juice to do anything with them. Already supplanted by Pitta and you have to think eventually by Perriman or Aiken as well.
  • Kamar Aiken and Breshad Perriman – I have a feeling one of them will come into fantasy relevance eventually, but not yet. 

49ers vs Seahawks (-9.5 o/u 40.5)

Positive

  • Christine Michael – With Wilson banged up and this 49ers defense getting ripped on the road in Carolina by Fozzy Whittaker, Michael is in line for a big week.
  • Doug Baldwin – Should see a ton of volume although he is banged up, so maybe fade in DFS.
  • Jimmy Graham – Believe it or not, he’s starting to look and play better. Just a gut call, but I think he does something in this game.

Neutral

  • Russell Wilson – If you have him, you’re playing him and if he was healthy he would be the top quarterback play of the week, unfortunately that ankle definitely does not look healthy.  Hasn’t cracked the Top 20 in QB points yet this season.
  • Tyler Lockett – I could see him putting up a ton of yards in this one, including in the return game.

Negative

  • Blaine Gabbert – He’s not good, especially not on the road in Seattle against this defense.
  • Carlos Hyde – Brutal schedule to open up the season. He has talent and will put up some points in this offense, just not again this week. As Vegas predicts this should be a grind it out and low scoring affair. Could be a bunch of field goals.
  • Torrey Smith – It’s not going to happen for him this year. Not only is Gabbert bad, but also his catch rate is one of the worst in the league.
  • Jeremy Kerley – If you need 5 catches and not much else, he’s your guy, but Seattle slot CB Jeremy Lane has been decent this year.
  • Vance McDonald – Touchdown dependent in the biggest way, but he’s at least scored in both games.
  • Thomas Rawls – Banged up his leg last week but still has an outside chance to play. Even if he does, we will probably see more of Michael who is healthy and who has outplayed him significantly so far.
  • Paul Richardson Jr and Jermaine Kearse – Either of these guys can score any week, or have one catch for 10 yards.

Rams vs Buccaneers (-5.5 o/u 42)

Positive

  • Tampa Defense – Sneaky defense with a tough run defense and the Rams have no passing offense.
  • Charles Sims – There will be very little room on the ground, but he could have double digit targets this week. A solid RB2 in PPR leagues.
  • Mike Evans – The Rams are tough to run on, but can be had through the air. He dropped 9/157 on them last year. 

Neutral

  • Jameis Winston – The Rams front 7 will be a tough test for him again. He won’t have four interceptions like last week, but he might only have one or two TDs and under 300 yards through the air.
  • Tavon Austin- He’s a backend WR3 this week, but since the Rams will have to throw, he could do something.

Negative

  • Todd Gurley – He is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and was shut down by this team last year. This is another tough matchup to a brutal run schedule to start the year.
  • Kenny Britt – Their top receiver, which means nothing.
  • Vincent Jackson – Despite a large number of targets, he’s not getting it done with them.
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Just two targets last week, hopefully they start going to him more, but not yet.

Jets vs Chiefs (-3 o/u 43)

Positive

  • Matt Forte – Had 30 carries last week and is involved in the pass game heavily. Keep trotting him out as one of the leagues true feature backs. This offenses vertical four passing scheme suits him well.
  • Eric Decker – Even if Marshall plays this week, Decker should be featured even more in the pass game. He should have no trouble handling RCB Phillip Gaines or slot CB Steven Nelson.
  • Quincy Enunwa – They’ve been using him in the slot and outside in this vertical pass scheme, as he has essentially taken over the move tight end position. He’s big (6’2” 225lbs), fast (4.45 forty) and is seeing 6.5 targets a game and producing with them, at a 93% catch rate.

Neutral

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – The Chiefs have a solid defense and haven’t given up a lot of points to opposing quarterbacks, plus Arrowhead is a tough place to play.
  • Brandon Marshall – Could miss this week with a knee injury. If he plays, roll him out in season long as usual, but temper expectations going up against solid CB Marcus Peters. If Marshall was fully healthy, I wouldn’t worry about the matchup, but this could be a decoy game.
  • Spencer Ware – The Jets are tough to run on, but with Charles out again, he is going to get touches and he is averaging around 6 yards per carry and 4.5 catches a game. Not the easiest run matchup, especially with both of his starting guards out again this week, so more of a flex start than a RB2.
  • Jeremy Maclin – Saw an insane 15 targets last week and is the unquestioned number one target in this offense. In previous years CB Revis would be a guy to shy away from, but he’s been burned both weeks this year badly. Maybe I’m still rating Revis too high putting Maclin as a Neutral.
  • Travis Kelce – The Jets are very stingy against opposing tight ends. In season long, use him unless you have a better option since he is at least involved in the pass game every week as their #2 receiver, but look elsewhere in DFS.

Negative

  • Alex Smith – He’s Alex Smith, so start him knowing he’s Alex Smith. That said, Alex Smith this week might have to throw more with a tough Jets run defense.
  • Bilal Powell – Keep him stashed, but only 2 touches last week so he’s just a handcuff for the moment, but there is no way Forte can hold up to this kind of use.

Chargers vs Colts (-3 o/u 51.5)

Positive

  • Philip Rivers – Huge Vegas over under this week and the Colts are giving up yardage on all levels of their defense. With a limited pass rush; look for Rivers to pick this team apart with deep shots to both Williams and Benjamin. Opposing quarterbacks are completing nearly 74% of their passes, so this is a game to use all your Chargers.
  • Melvin Gordon III – The Colts defense is a sieve, giving up 4.6 YPC and 7.5 catches and game to opposing running backs. With Woodhead out for the year and McCluster just signed, he’s the top play of the week at the position for the price.
  • Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams – With Vontae Davis still out and with not signs of a pass rush, Rivers will feed both of these guys this week. Benjamin looks like the teams’ lead dog, but Williams isn’t far behind in this matchup.
  • Andrew Luck – Opposing quarterbacks are putting up nearly 350 yards and two TDs against the Chargers defense, so despite the presence of a tough secondary, he should be fine as usual in what could very well be a shootout.
  • Frank Gore – Finally a choice matchup for Gore. The Chargers are giving up 4.7 YPC and over 11 catches a game to opposing running backs.
  • Dwayne Allen – With tougher coverage on the corners, Allen is a top 3 option this week, especially with the loss of the teams big receiver, Donte Moncrief.

Neutral

  • T.Y. Hilton and Phillip Dorsett – They will move these guys around quite a bit to free them up, but Chargers corners, Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward and Brandon Flowers, make for tough matchups.
  • Dexter McCluster – He just might be next weeks top waiver wire add after playing more than people think this week and putting up numbers against this horrible defense. As our own talent evaluator Matt Waldman mentioned this week, there is not that much difference between McCluster and Woodhead from a talent standpoint, with the difference being Woodhead played with Brady and Rivers, while McCluster has played with dreck.

Negative

  • Antonio Gates – Looking like he might miss this week, if he plays, he’s a solid start.
  • Dontrelle Inman – Best left on benches, but if there was any week to use him, it would be in this matchup, with Gates likely out.
  • Jack Doyle – You can do better than Detective Jack Doyle, but watch him score a TD in this one. Isn’t that the way it always goes. 

Steelers vs Eagles (+3.5 o/u 46)

Positive

  • Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown – While the Eagles defense has played well so far, they haven’t seen an offense like this. Expect a big bounce back week for Ben and Brown, while Williams will keep things rolling, averaging an insane 34 touches a game. 

Neutral

  • Carson Wentz – He’s just the top rated quarterback in the league this year as a rookie, making him viable in 2QB leagues.
  • Ryan Mathews – Sproles out touched him last week even once they had the lead, which is a concern especially facing this tougher run defense. Mathew’s saving grace is his redzone usage, seeing 6 carries inside the 5-yard line, but that makes him a risky touchdown dependent back right now. Not good.
  • Darren Sproles – Decent PPR flex value, playing more snaps than Mathews and the Steelers are giving up nearly 8 catches a game to opposing running backs.
  • Jordan Mathews – He’s the teams’ top receiver, but it kills you every week when he drops a sure-fire TD and the Steelers have yet to give up a passing TD to a receiver.
  • Trey Burton – Filling in for Zach Ertz and thriving. If you are hurting at the tight end position, pick him up and in DFS, he’s a good bet to out produce his dollar value. Per PFF, he ran 25 routes to Brent Celek’s 15.
  • Markus Wheaton - He is finally healthy and will slot back into .... the slot. This is an area of the field that can be taken advantage of, so he has a chance for 5 or 6 catches this week.

Negative

  • Jesse James – He is an every down player, but may end up being another TD dependent tight end. He’s a low level Heath Miller, which means some great weeks and some meh weeks. The Eagles are decent at covering the tight end too.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor – Boom or bust, so not worth using and little upside.
  • Eli Rogers – After a great first week, he only saw 3 targets last week against a tougher defense. This week, Wheaton is returning to reclaim his slot duties. 
  • Sammie Coates - There will be deep shots to him this week, but will he catch them?  If you are in a standard league that cares just about TDs, he's a viable what the heck flex, but he is very boom or bust. 
 

Bears vs Cowboys (-7 o/u 44.5)

Positive

Neutral

  • Cole Beasley and Eddie Royal – It’s like looking in a mirror. They will both catch 5 or 6 passes a game. Not much upside, but if you are looking for 10 PPR points, they are your guys.

Negative

  • Alfred Morris – Only 5 touches last week, so he’s tough to trust, but he always has a chance to get the ones that count, like he did last week.  
  • Brian Hoyer, Kevin White and Zach Miller – Don’t even think about it.
  • Jeremy Langford and Jordan Howard – Langford has been horrible on the ground as expected, while Howard looked great last week. A changing of the guard could be coming soon. 

Falcons vs Saints (-3 o/u 53.5)

Positive

  • Drew Brees – Back in the friendly confines of the Superdome, Brees should throw plenty of touchdowns in one of the higher over unders of the season.  The Falcons have given up 7 passing touchdowns in two games; look for Brees to put up at least four.
  • Brandin Cooks – Will do battle with top notch CB Desmond Trufant, so while this is a very good matchup and they will move him around, probably one to avoid in DFS as he struggled against them last year a bit. Still a top 15 play this week.
  • Willie Snead IV – Playing a lot of his snaps out of the slot, he will avoid Trufant and put up big numbers against slot CB Brian Poole. Fire him up in all formats.
  • Mark Ingram II – Inexplicably got only 13 touches last week. They have said they need to get him more involved and he dropped over 20 fantasy points on them last year.
  • Matt Ryan – This team has very little pass rush and nobody playing cornerback. He’s playing better this year; fire him up as a cheap DFS option.
  • Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman – Their time-share is a concern, but they should both put up points this week.
  • Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu – I think I’m repeating myself here … so just start all these guys. Get them in your lineup.  Saints give up a 47 FPG to wide receivers.

Neutral

  • Michael Thomas – I think this week BRees shys away from Fleener and gets Thomas more involved in this choice matchup. Still nothing but a PPR flex option or WR4, but I think he comes through.
  • Jacob Tamme – This is a great matchup and he is being targeted on 27.3% of his routes per PFF. If you need TE help, he’s a great play this week.

Negative

  • Travaris Cadet – Tough to trust as anything more than a PPR flex option, but as mentioned, this is a great matchup so he has a chance to do something here. He played over 30% of the teams snaps last week and the Falcons are giving up around nine catches to running backs this year.
  • Coby Fleener – Getting tons of targets but can’t catch. Not on the same page as Brees and eventually Brees won’t look his way. I want to see him do something before I use him.

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