The Docket: Week 8

A rundown of all the matchups, including notes on all the best players to start, sit and stomach in Week 8. 

Welcome to Week 8 of The Docket, a weekly column that offers strategy and advice on players that you should be targeting and avoiding each week. We bring the energy each week with the positive, neutral and negative charge.

Sorry for the delay in posting this week, my 16 month old Boxer puppy had a bit of a cancer scare, fortunately she is good to go, but it delayed life for a bit. In any event, here we go …

Redskins vs Benglas (-3 o/u 47.5)

Redskins

Positive

  • Jordan Reed – It looks like Reed is going to play this week and the Bengals are giving up 14.7 FPG to opposing TE’s, making him one of the better plays of the week at the position. In DFS I always caution against relying too heavily on players playing in London though. 

Neutral

  • Kirk Cousins – The Bengals have been giving up 24.7 FPG to opposing QBs and have been a bit if a disappointment on the back end this year.  Games in London always scare me a bit and I think this could end up being a low scoring affair and an ugly game.  At least the weather in London should be good.
  • DeSean Jackson – Almost all bust with very little boom this year. He has a great matchup against Dre Kirkpatrick, PFF’s #84 rated CB. The boom is coming sometime and could easily be this week … or maybe not.
  • Jamison Crowder – Cousins seems to favor him more than anyone else, especially with Reed still dealing with concussion issues. He caught 7 passes for 108 yards last week and led the team in targets. If you need him as your PPR WR3, he’s viable, but Bengals have played slot receivers really well, so best to keep expectations in check.
  • Chris Thompson – In PPR leagues he is a solid flex play, against a team surprisingly giving up 26 FPG to opposing running backs.
  • Robert Kelley -  Matt Jones is banged up (and likes to fumble a lot), in steps Kelly, an undrafted rookie who stands 6'0" and 225lbs. He beat out fellow rookies Keith Marshall and Mac Brown to earn a role on the team and very well may not give back lead duties to Jones if he performs well this week as a volume runner. That said, in this offense he is a part time player with Thompson consuming all the pass down works and possible late game work if they are down. On the road in London I would tread lightly except in standard leagues where Kelly is at least a good bet for a TD.

Bengals

Positive  

  • Jeremy Hill – The Redskins run defense is extremely exploitable by a running back like Hill. The Redskins giving up around 5.5 YPC on the ground and Hill gained nearly 200 yards on just 11 touches last week. He’s a top play at the position.
  • Giovani Bernard – While Hill should see more carries this week, the Redskins are far more vulnerable on the ground and in the short passing game, which means Bernard should have a solid game once again as well.

Neutral

  • Andy Dalton – If Josh Norman plays it will be a tougher matchup, although their are reports that Eifert will be a full go. He’s been playing well all season, so he makes for a solid, although not great, start this week in London currently sitting as Fantasy’s #6 QB, ahead of the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. What a wacky year it is.
  • A.J. Green – If Josh Norman plays then it could be a tough day for Green on the road in London against one of the leagues best corners. There is no way you can sit him in season long, but he’s more of a WR2. If Norman is out, he is easily a Top 10 play at the position this week and makes for a good contrarian DFS play.
  • Brandon LaFell – With coverage titled to Green, LaFell has been a scoring machine lately, with 4 TDs in the past three weeks. While he is never a must start, he should be active again if CB Norman is covering Green, and if Norman is out, then LaFell’s matchup should be even easier with CB Bashaud Breeland probably shifting to cover Green. It’s a win-win for those on the LaFell train.
  • Tyler Eifert – His usage should be on the rise after playing only 25% of the teams snaps last week, so viable unless you have one of the elite options. Just know he is still rounding into form, but reports state that he will be playing a much bigger role this week. 

Cardinals vs Panthers (-3 o/u 47)

Cardinals

Positive

  • David Johnson – Even the Seahawks couldn’t slow him down. He’s on pace for 334/1557/18 on the ground and 64/738 through the air. He’s literally carrying a few of my fantasy teams this year and is never a bad play in DFS despite his high cost. He also leads the league with 11 carries inside the 10-yard line.
  • Larry Fitzgerald – Hasn’t had fewer than five catches in any game this season and put up another 9/70 last week against a great Seattle defense. Fitzgerald should be a zone killer in this one and a solid PPR WR1 going up against weak slot CB Robert McClain.
  • John Brown – Should be very low owned coming off a missed game due to sickle cell, which while is horrible news for him personally, for fantasy purposes, it is actually very good news, since he is not injured and the sickle cell can be controlled through diet and other methods. He led the team in targets the two most recent games he played fully with Palmer and should see double-digit targets this week.

Neutral

  • Carson Palmer – The Panthers are far easier to throw on than run on, especially playing in Carolina. That said, the Cards disappointed big time the last time they played an early game on the East Coast against the Bills in Week 3, and something in the back of my head says that might be the case again this week. I like him in season long, but I would stay away on the road playing at 10am in DFS. 

Negative

  • J.J. Nelson and Michael Floyd – If Michael Floyd plays, then it is tough to expect much from either of these guys, but if Floyd sits with injury, move Nelson up to a neutral start and has the speed to put up some serious points on this Carolina secondary and is a great DFS sleeper play.

Panthers

Positive

  • Cam Newton – Coming off of a bye and playing at home against a Cardinals team playing at 10am should allow Cam to put up solid QB 1 numbers this week, even if it is against a Cardinals defense playing well lately. I think the 10am start time narrative could come into play this week for the Cards and they did give up at least 70 yards on the ground to running QBs Gabbert and Tyrod earlier this year.

Neutral

  • Greg Olsen – The Cards have been tough against opposing tight ends this year, allowing just 6.8 FPG. While he is a must start in season long, especially coming off a bye, I would look elsewhere in DFS.

Negative

  • Jonathan Stewart – The Cardinals shut down opposing running backs, he doesn’t get any work in the passing game and Cam steals his goal line touches. Not a great week to use him.
  • Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn Jr – Not a good week to reach for Ginn and while Benjamin has the size to do well in any matchup, he will be shadowed by top notch CB Patrick Peterson, so he’s off the DFS map this week.

Seahawks vs Saints (+2.5 o/u 48)

Seahawks

Positive

  • Russell Wilson – He is clearly not healthy, preventing him from picking up major yards on the ground, which is hurting both his ceiling and his floor. Fortunately, for any team playing the Saints, it is always get well time, as they are giving up 24 FPG to opposing QBs. This is a Saints team that ranks near the bottom in passing defense, so even if he can’t run, he should be able to throw for at least three or four TDs in what looks to be a shoot out. Don’t over think this one.
  • Christine Michael – After a slew of tough matchups, CMike should eat in this game playing against a Saints team giving up the most points to opposing running backs this season, with 4.5 YPC and a monster 34 FPG.
  • Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham – Both of these guys are must starts in all formats against a Saints defense that really isn’t one. The Graham revenge game narrative may be a joke to some, but it will be real come Sunday. He is averaging 9 targets a game the past four weeks and is a focal point of this passing attack. Baldwin on the other hand will be dismantling undrafted Saints slot CB De’Vante Harris, who was already benched once this season.

Neutral

  • C.J. ProsiseC.J. Spiller has been cut and Prosise is back as this teams “passing down” back, playing 25% of the teams snaps last week. I put that in parenthesis because CMike is really their featured back at the moment. In a game where Seattle should move the ball at will, he is a sneaky bet for those that need a PPR Flex back in a pinch.  Once again, don’t get me wrong, this will be the CMike show, but this is a good game to get Prosise some work.
  • Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson Jr and Jermaine Kearse – Someone from this group is going to have a big game, and maybe all three. It is tough to determine which one, but if you need to reach for a player during the bye week I would roll them out in this order: Lockett, Kearse, Richardson.

Saints

Neutral

  • Drew Brees – A lot of people would look to fade Brees this week in a tougher matchup, but I’m not one of them. The Seahawks don’t play as well on the road against non-division rivals and Brees is money at home. While this game could start slow, with all the weapons he has at his disposal, I think he still has a decent game, so start him in season long leagues with confidence especially since DE Michael Bennett and saftey Kam Chancellor are out this week. 
  • Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas – The perimeter corners are very tough, but they often play a zone defense, which should allow these guys to make some plays.  I’m sticking to my narrative that the Saints aren’t going to be shut down at home despite playing a tougher defense. Cook is best used as a WR3 who has the speed to get deep on a play or two, especiall with saftey Kam Chancellor out this week, while Thomas has a PPR flex value after catching 10 passes for 130 yards last week.
  • Willie Snead IV and Coby Fleener – The middle of the field is where Seattle is a bit more vulnerable, although that’s not saying a whole lot since they allow the 4th fewest catches and the 8th fewest yards to opposing TEs this season. Once again, you won’t find almost any pundit out there that thinks any of these players should be started this week, but I would only bench them if you have clear better options and would not advise reaching for guys over them that haven’t really done much this year.

Negative

  • Mark Ingram II – He’s still just a part time player in this offense, seeing just 51% of the teams snaps last week, and this week he is facing the third toughest run defense in the league. In standard leagues he could always score, especially with Michael Bennet out, but he could also just get 8 carries for 25 yards.

Raiders vs Buccaneers (even o/u 49)

Raiders

Positive

  • Derek Carr – These 10am games on the East Coast always scare me a bit, but the Bucs are not a scary matchup in what should be a shootout. The Bucs are far easier to throw on than run on, so look for Carr to have a good game this week. While the Bucs have given up on average of 17 FPG to opposing QBs, they have played some pretty bad ones this year and are still 25th in the league in passing points allowed per attempt.  On a side note, it is egregious that the Raiders have now had 4 early morning East Coast games this season.
  • Michael Crabtree & Amari Cooper – Cooper should do battle with very beatable CB Vernon Hargreaves III III, while Crabtree has only a slightly tougher matchups against 33 year old Brent Grimes. Neither corner should offer much of a challenge this week and the Bucs have allowed the 4th most TDs to opposing WRs. They are both Top 15 options this week and should dismantle their zone coverage.

Neutral

  • Latavius Murray – The bad… Murray is still splitting carries with Washington and Richard, averaged only 3.3 YPC last week and the Bucs are very tough to run on, giving up just 3.7 yards per carry.  The good … Murray is the Raiders trusted goal line running back and the Bucs have given up 7 TDs on the ground this year. He’s your standard league RB2 play, but this is a tough matchup for sure. Did I mention they are playing at 10am Oakland time?

Negative

  • Seth Roberts – Leads Raiders receivers with six red-zone targets and had 9 targets last week.  While it’s tough to trust him as anything more than a what the heck flex, in a week with so many teams on bye, he is a sneaky bet to score a TD playing in the slot against CB Jude Adjei-Barimah.

Buccaneers

Positive

  • Jameis Winston – He’s a great streaming option and DFS play this week against a Raiders defense ranked 29th in QB hits, 30th in sacks and who has given up 32 completions over 20 yards. With the Raiders Defense playing in Tampa in muggy weather at 10am, look for Winston to start fast with the defense on their heals.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers – Once again … the Raiders Defense will be playing in hot muggy weather at 10am and are giving up 5.3 YPC and over 26 FPG to running backs their past few games. The matchup and volume is a perfect storm for Quizz to keep his RB1 mojo going.
  • Mike Evans – He is seeing over 30% of the teams’ targets and will get force fed the ball all day long despite playing against corners that actually match up decently well against him, unlike TY Hilton and Brandin Cook who smashed them. Nonetheless, he is a WR1 against a Raider’s teams that has already given up 100+ yards to 7 receivers this season. 

Neutral

  • Cameron Brate – Playing the Raiders usually means playing the tight end. Unfortunately he hasn’t been seeing a lot of targets lately, so he is by no means a must start while splitting reps with fellow TE Brandon Myers. On the positive side, the Raiders are giving up the 5th most points to opposing TEs this year, so in a bye week crunch or if you are paying down in DFS, he is viable.
  • Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard – With Vincent Jackson done for the year these two guys will pick up the slack, but Shepard will try and do battle with CB David Amerson, PFF’s 4th ranked CB, while Humphries will have a far easier matchup against CB D.J. Hayden, who has been burned this year.

Negative  

  • Peyton Barber He’s much bigger and stronger than Rodgers, but his TD last week came against the 49ers defense, which isn’t saying anything at all.  He’s just a dart throw until we see him do it against a better defense.

Patriots vs Bills (+5 o/u 47)

Patriots

Neutral

  • Tom Brady – Bills have only allowed 4 passing TDs this season, are second in sacks and getting back all pro NT Marcell Dareus. While you are not sitting Brady in season long leagues, this is setting up to be a trap game against a tough Bills defense at home and a highly motivated HC Rex Ryan to beat his arch nemesis Bill Belichick. The Bills are only giving up 15.3 FPG to opposing QBs. Once again, Brady is Brady, but this could be a trap game.
  • Rob Gronkowski – Never sit Gronk, because Gronk will score and Grok will spike. But the Bills giving up only 6.3 FPG to opposing tight ends, so this isn’t the week to pay a premium for him in DFS.
  • LeGarrette Blount – He’s been money this year, and the Bills are giving up a solid 4.5 YPC, that said, with the return of all-pro all pro NT Marcell Dareus, this could be a tougher matchup than most people expect.
  • James White – I think this might end up being a White game, so he’s on the map as a RB2 in PPR leagues if you need him in a game where he should see 7+ targets.
  • Julian Edelman – Has yet to crack the top 30 playing with Brady with all the mouths to feed and will face off against solid CB Nickell Robey-Coleman.  That said, I think this game will be pass heavy and he could see 8+ targets.

Negative

  • Martellus Bennett – With coverage titled to Gronk he can come through any week with 3 TDs, but as we saw last week, he can also have just 2 targets for 1 catch and 5 yards. The Bills are tough against tight ends, so not the best week to give him a go.
  • Chris Hogan – Isn’t seeing enough targets to trust him, but could certainly abuse their weakest CB, Ronald Darby, who is struggling a bit this year. If you are looking for a guy to possibly catch a deep bomb or two, he’s always a decent reach play, but not a safe one. It may not be too long until we see more of Malcolm Mitchell, who has been banged up.

Bills

Neutral  

  • Tyrod Taylor – Played well against them earlier this year, but I doubt the Patriots let him run it on them again this week. His rushing floor provides him QB2 value, but avoid if you can especially with McCoy and Woods out.
  • Mike Gillislee – A lot of people will be on him as a cheap DFS play, but he’s banged up himself and the Patriots are solid against the run. That said, through sheer volume alone he is capable of putting up RB2 numbers. For those looking for the next big running back sleeper, I would keep an eye on rookie Jonathan Williams who was my second ranked RB in this year’s rookie class.
  • Charles Clay – He’s the only legitimate pass catcher they have and the Pats are giving up around 13 FPG to opposing TE’s, so he has a chance to be a serviceable tight end if you are desperate for five catches for 50 yards.

Lions vs Texans (-2.5 o/u 45.5)

Neutral

  • Matthew Stafford – Texans giving up fewer than 1 TD a game and just over 19 FPG to opposing QBs. That said, Stafford is playing at a high level and without a foundation run game, he will pass and pass a lot, even in the red zone where he is money. He also gets back a full slate of weapons with TE Ebron and RB Riddick set to make their returns.
  • Theo Riddick – It’s tough to totally trust him after missing two weeks with injury and the Texans have given up the fewest receiving points to running backs this season. That said, Riddick is a different animal in this offense than most receiving backs and Stafford will pepper him with targets since you can’t run on them, especially at home. If you are in need of a PPR Flex option he is certainly viable, although the big upside might not be there this week.
  • Marvin Jones Jr – He has cooled down a bit, facing off against teams top corners. This week he gets PFF’s #1 rated CB, A.J. Bouye who has kept opposing WRs on lock. Stafford still does love him in the red zone though, but he’s more of a WR3 this week.
  • Golden Tate - I think Ebron steals more touches from Boldin than Tate, who had 11 targets and put up 6/93 last week against an even better secondary.  Texans CB Jonathan Joseph has been struggling lately, ranking as PFF’s 102 rated CB, so Tate has a chance to do something in this one, although with Riddick back, I can guarantee you he is not going to see another 12 targets this week.

Negative

Texans

Positive

  • Lamar Miller (Alfred Blue) – Whoever gets the start this week will have a great game at home against a Lions defense getting abused on the ground. The starter is locked and loaded as a RB1. It looks like Miller should be able to play.
  • Will Fuller V and DeAndre Hopkins – With the Lions top CB Darius Slay out this week, both of these guys should explode against a Lions team giving up 42 FPG to opposing receivers. The biggest hindrance to their production is their QB, who is completing just 26% of his passes over 15 yards.  Detroit is also allowing opposing QBs to complete 74% of their passes. Honestly, if these guys can’t get it done this week, you can never trust them again until they get a new QB, who will most likely be Jay Cutler next year.
  • C.J. Fiedorowicz – He’s seeing around 7 targets a game and the Lions are getting beat by tight ends with ease. He’s the top DFS play in all formats for those wanting to get value at the position this week.
  • Brock Osweiler – Even in good matchups, his name is still Brock Osweiler. For those that want to ride the roller coaster, the Lions are giving up a whopping 26.9 FPG to opposing QBs, so this is as good as it gets at home, especially with the Lions missing their best CB Slay. He should be a Positive, but I won’t put him there, because his name is Brock Osweiler. Do with this info what you will.

Jets vs Browns (+3 o/u 43.5)

Jets

Positive

  • Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa – Both of these guys should have great games, with Marshall a rock solid WR1 and Enunwa on the map as a WR3, since he’s still seeing only a limited number of targets.
  • Matt Forte – Forte gashed the Ravens stout run defense last week and the Browns are giving up a ton of yards on the ground and through the air, as evidenced last week with Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill both killing them. Forte makes for a great start this week, and should make it two solid games in a row.
  • Jets Defense – This defense has been up and down, but they don’t have the weapons to beat them through the air, so they make for a decent streaming option this week.

Neutral

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – Almost nobody will have the balls to start him, but the Browns are a disaster and giving up 27.7 FPG to opposing QBs. In the Jets vertical four scheme, he should put up some numbers.
  • Bilal Powell – On a week with so many byes, he’s a viable PPR flex play if you need him against a Browns team giving up 30 FPG to opposing RBs. This is still Forte’s team, but he should be able to get enough touches to give you a bit of value.

Browns

Neutral

  • Duke Johnson Jr – While there won’t be much action on the ground, he could be very active through the air. The Jets are giving up 6 catches a game to opposing RBs and with QB McCown back; his targets should be back as well.
  • Gary Barnidge – The Jets giving up 15 FPG to opposing TEs and he has serious mojo with McCown. He’s a sneaky bet to put up Top 5 TE numbers this week.

Negative

  • Josh McCown – With Pryor banged up, he doesn’t have a lot of weapons to go to. It’s tough to trust him until we see how he looks.
  • Isaiah Crowell – The Jets giving up just 3.5 YPC, so this is going to be a tough game for yards. In standard leagues, I would still use him as a RB2 since he is their goal line back, but more of a flex option in PPR leagues.
  • Terrelle Pryor – He’s banged up, so tough to trust, and with McCown back, he’s no longer going to be playing any QB.

Chiefs vs Colts (+2.5 o/u 50)

Chiefs

Positive

  • Alex Smith – Great streaming option and has a great upcoming schedule for those in need of a QB.  Colts giving up 23 FPG to opposing QBs. The only possible chance of a let down is if they just run ever play, which is certainly possible as they did the past two weeks, so watch your overall exposure on DFS.
  • Spencer Ware – It’s another great matchup against a Colts defense giving up 4.9 YPC and 162 yards to opposing RBs and missing DE Kendall Langford and DT Henry Anderson. With Charles still out, he’s a no brainer RB1.
  • Travis Kelce – This offense just kills his upside as he is asked to block frequently. He saw just 3 targets last week, but in theory this is a great matchup against a team giving up 16.3 FPG to TEs. They have the slowest line-backing core in the league hands down, which Kelce could abuse if they allowed him to.

Neutral

  • Jeremy Maclin – The team just doesn’t throw a lot and he’s not getting enough red zone looks to warrant must start status. This could be a shoot out, and they have been playing him in the slot a decent amount so he should avoid CB Vontae Davis, who should stay on the outside. Unfortunately, this could easily be another 4 catch game for Maclin with Tyreek Hil and Chris Conley catching TDs.

Colts

Positive

  • Andrew Luck – The Chiefs are getting very little pressure on opposing QBs and are still without DE Justin Houston.  Playing at home, Luck will be a rock solid QB1 again this week getting Donte Moncrief back and playing against a Chiefs team giving up 270/2 to QBs on average.
  • Frank Gore – The Chiefs are allowing 162 yards from scrimmage to opposing RBs and he is the only RB in town.  He’s mister consistent, so keep using him as your solid RB2 with little upside, but that doesn’t really matter since you didn’t draft him to have upside.
  • T.Y. Hilton – They move Hilton all over the field, and with Donte Moncrief back he should avoid Chiefs top CB Marcus Peters enough to still go off.  I have little doubt he’s going to put up big numbers in this one against a Chiefs defense giving up 48 FPG to opposing WRs.  Right CB D.J. White and slot CBs Steven Nelson both have negative grades per PFF and Hilton should have no problem abusing both of them with Peters naturally lining up on Moncrief’s side.

Neutral  

  • Donte Moncrief – It’s tough to trust him coming back from a broken collarbone, but the matchup is okay even against CB Peters since he is a great red-zone threat and has a great chance to score at home. Just keep in mind that they might ease him in a bit, so he’s not sure thing just yet.
  • Jack Doyle – He was my guy last week, but safety Eric Berry locks down opposing TE’s, so despite the great usage, he’s tough to trust fully against a Chiefs defense giving up a mere 2.5 catches a game to opposing TEs.

Packers vs Falcons (-3 o/u 52.5)

Packers

Positive

  • Aaron Rodgers – They needed that victory last Thursday night and it gave them ten days to fully right the ship. With a huge over/under this game is going to be a shoot out and without a proper running back, look for Rodgers to throw the ball 50 times against a Falcons team giving up 23.5 FPG and missing DE Dwight Freeney. 
  • Randall Cobb – He’s had at least 11 targets in three straight games and is looking like the teams go to receiver with Nelson struggling to round into form. However, he’s banged up and while top CB Trufant will be doing battle with Nelson on the outside, the Falcons slot CB, Brian Poole, is actually having a decent season this year, currently ranked #15 by PFF.
  • Davante Adams – I’m hesitant to put Adams as a positive since he hasn’t been able to string together a bunch of solid games in a row for three years now. That said, the reigning narrative a few years back was that it took most wide receivers at least three years to truly break out, and maybe that is the case with Adams who the team certainly loves. Last week he caught 13 of 16 targets to go along with 2 TDs. He’s a solid WR3 in this weeks shoot out.
  • Ty Montgomery – A wide receiver used as the teams lead running back, he’s now seen 25 targets since Lacy went down, catching 10 passes last week and has 32 touches and 230 yards during this time frame. It is questionable whether or not Knile Davis will take over lead running back duties this week, but until we actually see that happen, I would continue to role on Montgomery in all formats with confidence.

Neutral

  • Jordy Nelson – Nelson has seen his target totals plummet the past few weeks and gets another tough matchup this week against shut down CB Trufant. In season long he is more of a WR3 and probably a fade in DFS. For those contrarians out there, at least he leads the team, and the NFC, in red zone targets with 11, but Nelson is not the same ‘ol Nelson just yet.

Negative

  • Knile Davis – He’s now had 12 days to learn the offense, what that means, I don’t know. This week will be very telling.
  • Richard Rodgers – Not worth reaching for as anything more than a dart throw getting a lucky TD. He just doesn’t see enough targets to be reliable week to week.

Falcons

Positive

  • Matt Ryan – He’s averaging 26 FPG and should have another solid high end QB1 outing in this shoot out at home. While the Packers are giving up only 19.5 FPG to opposing QBs, their secondary is very banged up and they haven’t faced a situation like this.
  • Julio Jones – The whole Packers secondary is banged up, so Julio is going to do some serious damage in this one.
  • Devonta Freeman – While the Packers played well against opposing running backs at home, they don’t have a shut down unit on tape, contrary to what the stats may say. With the backfield all his this week, look for Freeman to have a monstrous game, getting it done on the ground and in the pass game.

Chargers vs Broncos (-4.5 o/u 43.5)

Chargers

Neutral

  • Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry – Henry may not play this week, making Gates an interesting start against a Broncos defense that is best tested in the middle of the field through the tight end position.  C.J. Fiedorowicz caught five passes against them last week after all.

Negative

  • Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon III, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams – Not much to say in this one except this is as tough a matchup as is comes playing on the road in Denver. In DFS you should also usually avoid RBs and WRs playing a division rival the second time in a season, especially on the road.

Broncos

Positive

  • Devontae Booker – With C.J. Anderson done for the fantasy season, Booker is this years David Johnson and a potential league winner.  The Chargers defense have given up over 5 YPC over the past two weeks and have given up around 8 catches a game. He’s locked and loaded as a RB1 in all formats and a must play in DFS where he might have 95% ownership (I’m kidding, but not really).
  • Emmanuel Sanders – He draws the easier matchup and has gained over 80 yards in four of the five past games. Look to fade in DFS, but in season long he is a fine WR2.
  • Demaryius Thomas – Thomas has the tougher matchup against CB Casey Hayward, but he is a safe WR2 in PPR leagues snatching up at least 5 catches a game and scoring 4 TDs already on the year.

Negative

  • Trevor Siemian – The Chargers have an underrated defense and are getting healthy on the backend with the return of CB Brandon Flowers.  He’s not someone I want to rely on in any format. 

Eagles vs Cowboys (-4 o/u 43.5)

Eagles

Neutral

  • Darren Sproles – He’s PPR flex viable against a Dallas defense giving up 4.7 YPC. That said, I wouldn’t use him in standard leagues or in DFS this week since this could be a low scoring affair.
  • Ryan Mathews – This game should be a slow burn, meaning the Eagles should (and I emphasize should) lean on Mathews this week. Last week he saw 15 touches and the Cowboys are giving up 4.7 YPC, so Mathews makes for a fine RB2 this week, but the upside just doesn’t seem to be there.
  • Jordan Matthews – Has a decent matchup in the slot, but it’s tough to totally trust him on the road in a game where the Eagles may only have 9 drives. With Dallas getting back CB Orlando Scandrick this week and Matthews yet to finish in the top 25 since Week 1, he’s just a middling WR3.
  • Zach Ertz – What to do with Ertz. He killed fantasy teams last week catching just one pass on three targets. The Cowboys do give up 15.2 FPG to opposing TE’s so this game sets up well on paper, but man, they just don’t feature him enough.

Negative

  • Carson Wentz – The loss of RT Johnson cannot be over stated. Rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai is getting destroyed repeatedly on the outside and it is affecting Wentz big time, having to throw with defenders in his face or draped on his back. While the Dallas Defense only ranks 26th in sacks and 31st in quarterback hits, it’s best to look elsewhere playing against a Dallas team with a solid secondary and an offense that eats up clock.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor – Total long shots to do anything.

Cowboys

Positive

  • Ezekiel Elliott – Behind this offensive line, playing at home, with a weeks rest … he’s a no brainer RB1.

Neutral

  • Dak Prescott – Playing at home he makes for a startable QB2, but probably not a guy you want to roll with in leagues where you start just one QB against an Eagles Defense giving up just 18.3 FPG and have only allowed one Top 15 QB this season.
  • Dez Bryant – Dez has flourished playing the Eagles in the past and while their secondary is a bunch of ball hawkers and don’t allow big plays, their corners are not shut down guys either. Dez should make for a fine WR2. 
  • Cole Beasley – If you are looking for 5 catches for 50 yards, he’s you guy and he has scored double-digit fantasy points every week.

Negative

  • Jason Witten  - He has very little upside and the Eagles giving up just y give up just over 6 FPG to TEs this year.

Vikings vs Bears (+4.5 o/u 40.5)

Vikings

Positive

  • Kyle Rudolph – Saw 10 targets last week in a very tough matchup for him, which leads me to believe he’s Bradford’s guy. Unfortunately the Bears have actually been really solid against opposing tight ends this year, but I think volume is king and he is a good bet to get a TD this week.
  • Stefon Diggs – Should be finally at full health against and a Bears secondary that is banged up, giving up 49 FPG. Look for him to bounce back this week as a solid WR2 with huge upside.
  • Matt Asiata – It is looking like Jerick McKinnon will miss this week’s game, making Asiata a solid (but oh so unspectacular) RB2 and a good bet to run in a TD or two, especially since the Bears still missing DT Eddie Goldman. 

Neutral 

  • Sam Bradford – Should bounce back this week against a Bears defense that is banged up and giving up 22.1 FPG to opposing QBs. While the Bears defense usually starts hot, they usually start to give up some big plays as the game progresses. He’s a QB2 this week.
  •  Cordarrelle Patterson – All of a sudden is he getting playing time and getting targets, playing over 60% of the teams snaps the past two weeks. If you combine his new found role in this offense with his kick return prowess, he makes for a solid WR3 and sneaky DFS play this week. 

Bears

Negative

  • Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Cameron Meredith – HC John Fox has essentially come out and stated that he hates Cutler, yet he will be starting him this week out of necessity, which is good news for Jeffery who Cutler love to throw to. While this matchup is as tough as it comes (the Vikes giving up just 14.9 FPG to opposing QBs and allowing only 54% of passes to be completed against them), I could see Cutler and Alshon (both of whom won’t be with the Bears next year) just go out there and play free and loose to see what happens. Who knows, hopefully they come through.
  • Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Carey – This is a very tough matchup and nobody out there knows what the split in carries is going to be this week. I need Howard in one league, so I am starting him as my RB2 and crossing my fingers. I really can’t predict what will happen, but I wouldn’t bet on anything very positive.
  • Zach Miller – The Vikings defense is solid against opposing tight ends, giving up just 10.3 FPG this year. He’s not getting many looks and with Cutler feeding Alshon this week, look elsewhere.
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