WATCH: Will the Eagles run all over the 49ers this week?
This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite fantasy football tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’ll be focused on high upside plays and pairings that could really pay off big in a large tournament.
C.J. Beathard ($5,100) — Marquise Goodwin ($3,900)/George Kittle ($3,600)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Marquise Goodwin is questionable (back) Sunday against the Eagles.
Geoff Ulrich’s Update: With Marquise Goodwin (back) missing Thursday practice and looking highly questionable to suit up this week, Aldrick Robinson ($3,600) is now a player to potentially watch. Robinson is similar to Goodwin in that he’s good at stretching the field and would likely take over Goodwin’s role in this offense should he miss. Be sure to monitor DK Live leading up to game time.
The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this season and have surrendered just two rushing touchdown. However, they have given up the third-most passing yards in the league. QBs also are averaging 22.74 DK fantasy points against Philly over its last five games, with four of the last five opposing QBs scoring multiple TDs against the Eagles. Beathard, the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie QB, didn’t have a great debut against the Dallas Cowboys last week, but he still escaped with 16 DKFP and brings rushing upside.
Beathard’s main target last week was Goodwin, who caught four balls on eight targets for 80 yards. Philly’s secondary has struggled to contain fellow speedsters such as J.J. Nelson, John Brown and Tyrell Williams, making this a great spot for Goodwin to finally come up with a monster game. Likewise, Kittle also could be in a spot to go off, as the Eagles have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points and the third-most receptions to tight ends, and will be without arguably their best cover linebacker this week in Jordan Hicks.
The 49ers should throw a lot in this game, and this cost-effective stack is a great way to exploit what appears to be a great matchup for their skill players.
Just Missed — Drew Brees ($7,000) and Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,700)
Cam Newton ($6,600) — Newton has experienced a bit of a rough stretch for the Carolina Panthers, but he’ll have a huge reprieve this week in a road matchup against a soft Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Newton is the third-most-sacked QB in the league through Week 7, but Tampa’s front seven has recorded just seven sacks (by far the NFL’s worst). The Bucs continue to struggle with injury (DE Noah Spence is now on injured reserve) and have given up the third-most passing yards per game. Given that Newton rushed for more than 40 yards in three of his last four games, and he’s second on the team in red-zone carries, his upside seems tremendous, given Tampa’s inability to apply pressure or slow down the passing game. Look for a bounce-back game from Newton, who has averaged seven more DKFP per game on the road than at home this season.
Just Missed — Russell Wilson ($6,500)
Joe Mixon ($4,700) — This week might be a bit of a Waterloo for Mixon, who suggested he was displeased with his usage by the Cincinnati Bengals after last week. The talented rookie looked good when he got the ball last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he received just 10 actual touches. Some of that low total was related to game flow, and this week, with the Bengals heavily favored against the helpless Indianapolis Colts, more touches for Mixon should be in the cards. The Colts are falling apart fast, as they have lost starting linebacker John Simon (week to week with a neck injury) and safety Malik Hooker (done for the season with a knee injury), and come in having allowed the most TDs to running backs (10) on the season. This screams monster game for Mixon, and his price makes him very cost-effective to boot.
Marlon Mack ($4,000) — Staying with the same game for my second RB pick, Mack makes for a nice tournament target this week. The rookie has seen a bump in playing time with Robert Turbin done for the season, and Mack actually played more snaps than Frank Gore last week (32-22). With the Colts’ season fading fast, seeing the explosive Mack — who’s averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 14.8 yards per reception — get more involved this week wouldn’t be a shock. The Colts are big underdogs, and with Mack working well in the passing game, a big PPR day certainly is possible.
Just Missed — Wendell Smallwood ($4,900)
Keenan Allen ($7,300) — Allen hasn’t really put up the numbers that people expected from him, as he has scored only one TD and turned just 52 percent of his targets into receptions. The good news is he not only leads the Los Angeles Chargers in targets by nearly 30, but he also leads them in red-zone targets with 12. Given these trends, some positive regression does seem to be coming soon, and a matchup against the New England Patriots — who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points and the second-most receptions to wide receivers — this seems like an excellent spot for that to occur. Given that the Chargers are seven-point underdogs, expect L.A. to air it out a lot in this game and for Allen to reap at least some rewards from that.
Josh Doctson ($3,900) — Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talked up talented rookie Doctson after last week’s game, in which the second-year pro actually started (in front of Terrelle Pryor) and played 84 percent of the snaps, trailing only Jamison Crowder in that category. With Doctson’s usage and playing time clearly on the rise, he could be in a good spot to finally be a difference maker fantasy-wise, as the Dallas Cowboys have given up eight TDs to wide receivers through just six games. Doctson is cheap, has great red-zone appeal and should have a terrific matchup, making him a perfect tournament target for Week 8.
Just Missed — Marquise Goodwin ($3,900), Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,700)
Tyler Kroft ($3,000) — Kroft inherited the Bengals’ starting job when Tyler Eifert went down early in the season, and he has looked good in a receiving role ever since. On top of averaging more than five targets per game through his past three starts, Kroft actually ranks second on the team in red-zone targets (despite not working as a receiver for much the first few weeks), and he has caught three TD passes over the past three games. The Bengals have a dream matchup this week against the Colts, so in reality, all of their offensive players are in good spots. However, given that the Colts likely will be without their best linebacker for this game and that Kroft costs just $3K, this is a great week to deploy him in DFS and spend up elsewhere. His red-zone usage means the upside is there, and his cheap price means even a solid PPR total could lead to a decent afternoon.
Just Missed — Ed Dickson ($3,400), George Kittle ($3,600)
Seahawks ($3,200) — Seattle’s defense is back on track of late, allowing just 11 points per game over their last three starts. Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans’ dynamic rookie QB, definitely has been better than advertised, but he’ll undoubtedly face the toughest test of his young career here on the road. Given that the Seahawks are chasing the Los Angeles Rams for first in the NFC West, they cannot afford a letdown this week, and with eight turnovers accumulated over their last three games, expect Seattle to be up for the challenge that Watson and Houston’s offense brings. While it seems risky to start a DST against such a dynamic playmaker at QB, the Seahawks have averaged 14 DKFP in two home games this season and should bring solid tournament upside, even in a tough matchup.
Just Missed — Panthers ($2,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.