WATCH: ARE THE BILLS PRIMED FOR AN OFFENSIVE BREAKOUT?
This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high-upside plays and pairings that could really pay off big for you in a large tournament.
Jared Goff ($6,700) and Sammy Watkins ($4,800)
The Rams enter this week as 11-point home favorites over Houston with a 28.5 implied team total. Houston actually has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to the RB position but has been awful at stopping the pass, as four of the last six QBs the Texans have faced have compiled at least 300 yards and two TDs against them. With these trends in place, there’s a great chance that Rams QB Jared Goff continues his hot streak here, as he shredded an equally depleted Giants secondary last week for four scores.
At WR, there are multiple options to choose from if you’re planning to stack Goff, but going with either Robert Woods ($5,000) or Sammy Watkins on the outside in this spot looks to have the most appeal. Houston has given up a ton of big plays to speedy outside threats — including 175 yards and two TDs to T.Y. Hilton last week — and while Woods has been more consistent, Watkins has flashed upside against weaker secondaries this year. Even though there’s a big element of boom-or-bust with Watkins, I’d prefer him in this spot, as he should be matched up with 34-year-old Jonathan Joseph in coverage this week — a situation that definitely could lead to a high-scoring stack this week.
Just Missed: Eli Manning ($5,100) and Evan Engram ($6,200)
Marcus Mariota ($5,800) – Mariota has been plagued by injuries of late but looked much healthier last week coming off a bye. Head coach Mike Mularkey insisted after last week’s game that an increase in designed runs for Mariota is needed, which would obviously be welcome from a fantasy perspective, as the speedy Mariota has rushed only four times for 14 yards over his last two outings. The Bengals’ season is fading fast, and while they’ve done well at limiting big games from opposing QBs, cracks have begun to show, as they have allowed five passing TDs over their last three games and an average of 25.3 points against in that span. The Titans are sizable favorites at home, and while they don’t have a huge implied team total, Mariota’s sub-$6K price (his cheapest of the year) and the prospect of more rushing attempts potentially makes this a big game spot for the Titans’ QB.
Just Missed – Ryan Fitzpatrick ($4,900)
Leonard Fournette ($8,400) – After being scratched late from last week’s game, Fournette seems to be in a huge bounce-back spot in Week 10. The rookie hasn’t actually played since Week 6 (injury-bye-suspension) and should be fresh for his matchup with the Chargers, who have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards on the season and 4.7 YPC to opposing RBs. The Chargers’ rush defense has been actually better of late, but it also hasn’t faced a runner as talented or powerful as Fournette since Week 3, when it gave up 172 yards to Kareem Hunt on just 17 carries. The Jaguars are in a fight for the AFC South and have no reason to hold back their well-rested stud here. A big game here seems imminent.
Bilal Powell ($4,000) – Powell has potential to be a massive value play this week, although much of his upside will depend on the health of Matt Forte, who experienced some swelling in his surgically repaired knee Wednesday. Should Forte be inactive, Powell would take over lead RB duties, and while likely he’d share some snaps with rookie Elijah McGuire, Powell’s pass-catching ability means he’d be in line to eat up the six targets per game Forte had seen over his last four starts. The Jets take on the Buccaneers, who have given up five or more receptions to opposing RBs six times already this year. Watch the injury reports, and if Forte is ruled out at some point, Powell will offer a ton of upside for tournaments this week.
Just Missed – Carlos Hyde ($6,300)
Robby Anderson ($5,200) – Anderson is another Jet who could benefit from a matchup with a floundering Tampa Bay squad. Over his past three games, Anderson has developed into Josh McCown’s favorite target, accumulating 13 catches on 16 targets for three TDs. While the speedster hasn’t seen huge volume, he still leads the Jets with 56 targets on the season and is in a great spot this week against a Bucs defense that has given up the third-most points per game to opposing WRs and second-most receptions to the position on the season. Even with the return of Bucs corner Brent Grimes, the talented Anderson is in a potential breakout spot here and makes for a nice upside target this week in tournaments.
Adam Humphries ($3,100) – Humphries might be somewhat popular this week, but his low price and the potentially great situation should offset that popularity. With Mike Evans (suspension) out, Humphries stands to benefit in terms of an increased target share in this game and also has a fantastic matchup with Jets slot corner Buster Skrine, who is yielding a 68 percent completion rate on passes thrown at him. As a team, the Jets have allowed the fourth-most receptions overall to the WR position, and with the limited Ryan Fitzpatrick starting at QB for the Bucs, seeing a big PPR game materialize from a slot receiver like Humphries would not be a surprise.
Just Missed – Mohamed Sanu ($5,100)
Garrett Celek ($2,500) – The 49ers are losing bodies faster than a horror flick, and with George Kittle now ruled out for this week’s game, that should leave most of the TE pass-catching duties to Celek. While he’s not exactly the most exciting name to roster, his incredibly cheap price and plum matchup means he’s set up to be a great salary-saving pick this week. So far the Giants have given up the most fantasy points per game to the TE position on the season and have also given up nine TDs to the position as well (three more than the second place team). Celek played on 74 percent of the snaps last week and should see a bump in targets with both Kittle and slot man Trent Taylor out this week. He doesn’t need to do much to be useful, but given the matchup, his upside for tournaments is actually decent.
Just missed – Tyler Kroft ($3,600)
Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,700) – The Steelers’ DST hasn’t quite had its huge breakout game yet, but that day might be coming soon. The Steelers are currently fourth in the league as a team in sacks with 26 and get a better-than-advertised matchup with Indianapolis, which has allowed the most QB sacks per game on the season. Coming out of their bye week, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has emphasized that he wants his team to improve in the turnover area and for his defense to make more “splash plays” that potentially change a course of a game.
Going up against such a shaky O-line, this looks like an ideal spot for the defense to carry out its head coach’s wishes. Without many solid cheaper options on the DST market this week, it’s looking like a good time to pay up for a talented unit that enters the week healthy, rested and with a mandate for producing more big plays.
Just Missed – Detroit Lions ($3,800)
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.