Kirk Cousins ($7,400): You could make compelling fantasy arguments about either QB in tonight’s Pittsburgh-Washington matchup as neither of these teams were good at limiting opposing teams’ quarterbacks and wide receivers last season. The Redskins did more to address their deficiencies this off-season, however, adding, most significantly, a shutdown cornerback in Josh Norman. Pittsburgh’s defense really struggled against the TE last year giving up the 8th most fantasy points to that position, and with Cousins having potentially the best TE in football to throw to, a big night is possibly on tap here.
Blaine Gabbert ($5,200): On a short slate, sometimes flying in the face of what will be popular can pay off in big GPPs. Gabbert likely won’t be popular as most will choose to avoid him in favor of a very good Ram defense. The quarterback in Chip Kelly’s systems have typically not been awful for fantasy purposes, however, as the fast pace of play can lead to inflated pass attempts. L.A. has a ferocious front seven but lost some depth at corner this season, and the savings Gabbert gives you at this position allows you to roster some seriously stacked rosters.
DeAngelo Williams ($7,000): Williams is once again getting thrust into the spotlight as the feature back for Pittsburgh due to the suspension to Le’Veon Bell. Williams rushed for over 200 yards and 3 TDs in his last two games as the starter in 2015, and I expect him to pick up where he left off here against a pretty ordinary front seven in Washington. The Steelers did nothing to address RB depth over the summer, so expect DeAngelo to get a huge workload here.
Carlos Hyde ($5,600): The game between San Francisco and L.A. sets up as an interesting matchup between two of the better young backs in the league. While many people will likely gravitate towards Todd Gurley tonight, I like the price on Hyde better and the potential for a big game just as much. Chip Kelly’s offense ranked an average of 12th in the league in percentage of run plays from scrimmage during his years in Philly. It’s also interesting to note that the Rams weren’t good at covering running backs in coverage either as they gave up the fourth most receptions to the position in 2015.
Antonio Brown ($9,800): I will not fade Antonio Brown, I will not fade Antonio Brown. Brown makes his debut tonight and will be going up against a revamped Washington secondary which features the solid Bashaud Breeland and the much talked about Josh Norman. Both of these players are upgrades for the ‘Skins, but as we’ve come to see with Brown, who covers him probably won’t matter much. Pittsburgh are masters of moving him around the formation and getting him in space. After that, Brown has shown an ability to deliver big plays for fantasy players time and time again. I expect him to do so again here.
DeSean Jackson ($6,100): I really like this spot for DeSean Jackson tonight as Pittsburgh gave up the most yards and receptions to the WR position last season, and they will basically be returning the same corners from 2015. Jackson suffered through a few injuries in 2015 but enters healthy and should be at his most explosive self after a good training camp. DJax is in a contract year as well, so I expect him to play with a little more passion than usual in 2016.
Eli Rogers ($4,200): Rogers was the talk of camp for Pittsburgh as he essentially beat out the more touted Sammie Coates for a starting WR position and is expected to see significant action from the slot in this game. The second and third wide receivers for Pittsburgh carry significant value, and the second year UDFA could end up seeing significant targeting as the ‘Skins try and keep the lid on Antonio Brown. He makes for a great speculative tournament play at $4,200 in my opinion.
Jordan Reed ($6,600): I already highlighted earlier that I think Reed is going to be significant for the Redskins tonight, but I’ll do it again here. Pittsburgh gave up the 8th most fantasy points to the TE in 2015, and Reed is coming off a massive 2015 where he really put up some big games against weaker opponents. This is a spot where I think it’s probably just good to take Reed and move on as the position is very scarce tonight and Reed has the potential to beat the next highest scoring TE by a ton.
Vance McDonald ($3,100): If you are looking for a Reed alternative, or perhaps a cheap FLEX play, Vance McDonald is probably your guy. The 49ers are very thin at wide receiver, and McDonald is quite possibly their best receiver. On top of being ultra athletic, McDonald developed a nice rapport with Blaine Gabbert last season and caught 3 TDs over his last six games. The Rams gave up the 6th most TDs to the TE last year making McDonald an interesting play tonight.
San Francisco 49ers ($3,100): With a projected game total of only 43, six points less than the other Monday Night’er, there’s no doubting that the Rams-49ers game carries more potential for a “defensive struggle” than its counterpart. With that being said, I’m inclined to go with the discount were getting on San Fran here over the likely very popular Rams. St. Louis is a one-dimensional offense playing on the road, a spot where they went 2-6 last year and only scored over 20 points twice. The 49ers look like a nice alternative in big GPPs in my opinion.
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.