Every week, we as DFS participants, have choices to make. Do we want to go contrarian? What high-level player are we paying for? Who is someone I’m staying away from? What’s the best value this week? Lastly, what stack is the one to consider this week? What I’ve done is answer all those questions in one article. Below you’ll find the top player for each of the questions above.
High-Level Must Start: Antonio Brown $8700
Essentially this means the player at their position with the highest salary, or close to the highest salary, that I’m willing to pay for. This week, Brown is the most expensive receiver, but not the most expensive player. He’s averaging 26.6 fantasy points per game on Draft Kings and has a great matchup ahead of him. The Jets are yielding 21.7 fantasy points per game to receivers. They have given up 10 touchdowns this season and have struggled against the pass. Brown is coming off of back-to-back 34+ fantasy point games. He’s caught at least five passes in every game, has 90 or more receiving yards in all but one game, and has nine touchdowns in nine games this season. What’s there not to like about Brown this week? He’s $1300 cheaper than the most expensive running back, $1000 cheaper than the most expensive quarterback, and $400 cheaper than he was last week. If you’re in the mood to splurge, Brown would be the guy to do it on.
Best Value: Julio Jones $6600
Some may be asking themselves, good value at $6600? Yes, in fact, I’d say it’s a great value. Everyone has a different definition of value. It’s not always that the lowest price equals the best value. The way I view it is, I’m getting an elite receiver at his lowest price of the year and he has the best matchup a receiver can ask for. Jones has struggled in the last three weeks, failing to score 11 fantasy points in any of those games. However, the last time he faced off against the Bucs in Week 3 he caught nine passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. The Bucs are the worst defense against receivers, allowing 29.1 fantasy points per game. Their defense has allowed the most touchdowns to receivers this season (13). The Falcons are coming off their bye week so should be fresh and ready for this week’s matchup. Jones is currently the ninth most expensive receiver and has a shot at being a top three receiver this season. There’s plenty of value picks this week, but this is the one that stood out the most.
Contrarian Play: Derek Carr $5500
This was a tough one for me as there were a couple of players that could have filled this spot, but I think this is a guy that will likely not be used much this week. But when you think of the situation here, this can essentially be a +EV (expected value) play. Carr is just $5500 which is almost minimum salary for a quarterback, the Raiders will almost certainly be trailing in this game, and the matchup is fairly good. The Broncos are actually giving up the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (18.6). They have allowed two or more passing touchdowns in the last four games and have given up over 300 passing yards in two of the last three games. Carr hasn’t been impressive, but has scored 18 or more fantasy points in three of his starts this season. Keep in mind, Carr has scored below 10 fantasy points three times this season. However, if you weigh out the good with the bad, this move could pan out. You know he will have to pass the ball and have to put up points if the Raiders stand a chance, so why not take a shot in a GPP? It’s a low price and a good matchup, and it’s unlikely he’ll be in many lineups this week.
Player to fade: Odell Beckham Jr. $4800
After his best game of the season, eight catches for 156 yards, Beckham heads to the West coast to face a stingy Seahawks defense. I think Beckham is a very talented player and has a bright future, and in almost any other matchup at this price, he’s a no-brainer. However, I refuse to ignore the numbers here. Beckham had just one catch for 19 yards in the first half of last week’s game. The Giants were trailing and were forced to pass, hence the 11 targets Beckham had in Week 9. The Seahawks have not allowed an opposing receiver to score a touchdown in the last four games and have only yielded one touchdown at home this season, and that was in Week 1 to Randall Cobb. We use the saying “trap game” for NFL teams who we feel are in a good situation and things are being overlooked and end up being disappointed. This is exactly what I’m seeing here. A young receiver, coming off of a huge performance, at a low price, it sure is tempting, but I’m not going to ignore how efficient the Seahawks defense has been against receivers. I’d rather invest a little bit more or spend a little less on a player with a better matchup and similar ceiling.
Stack Play: Matt Ryan $6300 to Julio Jones $6600
There a couple of good stack plays this week, and I’ll go over those in my weekly piece later in the week, but this was the most appealing, for numerous reasons. Ryan and Jones both have very high ceilings, and in a matchup against the Bucs, their floors aren’t that low. Pairing the two up will only cost you roughly about 26% of your salary cap, and you have two potential elite players. The last meeting these two had against the Bucs, they connected nine times for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns in their last meeting and has a good recent history against them. In the last three meetings against Tampa, he has thrown eight touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bucs are allowing the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (18.6) and are giving up the most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (29.1). They have surrendered two or more passing touchdown in six of their eight games this year. Ryan and Julio have struggled in recent weeks, but this is a good opportunity to get back on track.
Defense: Jaguars $2600
I’m usually not too concerned on the defense I choose. My strategy is to create my team and whatever money I have remaining, put it on a defense. At times, I’ll scroll from the cheapest defense upwards, and select the cheapest available defense with a solid matchup, in other words, the defense I can tolerate. The Jaguars are facing the Cowboys this weekend. Tony Romo is expected to play, but he’ll be at less than 100 percent. Not to mention DeMarco Murray tends to fumble the ball often. The Jaguars have two or more sacks in every game this season, and in the last five weeks, have given up more than 16 points just once. This is a defensive unit that could get a couple sacks and potentially force a couple of turnovers, and best of all they are the second cheapest this week. If you’re looking for a cheap defense to stream, this is one to look into.