Armando Marsal

Fantasy Writer





START: Drew Brees ($8900) – Brees is not having a “Brees-like” season this year. He hasn’t thrown for more than two touchdowns in any game this season and has thrown three picks in four games. He’s currently out of the top five in fantasy points amongst quarterbacks. So why pay this high price for him this week? It’s simple; he’s at home, where he plays his best football and is facing the Bucs defense which is ranked 30th against the pass. The Bucs have allowed eight passing touchdowns, have only intercepted one pass this season, and are allowing 273 passing yards per game. The last two times Brees played the Bucs at home, he threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions in each of those games. He’s fared well against them in 17 career games. He’s thrown 38 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and 4,715 passing yards. We’ve all been waiting for the big game from Brees and this could be the week we see it. If you’re looking to spend top dollar on your quarterback this week, he’s the player to target.

I’d start him over: Peyton Manning $9200, Andrew Luck $8700, and Nick Foles $8500.

SIT: Matt Ryan ($8100) – Ryan is averaging 23.3 fantasy points per game on Draft Kings. However, he has yet to score his average points in an away game. So going back to what I said last week, Ryan plays much better at home than he does on the road. This season alone, he’s thrown a total of five interceptions on the road. It’s funny because he only has five all season. Sixty-five percent of his career interceptions are on the road. His numbers drop drastically when he’s out of the Georgia dome. The Giants defense allows a lot of passing yards per game, but has only allowed four touchdowns this season and have the most interceptions, seven. While Ryan can easily have a good game, the price is not appealing with all the other great matchups and values at quarterback this week.

I’d rather start: Colin Kaepernick $7800, Jay Cutler $7700, and Russell Wilson $7600.

START: Ben Roethlisberger ($7400) – Roethlisberger is off to one of his best starts this year. As a result, he is currently at his second highest price tag this season. He’s attempting 35.3 passes per game, has thrown for nearly 1,100 yards, and has six touchdowns to go with it. This week he will play the Jaguars defense which rank dead last against the pass. The Jags defense has surrendered 11 passing touchdowns and 321 passing yards per game. Last week, Philip Rivers (who was a recommended start), threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns against the Jags defense. Big Ben has thrown for five touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two games. There’s a strong chance he continues his multiple TD game streak this week. When you think of fantasy QB’s, Roethlisberger isn’t the first one to pop up in your head, but this week he should be one of the first that comes to mind.

I’d start him over: Matt Ryan $8100, Cam Newton $7200, and Joe Flacco $7000.

SIT: Joe Flacco ($7000) – Flacco will head to Indianapolis to face the Colts in Week 5. The matchup may appear appealing, but there are a couple of things you may want to consider before selecting Flacco as your quarterback. First, his worst game this season was on the road. He only scored 12.28 fantasy points that week. Second, this is the most expensive Flacco has been all season. Lastly Flacco’s never really been a reliable fantasy quarterback. He’s never been a big numbers quarterback. He’ll throw over 300 yards three to five times in a season and that’s about it. Granted, if you can get him at a cheap price, then you definitely can take a flier on him. However, that’s not the case this week. If you look below, you’ll see Tony Romo and Philip Rivers both at the same price as Flacco. Each of them have better matchups and have more upside than Flacco.

I’d rather start: Eli Manning $7500, Tony Romo $7000, and Philip Rivers $7000.

SNEAKY START: Blake Bortles ($5200) – His price went down from last week after an unimpressive game against the Chargers. This week, he faces the Steelers defense that ranks 20th against the pass. Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed seven passing touchdowns and has only picked the football once this season. Bortles had to travel to the west coast last week, which can be tough on some players. This week he’ll be at home against a defense that hasn’t played up to its expectations. This will be Bortles NFL debut at home and he has a favorable matchup. If you’re looking for a cheap quarterback with upside, he’s your guy.


Running Back

START: Le’Veon Bell ($7300) – Bell has been one of the season’s biggest surprises as he’s one of the top backs heading into Week 5. If you’re looking for a high-level priced running back this week, but you’re also looking for great value, I don’t think its gets better than this. Last time Bell was this price, he rushed for 147 yards and caught two passes for 10 yards. Bell is averaging the third most fantasy points amongst running backs on Draft Kings, 22 fppg. However, there are five running backs this week that are more expensive than him. Not to mention, Bell is facing off against the Jaguars which is the 27th ranked defense. This defense has given up four touchdowns in four games. When I first looked at his price I wondered if it was because of the concern of Big Ben throwing the ball, but even if that was the case, Bell has found success every week, regardless of what his quarterback does. Bell has rushed for over 100 yards twice this season and has totaled over 100 yards in every game so far. He’s also score two touchdowns in the first four weeks. This is a great deal at this price, and I suggest taking advantage of it.

I’d start him over: LeSean McCoy $7800, Arian Foster $7400, and Monte Ball $6500.

SIT: Monte Ball ($6500) – Completely opposite of Bell is Monte Ball. Heading into the season many were very high on Ball, but his production has regressed each week. In Week 1 he scored 16.3 fantasy points, in Week 2 he scored 11.9 fantasy points, and in Week 3 he scored just 5.4 fantasy points. This week, the Broncos will host the Cardinals who are one of the league’s top run defenses. Through three games, the Cardinals have allowed just 215 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Ball hasn’t been able to rush for over 67 yards and has yet combined for 100 or more total yards this season. He’s averaging just 11.2 fantasy points per game and is priced much higher than other backs who have been playing better than he has and have better matchups. If he was a bit cheaper I’d consider him, but at this price, I will look at some other options like the ones below.

I’d rather start: Giovanni Bernard $6700, Doug Martin $6100, and Zac Stacy $5900.

START: Rashad Jennings ($5500) – The Giants and the Falcons will face off in Week 5. The Falcons defense has allowed nine rushing touchdown this season, that’s four more than any other team. The Falcons defense also allows 153.5 rushing yards per game. Bottom line, they can’t stop the run. Jennings didn’t see many carries in Week 4 because the Giants took an early lead and never looked back. However, it’s unlikely they will be able to contain the Falcons offense. Through four games, Jennings has 433 total yards, two touchdowns, and nine receptions. He’s off to a good start this season and should continue to see success against this poor defense. Another thing to look at is his price. He is $1000 cheaper than he was last week. This is a great example of value. You have a guy that has a great matchup and is playing well in Jennings for $5500, but right above him, you have Monte Ball with a much tougher matchup and struggling, but is $1000 more expensive.

I’d start him over: C.J. Spiller $5800, Shane Vereen $5700, and Alfred Morris $5300

SIT: Donald Brown ($5400) – Brown’s number was called out a couple weeks ago due to injuries to Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead. In his first game he carried the ball 31 times for 63 yards, and caught five passes for 27 yards. However, last week he struggled immensely running the ball. He only rushed for 19 yards on 10 carries, and that was against a bad Jacksonville Jaguars defense. This week he’s facing a stingy Jets run defense that is allowing just 63.3 rushing yards per game, which is the fewest in the NFL. If you look at his price compared to what it was last week, it hasn’t changed. The Jets are vulnerable against the pass and it’s very possible that we may witness the Chargers do the same thing they did last week, and that’s to attack through the air. The price is not good enough to warrant Brown a start.

I’d rather start: Andre Ellignton $5600, Rashad Jennings $5500, and Frank Gore $5200

SNEAKY START: Bishop Sankey ($4700) – This is a kid that many anticipated to have a bigger role early in the season, but hasn’t quite gotten the volume that was expected. Now, if you look at the last two weeks, Sankey has been more involved in the offense. He will likely continue to see an increase in his workload as the season progresses. With that said, this price is likely the lowest we will see for him going forward. In addition, he plays the Browns defense that has allowed four rushing touchdowns in three games and 153.7 rushing yards per game.

Wide Receiver

START: Antonio Brown ($8100) – Brown is playing lights out right now. He’s caught 29 passes for 427 yards and five touchdowns this season. He averages 27.3 points per game and is as consistent as receivers come. It’s been back-to-back weeks that Brown has scored multiple touchdowns in a game. By the looks of it, I’m not sure that streak ends this week. The Steelers head to Jacksonville to take on the worst pass defense in the NFL. The Jaguars are giving up 344.3 receiving yards per game and have allowed 11 receiving touchdowns, which is tied for most. Matchups don’t get any better than this. Brown is on pace for a career year and he should continue his path to success against a dreadful Jags defense.

I’d start him over: all receivers

SIT: Andre Johnson ($6400) – The Texans and Cowboys will face off this week in what I’m calling, the Texas bowl. Johnson is having a subpar season for his standards. He hasn’t scored a touchdown nor gone over 100 yards receiving this season. However, his numbers and matchup are not the main reasons as to why Johnson is someone to fade this week. It has more to do with his price. See, his teammate DeAndre Hopkins, is $1800 cheaper, but is averaging a little over five fantasy points more per game than Johnson. The Cowboys defense is actually one of the worst pass defenses, but if I’m going to roll the dice on a Texans receiver, it won’t be Johnson. Some of the players listed below are also a better bargain this week. This is the great thing about daily leagues; it’s not always a player and his matchup, but also his value. This right here, is a great example on how value affects the decision on a good situation.

I’d rather start: Alshon Jefferey $6700, Percy Harvin $6100, and Victor Cruz $5800

START: Keenan Allen ($5800) – Making his second appearance on this list is Allen. After a rough start to the season, he finally came out of his shell in Week 4 against the Jags. He caught 10 passes for 135 yards. This week he will face a Jets defense that rank 19th against receivers. They have allowed nine receiving touchdowns, which is tied for the third most and 253.8 receiving yards per game. Another intriguing fact about Allen this week is how his salary didn’t skyrocket upwards after last week’s game. The Jets can stop the run, but have been vulnerable against the pass. If the run game for the Chargers doesn’t kick in early, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them abandon it and rely on Rivers’ arm. Allen finally had a 100+ yard game this season and now is looking for a touchdown. It could happen as early as this week.

I’d start him over: Pierre Garcon $5600, Wes Welker $5500, and Kendall Wright $5300.

SIT: Pierre Garcon ($5600) – Garcon was one of the more reliable receivers last season, but has been very inconsistent this season. Last year he caught five or more passes in every regular season game. He is averaging 14.6 fantasy points per game on Draft Kings, but that can be deceiving. See, his points each week are as follows; 17.7, 2.2, 33.8, and 4.8. This week he takes on the Seahawks who are arguably the best defense in the NFL. Only one receiver has gone over 100 yards this season, and that was Emmanuel Sanders. Keep in mind, the Seahawks defense has played against Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Keenan Allen, and Randall Cobb. None of those receivers were able to get it done. The last thing to consider is the quarterback situation in Washington. As much as I think Kirk Cousins is a better fit for this offense, he struggled immensely last week against the Giants defense. This week’s matchup is much tougher.

I’d rather start: Emmanuel Sanders $5100, Golden Tate $4900, and DeAndre Hopkins $4800

SNEAKY START: Reuben Randle ($3900) – Randle is coming off of his best game of the season and for some reason his salary is the cheapest it’s been all year. Randle struggled early on, but has 13 catches in his last two games. This week he takes the Falcons defense that is allowing 282.8 receiving yards per game and 20.8 fantasy points per game to receivers. This is great price for Randle, especially with a good matchup like the one he has. For $3900, you are almost guaranteed to get more than what you paid for. Plug him into to your lineups and utilize some of those savings into other players.


Tight End

START: Jimmy Graham ($7600) – For the second week in a row, I’d pay top dollar for Graham. Last week he caught eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. This week he faces a Bucs defense that has been pretty solid against tight ends allowing just two touchdowns and 8.5 fantasy points per game. However, they haven’t faced Graham! Last season, he caught 24 passes for 250 yards and scored two touchdowns in two games against the Bucs. In fact since 2011, his worst game against the Bucs was eight catches for 71 yards, which is 15.1 points on Draft Kings. It’s safe to say that he’s in for yet another productive Sunday. In addition, Graham hasn’t caught less than six passes in any game, and leads all tight ends with 41 targets this season. When you pay for Graham, you know what you’re going to get. With all the good matchups this week, it’s best to stick to the sure thing in Graham and let others take chances on the great matchups.

I’d start him over: All tight ends.

SIT: Greg Olsen ($5300) – Olsen is one of the more reliable TE’s in fantasy because of the amount of looks he gets and for the mere fact that he’s one of the only weapons on the Panthers offense. Olsen is coming off of his worst game of the season with two receptions for 30 yards. In fact, since Week 1, his catch totals and yard totals have dropped each week. He will be fine the rest of the season, but this week’s matchup is not the greatest. The Bears have been pretty solid against tight ends this season. In four games, they have allowed just 16 receptions for 228 yards and no touchdowns. They’ve actually been more vulnerable to wide receivers, which makes Kelvin Benjamin an intriguing play. At Olsen’s price this week, it doesn’t seem like a wise investment. You can find better deals at tight end.

I’d rather start: Delanie Walker $4900, Heath Miller $4000, and Antonio Gates $3500

SNEAKY START: Travis Kelce ($3000) – I know the matchup is difficult, but minimum salary for Kelce is one hell of a deal. He has scored in back-to-back games and has put together three solid weeks in a row. He will be tested this week against the Niners defense that has pretty much shut down most tight ends. In four games, they have allowed 17 catches for 136 yards and just one touchdown. I get it, they are good. But it’s clear that to be a successful offense, the Chiefs have to involve Kelce in their game plan. While I’m not expecting a huge game, at $3000, this is a steal. We’ve seen what he is capable of and with that said, this could be a gamble that pays off at a low risk.

I’ve provided you with low-risk, high-reward players for each position. If you’re drafting a lineup that’s top heavy in salaries and need to find some inexpensive players to plug in, then my sneaky starts can be useful.