The late-week news of Miles Sanders forced me to call an audible last week…
With the news of Miles Sanders being out im leaning towards this lineup tweak…
Miles Sanders, Steven Sims Jr, Colts Def out
Raheem Mostert, Calvin Ridley, Was Def in
— window seat on the spaceship (@Carey1313) September 13, 2020
Besides the obvious move to pull Sanders, the Steven Sims Jr. correlation play no longer made sense because the Eagles’ injuries creating a game script where Washington played from way behind didn’t seem nearly as likely.
It did open up Washington’s defense as a more obvious play in a division game versus a banged-up offensive line. Buzz of Tevin Coleman maybe not playing or being limited started to get louder…and with Jerick Mckinnon playing his first game in two seasons, Mostert’s chances of having a more decisive workload seemed to increase so at 5,800 and the game already stacked I pivoted there even though he historically didn’t do a lot of damage in the pass game. Swapping up Calvin Ridley gave us exposure to the potential shootout between Seattle and Atlanta. Just wanted to give you all a glimpse into my thought process.
The swaps all produced top performances, but DeAndre Hopkins‘ target hog fest killed Christian Kirk (5 targets, 1 catch, 0 yards) bottom line, and meh performances from George Kittle, Curtis Samuel, and Jimmy Garoppolo kept the lineup from going completely off. The 166.26 points were enough to get your buy-in back or do damage in small tournaments…but you know why we’re here.
On to week 2.
QB Philip Rivers vs. Minnesota
Unchained from the shackles of Jacoby Brissett’s more “see it, throw it” style, the Colts uncorked 45 attempts in a game they led for 3 quarters. You could argue whether that’s smart buy hey, we’re here for the counting stats only.
Philip Rivers threw a couple of bad picks that will overshadow the fact that he had 36 completions for 363 yards and was a bad T.Y. Hilton drop and overthrow of Jack Doyle in the end zone away from a different-looking fantasy and real-life day.
The Vikings defense, specifically their corners had questions coming in and they did little to quiet those fears as Aaron Rodgers looked like a top-end fantasy QB for the first time in a while. Their pass rush minus Danielle Hunter and a more limited Yannick Ngakoue trying to work himself into form also looked shaky. Rivers should have mostly a clean pocket on Sunday.
Now Rivers going off the rails is always in the range of outcomes but if he capitalizes on some of those missed opportunities from last week and avoids the head-scratching throws he could have a huge day.
DraftKings salary: 5,900
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire @ Los Angeles Chargers
CEH made his presence felt in his debut. Early on it was shaping up as a true timeshare in the Chiefs backfield but they seemed to figure out that even though Darrel Williams is trustworthy and can pass protect, he just doesn’t move the needle as a runner.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire went on to rush for 138 yards on 25 carries with one TD. He had about 787 other scoreless carries inside the 10-yard line that kept his performance from being a truly massive one but the framework for an insane fantasy year has already been laid.
The Chargers have a good defense and made Joe Mixon grind out a tough 69 yards on Sunday but this Chiefs offense is a different animal. Damien Williams hung 154 total yards and two TD’s on just 16 touches for the Chiefs versus this defense in Week 17 last year.
If Edwards-Helaire is going to have this decisive of a share of the RB touches in this prolific of an offense, the TD upside on a weekly basis is just too high to get away from. Especially since his price hasn’t ballooned just yet.
DraftKings salary: 7,400
RB Ezekiel Elliott vs. Atlanta
The Cowboys offense had a tepid start to the season but that didn’t stop Zeke from producing. He turned 25 touches into 127 yards and a TD…which feels like a floor for a player that scored 14 TD last year and it still didn’t feel like enough based upon his workload and the heights this Cowboys offense reached.
Ezekiel Elliott enters this week in a beautiful spot versus the Falcons. The game has a 50.5 total and both teams were top 5 in pace last season per football outsiders. The likelihood of a shootout looks strong here.
At this non-prohibitive cost, Zeke is one of the easiest plays on the week.
DraftKings salary: 8,200
WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Minnesota
Hampered a bit by hamstring issues in camp, Hilton played a healthy 79% of the snaps in Week 1 and tied for a team-high nine targets. He ended up with a pedestrian four catches for 53 yards but he had a couple of opportunities late that could have made for a much bigger fantasy day.
He saw a lot of impressive rookie 1st round corner C.J. Henderson in Week 1 but Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Cam Dantzler don’t figure to offer near the same resistance. Especially at home where T.Y. has averaged 82 yards per game and has scored 32 TD in 69 career games indoors.
His 109 air yards could be a low-water mark of sorts on the fast track in Indy. Hilton’s target share is secure enough to pay off this price even if doesn’t but we’re obviously hoping for the former with our stack with Rivers in place.
DraftKings salary: 5,700
WR Adam Thielen @ Indianapolis
Bringing it back here with THE focal point of the Vikings pass offense. Adam Thielen’s eight targets were double that of any other Vikings pass catcher in Week 1. He efficiently turned those eight targets into six catches for 110 yards and two TD.
Even outside the correlation, this is a pretty nice spot for him. The Colts gave up a TD catch to each member of the Jags’ three-wide set last week and they gave up the 7th most fantasy points per game to the position last season.
DraftKings salary: 7,200
WR Mike Williams vs. Kansas City
Doubling down on my CEH play by bringing it back with a Chargers pass catcher here. The Chargers passing game looked clunky throughout on Sunday, However Tyrod Taylor looked to be at his most comfortable giving Mike Williams a chance to win downfield as evidence by his 147 air yards, which were the 5th most in the league. In a game that seems destined for a negative game script, I could easily see him push for over 200 in this one.
Kansas City gave up the 2nd fewest fantasy points per game to receivers last season but Williams has shown an ability to win in tough contested catch situations plenty over his young career. At his price and expected game script, this is a worthwhile flier to take.
DraftKings salary: 4,200
TE Jack Doyle vs. Minnesota
I came in with the intention of double stacking receivers with Rivers but my first notion was to go with T.Y Hilton, and Parris Campbell. Campbell’s strong Week 1 performance will make him a pretty popular so in an attempt to preserve some uniqueness I’m pivoting to Doyle here.
He only had four targets last week but he was on the field for 54 snaps and ran a route on 74% of those snaps. Doyle had an ok three catches for 49 yards but if Rivers didn’t overthrow him in the end zone we’d talking about pretty successful fantasy day at his price point.
If we’re not paying up at Tight End we’re either looking for cheap volume or a cheap TD. I’m going to bet on the latter and why not do it within the script I’m betting on?
DraftKings salary: 3,600
Flex Ronald Jones vs. Carolina
I’ve become a bit of an accidental Ronald Jones apologist on twitter. As many different changes have taken place in the Tampa backfield, RoJo maintained lead back usage in Week 1. His 17 carries for 66 yards isn’t eye-popping but he passed the eye test as a runner, especially considering he was facing a legitimate elite run defense in New Orleans.
He even managed three targets compared to 3rd down back Lesean McCoy’s one. Leonard Fournette was mixed in as a distant 3rd with nine snaps where he totaled five carries for five yards.
Fournette’s role could easily ratchet up soon but I’m going to bet on Jones’ ability to hold him off by getting the first crack at these supremely vulnerable Panthers that just allowed three rushing TD to Josh Jacobs last week. The Bucs are an eight-point favorite in a game with a 48.5 total. I like their chances of bouncing back at home giving Jones 20+ touch and multiple-TD upside.
DraftKings salary: 5,200
Defense Giants Def @ Chicago
Not gonna get all “told you” here…I wasn’t inspired by the options. I started at the bottom of the list and scrolled up until I found something cheap but suitable enough. Defensive scoring is so unpredictable I’ve become more and more comfortable with throwing darts so to speak.
The Giants pass rush did look a little bit better than I expected on Monday night. They gave up some rushing production to Benny Snell but they sported a respectable run defense last season and I don’t know the last time I’ve considered the Bears run offense threatening. They face the rollercoaster that is Mitchell Trubisky so three or four turnovers can never be ruled out.
DraftKings salary: 2,400