Per usual, lineup pivots were necessary last week…with Aaron Jones out, I also took out Robby Anderson and the WFT Defense, replacing those three with Antonio Gibson, Davante Adams, and the Browns defense.
Adams and his 47-point performance were the key to getting to the bag last week. The pivot to Gibson was another good one (21.80 points). He was someone I was high on and played a lot last week, but I’ve been a little more reluctant to play RB and DEF from the same team together from an upside standpoint. Washington’s defense turned that reasoning on its head as they put up 17 points versus a Dallas team in complete disarray. Pivoting to the Browns cost me 10 points…a lesson to trust my gut.
My Texans double stack of Deshaun Watson with Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks did not bomb by any means, but we needed more than 52.66 points to do significant damage.
D.J. Chark is still not a Gardner Minshew fan (3.60 points). Joshua Kelley jostled back slight control of the Chargers backfield, but the Jaguars surprisingly were able to hold him to 53 scoreless yards on 17 touches (10.30 points). The Texans lost Bradley Roby early in the game and their man coverage looked like BBQ chicken to Aaron Rodgers and Adams so let’s pretend some of Adams’ points were Robert Tonyan’s (5.20 points). Oh..and the Jace Sternberger TD too ☹.
The lineup ended up going for a total of 148.16 points…on to Week 8.
QB Derek Carr @ Cleveland
Carr entered this season squarely on the hot seat and he’s answered with a very strong (at least statistical) start to the season. Jon Gruden has shown his proficiency as a schemer and though the counting stats won’t necessarily show it, you’d be hard pressed to find many more newcomers who’ve had as positive an effect as Henry Ruggs has had on the Raiders offense (foreshadowing).
Carr’s 287 yards per game average and 8.2 yards per attempt are both career highs. He’s also on pace to surpass his 2015 season of 32 TD passes.
For the all the pleasantries I have for the Raiders…the same cannot be said for the defense. Raiders fans may not be too pleased with the amount of points they are giving up but over here in fantasy land we welcome it.
On the Browns side, only three teams have given up more DraftKings points to QBs. Their middling 19th ranked adjusted sack rate is heavily bumped up by Myles Garrett and his nine sacks. They rank 24th in the NFL in QB hits.
Carr looks like one of the best QB values on the slate. Game environment and matchup should get him to the 300-yard bonus and hopefully a few scores.
DraftKings salary: 5,500
RB Kareem Hunt vs. Las Vegas
Hunt is in a great spot this week. The Raiders have an average run defense by most metrics but they’ve given up eight rushing scores to the position which is tied for 2nd most in the league. Where they’ve been really vulnerable is through the air – allowing the 2nd most targets and 2nd most receiving yards to RB’s – a place where Hunt excels.
Operating as the clear lead back in the absence of Nick Chubb, Hunt has an 18 touch or so floor in a game with a 53.5 point total. Wheels up!
DraftKings salary: 6,900
RB Jonathan Taylor @ Detroit
I’ll start with the disclaimer that I’m a little obsessed with catching the Jonathan Taylor blow up game. What better time than after the Colts bye versus a Lions defense giving up the 6th most DraftKings points to RBs?
Taylor has led the Colts backfield but Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have had enough involvement to cap his upside a bit. Things might have cleared up right before the bye though. Taylor handled 12 of the 13 RB carries and while Hines did have six targets, Taylor had four of his own which he turned into four catches for 55 yards.
I’m not sure just how many people will be bullish on the #FreeJT (whew, the double meaning there) movement, but I shall be front and center.
DraftKings salary: 6,600
WR Tyreek Hill vs. New York (Jets)
Hill has been a bit of a victim of defenses’ game plan of predominate two-high safety looks designed to attempt to force Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense into a more methodical approach. Enter Gregg Williams…
The Jets blitz at the league’s 10th highest rate but have the 6th fewest QB hits in the league to show for it. They have allowed the 5th most yards per pass attempt and lead the NFL in missed tackles. Sounds like a get right spot for me. Even if this game is over by the 3rd quarter, Hill thrives on big plays, he doesn’t need a great deal of volume to do damage.
In a season where the Jets staff is essentially just waiting to get fired I could totally see Williams trying to “impress” and show he can slow down this mighty Chiefs offense HIS way…and it’ll go exactly how you would expect. Hill is a GREAT tournament play this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,700
WR Jarvis Landry vs. Las Vegas
Rashad Higgins will likely be the more popular player this week considering his price point and performance last week but, in an attempt to get a little different, I’m gonna roll with Landry. This game environment coupled with the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. and his 22% share of the targets will be an added boon to Landry’s workload.
I think the Raiders defense has been a little better than the points per game allowed say they are but 32.8 points per game is a big number. They are also top five in missed tackles which lines up well with Landry’s yac prowess and bottom five in the league in pressures which helps any passing offense.
If this game goes in the manner I’m projecting, I could see Landry pushing for double digit targets. He’s long been a productive player who’s had his share of big games when the volume is there. I think this week is one of those weeks.
DraftKings salary: 5,600
WR Henry Ruggs @ Cleveland
I’m going with another pivot from a likely more popular teammate coming off a strong game. Nelson Agholor has been very good for the Raiders and kudos to him for bouncing back from that disappointing stretch with the Eagles. His nine targets last week could very well be a sign of things to come for him in this offense but I’m going with the cheaper guy who won’t need such volume to get to the promise land.
Ruggs played a season high 78% of the snaps last week but won’t have to contend with the likes of Carlton Davis this week versus Cleveland. Denzel Ward is a talented player in his own right but there is a big drop off in the ancillary pieces of this Browns defense, most specifically their range and speed at safety.
Whether it be a catch and run situation or on a deep shot I’ll bet on Ruggs to make a big play or two if this snap share is the new norm for him.
DraftKings salary: 4,200
TE Darren Waller @ Cleveland
I’ve steered more in the direction of paying down at TE but I can’t roster Derek Carr without rostering the guy that stirs the drink for this pass offense. Waller plays a whopping 94% of the snaps and vacuums in nine targets a game. The Browns should fit right into the Raiders ethos because only three teams have been targeted more by TEs than Cleveland this season.
I may feel a little like Mr. Krabs at the moment but sometimes you have to kick in a little more bread in the name of correlation.
DraftKings salary: 5,600
Flex Tee Higgins vs. Tennessee
I’ll probably be more invested in this Bengals-Titans game than any other on this slate. So while I wanted to veer a bit with this lineup I had to find a way to get a piece of it. The Titans have started to play a little faster and it’s doing wonders for an already efficient offense. Whether it be on the ground with Derrick Henry or through the air with A.J. Brown, I’d be stunned if they didn’t score 30 plus points in this game.
The negative game script coupled with the fast pace at which the Bengals play all but ensures a great deal of volume for Joe Burrow. Volume that Higgins will be the beneficiary of as he continues to play a full compliment of snaps and carve out a significant portion of this pass offense. Before last week he had no fewer than 90 air yards in four straight games and 2 games over 120. He also averaged eight targets a game during that stretch.
The matchup is a great one as the Titans have give up the 4th most points per game to the WR position this season. The trio of A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins all get volume, but I believe Higgins has the highest ceiling. I also think that with the other two having stronger games last week and Green being much cheaper that maybe Higgins doesn’t get the exposure he should at this price point.
DraftKings salary: 5,600
Defense Dolphins vs. Los Angeles (Rams)
You know I’m always looking for a bargain. This play gets away from us if the Rams are able to establish the run versus this average Dolphins run defense, but if they hold their own on the ground, I like their chances.
The Dolphins have a pretty good pass defense anchored by a talented secondary and a surprising 10th overall adjusted sack rate. They also have Brian Flores at the controls, a Bill Belichick disciple who successfully put the clamps on this Sean McVay-led Rams offense at the height of it’s powers. While this play is a bit of a gamble, it’s a worthwhile one at this price point.
DraftKings salary: 2,400