This is a weekly review of all the important DFS news and notes from all 16 games. I give my thoughts on the relevant fantasy performances and future daily fantasy impact from each game.
Talk about a chalky game from a daily fantasy perspective. Fantasy favorites Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski both had monster games with Gronk finding the end-zone three times and Antonio Brown just regularly burning the Pats secondary for big gains. Brown was at 8 catches and 122 yards before a last minute garbage time TD pushed him to a massive line of 9 rec. on 11 targets, 133yards and a TD—good for 31.3 points on DraftKings and 23.8 points on Fanduel. There’s literally no stopping Brown and only game flow will slow him down this season. Even at his ever increasing price-tag he has a chance to pay off for you every week.
Pats RB Dion Lewis (15 car. 69 yards and 4 rec. for 51 yard) saw a huge workload and produced. He looked extremely good as the pass catching back and I expect him to remain involved even when LeGarrette Blount comes back. Just remember that the Pats RB usage is completely situational. I’d only be down on using Lewis if I anticipated the Pats to attack through the air as Blount will be workhorse again once he returns.
For Pittsburgh DeAngelo Williams (21 car. 127 yards) looked great and was routinely out sprinting Patriot D-linemen to the corners for big gains all game. It was disappointing to see him taken out for goal line carries however and that limits his upside for DFS. With Lev Bell out another week he’ll be in play for me week 2 against a depleted San Fran front but is price dependant.
I’m done considering Marcus Wheaton (3 rec. 55 yards) or any receiver on Pittsburgh not named Antonio or Martavis for DFS. The Steelers might have won this game if Bryant had not been suspended as both Wheaton and backup Darrius Heyward-Bey squandered opportunities for big gains or TDs all night. Save yourself the heartache and don’t chase either while Bryant is out.
Studs: Gronk, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Dion lewis
Duds: Marcus Wheaton, Brandon Boldin
This was an upset but not a complete shocker to me. The Rams D is definitely a defense you want to target to home for DFS. They have a ton of sack potential and had mobile Russell Wilson on the run all game. Tavon Austin (2 car. 17 yards and 2 TDs) may be limited as a receiver but has potential as a runner and returner. The pairing of these two really paid off this week as Austin returned a kick for a TD, as long as the Rams keep using Tavon on offense regularly the Rams D/Tavon pairing is one I’d consider every week.
Jared Cook (5 rec. 85 yards) is someone else I’d keep an eye on. Brian Quick was inactive this game and it led to more targets for Cook who at 6’5 is a red zone threat. There’s not a ton of great receivers on the Rams and so look for Foles to make good use of his athletic TE’s all year. At RB Benny Cunningham (16 car. 45 yrds, 4 rec. 77 yards) was a great value play in DFS as he was min-priced almost everywhere across the industry. If he keeps the lead back position for a while he’s worth playing and is a great receiver.
The biggest news for the Seahawks was the play of Tyler Lockett (4 rec. 34 yards, return TD). Lockett took a punt back for a TD and made it look oh so easy. Just like Tavon Austin I expect Lockett to be a great correlation play with his defense all year as you get a good punt returner and a solid defense. The real news was that Lockett was involved in the offense and played 70% of the snaps, if he starts to take on a bigger role in a thin receiving corps he could be a big play every week.
Studs: Tavon Austin, Tyler Lockett, Benny Cunningham
Duds:Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch
The Redskins controlled the ball for a large part of this game with the run. Alfred Morris (25 car. 121 yards) looked good but I still worry about the lack of upside and the fact he’s playing on a bad team. Game flow is really going to limit his volume most weeks. You also had rookie Matt Jones breathing down his neck for carries.
WR Desean Jackson left this game early and if he misses time both Jordan Reed (7 rec. 63 yards TD) and Pierre Garcon (6 rec. 74 yards) could be massive plays in the upcoming weeks. The Redskins will likely be behind and both will be targeted a ton. Garcon in particular is a player I could see pushing for some massive games if Desean misses a week or two. He ran hard in this game and is a tough matchup for any corner. As for Kirk Cousins (21-31, 196 yards TD, 2 INTs) really target opposing D’s who have good run defenses against him this year, he’s a turnover machine.
Miami looked out of sorts for a lot of this contest. Ryan Tannehill (22-34, 224 yards TD) was his usual up and down self, he made some decent throws but also got some lucky breaks that a few of his passes didn’t get intercepted. Tannehill fits squarely in the category of a player who is not going to have a disastrous game very often but his own limitations and Miami’s weak O-line really limits his upside.
I’d stick with Lamar Miller (13 car. 53 yards) even though he had a tough week DFS-wise. The Skins are a good run defense and Miller looked fine running it. I think he’ll be more involved eventually, and is a great pass catcher. Miller was also on the field for almost the entire game and that is a very important facet of any RB’s fantasy value. The Miami stud of this game was Jarvis Landry (8 rec. 53 yards, TD) he’s the go to man for Tannehill and should push for close to 100 catches this year. He returned a punt for a TD and is another correlation play (with Miami’s defense) you can use this season.
Studs: Jordan Reed, Jarvis Landry
Duds: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller
I expected New Orleans to have to throw a lot, just not to Mark Ingram (9 car. 24 yards, 8 rec. 98 yards). I also expected Ingram to struggle running the ball in this game and he did but he was massive in the pass game. With Spiller out Ingram’s value stays high as his pass catching prowess and goal line work gives him a huge boost. Brandin Cooks (4 rec. 49 yards) was a ghost for a lot of this game and quite frankly it was shocking that New Orleans didn’t try and get him the ball in space a little more. I’m chalking it up to good Zona defense and a bad week 1 game plan. Cooks is so talented that big games will come but how often will depend a lot on how creative New Orleans is in getting him the ball.
Brandon Coleman (4 rec. 41 yards TD) scored in this game and will probably be a popular red zone target this year as he’s massive. For fantasy I wouldn’t over pay for him but if he remains cheap he makes for a great high upside “punt”.
RB Andre Ellington’s injury might have really opened up things for rookie David Johnson (1 rec. 55 yards TD). Johnson came in for one play and took a swing pass 55 yards, showing off his great receiving ability and speed. Johnson is essentially a bigger version of Ellington and could really fit in well in this offense. At WR John Brown (4 rec. 46 yards TD) looked on track for a big game but really stalled after the first quarter. He’s fast (4.33 sec-40m) and has big play potential but watch his price, Larry Fitzgerald was the go to receiver in crunch time for Palmer and will take away a lot of targets. I’m a buyer on Brown week 2 but not if his price goes up a ton.
Studs: John Brown, Carson Palmer, Mark Ingram
Duds: Brandin Cooks
This game was all sorts of awful. If you owned Odell Beckham (5 rec. 44 yards) or Dez Bryant (5 rec. 48 yards) you likely had a pretty bad week. In Odell’s case game flow and just super tilted coverage was the main reason. The Giants will have to establish a secondary threat at some point in their offense to free up Beckham for some big plays but it still shouldn’t matter too much in the long run. He got hit hard at the start of the game and didn’t look super great after, it might have been part of the bad night. As for Dez he broke his foot and is out at least 4 weeks. Terrence Williams is the obvious play but honestly expect to see more passes to Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and possibly even Devin Street. Williams is more of a WR 2 and works better as a situational deep threat, not a number 1.
The Cowboys might be a team to avoid for fantasy play going forward. Their game plan of milking the clock every snap and going run heavy was on full display in this game. This generally just means less snaps, less plays and less fantasy points being scored. The Giants on the other hand have a brutal defense. If Dez Bryant had been active the whole game his numbers probably would have been big, I’d target them at will this season.
Studs: Tony Romo, Jason Witten
Duds: Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham, Eli Manning
I was expecting Oakland to be a lot better this year and so I was pretty shocked at the result of this game. Oakland got waxed. Both Jeremy Hill (19 car. 63 yards, 2 TDs) and Gio Bernard (8 car. 63 yards, 6 rec. 25 yards) ran well and the Oakland run defense could do nothing about it. Next week Justin Forsett will likely be a favorite target of many people. As far as Bengals passing went Andy Dalton (25-34, 269 yards, 2 TDs) picked apart the Oakland secondary by going to big Tyler Eifert (9 rec. 104 yards and 2 TDs) early and often. Eifert was a complete mismatch for the Oakland Linebackers and made two beautiful leaping grabs on both his TDs over the heads of his defender. He could really lift the fantasy prospects of Dalton this year.
Even though the Raiders got killed you have to respect the game line of Latavius Murray (11 car. 44 yards, 7 rec 36 yards). He was on the field a ton even with the game out of hand and was a big factor in the passing game. There’s so much potential with Murray but on a below average team game flow will kill him some weeks. The same woes will affect Amari Cooper (5 rec. 47 yards). Cooper was targeted a team high nine times in this game and will have better days ahead, the Bengals secondary is good and softer matchups await.
Oakland QB David Carr hurt his hand in this game and left early. Matt McGloin is actually a pretty decent backup and might get a Terrell Suggs-less Ravens in week 2 (assuming Carr is a no go). I don’t know if I’d use him in DFS but I don’t think he hurts Cooper or any of his receiver’s value.
Studs: Jeremy Hill, Tyler Eifert
Duds: Amari Cooper, AJ Green
I have to admit I was super impressed with Marcus Mariota (13-16, 209 yards, 4 TDs). He fired a quick release touchdown to Kendall Wright (4 rec. 101 yards, TD) that was absolutely amazing to watch for the pure speed in which he released it. There’s potential here for a lot of big games going forward. Mariota barely cracked a sweat running this game and could do a lot more of that in closer games. He was playing the Bucs though so remember to temper your expectations against tougher teams, it won’t always be this easy for him. Kendall Wright and Mariota looked like they had a connection in preseason and it carried over here, he’s the WR I’d target for Tennessee going forward.
What can I say about Jameis Winston (16-33, 210 yards 2TDs, 2 INTs)? He threw two horrible picks, took bad sacks and looked awful from start to finish. I’m not shocked about the result as I suggested using the Tennessee defense in my contrarian picks column last week. Winston is not a good QB and all his stats in this game came from pure garbage time. Expect the Bucs to run the ball as much as humanly possible in the coming weeks to avoid more impending disasters. Speaking of which Doug Martin (11 car. 52 yards) looked amazing in this game. He ripped off some long runs early and looked headed for a big day. The flow of the game simply meant that Tampa had to run more and he lost snaps to passing back Charles Sims.
Even though I’m down on Winston you have to love the possibility of future garbage time for WR Mike Evans (inactive) and TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (5 rec. 110 yards, 2 TDs). Garbage stats add up quick and both these players could have some decent days ahead with the Bucs projected to be down big most weeks.
Studs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kendall Wright, Marcus Mariota
Duds: Jameis Winston, Doug Martin
The Bears ran the ball effectively in this game which bodes well for Matt Forte (24 car. 141 yards TD, 5 rec. 25 yards) but is bad for the GB defense going forward. Green Bay’s defense is probably a target for your fantasy RBs this season, they looked very exploitable. Forte looked better in this game then I’ve seen him the past two years, whatever new offensive scheme the Bears are employing it looks like it is helping Forte and I expect him to receive a ton of carries due to his QBs ahem, limitations.
Alshon Jeffrey (5 rec. 78 yards, 11 targets) looked pretty healthy in this game too. He had double digit targets, caught a few deep passes but didn’t find pay dirt against a decent GB secondary. You have to think Alshon will see some massive games especially with the Bears possibly projected to be behind a lot this season. I am targeting him against weak matchups all year.
I don’t know which WR to target for DFS in Green Bay. Davante Adams (4 rec. 59 yards) completely failed to step up in this game against a weaker opponent and you could see Aaron Rodgers was much more comfortable with vet James Jones (4 rec. 51 yards, 2 TDs). When Randall Cobb gets 100% healthy he should be in for some big days, but until then I don’t know if I’d bother with GB receivers, it’s going to be hard to predict usage. They get Seattle week 2 which means Adams will probably go for 150 yards and 2 TDs, sometimes that’s how these things work.
Studs: Matt Forte, James Jones
Duds: Davante Adams