Last week was my worst of the season by far. I was texting with two pals and fellow DFSers last weekend about it.
I felt uneasy. I couldn’t tell if I knew too much or knew too little, whether I was going to win big or win anything. My friend Mike punched it square in the jaw when he said there was too much value. There was a lot of value last week, but none of it was great. That really had me scratching my head.
This week the confidence is back. I love that Todd Gurley is still only $5,000 and he has a plus-plus matchup this week. That opens up so much opportunity, maybe you should take a stab and try to win $1 million.
I’m going to stick to cash and only a handful of tournaments this week. I had $100 in play last week and lost $24 by the time they turned out the lights Monday night. Not awful, but not great either. Time to dial it back and get this ship back on course.
My confidence continues to grow in our system, however it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Only play 10% of your bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount you are going to play with this year. Wagering more than 10 percent sets you up to go bankrupt by week 8. Only wager more if you play a lot of cash games and have found success there.
- Always follow rule No. 1, unless you find some serious overlay. And even then, don’t go overboard. We’re all going to have bad weeks, even when we do everything right. Don’t spend so much that you can’t recover from it the following week. This allows us to brush off a bad week and move on to the next.
OK, let’s get to this weeks sleepers and values at Draft Kings.
Carson Palmer, $6,700, ARI vs. BAL — Will Palmer be 50% owned? 65%? He’s going to be everywhere, of course he could approach 500 passing yards if Joe Flacco and the Ravens can muster any sort of offense against the Cardinals defense.
Philip Rivers, $6,500, SD vs. OAK — Rivers owners don’t have to worry about the Chargers defense keeping the Raiders off the board. Rivers is already on an historic pace. He should continue it. Where I don’t have Palmer, I’ll probably have Rivers in my cash games this week.
Blake Bortles, $5,400, JAC vs. BUF — Bortles is our first sub $6,500 QB. Buffalo is a much tougher out at home and against the run. The Jaguars offense has plenty of receiving playmakers. The one caution here is that the game is in London at 9:30 a.m. eastern.
Cam Newton, $6,600, CAR vs. PHI — Fresh off our passing matchups, where Cam Newton is on the sit list, he appears as a sleeper. Hey, that’s how these things work. Because of his running ability, Newton is always a tournament option. It’s also a pretty great matchup for both his No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers this week.
Andrew Luck, $7,600, IND vs. NO — Harr, harr, it wouldn’t be an ep “sleepers and values” list without the second-highest priced quarterback. Well, when said quarterback is going up against the Saints, he gets on here. He should make a nice high-floor pivot off Palmer or Rivers if you want some diversity or differentiation from the masses.
Todd Gurley, $5,000, STL vs. CLE — Oh, the matchup. Oh, that price. Has a running back ever been 75% owned?
Devonta Freeman, $7,900, ATL at TEN — His price escalated about as quickly as his dynasty value the last few weeks. Still, against Tennessee — the worst team in the NFL against the run, according to Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, you should pay the price.
Lamar Miller, $4,600, MIA vs. HOU — This isn’t a particularly great matchup, but if the new coaching regime is going to give their talented running back 20-30 touches, he’s going to perform far better than a $4,600 running back.
Le’Veon Bell, $8,400, PIT at KC — I cringe a bit putting Bell on this list. For the second week in a row, he has a bad matchup. He proved last week that he’s not matchup-proof when Ben Roethlisberger is out of the lineup. It all comes down to how bad the Chiefs are without Jamaal Charles.
Chris Ivory, $5,800, NYJ at NE — Anytime you face the Patriots, especially in Foxboro, there’s a chance this game gets out of hand by halftime. Ivory is virtually game-script proof and he put up a massive performance last week that screams $7,000 running back.
Arian Foster, $7,500, HOU at MIA — Foster didn’t show up on our matchups charts but the offense runs through him and DeAndre Hopkins. He’s one of the safest plays on the board as long as he’s healthy.
Theo Riddick, $3,400, DET vs. MIN — It’s not a particularly great matchup for Riddick, but he’s been a RB2 in PPR leagues so far this season which means his price is far too low regardless of matchup.
Mark Ingram, $6,300, NO at IND — Ingram only averages 51 rushing yards a game this season, but he already has four rushing touchdowns and he’s second on the team with 27 catches.
LeSean McCoy, $5,500, BUF at JAC — McCoy has a decent rushing matchup and a plus rushing matchup. He’s also priced like the committee back he was before Karlos Williams’ concussion.
Christine Michael, $3,000, DAL at NYG — Word out of Cowboys camp is that Michael is struggling with the mental part of the game. However he is such an athletic freak that he’s worth a flyer in a tournament.
Latavius Murray, $6,100, OAK at SD — Few running backs are as integral to their teams offense as Latavius Murray and this week he gets the Chargers, who are third-worst in the NFL against the run, according to DVOA, and have allowed the fourth-most PPR points to opposing running backs.
DeAndre Hopkins, $8,600, HOU at MIA — He’s costly, but he already has 90 targets this season. 90! He had 127 last season and finished with 1,510 yards and six touchdowns.
Larry Fitzgerald, $7,400, ARI vs. BAL — Leads the Cardinals in catches, targets and yards. His six touchdowns are already three times as many as he scored all of last season. As long as Carson Palmer is calling signals for ARI, you want Fitzgerald in your lineup.
T.Y. Hilton, $6,500, IND vs. NO — This could be a prime opportunity for T.Y. Hilton in a shootout against the Saints. Hilton has been quiet this season because he only has one touchdown. He also leads the team with seven plays of 20 or more yards. Hilton’s the kind of player who can take big-gainers to the house. Something’s going to give.
Brandon Marshall, $7,800, NYJ at NE — Like most of the players on this list so far, Marshall is an integral part of the offense and is swimming in targets. There’s also a pretty significant garbage-time factor playing at New England.
John Brown, $5,500, ARI vs. BAL — Brown had a setback this week but he is supposed to be active for Monday Night Football. He makes a great Monday Night hammer in daily fantasy at his price and in this offense against the struggling Ravens. If he’s a surprise scratch you can swap him with Michael Floyd ($3,200) who isn’t a bad play himself, but gets a huge boost if Brown sits.
Eric Decker, $5,300, NYJ vs. NE — Decker and Marshall have been an interesting one-two punch for the Jets with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. They both average more than 13 yards per catch and each have four touchdowns. Decker could benefit from garbage time as well. He’s not as reliable as Marshall on paper, but he also costs $2,500 less, a substantial savings.
Odell Beckham Jr., $8,700, NYG vs. DAL — I know that price is ridiculous, but the Cowboys have allowed 89.7 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers, but have been stingy against all other wide receivers and tight ends. If they get beat through the air, they get beat by No. 1 wide receivers.
Willie Snead, $4,300, NO at IND — For this price you almost must start Willie Snead, Drew Brees’ new go-to receiver.
Antonio Gates, $5,000, SD vs. OAK — Gates is not high-priced as Rob Gronkowski, but he’s fairly high priced considering you could start someone like Crockett Gillmore for $2,500 this week. However, the matchup feels too good for Gates. His floor feels sky high. I’m paying up for him in my cash games.
Charles Clay, $4,300, BUF vs. JAC — Clay leads the Bills in catches, targets, yards, receiving touchdowns and plays of more than 20 yards. That’s pretty impressive considering how surprisingly good they’ve been and his current price.
Rob Gronkowski, $8,100, NE vs. NYJ — Gronk spikes on everyone regardless of matchup and the Patriots are expected to put up the highest score of the week.
Jordan Cameron, $3,300, MIA vs. HOU — Cameron has averaged at least eight targets per game the last three weeks. If the Dolphins offense is back on track under new leadership, those targets are going to turn into catches and fantasy points.
Delanie Walker, $3,900, TEN vs. ATL — Leads the Titans in catches and is second in targets and receiving yards. He’ll be an important safety valve for Zach Mettenberger this week.
Travis Kelce, $4,900, KC vs. PIT — Where I’m not starting Gates this week, I’m probably going with Kelce. There are no playmakers left in Kansas City, especially if Jeremy Maclin is limited because of his concussion.
Gary Barnidge, $4,900, CLE at STL — Barnidge’s price jumped considerably of the last few weeks. But that’s what happens when you have 144 yards after the catch and five touchdowns — at a clip of a touchdown every eight targets. It’s not a particularly great matchup this week, but Barnidge received 10 targets in two of the last three weeks and six the other week. He has become one of those tight ends you have to consider each week.
St. Louis Rams, $2,400, vs. CLE
Miami Dolphins, $2,700, vs. HOU
Pittsburgh Steelers, $2,600, at KC
Washington Redskins, $2,500, vs. TB
Carolina Panthers, $3,100, vs. PHI