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. There are some killer lineups that can be built. That opens up so much opportunity.
I’m going to stick to cash and only a handful of tournaments this week. I had $100 in play last week on three sites 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 FanDuel.
Carson Palmer, $8,200, 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, $8,000, 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.
Cam Newton, $8,100, 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.
Brian Hoyer, $6,900, HOU at MIA — This is the first true value on the board. As long as DeAndre Hopkins is posting other-worldy receiving numbers, Hoyer makes an interesting tournament play in daily fantasy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, $7,100, NYJ at NE — Go-go garbage time. Also, it’s Jets vs. Patriots so just about anything goes and the Patriots have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Yes, “bingo” is right.
Blake Bortles, $7,500, JAC vs. BUF — 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.
Todd Gurley, $7,400, STL vs. CLE — Gurley isn’t nearly as good a value here as he is at Draft Kings, but he still has the best matchup of the week 30- to 40-touch potential and is still only the 10th-highest priced running back.
Devonta Freeman, $8,700, 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.
Danny Woodhead, $6,000, SD vs. OAK — Woodhead is our first true value. It’s not a great matchup for opposing running backs against Oakland, but Woodhead is such a key part of the passing game he must be considered weekly.
Le’Veon Bell, $8,900, 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.
Theo Riddick, $5,200, 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 ($3,700 less than Bell) is far too low regardless of matchup.
Lamar Miller, $6,700, 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 more like a $7,500 or $8,000 running back.
Mark Ingram, $7,600, 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.
Dion Lewis, $7,000, NE vs. NYJ — Despite this ranking I’ll probably be avoiding Lewis this week. He is an important part of the offense, but the matchup isn’t great and last week was a souring experience. [UPDATE: Dion Lewis is not expected to play in Week 7.]
Shane Vereen, $5,600, NYG vs. DAL — No team has given up more fantasy points to running backs in the last five weeks than the Cowboys.
Latavius Murray, $7,000, 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. He’s an even better value at FanDuel than he is at Draft Kings.
Arian Foster, $8,600, 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.
Duke Johnson Jr., $5,600, CLE at STL — The Rams are the eighth-best team in the NFL agains the run, according to DVOA, but they’ve allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to the position. One of those has to give. At his price, take a chance on Johnson, who can score fantasy points regardless of game script.
Michael Floyd, $4,900, ARI vs. BAL — Floyd is Arizona’s No. 3 wide receiver, but that should provide more than enough opportunity this week. If John Brown misses the game due to injury, Floyd becomes a top-10 wide receiver.
Eric Decker, $6,200, 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.
Larry Fitzgerald, $7,800, 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.
Robert Woods, $4,900, BUF vs. JAC — The Bills receiving corps is struggling right now. Percy Harvin’s hip has him contemplating retirement and Sammy Watkins was hobbled following his 22-yard touchdown last week. Charles Clay will be the primary pass-catcher, but at only $4,900, Woods represents a great value as the Bills make-shift WR1 this week.
John Brown, $6,700, 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 ($4,900) who isn’t a bad play himself, but gets a huge boost if Brown sits.
Mike Wallace, $5,400, MIN at DET — It’s another great matchup for the Vikings passing offense this week. It is Adrian Peterson’s offense, but Wallace makes for an interesting tournament play at just $5,400.
Allen Robinson, $7,000, JAC vs. BUF — I really like the Jacksonville passing attack this week. Robinson is a superstar but his price remains at just $7,000. It should probably be $8,000.
Stefon Diggs, $5,800, MIN at DET — Like Wallace, Diggs represents an interesting play even though the Vikings employ a running-based scheme. Diggs has a higher floor following last week’s impressive performance.
Julian Edelman, $8,000, NE vs. NYJ — Nothing really to see here. The Patriots are expected to score the most points in the NFL this week. Julian Edelman will get eight targets and he’ll probably be a big part of the reason they score so many points.
Kendall Wright, $5,700, TEN vs. ATL — Opposing No. 1 wide receivers have averaged 92.1 receiving yards per game against he Falcons. There’s also the Zach Mettenberger factor to consider. Yes, he could be horrible. He could also lock on to one receiver and give him massive upside.
Brandon Marshall, $8,200, 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.
Antonio Gates, $5,800, 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, $5,500, 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.
Greg Olsen, $6,400, CAR vs. PHI — It’s not a particularly great matchup for Olsen, but he’s the top touchdown scorer not named Cam Newton on the Panthers.
Delanie Walker, $5,500, 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.
Julius Thomas, $5,600, JAC vs. BUF — The Bills have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Thomas is a matchup nightmare who can make opposing defenses pay for putting too much coverage on Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.
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.
Jason Witten, $5,600, DAL at NYG — The Giants have allowed 75.4 yards per game to tight ends and the fifth-most fantasy points to the position this season. We shouldn’t expect Matt Cassel to wing it all over the field, but he’ll probably make sure Witten, the team leader in targets, gets 6-9 looks this week.
Chandler Catanzaro, $4,900, ARI vs. BAL
Stephen Gostkowski, $5,100, NE vs. NYJ
Matt Prater, $4,500, DET vs. MIN
Josh Brown, $4,700, NYG vs. DAL
St. Louis Rams, $4,500, vs. CLE
Washington Redskins, $4,400, vs. TB
Minnesota Vikings, $4,600, at DET
Miami Dolphins, $4,500, vs. HOU
New York Giants, $4,500, vs. DAL
Carolina Panthers, $4,800, vs. PHI