Some COVID/Injury news after this was written:
Jonathan Taylor hit the COVID list so look for Wilkins and Hynes to split carries. If you think the Colts will be trailing I don’t mind the shift to Hynes but I think Wilkins will have the more predictable running back work. Whether that means more fantasy points is up for debate.
Christian McCaffrey has officially been ruled out which makes Mike Davis another nice play against a Vikings team that gave up big yards to Zeke last week.
James Conner has also been ruled out with COVID, but that was an island game so that won’t affect the main slate.
Who knows, with this crazy season, there could be more announced later today so stay up to date with the news!
I actually think a lot of people will be off Mahomes and the Chiefs because of the matchup against the Buccaneers. Well, we just saw how to scheme against the Bucs, you hammer the slot and run trick plays with a lot of pre-snap motion to get the defense on its heels. If the Rams can do that with their offense, what do you think Andy Reid and the Chiefs are going to do with theirs. Expect a healthy dose of Travis Kelce in this one as the Bucs are actually allowing an average of 12.90 fantasy points against to the tight end position. With Tampa having a very strong run defense, and the Chiefs not really utilizing theirs much these days, I think Mahomes can have a huge edge over the projected ownership leader in Josh Allen, at a very similar price point.
Seems like a pretty chalk write-up so far with Mahomes and Kyler but these two have the upside they do for a reason. The Patriots do not seem like a great matchup on paper but over the last three games the Patriots have allowed 27 points to Joe Flacco and the Jets, stifled Lamar Jackson in a monsoon, and allowed 344 yards and 3 total touchdowns to Deshaun Watson. On a day with no weather implications, I expect Kyler who is nearly matchup proof, to be able to run all day against a defense that has very little threat of a pass rush.
Oh boy are we doing this again? When do we roster players in DFS? When nobody else wants to. Ryan put up another stinker last week and Julio Jones is a game time decision. But we are getting Ryan at sub 5% ownership against a Raiders team that just allowed the Chiefs to walk up and down the field on them at will. Las Vegas is allowing over 273 passing yards per game with a 63% completion percentage on passes. With Todd Gurley already ruled out, expect Ryan to take to the air and lean on Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst if Julio cannot go.
A road game for the Browns against a Jacksonville defense that allows 129 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses, 13 rushing touchdowns and an average carry of 4.3 rush yards per attempt. Yeah, I think both Chubb and Hunt could be in for monster games, especially if the Browns get out to an early lead. One thing to note is Chubb has zero catches since he has returned from injury, which sort of limits his upside. He has such a solid floor from rushing though that he should be able to make up for this, especially against the Jags.
With Todd Gurley out, Brian Hill becomes a nice cheap play against a Raiders defense that has allowed 16 rushing touchdowns already this season to opposing offenses. At just $4000 on DraftKings Hill become a near auto-play, and with enough value plays on the board I don’t quite think he gets to chalk territory. The Falcons will most likely pass, but Hill had been serviceable in his limited playing time at the end of last season so I would not be surprised if he puts up a decent game.
The Optimizer loves James Robinson again this week and it’s hard to argue against it. The Browns are beat up on the defensive side of the ball and the Jaguars announced a quarterback change to Mike Glennon from Jake Luton who had an awful game against the Steelers in Week 11. I don’t really expect Glennon to light the world on fire with his arm, especially with top wide receiver DJ Chark out with a rib injury. Expect the Jags to make it a grind it out game against the Browns, and Robinson should be the focal point of that.
Unleash the rookie! With Adam Thielen not expected to play after a positive COVID-19 test, that leaves Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook as the focal points of this offense against a very suspect Carolina defense. With a total of 51 points and a team implied total of about 28 for the Vikings, look for Cousins to lean on Jefferson for some big gains down the field.
Kupp is coming off a monster game against the Bucs and has really been Goff’s safety valve throughout the season. With the 49ers getting Richard Sherman back, I expect the Rams to once again target the slot which is where Kupp makes his living. The man has 41 targets over his last three games, so with the 49ers still putting up a decent run defense despite all of their injuries, I think the Rams can beat them through the air on quick short passes to Kupp.
Ridley is always in play, but especially at low ownership. Let’s actually hope that Julio plays because Ridley has had better success with Julio in the lineup to take away that double coverage. It looks like I am leaning towards a full on Falcons stack that should be in the single digits in terms of ownership, in a game with a total of 54! Everyone is going to play the Raiders, but I like the other side with a run back with Waller or Jacobs.
Look, most of the ownership is going to go to Kelce or Waller and you should absolutely play them in some of your lineups. If you are looking to diversify in a large-scale GPP, I do not mind Hunter Henry at all who has built a nice chemistry with Herbert, and is playing a Bills defense that allows an average of 15.52 fantasy points per game to the tight end position. That is third worst in the NFL after Atlanta and Cleveland.
It never feels great, but at sub $3000 on DraftKings and really the second pass catcher after Justin Jefferson, Rudolph may find his way in there for a touchdown on Sunday. Irv Smith is also listed as doubtful, so in a game with a high total and a lot of expected scoring, I like Rudolph to at least return value.