In DraftKings NFL Picks, FanDuel NFL Picks, NFL 2017
Ricky Sanders
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Ricky Sanders

Director of Puns at RotoCurve
Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. In March of 2017, he officially joined RotoCurve as VP of Operations.

His daily MLB premium article "Sanders' Studs", has quickly become a must read for all serious DFS players. You can also find Ricky every day on the RC Twitter account, providing FREE analysis via periscopes. Ricky is also a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
Ricky Sanders
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Week 5 has now come and gone and values are once again a-changing. This article is designed to identify players whose outlook has changed over the course of the weekend. The key to being successful in fantasy football is being able to adjust projections after a small sample size…and this article does just that. Without further ado, let’s get to work…


Value Up:

Carson Wentz, Eagles – While most in the industry are talking about Deshaun Watson after back-to-back five touchdown (TD) performances, Carson Wentz low key just went out and had the best game of his career. On Sunday, Wentz posted a career-best 128.3 QB rating and 90.8 QBR (ESPN’s QB metric) en route to a career-high four TDs against the Cardinals. Thus far, the Cardinals have proven to be a favorable matchup for opposing quarterbacks (QBs) but that should not discount the fact Wentz went out there and dealt. There are many reasons for optimism here beginning with the fact his offensive line is amongst the best in the league. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson left Sunday’s game with a concussion and the Eagles offensive line still includes four players who have graded inside the top 16 at their respective position, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). With Johnson healthy, this is arguably the top offensive line in the league, and the running game is weak to put it nicely. Whenever the team is unable to establish the run, the team will turn to Wentz and his plethora of passing game weapons (Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Wendell Smallwood (when healthy), Nelson Agholor, etc.) to lead the offensive attack. Wentz has risen to low-end QB1 levels in 12-team fantasy leagues.


Javorius Allen, Ravens – Since Terrance West left Sunday’s game and is not expected to require an “extended absence,” it appears likely he will at least miss the team’s Week 6 tilt against the Bears. He had only touched the ball 10 combined times over the past two weeks prior to the injury but his absence clears the path for Javrious Allen to dominate the workload. Following a two-game stretch where Allen only carried the ball a combined 10 times himself, Allen rushed the ball 21 times against the Raiders for 73 yards and a TD plus he added four receptions (RECs) for 12 yards. Since Week 1, Allen has caught at least four passes in every game and Sunday marked the third game in which he had carried the ball at least 14 times. Sure, Alex Collins is not going anywhere, but Allen’s receiving ability is unmatched on this team which creates a substantial floor for Allen on a week-to-week basis in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. In Week 6, the Ravens will take on the Bears who are destined to be without three of their better linebackers: Jerrell Freeman (injured reserve), Nick Kwiatkowski (chest injury, likely destined for injured reserve) and John Timu (out 2-4 weeks with a high-ankle sprain). Late in the game, Jerrick McKinnon ran all over the Bears on Monday Night Football and that should be the case for all backs who draw the matchup against them in coming weeks. For those needing a spot starter this week, Allen is bordering on RB1 status.


Adrian Peterson, Cardinals – Adrian Peterson has not looked like he has much left in the tank for the Saints and yet he must be an upgrade to Chris Johnson by default. Most do not seem excited by the acquisition of Peterson for the Cardinals and yet Peterson’s receiving ability dictates he should possess a substantially higher floor than Johnson once he is deemed the starter. In his prime, Peterson caught 50-plus passes thrice and he even caught 36 passes just two seasons ago. Undoubtedly, Peterson will propel past Johnson on the depth chart in no time and volume should be plentiful for him as the Cardinals attempt to establish some form of rushing attack (they rank dead last in rushing yards (259) and yards per carry (2.6) to this point). Even if Peterson has lost a step, he is about to walk into a role where he should have the ball in his hand 15-20 times per game including goal line work. Washed up ex-superstars are still valuable fantasy assets in that role and he is consequently a must-add in all leagues


Matt Breida, 49ers – No matter what the beat writers say (or do not say), the Carlos Hyde roller-coaster is aided by his ailing hip. Last week, the team benched Hyde down the stretch, who had only rushed for 11 yards on eight carries, in favor of Matt Breida. Strangely, the Colts rank 23rd in rushing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. To put it differently, the matchup was not overly imposing and yet Hyde could not manage a run longer than six yards. Meanwhile, Breida averaged 4.9 yards per carry (YPC) and caught three passes for 22 yards. As Adam Pfeifer noted on the podcast, it feels like the team’s management are not huge Hyde fans so they are making up every excuse to sit him. The team announced they would “ride the hot hand” moving forward and it is tough for Hyde to get a hot hand when they refuse to give him time off to allow his hip to heal. Since he has fallen out of favor, Breida, who led the rookie class in SPARQ score, has been catapulted into an extensive role. Like the aforementioned Peterson, Breida needs to be rostered in yearly leagues of all sizes, and he is bordering on DFS FLEX play consideration.


Ed Dickson, Panthers – Finally, after talking Ed Dickson up a few weeks ago, he finally broke out against the Lions as it seemed no one was interested in covering him. Dickson caught multiple 50-plus yard passes and ended the game as fourth in the NFL in yardage amongst tight ends (TEs). Cam Newton had relied heavily upon Greg Olsen literally every single year prior to this one so missing his favorite security blanket has been an adjustment in 2017. Luckily, a QB known to letting the ball sail high on equation, is blessed with three targets who are 6’4” or taller including his TE from the University of Oregon. When given the opportunity, Dickson has excelled, as evident by his 54 RECs in the 2011 season. Dickson should prove to be a staple in this offense, like Olsen was, and he has ascended inside the top 15 at the position. If a fantasy owner still has someone like Eric Ebron rostered, go ahead and make the switch immediately.



Value Down:

Eli Manning, Giants – Although not really his fault, Eli Manning’s stock has fallen to the point where he is no longer ownable in even two-QB fantasy leagues. The Giants lost not one, not two, not three but four wide receivers (WRs) on Sunday including both Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall for the season. Sterling Shepard is even expected to miss time, leaving Manning with Roger Lewis Jr., Shane Vereen and Evan Engram as his top options in the passing game. Furthermore, Manning is forced to deal with a porous offensive line and the running game is the epitome of mediocre as well. The setup for Manning is brutal and it is tough to imagine any scenario in which he finishes as a top 20 fantasy QB with the lack of talent around him. Drop him and sleep like a baby.


Frank Gore, Colts – The “high floor” for Frank Gore is gradually declining as the team has chosen to leave him on the sidelines in the red zone way too often for comfort lately. Gore has only received 41.2-percent of his team’s goal line carries which is less, by comparison, than the likes of Ameer Abdullah, Samaje Perine and D’Onta Foreman. Amongst running backs (RBs) who have received at least 30 carries, only Perine, Christian McCaffery, Joe Mixon and Paul Perkins have produced fewer YPC than Gore (3.2). That is not a list fantasy owners want their RB to be on especially when they have only caught eight total passes and are not dominating goal line work. No one can feel comfortable rostering Gore in any format so he is pretty much useless.


Jaron Brown, Cardinals – Many rushed to add Jaron Brown after playing 95-percent of the snaps in Week 4 but John Brown’s improving health pushed him back down the totem pole in Week 5. Against the Eagles, Jaron Brown played 60-percent of the snaps compared to 80-percent for John Brown and J.J. Nelson even played 53.3-percent of the offensive snaps. In other words, Brown is just a guy on a team loaded with WRs and he is going to be frustrating to own. With Peterson now in the mix, the team is going to commit to the run more often and ideally not thrown as often as they have (most attempts in the league). Fewer passing plays combined with fewer snaps (and opportunities) equals an unappetizing fantasy situation. Rostering secondary Cardinals receivers is going to be the equivalent of attempting to predict the weather…it is a losing proposition.



Good luck and feel free to hit me up on Twitter @RSandersDFS with any additional questions/concerns.

Want more NFL? Check out our Week 6 hub!

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