What a Monday Night Football Game. I hope you caught my article yesterday with some DFS Strategy & Picks and you had a lineup with some of the contrarian picks I had as several were involved and cheap and could have helped you turn the corner. However one thing I want to point out is my recommendation on using Kickers in offensive stacks and staying away from pairing them with a defense. Case in point, here is an actual winning lineup last night – taking a $1 Entry Fee to a $304 win. In fact, the top 25 players in the tournament all had a $304 win because they all had identical lineups – that can happen and why paying attention to ownership and knowing contrarian plays can really separate you. Anyway here is the winning lineup that had 25 players all taking $304 off a $1 entry fee (or if they had maxed a $20 entry fee as the tournament was a 20 entry max) –
Captain: Mike Wiliams (15% Owned Captain), Alvin Kamara (87% Owned), Drew Brees (52% Owned), Justin Herbert (58% Owned), Emmanuel Sanders (49% Owned), Will Lutz (26% Owned).
Looking at this lineup the two advantages the winning lineup had was a). Fading Kamara in Captain and having Mike Williams there at 15% ownership b). Having Will Lutz in the 4 man Saints stack at half the ownership of Brees, Herbert and Sanders. Now this lineup was played and cashed for the top 25 players – it goes back to something else I was saying, the offense on both teams were very concentrated to a few players. So you were going to have to roster some of the highest owned ‘studs’ to be able to cash. Tonight’s game will have similar problems for you to overcome. Just try and look at things and figure out where you can be different in your lineup. Even if you don’t have access to ownership numbers, if you know the teams that are playing you can speculate on your own where most of the DFS ownership will go. Was it any shock Kamara was that highly owned for instance? No. But it is taking a chance and using Kamara differently, helped players cash.
Since this game tonight is already a little different, I am going to handle this slate differently too and how I am going to lay out this article. I will go over each team on a whole and give you my thoughts on how to attack with stacks and more. This will be a game with highly concentrated ownership on a few players, with not a lot of value available. So you will really need to be creative in your lineup construction to have enough difference to cash. Let’s go!
Editors note: Draft Kings pricing that you will see will reflect a player’s Flex Pricing. If you choose that player as a Captain on Draft Kings, his salary will go up 1.5x times – but so does his point total. FanDuel factors in their MVP Pricing with every player’s salary and that is why it is always higher. Though you do have a higher Salary Cap to play with on FanDuel.
Josh Allen ($13,000 DK, $16,000 FD) has been playing LIGHTS OUT thus far and has been the catalyst to the Bill’s 4-0 start. Now last season Allen was fantastic for fantasy simply due to his rushing volume. This year, with the addition of Stefon Diggs, Allen is passing an insane clip and passing deep as well. The Bill’s offense runs through Allen and so he will be a vital piece to your lineups tonight. The Titans defense has been has yet to be tested by a dual threat like Allen in 2020. So far they have faced Kirk Cousins (Week 3), Gardner Minshew (Week 2) and Drew Lock (Week 1). Of the 3, Minshew offers the most as a rusher but it is far and away what Allen offers with his legs. But Allen’s rushing isn’t why I am so high on him. In weeks 1 & 2 he had both Diggs and John “Smokey” Brown on the field and Allen had 46 and 35 attempts respectively, throwing for a total of 727 yards and 6 Touchdowns collectively. WOW. In week 3, John Brown sat out so the natural thought would be the passing volume and yardage could drop. But instead it was Cole Beasley stepping up to be the #2 behind Diggs in the passing attack and Allen still had 33 Attempt for 311 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Year two Josh Allen is again Lights Out. He will be very likely be the highest owned player on the slate and the highest owned Captain on Draft Kings, but he also may be the Optimal play in the spot. He is my favorite MVP on FanDuel where pricing doesn’t matter as much either. I am not afraid of the Titans defense when it comes to Allen. We have seen now over 4 games, he just finds a way. Play him.
Much like last night, the Bill’s offensive production is a bit of a Funnel with Stefon Diggs ($10,600 DK, $13,500 FD) and John Brown ($5,800 DK, $10,000 FD) as the two primary WR weapons that the Bills deploy. Editor’s Note: John Brown will be inactive tonight.
John Brown is currently questionable and if he doesn’t go, With the news that Brown cannot play tonight, I think Cole Beasley ($6,800 DK, $9,500 FD) is a must play. Beasley is regularly in the game plan, but without Brown he could be in line for a monster game against the Titans tonight. I think the Titans defense is riding a little bit on the late 2019 performances that they put up and in truth they haven’t faced a receiver like Stefon Diggs yet (in Week 1 facing Denver, Courtland Sutton was out and in Week 2 when they faced the Jags, DJ Chark was out for instance) and they certainly haven’t faced a receiver with the speed of John Brown either. I like Diggs a lot tonight to see a lot of targets from Allen (he is averaging 7 a game and already has two games of over 100 yards receiving to his name), but if he plays I really like John Brown a lot. When he was healthy over the first two weeks of the season he put up comparable yardage numbers to Diggs, but on half of the targets and that is the field stretching ability Brown brings to the Bills. If he is healthy I think he is a must start and I really like the overload type stack with Allen, Diggs and Brown. The other reason why I like Brown a lot tonight is his pricing on Draft Kings. Of your 3 primary targets (Diggs, Brown and Beasley) Brown is actually the cheapest at $5,800. This is due to his recent injuries – but if he plays and you can save nearly $1,000 on Brown instead of rostering Beasley, that can really help your lineup construction. While I do think Beasley can be a sneaky play on any slate, with Brown sitting, I would immediately plug Beasley in to the stack with Allen and Diggs. In the one week without Brown, Beasley went off 7 Targets, 6 Catches and 100 Yards. In week 4 with Brown hampered by his calf, Beasley also scored a touchdown. Both Brown and Diggs also have 2 touchdowns a piece this season and I could easily see Diggs having 3 touchdowns on the season when tonight is over – or Beasley’s second, with Brown is out. Buffalo’s receivers will be very popular individual plays tonight and I think stacking Allen with one or the other will be extremely popular. I think the double stack will be a less popular move slightly contrarian approach. If Brown sits tonight, With Brown sitting tonight, in addition to Beasley, I think you will also want to have some shares of WRs Gabriel Davis ($4,600 DK, $7,000 FD) and Isiah McKenzie ($800 DK, $6,500 FD) with Davis being a higher priority. In week 3 without Brown on the field, Davis caught all 4 of his targets for the tune of 81 yards and in Week 4 with Brown Limited, Davis also caught a Touchdown Pass. McKenzie is more of a dart throw, but he is seeing 1 – 2 targets per game and if Brown sits, he could be more involved. I really only like these two guys if Brown is out, but if you are multi entering tonight having a share or two wouldn’t hurt even if Brown is in. I do think that with Brown is out, you can assume Cole Beasley will become a more chalky play and, you could take a few shots fading Beasley and playing Davis in his place if you are multi-entering.
In week 3 Tight End Tyler Kroft ($2,000 DK, $6,000 FD) made the most of an opportunity with two touchdown catches and due to this recency bias I could see him being a very popular play tonight. Here is the thing though, starting Tight End Dawson Knox ($3,400 DK, $6,500 FD) was out that week with a concussion. Now out of the protocol Knox will again get the start but that doesn’t mean he is a must start. In each of the games Knox has played he has only seen 3 targets with his highest yardage total being in Week 2 with 36 yards. And while Kroft saw two red zone targets, I think that had more to do with right place, right time than anything else. With Knox on the field in week 4 Kroft also only saw 3 targets for 12 yards. While anything can happen and either tight end could nab a touchdown – it is tough to predict and I’d rather focus my attention on the Bill’s wide receivers honestly offer more volume and upside. If you are multi entering having a share or two of either Knox or Kroft isn’t a bad idea but for single entry tournaments, but I see them as low priority plays. It should be noted that Kroft’s 2 touchdown game not only didn’t have Dawson Knox on the field but also John Brown was out, keep in mind.
This leaves the Buffalo run game which has been at best hit or miss and honestly mostly miss. Devin Singletary ($8,000 FD, $12,000 FD) and Zach Moss ($2,600 DK, $7,500 FD). Editors note: Zack Moss is Inactive tonight. With Moss sitting I have a lot of interest in having some shares of Singletary.
If Moss plays though, my interest level in the Buffalo backfield is fairly low. The Committee approach for backfields has proven successful for real football but outside of maybe Cleveland, it down right sucks for Fantasy. In the two games that featured both a health Singletary and Moss, Singletary only had 10 touches while Moss handling 9 himself. And while Singletary is seeing 4 or more targets per game, that is not enough for me to have heavy investment in him if Moss plays. Without Moss on the field Singletary has been much more of a workhorse back culminating in 18 carries in week 4 but even then he only ended with 56 yards – but he did have a score, salvaging his otherwise less than spectacular stat line. Now working in both guy’s favor tonight is that the Titans are close to last in the league against running backs, averaging 166 yards to running backs. So either Singletary or Moss could find some running room. I just don’t know how the Bills will handle this backfield if Moss is active. Again if he is not, Singletary becomes much more interesting. There is a game theory though if the Bills go up big early, they could lean on their running backs to keep the Titans on the sidelines but it is tough to invest on a split backfield where for similar prices you could find a pass catcher on either side that could offer more upside generally. Anything could happen in 2020 as we have seen, but if Moss plays I will likely be underweight on the Bill’s backfield – but hey that’s just me. I’d also suggest that if you are building a Titans stack with a lot of their pass catchers (narrative being the Titans are playing from behind and throwing) including Singletary as a run back on the stack is a smart move from a correlation standpoint, as a pivot from a Diggs or Allen – both of whom have single ownership well over 50%.
I think if you are multi entering, having some shares of the Bill’s defense ($5,000 DK) will be a good idea and including them in an Allen, Diggs, Brown may also be a contrarian way to attack the slate. As much as the Titans are expected to come to this game rested and refreshed with their 2 week absence, I’d also remind that they could be rusty too from the long layoff. While the Titan’s passing volume isn’t massive – interceptions, fumbles and sacks all add up for fantasy points. For the most part too the Bill’s D is coming in healthy. If you are multi-entering on Draft Kings, I think the Bill’s defense will be a contrarian play tonight. A way to use Singletary and/or Moss too is to stack with the defense if you think the Bill’s will roll early and lean on the run to close out the game.
I also think rostering kicker Tyler Bass ($4,200 DK, $9,000 FD) may be a contrarian play. As we saw from the winning lineup last night having the kicker at lower ownership stacked with your offensive players made sense and was contrarian enough for a winning lineup. While Allen & Co are a powerful offense, not every red zone trip is a touchdown and field goals matter. Don’t sleep on the kicker in other words – specifically on DK. On FanDuel kickers are a little too expensive and for instance you could roster Cole Beasley for only $500 more and if John Brown Sits you could take a shot on Gabriel Davis for $2,000 less. So Kickers for me are more of a DK play in general.
You always have to talk Derrick Henry ($11,000 DK, $14,500 FD) first when you talk Titans. Outside of maybe the Vikings, there is no other team in the NFL that is so widely known as a run first offense than the Titans with Derrick Henry. Henry is amazing and has Game Changing and Slate Breaking upside every time he is on the field. 31 touches in Week 1, 25 in week 2, 26 in week 3. Henry broke the 100 yard mark twice already this year and in week 3 he got in the end zone twice. He is the most expensive player on the slate, but for his volume alone he is firmly in play tonight. The Bill’s have been pretty good against the run this season, so while I don’t expect Henry to smash – we saw with his volume he can still get there. In week 1 the Broncos played Henry hard and still with 31 touches he was still able to get 116 yards. Henry is the most expensive play on the slate tonight and while he will be a very popular play in the flex, I think his ownership level as a Captain/MVP will be surprisingly low. People will see the red 4 next to his opponent rank and will likely be worried to play him as a Captain. It will be a pricey endeavor but I will have a few lineups with Henry as Captain. Normally I would say not to stack QB and RB but just due to how high of a volume Henry gets, I think that could also be an interesting strategy tonight – stacking Henry with Tannehill and the Titans D. Including a pass catcher in that stack may make it even more contrarian and that is an appealing approach for me.
Speaking of Ryan Tannehill ($9,800 DK, $15,000 FD) the best word to describe him is efficient. Even without his #1 Wide Receiver AJ Brown, Tannehill has gotten the job done. Jonuu Smith has emerged as a big time weapon and Corey Davis has stepped up in recent weeks along with Kalif Raymond (who?) who as been a field stretcher for the Titans. The Bills however have a very strong secondary though led by arguably the best CB in the game today – Tre’davious White. So it may not be an easy path to success for Tannehill. AJ Brown will be active tonight which certainly gives the Titans a boost – but I expect he will see a lot of White tonight. But with his other weapons available and an extended rest period for the Titans to plan for the Bill’s, I think Tannehill will find a way. I don’t like Tannehill ‘naked’ in lineups however – I just don’t think the passing volume is there enough – I do think stacking Tannehill with Henry and a pass catcher – or two – will be a smart way to attack the lineup.
I am going talk Titans WR and Tight Ends together, here because similar to the Bills you have a concentrated target share to try and figure out. Corey Davis and Adam Humphries both are off the field with Covid-19. AJ Brown ($8,800 DK, $11,500 FD) will be back tonight (Yay!)
but there are some risks here. First – Rust. The last time we saw Brown was in week 1 and quite frankly he didn’t look good. Now he has been off the field for a month and is coming back to get Tre’Davious White and the Bill’s secondary. Editor’s Note – Tre’Davious White is inactive tonight. AJ Brown is as close to a lock as a lock can be for me. He should already command a massive target share, but with White out his success rate will go up, up and up. Brown is my #1 Titan’s target for Captain/MVP. I also like Tight End Jonuu Smith ($7,200 DK, $10,000 FD) a whole lot. 2020 has been Smith’s breakout year and we have seen the Bill’s struggle against athletic Tight Ends. Look what Mike Gesiki did to them just a few weeks ago. If Brown will be Tannehill’s first look, Smith will be his second and I like Smith to see a lot of targets form Tannehill tonight. If I am playing a Titan as Captain or MVP my preferred selection will be Jonuu Smith. With Corey Davis being out I think you need to also look at Kalif Raymond ($4,800 DK, $8,000 FD) who on only needed 3 targets to hit 114 yards in Week 3. He is a deep threat for the Titans that the team had certainly been lacking. With Brown back and attracting a lot of attention, the types of deep routes that Raymond runs could have a greater chance for success.
Another Titan that you can consider if multi entering are
tight ends MyCole Pruitt ($200 DK, $5,000 FD) wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikaine ($200 DK, $5,000 FD) and tight end Anthony Firsker ($200 DK, $5,000 FD) . In addition to Corey Davis being out with Covid, wide receiver Adam Humphries will also not play tonight for the same reason. I could see a few underneath targets that may have normally gone to Humpries going to either Pruitt or FIrsker, especially in the red zone. Westbrook-Ikaine will start tonight and is dirt cheap on Draft Kings and the bare minimum on FanDuel. Corey Davis – out with Covid. Adam Humphries – out with Covid. While Westbrook-Ikhaine has yet to see a target, despite running some snaps, you have to assume that over the last two weeks he has worked on the playbook with the team and when possible practiced with the first unit too. Even if he only sees a handful of targets at $200 on DK or $5,000 on FD – his opportunity tonight needs to be considered. Anthony Firsker could also have a role tonight. Especially with Humphries out, Firsker could be a bail out target for Tannehill and Firsker is also always good for a touchdown once a season – why not tonight? You could also see WR Chester Rogers ($200 DK, $5,000 FD) get some snaps too with both Humphries and Davis out. Rogers has bounced around the league a bit, but his veteran presence could be something that the team needs tonight especially in tough 3rd down situations. Again these aren’t guys to build a lineup around but they are players to keep in your player pool and have some exposure too. I’d expect Jonuu Smith, AJ Brown and Kalif Raymond to see most of the attention from Tannehill. But having a few shares of Pruitt, Firsker or Rogers could pay dividends if they catch a touchdown pass or come away with 5 or 6 targets – and no one is going to play them. I just wanted to mention them.
Anything could happen in 2020 and while I like the Bill’s defense more, I will say the same thing about the Titans Defense ($3,000 DK) as I said with the Bill’s. Playing them as a part of a Titans onslaught type stack with Tannehill, Henry, Smith and another pass catcher may be a contrarian move. If you think the Titans are going to go up big and suppress the Bill’s it only makes sense. While I think both defenses will be low owned on DK, I think the Titan’s will be extremely low owned and should Allen throw a pick 6, Singletary or Moss fumble and the Titan’s pass rush can get to Allen – Defenses can rack up points for you. Could be a nice contrarian piece to a few Titans stacks if you are multi-entering.
Kicker Stephen Gostowski ($3,800 DK, $9,000 FD) certainly has had an interesting season but much like I said about the Bill’s Kicker – rostering him alongside the other Titans studs could be a sound strategy. I do think Gostowski will be a popular play tonight though. Despite some struggles, I think his name alone will carry people to want to roster him and I think a lot of people will want to pair him with the Bill’s Defense. Normally that makes sense – but I’d prefer to pair him with Tannehill and two pass catchers (Smith and Raymond for example). Kickers are mainly a DK only play for me as I mentioned before. They are just too expensive on FanDuel, compared to other offensive players that using a roster spot on them vs a receiver or tight end just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Good Luck in your Contests!