Studs & Duds Week 8 (A bard’s tale)

So let’s put a couple things in perspective shall we. First – I want to say thank you to everyone who have been checking out my DFS Posts lately. Hopefully you started a couple of my sleepers in your lineups, cause a more than a few had double digit fantasy production and more than a few weren’t being talked about by DFS experts anywhere… but with that said, I admit I missed Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson in my picks last night and I shouldn’t have as both were so cheap they allowed for almost any other combination you could have wanted to fit. In case you missed it, both Wilson and Hurns scored the Dolphins only touchdowns last night – so for that allow me to declare ME as the first DUD on my list today. Let this be a lesson however, much like Drake says – start at the bottom of the list for Showdown Slates. There may be some gems to find at mint pricing, and if you start one or more and they go off like they did last night – that can be a difference maker between cashing and not cashing.

Ok, with that out of the way – On with the show:

DUDS

KYLER “Lead Foot” MURRAY. Last week I had Kyler as a ‘Dishonarable Mention’ and as I had said to an apparently angry twitter follower about it – that was more about the Coach than him. This week though … whoa nelly, I can’t avoid full Dudness for the #1 Draft Pick. Now to be fair – the Saints are very good at defense. If you didn’t know that before, then maybe you could be on this list just like me. But still – even with his favorite target Christian Kirk back in the fold, Kyler for the second straight week had ZERO touchdown passes. Additionally, he only ran twice for a paltry 13 yards, which I suppose is a better average than he had over the prior two games where he went 10 for 28 and 11 for 32 respectively, but still. If the defense is that stout, you need to make plays Ky and for you that means you gotta move them feet! If you aren’t going to throw touchdowns, how about try running for them – or JUST RUNNING! Now look before Twitter throws more shade on me for this pick, Kyler is on a bye this week. Maybe they get DJ back in Week 10, maybe they get Chase Edmonds back in Week 10. Maybe Kyler goes for a run in between and remembers how good it feels. Either way for Week 8 – DUD

MITCHELL “Overthrow or Bust” TRUBISKY. Is there an actual NFL rule that when Matt Nagy gets something right (ie; get the running game going), then everything else goes wrong? Well wait, that isn’t really fair. The defense played well. But in a very real way, I think Mitch needs to be switch-ed. Someone needs to sit him down and get whatever is going on in his head out. Inaccurate is a nice way of saying – STINK, STANK, STUNK. Actually a nice way to say that is to not use Caps, but I digress. It is actually fairly incredible Mitch was able to throw for over 250 yards in a game where errant pass was king. It isn’t often you’d hear me say thank god for a pass interference call but poor Allen Robinson was looking to go to the house. You gotta feel for the guy. Another week another extremely costly interception and on top of it a fumble too and Mitchell the Pickel has now gone 4 of his last 6 games without a Touchdown pass. I mean Andy Dalton has been benched for less. Joe Flacco and his ‘neck’ has been benched for less (by the way – did it look like Flacco was in neck pain when he spat venom at the post game press conference? Yeah, I didn’t think so either). Back to Mitch. Make the Switch, don’t ignore the Itch, Matt Nagy. DUD.

SAM “I think I’m actually Haunted” DARNOLD. Now as a Pats fan I can chalk this one up to simply that the Boogeymen are still in Darnold’s head. Ok maybe not, but there was not a fantasy analyst anywhere that didn’t predict a bounce back for Ol’ Kissin’ Sammy. For the Jets entire offense really, but Darnold in particular. Yes Sam Darnold threw 2 touchdown passes. However he also threw 3 Interceptions along the way. Just some quick math here, since he had been back (Week 6) Sam Sham has thrown a TD to INT Ratio of 4:8. So in other words double the amount of interceptions than touchdowns for those keeping score. Sam has been so DUDerrific I am not even sure he is a viable started against the NFL’s Cheat Code for Offenses – the Dolphins. Meh, who am I kidding – it’s the Dolphins. If Mason Rudolph can do it – maybe Sam can too. Especially with his new shiny toy and Week 8 leading receiver Demariyus Thomas who in case you missed it, nabbed the catch of the week including a little Harlem Globetrotter action between the leg on the way to the ground. That was a Stud. Darnold however is a DUD.

MELVIN “But I scored” GORDON. I hate to repeat myself from last week here – but C’mon guy! Prior to week 8 the Bears Defense had been chewed up on the ground. If there was a spot for Gordon to get right, especially in a tough overall matchup and prove why he deserves the money he was asking for – it was this one. Eight carries for 31 yards and 3 catches for 3 yards ? Seriously? Now look I get it – the Bears are still a good defense but after the last two weeks they seemed to have a hole in their hull with the run game. Thankfully ol’ Melly Mell was there to plug it up it seems. Ok I give it to the guy he has scored touchdowns in the last two games but (and I say this as classy and as adult as possible) BIG WHUP! Since his return Melvin Gordon has run for a total of 112 yards – over 4 games! Can you stop please – no more contract extensions, no more GORDON starting. It’s Ekeler’s backfield now – he is the far more explosive player. Interestingly enough, Gordon’s role model in hold out haven Lev Bell certainly isn’t lighting things up either – but at least he has the Dolphins next week to push around. DUD DUD DUD DUD DUUUUUUUD.

MARVIN “Touchdown-less” JONES. From hero to goat. Please note, this kind of goat does not need to be separated by periods. Now I do not think anyone assumed a 4 touchdown game was going to happen back to back but seriously Marv – 22 total yards? Ewww. Marvin’s longest gain was for six yards on Sunday. I know what you are thinking, I thought you were done talking about Melvin. Well you read it wrong. MARVIN’s longest gain was for six yards. So I guess that would mean that Marvin’s ceiling is 4 touchdowns and his floor is a high of six, yards that is. Again – no one should have been expecting the cieling two weeks in a row – but now that we have seen the floor, time to call National Floors Direct and get some carpeting – cause it’s COOOOLD. Dud.

DIShonarable Mentions

BAKER “Wait, you’re not my guy come back with that” MAYFIELD

TY “But, uh, I thought the job was mine Coach?” Johnson

THE MIAMI DOLPHINS. ALL OF THEM. WELL, 9/10ths at least

KEENAN “Yeah, I know, me too guys – sorry” ALLEN

STUDS

COOPER “Two Bills” KUPP. What more is there really to say about Coooper Kupp than the guy is a machine. After two down weeks in a row, Kupp looked like the actual real life version of that Stefon Diggs commercial where everything sticks to Diggs’ hands. Wherever Jarrod Goff looked, there was Kupp going 7 for 10 for a eye opening, jaw dropping 220 yards and a touchdown. Now to put that in perspective, Cooper Kupp in one game actually doubled the offensive yards Melvin Gordon has gained in 4 games. How about dem apples? It is a shame Cooper Kupp is on bye week this week, I know 2 of my 3 fantasy teams will miss him – but good luck Pittsburgh in Week 10. Cooper Kupp is coming to town and hell is coming with him! STUD.

MIKE “Contested Catches are my Jam” EVANS. Hey here is a fun fact about Mike Evans – he is really, really good! It seems like all season long and even dating back to the pre-season all anyone wanted to talk about was Chris Godwin. Chris Godwin is a special talent, no doubt – but so is Mike Evans. How special? How about 31.8 standard fantasy points good. 198 yards on 11 receptions and TWO touchdowns! Dag! Here’s the crazy thing, against the tight coverage of the Titan’s secondary, Evans only missed on 1 pass. He caught 11 of 12 of his targets – incredible! This is also the second time this season that Evans has had a multi touchdown game. Pretty good for sure. Definitely a STUD this week. Next week Evans goes up against Seattle. My money is on Big Mike. I think you’ll see him later this week in my DFS article too. STUD.

AARON “The other Aaron in Green Bay” JONES. Much like Melvin Gordon is now a two time dud, Aaron Jones is a two time stud! Rightfully so. I mean when Aaron Rogers gushes praise on you on national TV and your name isn’t Davante Adams, then sir – you a stud! And here is the kicker, it wasn’t Jones’ rushing that makes him a stud this week (though 67 yards on 13 carries against a very game Chiefs Defense isn’t something to shake a stick at) it was Jones’ receiving – 159 yards receiving and two, I say, two receiving touchdowns. I’m sorry – was that actually Davante Adams? No, no it wasn’t. Hey here is a fun fact – on Sunday Aaron Jones had only 10 less yards receiving than Josh Allen had throwing. Let’s hear it for the boy! And thank god they finally gave this boy a chaaaayaaaance (yes, that is an 80’s song reference but I don’t care) – cause Aaron may not be any romeo, but he sure has been a one man show Oh Oh Oh Oh …. STUD

DESHAUN “Go ahead, Kick me again, I dare ya” WATSON. Now before I mention any stats, the reason Dr. Watson here is on this list is because he GOT KICKED IN THE FREAKIN’ EYE and still threw a game winning touchdown pass – his third of the game by the way. Incidentally this is Watson’s third game this season with 3 Touchdown passes. If you are a Texan’s fan, I sure feel for ya with JJ Watt going down – but in the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen – show a little faith, there’s magic in the night. Watson on Sunday 27 of 39 for 279 and the aforementioned three touchdown passes. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and also ran for 46 yards. Getting kicked in the face, in the eye really and still is out there throwing touchdowns. Don’t argue – just admit it! STUD

TEVIN “The T in my name stands for Touchdown” COLEMAN Ok all you Tevin Coleman Truthers out there, please stand up – right? Oh wait, there were no Tevin Coleman truthers out there, but I bet there is now! 11 rushes for 105 yards and THREE touchdowns. Oh wait, there is more… no not DJ Moore, more for Coleman catching 2 balls for another 100 yards receiving and ANOTHER Touchdown! 4 Touchdowns, 205 yards of total offense – now that is studerrific if you ask me! This is Tevin Coleman’s backfield to lose… so look out, everyone else. The Niners and Coleman are undefeated. Let’s Go! STUD

Honarable Mentions

Jamal “Yeah, we all know that ball was being thrown away – but then again, was it?” Williams

Dalvin “Don’t Look Now, I just ran past ya” Cook

Kenny “2 Receptions last week, 2 Touchdowns this week” Golloday

The Boogeymen aka The Patriots Defense

Wavier Wire WK9

Waiver wire pickups wk 9

Danny Amendola Wr, 

DetroitLions

Amendola fought through a ‘questionable’ designation in Week 6 before finishing with a single six-yard catch. Seemingly healthy in his last two games, he’s since averaged a team-high 24 percent target share on 86 percent of Detroit’s slot routes as the team’s cemented No. 3 wideout 

Diontae Johnson Wr, 

Pitt Steelers

Johnson’s matched JuJu pound-for-pound in Mason Rudolph’s four starts this year, basically mirroring Pittsburgh’s star wideout in targets (27), touchdowns (3) and air yards (279 to 275) in said contests. The difference is JuJu’s rostered in 99% of Yahoo leagues whereas his running mate continues to be glossed over at 12%. The Steelers’ unquestioned No. 2 receiver for the rest of the season, Johnson warrants WR4/FLEX consideration weekly.

Mark Walton Rb,

Miami Dolphins

In his first full game without Drake last night, Walton out-carried Ballage 11 to 3, ultimately turning six targets into three catches for 19 yards and a fumble. There’s still value in rostering a(ny) back shoring up 77.7 percent of his team’s backfield touches, but his workload has its flaws in simply being tied to the worst offense in the league. Opportunity is king, however, and Monday night projects as Walton’s floor moving forward.

Derek Carr Qb, 

Oakland Raiders

Carr has a favorable matchup this week against a lions defense that is struggling with some key injuries on defense. Carr could be a great filler for teams on their bye weeks

Monday Night Showdown Slate! Dolphins! Steelers! Draft King’s 10/28/19

By Sean Weymouth

TW @DelRayBoston

Can I say I’m excited to see the Miami Dolphins play in primetime, no, no I cannot. However this is one of those games that will only be more fun with a little cash on the line – and Draft King’s is here for ya! And Fan Duel and Yahoo and Fantasy Draft I know, but I play Draft Kings so that is what pricing you’ll see listed here. However, you can certainly use the picks and strategy I use anywhere, should you choose to.

Let’s start with brief review of strategy which if you have read any of my showdown slate articles you probably know mine by now. If I am starting a QB I’m trying to stack as many pass catchers with that QB as possible to get double points on everything they do. Likewise if I am playing a receiver I’m not leaving his QB off my lineup for the same reason. Exceptions to this rule can be made, particularly because you cannot have a full lineup based on one team … but for the most part, if I’m playing a “Steelers Wide Receiver” Mason Rudolph will be along for the ride and I’ll try and pinpoint a point of difference with my Dolphins play before filling out the rest of my Steelers lineup as best I can, based on budget.

I also like to pair a Defense with their opposition’s Kicker, since in theory if your defense performs the other team may be relying heavily on their kicker after stalling out in the red zone.

A couple things to note regarding this game before I get into my picks:

⁃ Miami currently ranks bottom 2 for points per drive as well as top 2 (as in 2nd worst) for turnovers per drive

⁃ Miami also is averaging a sack allowed on roughly 10% of all drop backs

⁃ The Steelers Defense is 5th best in Sacks coming into tonight with 20 on the season thus far.

⁃ James Connor despite a few recent “good” fantasy games has actually failed to run more than 55 yards per game

⁃ The Dolphins have ceded the most points per running back per game and allowed an average of 5.1 yards per attempt.

⁃ The QB to throw for the most yards this season against the vaunted Buffalo Bill’s Defense is Ryan Fitzpatrick with 282 yards passing last week and 21.8 fantasy points scored.

⁃ Lastly Kenyan Drake is now a member of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Steelers

So the Steelers are the favorite going into Monday Night Football tonight. No surprise since they are playing a defense I have repeatedly referred to as the NFL’s Cheat Code for opposing offenses. But does that mean that all of the Steelers Studs will ‘get right’ tonight? Probably, yes… but are they all worth the money? Here’s my take:

James Connor: $20,100 Captain, $13,400 Flex. Wow! Captaining James Connor may be a smart play but it will severely hamper your ability to build a great roster underneath. Also, is Connor really worth this investment? Yes the Miami Dolphins stink against running backs but over recent games we have seen Jaylen Samuels ($6,600 Captain, $4,400 Flex) and Benny Snell ($3,600 Captain, $2,400 Flex) cut into Connor’s touches. Sure two weeks ago Connor went out with a bum quad, but Snell touched the ball 17 times and he was excellent with 75 yards on the ground and 14 yards on one target. Regarding Samuels look back to week 4 when both Connor and Samuels were healthy and playing another tomato can in the Bengals. Samuels got 10 touches on the ground and caught 8 balls. He also scored a TD. I would be mindful of this if Samuels plays, in relation to Connor’s value of a 20k Captain. However, that he is so expensive I’d expect many to be off Connor as Captain which, should you choose him, may be a difference maker against your competition. I would consider playing Snell or Samuels in the same lineup though, for both savings and to ensure you are getting all of the RB touches in this very appealing matchup.

JuJu Smith-Schuster: $15,900 Captain, $10,900 Flex. Oh where oh where has our JuJu gone? Right? In season long, there really may be no bigger disappointment than JuJu. Now he gets the Dolphins who (outside of Xavien Howard) have holes in the secondary large enough to drive a bus through (Bus, Steelers, c’mon you get the reference). Anyway, I do think this is a game that JuJu is worth the money. He is playing over 88% of snaps. That is about the most positive I can say about him thus far. However, JuJu primarily operates out of the slot which the aforementioned Howard only patrols on average 10% of defensive snaps. On top of that for all of the great that Howard is, he is still averaging a 81.3% completion rate against him. I think JuJu has a great opportunity to go off here, possibly break the slate. Then again – you have to be concerned with the guy throwing him the ball and his ability to hit JuJu in stride, or over the middle for more than 7.1 yards per target. So there is risk. But then again – there is plenty of reward if JuJu breaks 1 or 2 for long touchdowns in the first half. I say the first half because there is high likelihood that the Steelers will be up in this game by halftime enough that the run game dominates in the second half. It will be tough to put both JuJu and Connor in your lineup but if you can figure it out, maybe with a cheap Benny Snell, it may be well worth it.

Mason Rudolph $16,200 Captain, $10,800 Flex. Half a season ago would you ever think the backup Steelers QB would cost more than JuJu Smith-Schuster in the Captains seat? Well here we are. Now look, Mason Rudolph has done a fine job filling in for Big Ben, make no mistake about it. With a 5:2 TD to INT ratio and he has completed a hair under 70% of his attempts across his four games. However the trouble spots come with his average yards per attempt being a mere 7.2 and his average points per drop back being .49. Against any other team I may say stay away, but I have to stay on brand. Against the Dolphins, he’ll likely look great tonight and if you are playing JuJu, you have to play Rudolph anyway. If JuJu catches a ball 7 yards deep and then runs 77 yards for a TD you get those points on both guys remember. That being said, you may want to pivot from JuJu to the guy who seems to get his number called by Rudolph more than anyone in Diontae Johnson ($11,700 Captain, $7,800 Flex). Johnson has seen his fair share of targets from Rudolph with his receptions going from 3 in week 3 to 6 in week 4 and 5 in week 5. He averaged 52 yards per game over those three games and scored a TD in two out of the three. The last name I’ll bring up here is the big TD Vance McDonald ($9,600 Captain, $6,400 Flex). Keep in mind, Vance has only been 100% in one of Mason Rudolph’s 4 starts. In that game Vance he caught two Touchdowns! Oh yeah and much like every other skill position, Miami can’t stop a Tight End from catching anything thrown anywhere on the field. He may be a very sneaky play in what is otherwise a very pricey Steelers stack.

Lastly the Steelers Defense is a fine play tonight. The Steelers have been fantastic at causing turnovers and sacks, as I mentioned. I expect that the Steelers D ($12,000 Captain, $8,000 Flex) will be an immensely popular pick for either Captain or Flex, but I also could easily see where you won’t cash unless they are in your lineup. Therefore if I had to start a lineup tonight, I may consider strongly starting with the Steelers defense. Good news is that the Miami Kicker is only $3,200 as a flex and can cross off your need for a Miami player with your JuJu, Connor, Rudolph stack ..

The Dolphins

Do I have to talk about the Dolphins? Ok, ok, I will.

Ryan Fitzpatrick $12,600 Captain, $8,400 Flex. Fitzmagic makes the game fun – right? I mean how many true throw first and throw long gunslingers are left in the NFL after all. And by the way if Miami happens to have any hope in being competitive in this game they need to hang on tight to that mighty beard as he tries to throw deep too. Here’s the problem though. The Steelers are really good at defense. The secondary, the sacks, the whole Steel Machine will be facing Fitz and with no ‘revenge’ narrative behind him (see last week against the Bill’s) he is as risky a play as possible – but what is risk without reward, right? Over the last two weeks as a starter 2:1 touchdowns to Interceptions and last week against the stout Bill’s D, he even ran one in. Fitz doesn’t play to lose in other words and as volatile and as crazy as that sounds, it’s actually why he’s my favorite play tonight and I think a very contrarian choice for Captain too. I mean be honest, as bad as this game is – don’t you just want to see what this guy comes up with next? I do. And lest we forget, garbage time points are still points after all.

Mark Walton $9,000 Captain, $6,000 Flex. I cannot in good conscience tell you to play a Miami running back tonight. I do not think the game script favors it nor (and more importantly) do I think Mark Walton and the Offensive Line are good enough for what is coming from the Steelers. But the volume will be there for Walton since Kenyan Drake is now a Cardinal. However it is actually his price tag that will keep me off him. $6K tonight? Really Draft King’s? I can’t do it, except for that one lineup that I build full of Dolphin’s players that I roll out to hedge all of my Steelers lineups. The other reason why I hate Mark Walton tonight is he is clearly not the back the Fins turn to at the goal line. That would be one Kalen Ballage who has two touchdowns in as many weeks with only 6 total carries over that time. When they get into the red zone it’s Ballage ($2,400 Captain, $1,600 flex) and not Walton they turn to and dollars to donuts they don’t even get to the red zone via Walton’s running but much more likely on Fitzmagic’s arm. Now it was very encouraging to see Walton get 14 carries and 66 yards against the Bills last week but, if you watched the Eagles Bills game from Sunday it appears that is how you beat the Bills. The Steelers are not the Bills. I’m staying away from Walton. Ballage makes for a very cheap option as a Flex in a heavy Steelers lineup but beware the touchdown dependency.

Miami Receivers

The only three Miami receivers I will have in my player pool are Davante Parker ($10,800 Captain, $7,200 Flex), Preston Williams ($9,300 Captain, $6,200 Flex) and Tight End Mike Gesicki ($5,400 Captain, $3,600 Flex) and none will be in my Captains chair despite the price. Of the three I’d expect Williams to be the most popular as the Fantasy Football Analyst’s darling. Which is why I’d prefer to pivot to Parker who has a Touchdown in 3 of 5 games this season. Now Williams has seen more Red Zone looks than Parker and he also was able to manage 82 receiving yards against Buffalo last week, but I don’t see the Dolphins having many actual red zone looks tonight to begin with. I expect if there are points to be scored by the Dolphins it will be Fitz slinging it deep and that is why I would trust him to have Parker as his target more often than not, with his experience as a route runner. But don’t forget about Gesicki who could be a nice security blanket underneath for Fitz as he faces a very stout pass rush from the Steelers. There is a little bit of a game theory about the Steelers Defense over the middle against Tight Ends, mainly due to Hunter Henry’s success against them their last time on the field, which could make Gesicki a sneaky pivot play. If you play Fitz tonight, I am not going to cast shade on you for pairing him with at least one of these three. That’s good sense, even in a bad matchup.

Good Luck in your Contests!

MID SZN RECAP

Mid Szn Recap

Leonard Fournette – Putting up great numbers this Szn producing elite rb numbers on the field. My plan going into draft day was to target fournette in the 3rd round with the understanding he’s my RB2 and nothing else. Boy was I wrong. Fournette week in and out showing everyone his true value in this game. Ive mentioned before in june that fournette would be a nice rb stack if the strategy was to go RB WR RB with fournette being the target in the 3rd round. Hopefully drafting fournette u grabbed an Elite RB in the first round. a lot of teams with a nice RB1 & RB2 stack like such Saquon Barkley & Fournette or CMC & Leonard Fournette or Zeke & Fournette . All great RB stacks leading you to Bring Home The Gold . Salute to you Lenny let’s get this money!

Stefon Diggs- Things started off very slow for Diggs with the Vikings using and abusing Dalvin cook in that run game. Tough times for Diggs seeing as little as 2 TGTs in a game to making only 1 catch. Diggs expressed his frustrations with the offense not throwing the ball enough and things seemed to turn around rather quickly after Diggs showing interest in the trade market. The last four games Diggs has been WR4 and looks to continue this hot streak to greatness. Hopefully ur the guy who traded for Diggs while he was in that drought because the return your getting could be bringing home the gold. 

Odell Beckham- WOW! What a shit show it has been for the browns and Beckham. Odell was thought to be a first round pick for sure but clearly we were wrong. Beckham is struggling week to week to get anything going on that offense. Currently WR28 in ppr formats not looking good for OBJ owners. I would honestly trade OBJ for what you can now I don’t expect any top 10 performances or finishes this SZN I feel like sell him while you can while his name may sell his self. Just go into your league feed and just post “OBJ FOR SALE” someone may bite on it for a good offer. Players I would possibly target at good value now : Golden Tate , D.j Chark , Allen Robinson and plenty more. Players in that bracket who are consistent with production with very little question marks around them. Ive learned my lesson with OBJ last season he’s a player that will remain on my “Do not Draft” List for the rest of his career. IDC what team he’s on. Ok. I’m done venting.

Aaron Jones- A lot of questions for Jones going into this draft. Will he be worth that 4th rd pick? Will the packers run the ball enough to have ant production value? Will he lose the starting job to Jamaal Williams? Well he proved the haters and ME wrong! Currently RB3 Packers are firing on all cylinders and Jones is getting the job done not just rushing but also in the passing game. Jones sharing some light with Williams but not enough for him to lose any noticeable touches. Jones running away with the starting job but if you told me 8 weeks ago that Jones will be a top 3 RB mid SZN I would probably slap you with a hand full of powder. Just saying. Some people saw a productive season from Jones but not like this hes gone above and beyond expectations even for the believers in Jones. Before we jump the gun on Jones let’s see if he can finish the SZN strong with a up and down schedule based on RB matchups.

Do you believe in Ghost ?

Dante Pettis- Where the hell has he been? He’s been on the field just not seeing the targets. The biggest hype bust on my list. Pettis was going as high as the 5th round in some leagues but hasn’t shown up in weeks. Pettis was on the path to greatness the way he finished the 2018 SZN that lead to all this big hype but produced a nice shit turd on everyones bench. Doesn’t make sense why his numbers look the way they do only thing that changed in the offense was Jimmy Pornstar was back into the line up. Which should be even more opportunity for him to produce something at least . He’s avg. 3 pts a game which is embarrassing to be as high as a 5th rd pick in ppr formats. The step back has to be a injury that’s lingering or something but the addition of Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t help his case to be relevant any time soon. Pettis is droppable at this point him taking up space on ur bench is unnecessary. Your bench should be filled with guys who are going to produce not take up space.

Week 8 Draft King’s DFS Tournament Picks – Just In time for Lock!

By Sean Weymouth

TW @delrayboston

Week 8 and ain’t it great. Well not really unless you started Marvin Jones, Zac Pastel, Chase Edmunds, Darren Waller and the Patriots Defense all in the same lineup.

So today I am going to do this a little differently. With each position I will give you my picks for best plays as well as my sleeper picks.

QB

Best Plays

⁃ Russell Wilson $7,200

⁃ Deshawn Watson $7,100

⁃ Drew Brees $6,300 (Great Price!)

⁃ Josh Allen $6,500

⁃ Matthew Stafford $6,100

Value-Sleepers

⁃ Daniel Jones $5,800

⁃ Sam Darnold $5,500

⁃ Ryan Tannehill $5,100

⁃ Derek Carr $5,000

RB

Best Plays

⁃ Todd Gurley $7,400

⁃ Saquon Barkley $9,200

⁃ Chris Carson $7,000

⁃ Leonard Fournette $7,200

⁃ Sony Michel $5,200

⁃ Josh Jacobs $5,800

⁃ Ty Johnson $4,900

⁃ Le’veon Bell $6,900

⁃ Davonte Freeman $5,500

⁃ Melvin Gordon $5,400

⁃ Latavius Murray $5,800

⁃ Austin Ekeler $5,900

⁃ Tevin Coleman $5,000

⁃ Chase Edmunds $6,200

Sleepers/Value

⁃ Royce Freeman $5,500

⁃ Phillip Lindsey $5,600

⁃ David Montgomery $4,400

⁃ Matt Breida $4,800

⁃ Carlos Hyde $4,700

⁃ Jordan Howard $4,600

⁃ Miles Sanders $4,200

WR

Best Plays

⁃ Michael Thomas $8,000

⁃ Deandre Hopkins $8,100

⁃ Kenny Stills $4,700 (Great Price!)

⁃ Tyler Lockett $7,000

⁃ Kenny Golladay $6,400

⁃ John Brown $5,900

⁃ Corey Davis $4,400

⁃ Chris Godwin $7,100

⁃ Golden Tate $5,800

⁃ Robbie Anderson $4,900

⁃ DJ Chark $6,000

⁃ Marvin Jones $5,800

⁃ Brandin Cooks $5,700

⁃ Robert Woods $6,300

⁃ Tyrell Willams $5,500

⁃ DK Metcalf $5,000

⁃ Christian Kirk $4,700

⁃ Allen Robinson $6,000

⁃ Courtland Sutton $5,300

⁃ Julian Edelman $6,900

⁃ Phillip Dorsett $4,200

Sleepers/Value

⁃ Jamison Crowder $4,800

⁃ AJ Brown $4,100

⁃ Demaryius Thomas $3,300

⁃ Emmanuel Sanders $4,600

⁃ Debo Samuel $4,000

⁃ Cole Beasley $4,200

⁃ Adam Humphries $3,900

⁃ Curtis Samuel $4,600

⁃ Jaron Brown $4,000

⁃ Darius Slayton $3,900

⁃ Mohammed Sanu $4,00

TE

Austin Hooper $5,500

Evan Engram $5,300

Hunter Henry $4,900

Cameron Brate $2,700

George Kittle $6,500

Darren Waller $5,900

Gerald Everett $4,300

Josh Hill $3,200

Sleepers

Jacob Hollister $2,900

Jonnu Smith $2,800

Dallas Goedart $2,800

Noah Fant $2,900

Ben Watson $3,000

Rhett Ellison $2,800

DST

Patriots $4,300

Rams $3,800

Colts $2,900

Seahawks $2,800

Chargers $2,300

Saints $3,500

Titans $3,200

Bears $3,600

Texans $2,700

San Fran $3,700

Panthers $2,400

Bills $3,000

Eagles $2,700

Jags $2,900

Jets $2,600

Good Luck in your Contests!

Thursday Night Showdown Slate Draft Kings Picks – Week 8 Vikings vs Redskins!

Vikings vs Redskins

By Sean Weymouth

TW: @DelrayBoston

I wanted to start this off with a bit of thoughts on strategy of which I employ on any of these showdown slates.

The first is simple – stacks. Look I’m not saying it would be impossible to win or cash on a showdown slate without the correlation of a stack like QB-Receiver, but why take the chance. So let’s say I’m going to play a QB in either the Captains slot or as a flex, I’m going to try and fit in as many of his pass catching options as I can do that I can double up on the points from receptions and scores, without missing one. If you are lucky you will have the right stack that catches all the scores and your are doubling points like crazy. Again it’s not full proof, but I think it gives the best avenue for success when done right.

Part of doing it right also is trying to be different in your lineup, so that if it’s between you and another player and you both need 10 points but his receiver is the same as the other 5 guys below you and yours is a the secondary option, you may get 5 and he may get 5 but because your lineup construction differs from the others, you may pull ahead – contrarian plays in other words. If you can stack your QB with as many of his receiving options as you can, with a contrarian play or two included – and that offense goes off, you should be in decent shape to cash.

Another correlation I like to look at is the defense and the kicker that opposes that defense. So if you are playing a dominant defense for the potential of fantasy points on turnovers, you also have to be thinking their opponent likely won’t be scoring a lot of touchdowns. So why not include the opposing kicker in that stack with the defense. Since teams may stall in the red zone several times during the game against your defense, they will settle for field goals – and guess what guys, field goals are fantasy points too.

Ok so let’s get into the matchups.

The Vikings.

I don’t think there is a fan out there that can’t see that the Vikings are in a smash spot tonight – or are they? Well, yes, the Redskins have been bottom of the league in rush yards and pass yards allowed – especially if you remove the Miami and mudbowl games over the last two weeks from the stats. The most important stat for me here is their overall lack of turnovers especially interceptions, which is why I’m very high on Kirk Cousins tonight even at his high salary (18k for Captain, 12k for Flex). Even without Adam Theilan on the field, Kirk will have a whole host of weapons starting with Stefon Diggs ($16,500 Captain, $11k for Flex). As I had mentioned above if I am playing Cousins I am playing as many of his receiving options alongside to maximize. So that would include Diggs of course (and likewise if I am playing Diggs, I’m also playing Cousins). However I would expect Diggs’ ownership on the slate to be mega high. So perhaps you would want to include a contrarian option with Cousins. May save you some bucks which you will need with these prices too. I’d expect the tight ends to see an uptick in targets tonight, since they did when Theilan left the game on Sunday, so that puts both Kyle Rudolph ($8,100 Captain, $5,400 Flex) and Irv Smith ($7,200 Captain, $4,800 Flex) in play, but i wouldn’t play both in the same lineup and of the two I would pick Rudolph over Smith as a Captain. Also you may want to take a shot on Olabisi Johnson ($9,300 Captain, $6,200 Flex) and even Laquon Treadwell ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 Flex) as they will serve as receivers 2 & 3 after Diggs tonight. Lastly the one constant in this offense that should be included in every lineup you make is Dalvin Cook but at $19,500 in the Captain chair or $13,000 for Flex it will be tough to fit Cook, Cousins and Diggs in without leaving you little to play with – so maybe pair with one of the cheaper options above, to help give you as much as you can in one. I would expect all 3 to be the Chalk tonight from an ownership perspective, but they will be chalk for a reason – i think they are going to roll tonight!

You can consider Cook’s backup Alexander Mattison ($4,400 Flex) but not at Captain. You’re hoping for a touchdown with Mattison because barring a Cook injury, he has been only been handling 10 or so touches a game and I expect these will come tonight only when the Vikings have the game in hand. This is an NFC matchup don’t forget.

I may shoot myself later for saying this but I’m avoiding the Vikings Defense tonight. While they have been OK I just don’t trust the secondary in a game I expect Case Keenum to be throwing, a lot. I do however think kicker Dan Bailey ($6,000 Flex) is ok for savings – but not in the Captain’s Chair. I don’t expect every Vikings drive to end in a TD and Bailey could be a sneaky way to get points from field goals. I’d use Bailey to round out a heavy priced lineup or use as a cheap Vikings player on a Red Skins heavy lineup.

REDSKINS

Well the Redskins will have a tough road tonight. I say this not because I’m so scared of the Vikings Defense but more so I’m scared of what the Skins’ D will be giving up. For that, I think any Red Skins lineup I build will have Case Keenum ($12,000 Captain, $8,000 Flex) in the Captains Chair. Again as I mentioned before, for any lineup I have with Keenum I am stacking with as many of his pass catchers as possible and that starts with Terry “F1” McLauren ($13,800 Captain, $9,200 Flex) who I predict will have a big game tonight against the ghost of Xavier Rhodes. However if there is one player on the Skins that will be CHALK tonight (high ownership) it will be Scary Terry. So don’t sleep on a couple of other targets for Keenum in Trey Quinn ($3,600 Flex) or Paul Richardson ($5,000 Flex) for both savings and contrarian plays. I am not sure I’d put both in the same lineup but using one of these guys with Terry and Case and a Vikings TE may give you an edge in the “ownership game” tonight in your lineups.

Another possibly undervalued play is TE Jeremy Sprinkle ($3,400 Flex) who with both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis out, could serve as Keenum’s security blanket tonight – and we all should know by now, Keenum likes throwing to TEs!

If your really want to go Contrarian though, my pick for the lowest owned Captain would be Adrian Peterson ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 Flex). With Chris Thompson out and the next man up being Wendell Smallwood ($1,800 Flex) , I think the Skins will lean on AP more than normal, even in the negative game script. Hey who knows, it is a revenge game after all for AP. Actually for Keenum too. Actually for Cousins too.

As I am with the Vikings Defense, I am going to avoid the Redskins D as well. There are just too many ways for the Vikings to put points on the board tonight and sure an interception or sack is possible, but if the Vikings pour 42 on them in the first half – those Defensive plays aren’t going to help. I would however consider Dustin Hopkins ($4,500 Captain, $3,000 Flex) as he may have a busy night and he is a good salary saver with your Keenum/McLauren stack – or is a great pivot play for a Vikings heavy stack.

Good Luck in your contests!!

START’EM SIT’EM WK8

Starts of the Week: Week 7
Lukas Kacer | @kacer_lukas

Matt Stafford (vs NYG)
It seems as if Matt Stafford is solidifying himself as an every week fantasy QB1 and I am in full support of this, especially for this week. The Giants have shown vulnerability in many games this year as they have allowed QB totals of 29.3, 23.6, 27.3, 33.4, 22.2.

Shown above are Stafford’s home (in split) and away (out of split) splits in terms of fantasy points in his whole career. As you can see, Stafford has been significantly better at home and that trend is only going to improve this week. This season, Stafford has a 108.4 passer rating at home (5th amongst QBs) and the Giants have allowed QBR games of 158.3, 146.5, 115.5, 108.2, 88.9. Without a doubt this is a great matchup for Stafford and with the recent struggles/frustration the Lions have had I think they are going to unleash that frustration and demolish the Giants this weekend.

Leonard Fournette (vs NYJ)
I am going to ride Fournette again this week, and it is due to one major stat that I found during my research. Fournette is no doubt a weekly RB1 and that will continue for the rest of the year based off volume, but he still only has one touchdown and that is going to change soon. The Jets are allowing 1.7 rushing touchdowns per game this season, so unless Gardner Minshew runs in the touchdown then it is time for Fournette to finally get the touchdowns he deserves. Positive regression is coming for this running back and we will soon talk about him in the same level as the top backs in the league, and it WILL happen this week.

Tyler Lockett (vs ATL)
Lockett has followed up a 32-point performance with above average “bad” weeks of 3 games above 12 points. Lockett is as consistent as they come, and he is in a prime matchup this week against the Falcons. In the last 5 weeks the Falcons have allowed 47.8 fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position and with no hopes of turning that around, Lockett is in a smash spot this week. Lockett is seeing a 21% target share, but I expect that to go up with the recent injury to Will Dissly. The Seahawks have a lack of depth when it comes to offensive weapons and this is only going to help Lockett to produce fantasy points. Lockett is basically a guarantee to put up 16 points this week and has a clear path to two touchdown upside. This Falcons team is losing hope, so Lockett is going to take advantage of that this week.

Gerald Everett (vs CIN)
A target share hog tight end against a bottom team in the league is the formula to a successful start of the week tight end and Gerald Everett is the prime candidate this week. Everett has been a favorite target of Goff the last three weeks, for he has received target share percentages of 22%, 21%, and 27%. Even though it is sad to say, Everett has been the most consistent fantasy option for this Rams offense. That will eventually change, but I think Goff is going to stick to what is working and ride Everett to the promise land this week. The Bengals have been very bad this year against teams that feature a tight end on a regular basis and lucky for the Rams, they use a tight end on a regular basis. In the Bengals last 5 games, they have faced two teams that regularly feature the tight end (Bills and Ravens) and both of those tight ends had great games of 16.6 and 15.9. Keep streaming Everett with confidence and take the double digit points and go win your matchup this week!

Studs & Duds Week 7 (This Time, With Feeling!)

By: Sean Weymouth

TW: @DelRayBoston

First off – week 7 had a lot of moments that NFL Fantasy would say “that helped no one!” The most notable of which was an active David Johnson, known in advance of kickoff for being active after a very shaky week of practice, only receiving one snap while backup Chase Edmunds dominated the snaps as well as nabbing two scores. After the fact Coach Kingsbury comes out to say – Yes, David Johnson was active but we were only planning on using him in emergency. On top of that it comes out the team is working out Jay Ajayi and Spencer Ware. I mention this because I won’t be mentioning DJ as a dud. Instead …

DUDS

COACH KINGSBURY – I think for all of the attention, new fans and quite frankly revenue that Fantasy Football has brought and continues to bring to the NFL, Coaches should be a little more conscience of the idea that when your starting RB is listed as active PERHAPS it will cause everyone to trust the STARTING Running Back will be active. I get not wanting to give the opposing defense any clues on an offensive scheme, but maybe a mention that even though the STARTING Running back is active could be followed by, but he won’t be starting … is that so hard to ask for? Congrats on the win Coach and congrats on pulling the wool over the eyes of the defense, but quite frankly – WTF? Sorry Coach, but DUD

JOE MIXON now is it that Joe Mixon is the dud or the Bengals offensive line is the dud or maybe it’s the play calling … or maybe all of them are duds. Either way, how can a DUD list not contain Joe “first and inches” Mixon. You think I’m kidding with that name? Nope. Week 7 saw Joe Mixon bottom out with an average 7.2 inches per rush – Inches – I say again. 10 rushes for a total of 2 yards and 1 receptions for – you guessed it, 2 yards. This has been a forgettable season for Mixon and Sunday may have just about been as Dud-er-rrific as you could get. The Bengals are throwing the ball 70% of all offensive snaps, that says to me that you cannot start Joe Mixon – and you can’t trade him, unless there’s someone in your league who enjoys losing enough to take him. He is the paperweight to your fantasy bench’s stack of papers. DUD

MELVIN GORDON in the short time I have been writing this article I have tried to keep it fresh without repeats and without being redundant. However allow me to be both here … the Chargers are now 0 – 3 with Melvin Gordon back and while it isn’t all Melvin Gordon’s fault, he certainly can share some of the blame. It’s not like it wasn’t already a lousy day on the ground for Mel G, when he fumbled on the one with just seconds left on the clock and sinking the Chargers comeback as if it was weighed down with paperweight Mixon. Nope. Gordon rushed the ball 16 Times – 16 times for 32 yards. Hmm, let’s do some quick math. 16 x 2 equals what? Oh right 32. Now that means “Mr I’m Worth More Money” averaged 2 yards a carry. 2 yards a carry you say. Well that is better than Joe Mixon and his whopping 2 yards total but c’mon MEL?! Now credit where credit is due Mr Gordon did catch a ball for a receiving touchdown … and saying the word receiving reminds me of the biggest Dud that Melvin has caused and that is making Austin Ekeler into a slot receiver. However we will get to Ekeler later … for now, hey Melvin – DUD buddy DUD. However, after the last two weeks for the Chicago Defense vs Running Backs – perhaps Melly Mel could be in play in week 8.

DAVID MONTGOMERY here is another curious case of is it the player, the line or the coach but in this case I think it is more the player and I will tell you why. On Sunday David “the job shoulda been mine but it just ain’t” Montgomery carried the ball – TWICE. TWICE. (What is it about running backs and 2s this week by the way). Anyway he mustered a total of 6 yards on those two carries. He also caught two balls for a whopping 13 yards. Those numbers are Dud qualifications enough if it were not for the extremely ill timed and costly fumble Montgomery had that all but sealed the Bears’ fate (if Mitch Trubisky hadn’t already done that himself I mean). That fumble is why David Montgomery is the dud and not the coaching. If you are getting the ball that little, a sure fire way to ensure you won’t be getting anything more is by fumbling. Now to his credit, this was the first fumble of the season for the rookie but still. If your team needs you, take the snaps you are given and work as hard as you can and by all things holy – hold onto the ball. See Josh Jacobs if you need an example of this … David DUDgomery here we are. I have Montgomery in two leagues and since I want to win, I’m not taking another chance against the Chargers in Week 8.

DIShonorable Mentions

Sam “I’m Seeing Ghosts Out There” Darnold

Kyler “Uh, Coach can I please throw over 10 yards like, one time? Please?” Murray

Mark “Next time I’ll put glue on my gloves” Andrews

Mark “My QB took my RB1 job” Ingram

STUDS

AARON RODGERS well, well, well – for all that have tweeted me asking how I hadn’t reported Mr Rodgers a DUD yet – be damned!! How about 5 Passing Touchdowns? Not enough? How about he run one in too. Aaron Rodgers had a day like you read about – and you will, all this week I’m sure. Lest I remind you that his #1 receiver was ruled out. Lest I remind you that his #2 and #3 receivers were limited and on pitch counts. I don’t mention their names, because I don’t need to – because it didn’t matter Sunday, and likely it won’t matter again and maybe again and again. Aaron Rodgers reminded us all why he is that damn good. Now everyone knows Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. but even I am man enough to say Aaron Rodgers may just be G.O.A.T .0 SIX SCORES? STUD.

LATAVIUS MURRAY sure the big Lat Machine is a handcuff that got the start because the RB1 was out – but, isn’t that kinda Latavius Murray’s thing? Remember when he ran wild for the Vikings when Dalvin Cook couldn’t go? Or remember when he was an Oakland Raider sharing snaps? Hey you know what it just kinda don’t matter. David Montgomery take notice – when Latavius gets his opportunity, he knows what the F to do – and that is run hard. How hard? 27 rushing attempts for 119 yards and TWO Touchdowns. Plus five catches for another 31 yards. Against Da Bears no less. Now this may be the only time Latavius Murray gets the start all year but I couldn’t help but mention – STUD. Now keep an eye on the injury reports because if Kamara sits again, the Lat Machine will get to run all over Arizona in week 8. Watch out.

COREY DAVIS now the StudB to this Stud entry should actually be Ryan Tannehill for nothing else than showing the world that if you just treat the pocket passing game like a professional NFL quarterback should, a talent like Corey Davis emerges – but I digress. Hey there Corey, hows it feel to go six for 80 and a touchdown? Like a fog has lifted? I bet. Now compared to the other studs on this list perhaps those stats don’t seem too impressive but if you watched that game it was the 4th quarter 38 yard reception that helped his team win the game that makes Mr C Davis a Stud this week. Hey Corey Davis – keep it up STUD. Next week this new Tannehill to Davis combo gets to take on the Swiss cheese secondary of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers … I smell a DFS pick in my future!

MARVIN JONES how could a Week 7 Stud list not include a guy who caught 4 touchdowns while going 10 for 93 as well. Oh and by the way, that was in a losing effort as well. Now look, you can’t expect that Kenny Golladay will only get 2 targets every week. You also can’t expect Detroit to go against a team as red hot as the Vikings are right now, each week either. However Marvin “Steamroller” Jones just reminded you that – oh yeah, he is on this team too and he can be dangerous and in week 7 he was as bad as he wanted to be. 4 Touchdowns Marvin? STUD. Oh yeah and by the way this Stud next week? He gets the Giants and their Swiss cheese secondary … who knows, maybe not four but at least 1 and 80 yards is sure within reach. STUD

Honorable Mentions

Austin “Seriously guys, I’m not starting cuz why?” Ekeler

The Patriots Defense aka The Empire to your pathetic rebel alliance

The Saints Defense aka No 100 yard rushers, No 300 yard passers, No Bueno if you don’t have ‘em

Chase “Ya shoulda had me in your flex at least” Edmunds

Kurt “I don’t know how long I can be a stud, but a stud for now I am” Cousins

KEY PLAYER

KEY PLAYER

Calvin Ridley

WR24 (PPR) 29 Recs 373 yds 4 TDS (So Far)

After big news that Mohamed Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots, things started to look better for Calvin to be the clear #2 target behind Julio Jones. Even though we already knew that…. Let’s face it Falcons are bad right now in all 3 phases defense, offense and special teams. Ridley has been hot cold hot cold and may be leading to staying hot with Sanu gone now. The targets will obviously increase but will he be able to take the full work load? I believe so! Ridley was and will be a solid WR2 moving forward with or without Sanu on the team. The writing was on the wall for Sanu the moment Ridley was drafted. Ridley rookie year was no mistake the kid can ball. Meanwhile, Dan Quinn needs to be fired overall for the falcons to be back on top. Week 8 could be the last game he could coach. Matt Ryan also suffered an ankle injury against the Rams Sunday so that maybe a downside in Ridley’s production but still a bright future to get Ridley back to his rookie year numbers or better with Sanu gone. I don’t see Ryan missing much time, the 34 year old should be back on the field in no time. Ryan’s last injury was 2016 week 16 with a hip contusion. Nothing serious at all. Its Ridley Szn ladies and gentlemen.

WAVIER WIRE WK8

Waiver wire week 8 pickups

Chase Edmonds RB, 

ARI Cardinals

If you did not take my advice last week it might be too late to pick Edmonds up. But if he’s still available he is a must add now. Despite David Johnson getting the start Sunday, it was Edmonds that dominated the ball with 29 touches for 150 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. It’s unclear if Johnson (ankle) will play his normal allotment of snaps in Week 8, but it’s clear that Edmonds needs to be owned in all league formats.

Ty Johnson RB, 

DET Lions

With Kerryon sidelined for most of the game, Ty Johnson had a team-high 14 touches—10 carries for 29 yards and four catches for 28 yards. While it wasn’t an efficient performance, the team gets the same Giants defense next week that allowed Edmonds to rush for 126 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. If Kerryon is unavailable for Week 8, Ty Johnson will be in the RB2/flex range in next week’s rankings.

Mark Walton

RB, MIA Dolphins

This dolphins offense is nothing to jump up and down about, but like Edmonds, Walton is a holdover from last week’s list as his ownership level jumped from only four to 21%. After getting an uptick in playing time and opportunities last week, Walton led Miami’s backfield this week in touches—Walton (15), Kenyan Drake (nine) and Kalen Ballage (three). Walton gained 66 rushing yards on 14 carries and lost eight yards on his lone reception.

Zach Pascal WR, IND Colts

Pascal is something of a boom-or-bust addition to your lineup this week. He’s been silent some weeks and an absolute force in others. If you have bye weeks coming up and need a big day from a receiver not currently on your roster, Pascal is your man.