“Any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance.” What you just read, is the definition of a marathon. The key words in that sentence are, “requiring exceptional endurance”. As a DFS player during the NFL season, we need to realize that we are in a marathon. As a GPP player, this is something that we need to be even more aware of. We are going to have bad weeks, but our goal, in the end, is to take down a GPP or finish top 5 so that we can erase any losses we might have had. Endurance, endurance, endurance. We need to continue to grind and good things will happen!
With that being said, let’s make some bread this week and get to the Money Makers!
Blake Bortles v. TEN ($5600)
Blake Bortles is coming off a great game against the Patriots and now is in another good spot against the Titans. Through two weeks, the Titans are ranked 21st in DVOA against the pass and have given up 21.2 points per game to quarterbacks. What really interests me with Bortles in this matchup is he is going against a group of defensive backs that have given up the 2nd most points to wide receivers, which makes me think Bortles can have a multi-touchdown game. Bortles also has a very respectable TD rate right now at 6.4% and is averaging .65 DK points per passing attempt. In the Red Zone, Bortles has also attempted eight passes through two weeks and six of those attempts have come inside the 10. At $5600, if Bortles can get us 25-30 DK points, he will be a great value and allow us to fit both running backs that I will talk about later!
Matt Ryan v. NO ($5700)
Where do I start with Matt Ryan? Ryan has been a very inconsistent quarterback lately, but I do believe that this is a week that we can get the best out of him. Matty Ice is going against a Saints defense that is ranked 32nd in DVOA against the pass and has given up 30.4 DK points per game to quarterbacks. Ryan and the Falcons have not been very effective in the Red Zone this year, but it is the volume that has me excited about what this week can bring. Ryan has attempted 13 passes inside the 20, with 9 of those coming inside the 10. I see multiple touchdowns for Matt Ryan this week as this game is the 2nd highest total of the day at 53.5, so a lot of scoring can be expected.
Patrick Mahomes v. SF ($7000)
What can be said about Patrick Mahomes? This run has to come to a stop soon, right? You would think. Well, I am going to ride the train until it finally rolls off the tracks. Mahomes has done unprecedented things these first two weeks of the year and there is a great chance it could continue this week versus the 49ers. The 49ers are ranked 26th in DVOA against the pass and have given up an average of 24.5 DK points per game to opposing quarterbacks. On top of that, Mahomes is averaging a remarkable 1.28 DK points per pass attempt and has a touchdown rate that is currently 18.2%!!! How can we fade him? I am not in love with many other players on the Kansas City side in this game, but I do know all of the offense should come thru Mahomes, so find a way to get him into a lineup!
Todd Gurley v. LAC ($9200)
Todd Gurley has been on a remarkable run to start the year and even at $9200, I love him this week against the Chargers! The Chargers are ranked 32nd in pass DVOA against running backs and Gurley is a very capable threat out of the backfield. The statistic that I love the most with Gurley is that he has 15 rushes in the Red Zone. This is almost double the next closest running back, who has 8. On top of those 15 rushes, Gurley has also been targeted 3 times in the Red Zone. Sean McVay is making a statement that he wants the ball in his best player’s hands when they are about to score and I love it! The Rams are also 7 point favorites in this game, so I am expecting around 24 touches for Gurley when it is all said and done.
Christian McCaffrey v. CIN ($7800)
In a week where I believe ownership is going to trend towards middle tier priced running backs, I am going to make sure to fit two of the highest priced guys in my lineups. McCaffrey is in a great spot to have a monster week. With Greg Olsen out, the Panthers have made it clear that they are going to get McCaffrey the ball even more. Last week against the Falcons, McCaffrey only rushed eight times, but he had 14 receptions on 15 targets. In weeks 1 and 2, the Bengals have been tore up by pass-catching running backs out of the backfield, giving up 10 receptions to running backs in week 1 and eight receptions and 91 yards to them in week 2. McCaffrey is going to be the best running back they have seen this year and definitely could see him ending the day as RB1.
Corey Clement @ IND ($4300)
If Jay Ajayi doesn’t play, Corey Clement is a great value play to help you sneak some expensive players into your lineup. Clement is averaging 1.38 DK points per touch and with Ajayi out, I am expecting 12-13 touches this week and if he can get us 16-17 DK points at this price, he did his job!
Kenyan Drake v. NYG ($5600)
There are a few running backs I like at this price range, but I do believe ownership will lean towards Matt Breida after having a big week last week, so give me Kenyan Drake in basically the same matchup, if not better! Drake is going against an Oakland defense that is currently 31st in DVOA against the rush and 29th in pass DVOA against the running back. On top of that, Oakland has given up an average of 29.4 DK points per game to running back. Drake is currently averaging 16 touches per game and this is a game where I could see him break out!
Brandin Cooks v. LAC ($7000)
The most attractive offense to me this week is the Los Angeles Rams. In a week where people may lean towards Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, I am going to pay up and go get some Brandin Cooks! Cooks is averaging 8.50 targets per game and also 2.36 DK points per target. He is capable of making a big play every time he catches the ball and is going against a Chargers defense that is ranked 31st in DVOA against WR1’s.
Keelan Cole v. TEN ($5600)
This is a week where I like the value that the middle tier receivers offer us and Keelan Cole is my favorite receiver in that price range. Cole is going against a Tennessee defense that has given up 59.8 DK points per game to WR’s and is ranked 29th in DVOA against WR1’s. Cole is currently averaging 6 targets per game and 3 DK points per target. With the Tennessee defensive backfield being so poor, I do see Cole getting around 9 targets this week and that can lead to some really nice numbers. Cole is also ranked 6th in WR DVOA, which represents “value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations” (per Football Outsiders). Expect to Cole to have a big week as he exposes the Titans DB’s.
Julio Jones v. NO ($7900)
Well, well, well, who do we have here? Julio Jones, dealing with an injury, at $7900 feels like the perfect “trap” play. If we dig deeper though, is this actually one of the best receiver options on the board? Julio is playing in a game with the 2nd highest total and going against a Saints defense that has given up 61.8 DK points per game to Wide Receivers. Julio also gets to go up against a Saints that is ranked 30th in DVOA against opposing WR1’s. Julio did not have a great week last week, but he is still averaging 14 targets per game and I would not be surprised to see him get 16-17 more this week. We all know the Falcons need to find a way to get Julio involved more in the Red Zone and they will definitely have their opportunities to that this week.
Mohamed Sanu v. NO ($3800)
Staying in the same game with the same team, Mohamed Sanu is my favorite low priced receiver this week! Sanu has not been very good this year, but he is in an incredible spot this week. WR2’s have had great weeks against the Saints so far and if the Falcons offense can score like I am expecting them to, Sanu is primed to be well over value at $3800.
Will Dissly v. DAL ($3300)
Thru two weeks, Dissly has continued to impress and be a favorite target of Russell Wilson. He is currently averaging 5 targets per game and 3.57 DK points per target. The 3.57 DK points per target will regress, but I love that he is making the most out of every ball thrown his way. The Cowboys are ranked 26th in Pass DVOA against opposing TE’s, so this is a game where I do see Dissly catching 5 or 6 passes and scoring a touchdown.
Eric Ebron v. PHI ($3400)
If Jack Doyle indeed does not play this week, Eric Ebron has to find a way into your lineup. Doyle is currently averaging 7.5 targets per game and Ebron is at 4.5, so if even half of Doyle’s targets can go to Ebron, he should be able to have a big week for us. Ebron is averaging 2.97 DK points per target this year and is going against an Eagles defense that gives up 12 DK points per game to TE, so Ebron should be a main key in the Colts game plan.
As always, good luck to everyone this weekend and follow me on twitter (@JT_DFS) and let me know how you did!