It’s not every week you get the starting RB on the best offense in football getting released, so if you haven’t signed up for the football tools here at Razzball, you’re really missing out on some of that sweet sweet DFS money. So, let’s get right to it.
Cam Newton, $8,700 – Cam is facing the hot garbage fire defense that is the Tampa Bay Bucs in Florida. Only the Bengals and Falcons allow more points to opposing QB. The price may be expensive, but the combination of the Bucs’ inability to play defense at a level even remotely adequate for an NFL team and Newton’s rushing prowess (which gives him a very safe floor) mean that he’s one heck of a play on Sunday.
Jameis Winston, $7,500 – Before last week, the combined efforts of Winston and Fitzpatrick as “Bucs QB” would rate out as the #2 scoring QB, with 24.6 points per game. Only Patrick Mahomes is higher. The Bucs throw a ton, Todd Monken is their awesome #airraid OC, and their defense is so atrocious the only way they can win is by throwing and running up the score on offense and hoping the defense isn’t a complete disaster. The matchup does not matter. The only thing to fear here is that Dirk Koetter is such a reactionary idiot that if Winston throws two interceptions in a very short span of time, Koetter can panic and pull him and put in Fitzpatrick. He’s already done it twice this year. It’s an entirely legitimate fear because a benched QB can easily end your DFS day right there. I don’t think it’s a big risk, but then again, I didn’t think it was that big a risk a few weeks ago with Fitzpatrick. Never underestimate NFL Head Coaches stupidity, especially one who is dumb even when compared to other head coaches (such as Koetter).
Chase Daniel, $6,000 – Stone minimum QBs who do not royally suck, on offenses that are willing to throw, and facing unimposing defenses, are quite valuable in DFS. For the most part, QBs score between 15 and 25 (unless they get benched or hurt). If Daniel gets you 15, you’re fine, provided the guys you are paying up for with the money you save at QB do well. And if Daniel scores more, then you’re in fantastic shape. Chase is Rudy’s top QB value this week.
Also viable: Pat Mahomes, $9,500 and Andrew Luck, $8,200
GPP Recommendation – Marcus Mariota, $7,000 – This is purely a Jets are trash pick combined with the fact that Mariotta’s had some very good games this year (he’s just also had a bunch of complete duds, and not just the games where he got hurt).
Todd Gurley, $9,800 – Todd is back on the main slate! In road games since Sean McVay replaced [email protected]## #$%^@*, Gurley has averaged 27.45 FanDuel points vs 20.01 at home. The Lions are ranked 30th in team defense and the Rams should have their way with them and Gurley should go back to scoring all of the Rams TDs inside the Red Zone, especially since Kupp is out, who was the only other guy competing for Red Zone touches.
Christian McCaffrey, $8,800 – Sometimes you just lock a guy since it’s mega obvious and move on. This is one of those times.
Aaron Jones, $7,600 – Arizona defense isn’t bad, but this is a pure volume pick. Since week 8, he’s averaged 13.8 carries for 83.6 yards and a TD with 4.4 targets, 3 catches and 24.2 yards. The Packers record in those 5 games? 1-4 (maybe throw a little more with Aaron Rodgers). So in a game where Arizona’s pathetic offense is going to give the Packers offense short fields, the RB is going to get some more TD equity. Jones is also Rudy’s top RB value on the slate.
Spencer Ware, $5,200 – The Chiefs released Kareem Hunt on the heels of a video being released by TMZ that showed Hunt committing assault. The Chiefs found out about it when it happened back in February but The Chiefs’ reaction today was immediate and swift and sent an important message – don’t lie to your bosses. Spencer Ware now instantly becomes a top value play. Andy Reid, perhaps more so than any other coach, has traditionally used a primary RB like a bellcow and does not use a timeshare. Spencer Ware’s 2016 speaks to this – he averaged 17.6 touches per game and Charcandrick West averaged 6.8 touches per game. West’s numbers are inflated because Ware got a concussion during the Chiefs 7th game (against the Colts) and sat out their 8th game (against the Jaguars). Ware also injured his ribs in their 15th game (against the Broncos) and sat out their 16th game (against the Chargers). Those were the only four games West got at least 10 touches. In 2016, as long as Ware was healthy, he was getting 15-20 touches a game (and sometimes got more), and West was getting 4-6 touches a game. So that puts us in a position where we have a feature RB, playing for a high powered offense that gives the RB heavy volume in both the running and passing game, facing a dumpster-fire defense (the Oakland Raiders), for the absurdly low price of $5,200. It may be the single easiest lock of the season.
GPP Recommendation – There is none this week, i’d stick with the above plays and differentiate at WR. If you really want, Carlos Hyde is fine, Chris Carson is fine, David Johnson is fine and Theo Riddick is fine. Actually on 2nd thought, if everyone on Detroit is out again, Riddick should be last man standing and that’s worth the Gold Star GPP Recommendation!
Kenny Golladay, $7,300 – The Lions are running out of bodies and the Rams are struggling on defense right now. Aquib Talib is coming back this week, so the matchup may not be as good as we thought. But over the last 3 weeks, Golladay has a 30% target share and a ridiculous 60% air yards share. If, as we expect, the Rams to be ruthlessly efficient and get up by a couple TDs early, then the Lions will be forced to abandon whatever semblance of a running game they have. This being the NFL, they will still run way too much, but the volume will be there for the passing game unless the Rams pull a Saints and lay an egg offensely. But considering the Lions defense is waaaaay worse than the Cowboys, we’ll continue to bet on volume.
Emmanuel Sanders, $7,000 – Over the last 3 weeks, Sanders has 30% target share and a 47% air yards share. When the Broncos throw, odds are it’s going to Sanders. Cincinnati “defense” is pretty bad, ranking 28th overall. He’s also on Josh Hermsmeyer’s Buy Low Air Yards Model as the #1 WR.
Tyreek Hill, $8,400 – The last couple of weeks saw the Chiefs condense their offense to Hill and Kelce with a smattering of the now-released Hunt and Chris Conley. Hill and Kelce have seen 31% of the targets and Hill has seen 50% of the air yards. Oakland won’t be able to stop the Chiefs and the only question is how many points Hill will score before they stop throwing (if they stop throwing). I’m serious, Hill could put up the high score in a single half like Dez Bryant did that one week 17 where he caught a few long TDs, didn’t play past the half and was the high score of the day. We could see that with Hill.
Marcell Ateman, $4,600 – The Raiders basically have no WRs left, which is fitting because they also have no QBs and no defensive players. Ateman saw 10 targets last week and is almost stone min. However, as we’ve seen all season, there is a lot of risk banking on an underwhelming WR playing for an underwhelming offense just because he’s the nominal WR1 or WR2 at the moment and has gotten decent volume in the last few games. He’s certainly in play, but you don’t need to go this low here if you’re comfortable with the value at other positions – and the emergence of Spencer Ware as a viable play at his price probably renders Ateman not necessary, but he is Rudy’s 2nd best WR value of the day.
GPP Recommendation – All the Panthers. If you’re a Panther WR, I want you. Also, you know how I said the Chiefs offense has become really condensed? Part of that condensing has led to Chris Conley getting 14% of targets and 33% of the receiving TDs, so for stone min and access to the Chiefs offense, he’s quite a good GPP play.
Travis Kelce, $7,800 – You’re probably playing Kelce or the guy below in cash, Kelce is part of the 2 headed monster on the best offense in the league that won’t skip a beat without Hunt. Kelce has a 31% target share and the Raiders won’t stop him, the only person who can stop Kelce is the Andy Reid, if Reid decides to go run heavy or decides not to use Kelce at all before going up 31-0 and then going run heavy. Kelce is Rudy’s top TE value of the slate.
Eric Ebron, $5,600 – Whaaaaaa? Yeah, Luck throws to his TEs in the Red Zone, that’s just what he does. Ebron has no other competition right now as the entire team is out with the flu. Well that’s not entirely true, Jack Doyle was already put on IR because of some “kidney procedure” that the team refuses to disclose anything more about (although to be honest, not really sure we need to know anything more about it), but then approximately half the team got the flu as well.
GPP Recommendation – Rob Gronkowski, $6,700 – The game should be close and these close games are when you break in case of fire for Gronk where they just feed him 15 times and he catches 12 for 150 yards and 2 TDs.
Cleveland Browns, $3,200 – Obvious cash game play because defenses in fantasy are soooooooo dumb and you want to pay up for people who will actually score a meaningful amount of points.
New York Giants, $3,300 – I know the Giants have a terrible defense, but they are $3,300 and because of the crazy stupid way we score defenses, you’re just TD hunting and Chase Daniel isn’t going to be someone that strikes fear into the heart of any defense. Also, Giants are at home.
Arizona Cardinals,$2,800 for a defense against a non KC/LA/NOLA/LAC offense (thanks Mike McCarthy) and when Aaron Rodgers throws, he has a tendency to take some sacks. So to recap, you have an offense that will self-limit the number of points they score because they really like running the ball when they don’t have to score a lot of points and then when they throw, the QB takes sacks and this defense is $2,800 because…why? Defense in fantasy should not exist and especially not when you’re pricing a not-horrible defense (9th in DVOA) at $2,800 (Arizona is also Rudy’s top value defense of the slate). I know the Packers are top 5 in offensive DVOA, but they are pretty far below the elite offenses of our time in KC and Rams and Saints and the Chargers. There are a bunch of elite offenses around today and the number will continue to grow as teams realize that you should #NeverRun and #AirRaid
Green Bay Packers, $4,400 – This is the pay up spot because the Cardinals are dead last in offense DVOA and their coaching staff thinks the way you play football is to establish the run to put your QB in 3rd and short situations and other such nonsense. Can we get rid of defense in fantasy yet, it’s so dumb?
Also Viable – Anyone. Play any defense you want.
Random Other GPP Thoughts
I will include this section every week as long as these two are healthy – if you’re a multi-entry GPP guy, always include multiple Patrick Mahomes ($9,500) and Tyreek Hill ($8,400). Seeing as how they just released their starting RB two days before kickoff, there’s always a chance they just go to their most trusted remaining options (Hill and Kelce), and while Ware would still be a cash play even in those circumstances, if the Chiefs dial up 18 targets for Tyreek, he’s going to shatter value. And shattering value is how you win GPPs.
Best of luck to everyone on Sunday!