Fresh off their record setting Monday Night Showcase, the New Orleans Saints head east to take on the red hot Tennessee Titans. Despite the cloudy narrative surrounding Drew Brees’ production outside of the Mercedes-Benz Dome, Brees is 5-1 in road games this season and scored 27.1 fantasy points in his one full game in an open air stadium (wk 11 @ TB). Drew Brees is a bet on hall-of-fame talent and experience QB1 play in week 16’s tied-for-highest projected point total.

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Don’t second guess yourself. I was able to miraculously win a playoff matchup after swapping Jameis Winston out with about 15 seconds until game time. I didn’t really think Christian Kirk was going to have a good week against the stingy Steelers defense, so I swapped him right before that game in favor of the Monday night showdown between the Giants and the Eagles, inserting Sterling Shepard into my lineup in hopes that he’d rekindle the chemistry between him and Eli. And because of these two near-fatal errors, I won my matchup by .3 thanks to a late-change by my opponent to start Kirk Cousins over Matt Ryan. Decisiveness and sticking with your gut is your best friend in fantasy, and the same can apply to daily fantasy.

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With the start of the fantasy playoffs already underway, we’ve got a bunch of players in prime spots to help us get to next Sunday. Now is not the time to get cute with our lineup decisions, we’ve got to make accurate and educated moves to help us advance.

We’ve got to dance with who brought us here, so let’s bust some moves.

Let’s get into this week’s Starts and Sits.

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One of the struggles with using data in the NFL is that there are so few trials in order to get a good perception of what a team or player truly is. In the early portion of the season you must sort through the information that you have and constantly cross check to ensure that there isn’t any noise (schedule, injury, etc) in the data that you are attempting to use. Therefore, I’ve always enjoyed the back half of the season. There are more pieces to put together to tell a story of what is going to happen on a Sunday slate. I’ve nailed down some edges below that I’m hoping you can use to propel you into the season long playoffs, or get to the top of the DFS leaderboard.

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You just knew Eddie’s kick wasn’t going to go in too right? It didn’t matter that it was only a 41-yard kick. You see, the Bears are kind of like the Buccaneers when it comes to the kicking game. The kicking game is cursed. Once Pineiro hit the upright in the first half, any kick that was going to be important didn’t stand a chance. It was in Eddie’s head, it was in the crowd’s head, and it was in my head at home. 

I was watching the game with a good buddy who is a Bears fan and it was completely quiet for most of the drive. The only thing that was said the whole drive was by him. He just kept repeating, “Why aren’t they going for a touchdown? They need to go for a touchdown, you can’t leave it up to the kicker.” He was right. We all were right. Here is what else I saw during the early slate of games on Sunday.

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We’re more than half of the way through the NFL season, and with more star players landing on the injury report, we’re forced to spend our waiver claims on backup players that have been forced into starting roles, like Ty Johnson in Detroit (more on that below).

Let’s talk about some of the players who landed on the injury report this week.

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It’s a well known fact: Ezekiel Elliott has an insatiable appetite. The star running back has been begging anyone and everyone to feed him since all the way back to Pop Warner, but the hunger has never subsided. This past September the Cowboys finally broke down and gave Zeke a little grocery money of his own. But the Dallas RB hasn’t been able to locate the Whole Foods Market in his neighborhood and continues to ask for handouts. Fortunately, his best bud Dak Prescott (21/27 for 239 yards, 5 carries for 30 yards and 2 touchdowns) continues to be charitable, feeding Zeke the pigskin 22 times for 111 yards plus another 6 thru the air for 36 more yards and his 6th touchdown as the Cowboys trounced the Eagles on Sunday night. Watch those fingers Dak! Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football: 

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QB10 in fantasy scoring and QB2 in NFL passing yards through 4 weeks, Matt Ryan visits the Lone Star State in matchup carrying the tied-for-2nd highest point total in week 5. The 13th toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks, the Houston D/ST unit look a lot tougher on paper than what I believe will be on display this Sunday. Two of Houston’s best defensive outings were against quarterbacks that entered the season as backups on their respective depth chart. Including 6th round rookie QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) in his first NFL start and 2nd year backup Kyle Allen (CAR) getting the 2nd start of his career. In Houston’s two matchups against top 10 NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, the defense surrendered an average of 327.5 passing yards per game, QB12 (Brees) and QB13 (Rivers) fantasy finishes, and 4 total passing touchdowns. After nearly topping 400 yards passing (397) last week, Matt Ryan failed to pass for a TD against TEN. This is a prime bounce back spot for Matt Ryan to find the endzone through the air in a game where ATL are -4.5 underdogs and an implied score that includes 3 TDs for the Falcons. Rudy projects Ryan as the QB8 this weekend. 

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