Players I’m Buying
Tom Brady ($6,500): While Green Bay’s offense has been spectacular so far, their defense has been middle-of-the-pack in most metrics and below-average in some. Tom Brady has been the QB7 so far this season despite injuries to both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and he’s finished as a top-10 quarterback in 3 of 5 weeks. The Buccaneers seem optimistic that Godwin could return this week and he was spotted at practice on Tuesday. If he can get back to playing at an elite level, he’ll significantly boost Brady’s fantasy viability. At a deflated price after a mediocre game on the road at Chicago, Brady is a great pick for a bounce-back week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,900): Over the past four weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the QB7 on average and he now sits as the QB5 on the season. His strong play has earned him a closer look in DraftKings lineups and he should be able to excel against a Jets’ defense that surrendered a career-high 380 passing yards to Kyler Murray last week. The Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey helped produce some of Fitzpatrick’s best seasons in the past and they’ll both have the opportunity to taste revenge against the hapless Jets who they were both formerly employed by. Fitzpatrick should finish as a top-10 guy yet again this week.
Ryan Tannehill ($5,900): On Tuesday night, Ryan Tannehill picked apart the Titans through the air to the tune of three passing touchdowns and added another score on the ground. With A.J. Brown healthy, the Tennessee offense should become even more dynamic – Brown had 7 receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. Where some thought the Titans’ recent COVID-related issues and inability to practice together would hurt their team morale, but it seemed to have the opposite effect as they earned a blowout victory. Tannehill looked confident and he has plenty of elite weapons at his disposal including Brown, Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and, of course, Derrick Henry whose ability to draw defenders into the box constantly opens up space downfield for the pass. Tannehill should turn in another strong effort against the Texans, regardless of how many pass attempts he has.
Other quarterbacks I’m buying: Lamar Jackson ($7,700), Gardner Minshew ($6,400), Matthew Stafford ($6,300), Kirk Cousins ($6,100)
Players I’m Selling
Aaron Rodgers ($7,500): I know I should be all over Aaron Rodgers in what should be a high-scoring shootout against the Buccaneers, but I’m questioning this Packers team’s real quality after four games. Their offense has picked apart the Vikings and Falcons, two of the league’s worst defenses, as well as the Saints who were without key defenders. This week, the Packers will face the best front seven they’ve seen all year as well as a pass defense that has surrendered the fifth-fewest points to QBs this year. I’m not calling for a crazy multi-turnover game or anything, but Rodgers’s upside is capped against a defense that can challenge him in ways he hasn’t seen this year.
Deshaun Watson ($7,000): The Texans have looked like a functional NFL offense in recent weeks as Deshaun Watson has surpassed 300 passing yards in each of his past two games. I was tempted to put him in my buy category with the lack of top-tier guys this week, but I’m nervous about him facing this Titans’ defense. Tennessee has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year on the back of a deep, talented pass rush and an opportunistic secondary that picked off Josh Allen twice last week and held him to 263 passing yards on a 63.4% completion rate, his worst numbers of the season. The Titans’ defense is rounding into form and has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. As much as I love Watson’s talent, I’m not spending up on him in this matchup.
Teddy Bridgewater ($6,000): The Panthers’ offense has been on fire the past three weeks as they’re on a three-game win streak. Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore have both played great and their awesome Week 5 production helped Bridgewater end up with 313 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. He was an awesome play in a matchup against the Falcons who have allowed the most fantasy points to QBs this season, but things get much tougher against the Bears who have allowed just one top-20 finish by a quarterback this season. Chicago’s elite cornerback duo, Kyle Fuller and rookie Jaylon Johnson, are going to give the Panthers’ wideouts problems and the Khalil Mack-led pass rush is likely the best they’ve faced this season. I’m not chasing the points with Bridgewater in this matchup, especially after a well-deserved price bump.
Other quarterbacks I’m selling: Ben Roethlisberger ($6,700), Matt Ryan ($6,600), Philip Rivers ($5,900), Baker Mayfield ($5,700), Carson Wentz ($5,600), Joe Burrow ($5,400), Daniel Jones ($5,400)
Players I’m Buying
James Robinson ($6,800): The Jaguars’ rookie running back didn’t quite have the impact I was hoping for last week as it was the first time all season he failed to reach 100 yards from scrimmage. However, the Jaguars fell behind early and were only able to run the ball 15 times, so Robinson was by far the leading player in touches on the team. He also saw seven targets as the Jaguars clawed their way back late in the game, and that involvement in the passing game makes him game script-proof. This week, James Robinson has the opportunity for one of his best games of the season against the Lions who have allowed the most fantasy points to RBs this year. Robinson is an easy top-10 back for me this week, possibly top five, and at this price he’s a must-play in DraftKings.
Ronald Jones ($6,000): You have to love 20 touches for Ronald Jones last week in a game where he was the only running back to log a carry and he now has 15+ PPR fantasy points in each of the last two games. Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy have reportedly been getting limited practice in this week, but Bruce Arians likes to ride the hot hand and there’s no reason to take the ball away from Jones with the efficiency he’s displaying in all phases of the game. Jones takes on the Packers’ defense this week that has been surprisingly poor against the run, allowing the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season. I’m confident the volume will continue to be there for Jones as he’s averaging 17.8 touches per game this season. In a plus matchup, I see him as a borderline top-12 RB and he’s a strong play in DFS.
David Montgomery ($5,800): Since a season-ending injury to Tarik Cohen, David Montgomery has seen a boost in involvement in the passing game and has seen 6+ targets in each of the last two matchups. The Panthers allowed Todd Gurley to run for 121 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown, his best game of the season on the ground by far. Carolina has allowed the 3rd-most fantasy points to running backs this season and provide an excellent opportunity for Montgomery to continue his solid play. He should also be able to earn more rushing opportunities in a matchup that should promote more open offensive play than last week. At $5,800, Montgomery is one of the biggest values in DraftKings this week and he has a strong opportunity to finish as a top-12 guy this week.
Myles Gaskin ($5,400): Opportunity is king in fantasy football and with an average of 20.3 touches over his last three games, Gaskin is among the touch leaders in the NFL. He finally scored his first touchdown last week against a tough 49ers defense as the Dolphins shockingly blew them out on the road. This week, against the Jets defense that has allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to RBs, he should continue to excel for fantasy lineups. Gaskin gets plenty of touches on a weekly basis, providing him a strong baseline, and with him finally getting involved in the red-zone, he provides an awesome upside with a $5,400 price tag.
David Johnson ($5,400): Between the two D. Johnsons in the Texans’ backfield, David has been the far more involved player and is coming off a game with 17 carries and 2 receptions on 4 targets. This week, the Texans take on a Titans’ defense that has been strong against the pass but has struggled against the run as they’ve allowed the 8th-most fantasy points to RBs this year. With David Johnson’s solid efficiency and strong volume as of late, he’s likely underpriced at $5,400. With 10+ 1/2 PPR fantasy points in four of five games this season, his floor is very solid, and he’ll likely be heavily utilized in the passing game with the Titans’ pass rush getting after Deshaun Watson.
Other running backs I’m buying: Derrick Henry ($7,300), Alexander Mattison ($7,200), James Conner ($7,100), Kareem Hunt ($6,900), Jonathan Taylor ($6,400), Todd Gurley ($6,300), Adrian Peterson ($4,700)
Players I’m Selling
Aaron Jones ($7,600): I should preface this by saying that my inclusion of Aaron Jones in the sell category has far more to deal with pricing and value than it does anything to do with Jones. The Packers’ lead runner has 15+ carries in every game this season and is rushing at a career-high 5.8 YPC. So why am I selling? Jones has to deal with a stout Tampa front seven that has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to RBs after allowing the fewest last season. The Buccaneers are also surrendering 2.7 YPC, the lowest mark in the NFL, even after facing guys like Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara earlier this season. Jones is still an RB1 for redraft leagues this week and he’s my RB6 in my weekly projections, but at such a high price, I’m not buying into him this week with a capped upside due to the matchup.
Miles Sanders ($6,600): The Eagles’ top running back finally had a breakthrough game last week with two rushing touchdowns, his first multi-score game of the year. Sanders’s final stat line was a bit misleading in Week 5, though, as outside of his 74-yard rushing touchdown, he only had 6 yards on 10 carries. This week, Sanders has to face the Ravens defense that held the Bengals to 3 points and just 2.5 YPC for the game. The Eagles don’t have enough dynamic pass-catchers to move the ball against Baltimore and I’m not expecting a ton of red-zone opportunity for Sanders. He has surpassed 20 touches twice this season and has 13+ in every game, so the volume is there for him to still be solid this week, but he doesn’t have the upside in this matchup that I would like at this price.
Antonio Gibson ($5,500): I love the talent Antonio Gibson has displayed this season and I think he has a strong future in the NFL, but it’s hard to trust this Washington offense right now. Following Kyle Allen leaving the game after sustaining a helmet-to-helmet hit, Gibson was not targeted again by Alex Smith. J.D. McKissic continues to see a ton of playing time and he’s going to eat into Gibson’s bottom line at least until the coaches put more faith in their rookie runner. Gibson also has to face the Giants this week, a defense that has surrendered just 3.7 YPC this season, the 6th-lowest in the NFL. I’m expecting this game to end with one of the lower totals on the week so I’m fading most players from both sides, and I don’t see the upside for Gibson given the tough matchup and offensive consistency from his team.
Other running backs I’m selling: Mike Davis ($7,000), Melvin Gordon ($6,000), Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5,600), Kenyan Drake ($5,300), Chase Edmonds ($5,200), Mark Ingram ($5,100)
Players I’m Buying
Calvin Ridley ($7,800): The Falcons scare the hell out of me right now, but it’s hard to not love Calvin Ridley in a matchup against a Vikings defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Matt Ryan has not thrown a touchdown since Week 3 which obviously isn’t great for Ridley’s upside, but he’s still the WR3 this season and has 100+ yards in every game this season, aside from his goose egg a couple of weeks ago against Green Bay. This offense is far less potent when Julio Jones is off the field but with the veteran wideout still not practicing, Ridley should be in line for his fifth double-digit target game of the season. It may not always look pretty for this team, but at the end of the day, Ridley’s almost definitely going to end up a top-10 wide receiver this week.
Adam Thielen ($7,300): The Vikings’ Adam Thielen is probably my favorite target for DraftKings this week at receiver and I’d even consider stacking Kirk Cousins and Thielen this week. The emergence of rookie Justin Jefferson in this offense has only made things easier for Thielen and he has 22+ 1/2 PPR points in each of the last two games. This week, Thielen has a great matchup against a Falcons defense that has allowed the 7th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson combined for 32.8 1/2 PPR fantasy points against the Falcons last week. Atlanta’s offense has sputtered in recent weeks, but with Dalvin Cook likely out this week, the Vikings will probably look Thielen’s way more often to help them keep the chains moving. Thielen could come down with a monstrous number of targets this week and should finish as a top-five guy.
Chris Godwin ($6,400): It seems likely that Chris Godwin will take the field again this week after missing the past two games with a strained hamstring. I doubt the Buccaneers would put him out if he wasn’t close to 100% and with their other injuries in the receiving corps, they’ll need him to be at his best to move the ball through the air. The Packers’ secondary has been hit-or-miss this season with Jaire Alexander providing elite outside cornerback play but the rest of the unit playing mediocre football. Green Bay has especially struggled in defending slot receivers like Godwin as their nickel corner, Will Redmond, has played subpar football this season. Godwin’s price and ownership are going to be at record lows for what his talent represents and in a high-scoring shootout, he could be back to elite play faster than some expect.
Kenny Golladay ($6,200): Another elite player who’s price has dropped due to recent injury issues, Golladay is still underpriced in my eyes. He has scored a touchdown in each of his two games this season and faces the Jaguars defense this week that has given up the eighth-most passing touchdowns and the 13th-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Jacksonville was burned last week as Deshaun Watson compiled 359 passing yards. Coming off their bye week, this is the perfect opportunity for the Lions’ offense to finally produce the way I expected before the season. Golladay is their top weapon with 7.5 targets per game and can be started with confidence as he looks to continue his two-game scoring streak.
Julian Edelman ($5,600): It seems increasingly likely that the Patriots will have Cam Newton back under center this week which is huge news for Edelman’s fantasy viability. Edelman has put up two stinkers in the past two weeks, but he’s also played against the Chiefs (#25) and Raiders (#15) who rank outside the top teams in fantasy points allowed for wide receivers. The Broncos will give him a greater opportunity to succeed as he’ll be matched up with Essang Bassey in the slot, a rookie undrafted corner who has really struggled. With A.J. Bouye placed on Injured Reserve, typically great slot corner Bryce Callahan has had to shift to the outside. The Broncos also boast a strong run defense that has allowed the 11th-lowest YPC to opponents despite all of their injuries. That will force the Patriots to go through the air more frequently and with Cam Newton back, Edelman has a huge ceiling this week.
Laviska Shenault Jr. ($5,200): Rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has looked awesome all year and he came through last week with a team-high 7 receptions for 79 yards. DraftKings players will still be hesitant to play the semi-unproven rookie this week, but I firmly believe Shenault would have been a top-15 pick in the draft if not for his injury concerns. D.J. Chark left the game against Houston early with an ankle injury and may not be able to play this week. Even if he does, there should be plenty of production to go around against a Detroit team that is allowing the 8th-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Other wide receivers I’m buying: Allen Robinson ($7,000), Jamison Crowder ($6,100), Justin Jefferson ($6,000), Tyler Boyd ($5,800), A.J. Brown ($5,600), Chase Claypool ($5,200), Marvin Jones ($5,100), Jarvis Landry ($4,900)
Players I’m Selling
Odell Beckham Jr. ($6,400): Inconsistent has been an understatement for OBJ this season and he has one of the largest range of outcomes this season. His 8+ targets in three of five games is solid volume but it’s hard to trust Baker Mayfield right now as he isn’t playing well regardless of how strong the Browns’ offense has been – Mayfield has not surpassed 250 passing yards this season. The Browns face a tough test on the road against a dominant Steelers’ defense, and it won’t be easy for OBJ to see consistent targets if the Browns struggle to keep Mayfield upright. It’s worth noting that the Steelers are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, but there’s too much potential downside for me to endorse OBJ this week.
Robby Anderson ($6,300): We’re well past NBA Jam rules for Robby Anderson at this point as he’s scored double-digit PPR points in every game and 17+ in four of five games. This is despite scoring just one touchdown, which has to make him a candidate for positive regression. However, I’m nervous about the entire Panthers’ offense against a Chicago defense that hasn’t given up much to anyone this year. The Bears’ Kyle Fuller is turning in another elite season at corner and Jaylon Johnson has shown flashes of great play as a rookie. Anderson’s price is pushing him toward the top at the wide receiver spot and I’ll absolutely be playing him for the rest of the season, but a matchup against the defense that has allowed the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to WRs has me selling him this week.
Terry McLaurin ($5,700): As a big Scary Terry fan and an owner of him in several season-long leagues, I was very nervous about the switch at quarterback. In his first game without Dwayne Haskins, McLaurin only had 3 catches for 26 yards, by far his lowest output of the season. It’s worth mentioning that he faced a ton of Jalen Ramsey in this matchup and a defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year. However, things won’t get a whole lot easier against the Giants who’s high-priced free agency acquisition at cornerback, James Bradberry, has been paying off in spades. McLaurin is an elite talent and should get back to playing like a solid WR2 in due time, but the combination of the tough matchup and the uncertainty under center unfortunately has me fading him for the time being.
Other wide receivers I’m selling: Davante Adams ($8,000), Allen Robinson ($7,000), Mike Evans ($6,900), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,600), Marquise Brown ($6,500), DeVante Parker ($6,300), D.J. Chark ($6,300), D.J. Moore ($5,900), Jerry Jeudy ($5,500), Darius Slayton ($5,400), T.Y. Hilton ($5,000), Brandin Cooks ($5,000), Keelan Cole ($4,900), Diontae Johnson ($4,900), Russell Gage ($4,800), Preston Williams ($4,700)
Players I’m Buying
Mark Andrews ($6,500): The Eagles’ tight end defense has been abysmal this season and it extended to rookie Chase Claypool last week, a big-bodied wide receiver who lines up in the slot, who scored 4 touchdowns. Philly’s defense was a mess against the Steelers and there’s not much reason for optimism for them moving forward. Mark Andrews has been a bit inconsistent this year as he has three or fewer catches in three games, but he probably has the best chance to score a touchdown out of any tight end on the main slate. While the volume hasn’t been consistent, Andrews has scored 17+ PPR points in three of his games so far and is arguably Lamar Jackson’s best target week-to-week. Marquise Brown, the other guy in that conversation, will have his hands full with Philly’s Darius Slay on the outside while Andrews should be able to take advantage of weak coverage in the middle of the field.
Mike Gesicki ($5,500): The Dolphins’ offense looked phenomenal as they put up 43 points on the 49ers and Gesicki was a huge part of it as he finished with 5 catches for 91 yards. It’s hard to know where the targets will go every week as DeVante Parker and Preston Williams have both had great games recently and Gesicki does have three games this season with five or fewer targets. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been on a tear lately and the entire Dolphins’ offense should continue to excel this week against the Jets. Gesicki has been excellent this season even when he isn’t getting targets and there’s nobody on the Jets who can effectively cover a 6’6″, 250-lb athletic freak like him. The Dolphins’ spread offense continues to produce and with Gesicki taking the majority of his snaps from the slot, he should continue to be among the higher-scoring tight ends for DraftKings.
Trey Burton ($3,100): On a week where Travis Kelce and George Kittle are not in the main slate, it may be wise to take a flier on a cheap tight end option with a good opportunity. Trey Burton fits the bill as he has seen 5+ targets in each of his two games so far and faces a Bengals defense that hasn’t fared all that well against tight ends. Philip Rivers has always loved to target his tight ends, and Burton has always had the talent to be a team’s TE1 when he’s healthy. Mo Alie-Cox is dealing with a knee injury and Jack Doyle had no receptions last week despite outsnapping Burton, so the opportunity is there for Burton to step forward as the lead guy in this tight end group. The Bengals present an inviting matchup for him and at $3,100, he has the type of floor that allows you to comfortably spend up on other positions.
Other tight ends I’m buying: T.J. Hockenson ($5,300), Jonnu Smith ($5,000), Austin Hooper ($3,900), Ian Thomas ($2,900)
Players I’m Selling
Noah Fant ($5,400): The Broncos’ second-year tight end is trending in a positive direction in terms of being able to play this week, but I’m worried about a matchup on the road against the Patriots who have allowed the 7th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. Before his injury, Fant was the Broncos’ most consistent pass-catcher with 19 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns in four games. While Drew Lock could be back this week, I’m still not confident in this offense’s ability to produce a ton of points against a strong opponent. Fant’s upside is capped with his injury and matchup, so I’m not buying him as the third-highest priced tight end.
Zach Ertz ($5,000): Nothing has gone according to plan for those who spent early-round picks on Ertz in redraft leagues and he’s completely fallen off the map as he has just 5 catches for 15 yards over the past two weeks. Despite the Eagles having no consistent wide receiver play, Ertz has looked a step slow and hasn’t been able to take advantage. He’s still priced where his name recognition suggests and he’s earned it over the course of his career, but I’m completely unenthused about deploying any Eagles players against a Baltimore defense that held the Bengals to just over 200 yards of offense last week. Until we see Ertz perform like we’ve grown accustomed to, he’s off the radar for DraftKings.
Other tight ends I’m selling: Jimmy Graham ($5,000), Evan Engram ($4,900), Tyler Higbee ($4,800), Hayden Hurst ($4,700), Dalton Schultz ($4,500), Rob Gronkowski ($4,400)
In this section, I’m going to build a couple of sample lineups using the players I discussed above for you to reference when making your lineups this week. As always, I’m going to build a stack into all of these lineups with a quarterback and wide receiver/tight end. I believe stacks are the best way to maximize your potential to dominate in tournaments and win cash prizes on DraftKings. Here are a few ideas for how you can build your lineup this week.
QB: Matthew Stafford $6,300
RB: Alexander Mattison $7,200
RB: David Johnson $5,400
WR: Calvin Ridley $7,800
WR: Kenny Golladay $6,200
WR: A.J. Brown $5,600
TE: Irv Smith $2,500
FLEX: Jarvis Landry $4,900
DST: Chicago Bears $3,400
QB: Gardner Minshew $6,400
RB: Derrick Henry $7,300
RB: Jonathan Taylor $6,400
WR: Adam Thielen $7,300
WR: Julian Edelman $5,600
WR: Laviska Shenault Jr. $5,200
TE: Jonnu Smith $5,200
FLEX: Irv Smith $2,500
DST: Indianapolis Colts $4,000
QB: Lamar Jackson $7,700
RB: Kareem Hunt $6,900
RB: James Robinson $6,800
WR: Adam Thielen $7,300
WR: Jamison Crowder $6,100
WR: Chase Claypool $5,200
TE: Trey Burton $3,100
FLEX: Damiere Byrd $3,500
DST: Washington Football Team $3,300