As the first six weeks of the season are now in the books we can officially say goodbye to the first third of the NFL season. Unless you are Browns, Jets or Bears fan like myself, you are probably still optimistic about what the season holds for your team.
However, if all else has failed and DFS is the only thing that is keeping you interested in the NFL at this early stage of the season, I promise to do my very best to help you construct a profitable line-up this Sunday.
Pay up: Matt Ryan ($8,400) has now undoubtedly put the hardest part of his schedule behind him after facing arguably the two best defences in the league in successive weeks. Following back to back road games against the Broncos and Seahawks, Ryan now finds himself in a plus matchup at home against the Chargers. Ryan has been a picture of consistency this year, throwing for over 250 yards in all but one game and is attached to one of the highest scoring offences in the league. Take advantage of the drop in price Ryan has received over the last couple of weeks and look for the Falcons to take advantage of a banged up Chargers side.
Value play: Colin Kaepernick ($6,500) will by no means be a popular pick this week given the matchups of the top end guys, but he is still someone to consider if you’re paying up elsewhere. Kap made his long awaited season debut last week and whilst he wasn’t as sharp as what 49ers fans were hoping for, he did manage to put up solid fantasy numbers against a Bills defence that have limited the output of a number of QB’s this season. Let me remind you, as DFS players, we only really care about the numbers and for the most part Kap comes with a relatively safe floor due the ability he has to run with the football. This week he faces the Bucs at home, a side that ranks in the bottom third in the league in a number of categories as well as dead last in yards per completion. Given all this, look for Kap to eclipse 20+ fantasy points.
Pay up: I’m sorry, but Demarco Murray ($9,500) approaching Demarco Murray levels of 2014 and is this week’s stand out top end guy. I’m not going to keep banging on about the same points with this guy, but with Leveon Bell facing the Pats without Big Ben, David Johnson running into a strong Seahawks defence and Lesean McCoy questionable with a hamstring issue, Murray is essentially the obvious choice.
Value play: Jacquizz Rodgers ($4,100) is probably the closest thing to a sure thing this week with the rest of the Bucs backfield banged up. Doug Martin suffered another set back in training and Charles Sims has been placed on injury reserve, leaving Rodgers to pick up the bulk of the carries. In week 5 we saw Rodgers take up a similar role, in which he was fed 35 carries. This week he faces a struggling 49ers side that are dealing with injuries of their own. NaVorro Bowman, the 49ers most important player on defence is out for the season, leaving a gaping hole in the San Francisco defence. The 49ers have given up 243 yards per game on the ground and Rodgers looks just about a must play this week.
Pay up: Julio Jones ($9,300) must be considered this week in his return to the Georgia Dome. As I touched on before, the Falcons have seen some formidable defences in recent weeks and Julio has been kept somewhat quiet given his lofty standards. However, it was only 3 weeks ago that we saw the former Alabama star explode for 300 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers at home. There is no question that he is Matt Ryan’s favourite target and that the Falcons offensive unit as a whole play better under the bright lights of the Georgia Dome, so stacking them together this week greatly appeals to me. The Chargers are missing Jason Verrett and there is no one else in that secondary that is of the same class as Julio, I’m expecting big things this week.
Value play: Mike Wallace ($6,100) has seen 9 or more targets in his last three outings and with Steve Smith listed as doubtful going into Sunday’s clash with the Jets, we’re likely to see the Ravens passing game lean on him again. There is no doubt that it has been a slow start to the year for the Ravens offensively. However, following the departure of offensive Coordinator, Marc Trestman it looks as if they will start playing to Joe Flacco’s strengths and look to take more shots down field going forward. As we know, Wallace has made a name for himself as a downfield threat and he faces a Jets secondary on Sunday that has been torched by the long ball this season. As long has Flacco, who is currently listed as questionable, is active on Sunday, Wallace looks a solid option with a relatively high upside.
Jack Doyle ($4,500) will serve as the Colts’ number one tight end this week in a date with the Titans. As is often the case in the NFL, injury creates opportunity, and on Sunday it is likely that Doyle will be Andrew Luck’s second option in the passing game. With fellow tight end Dwayne Allen ruled out with an ankle injury and receivers, Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief also sidelined, expect Doyle to see a large uptick in usage. Remember, this guy is no slouch, Doyle has already caught three touchdowns this season is arguably Luck’s favourite target in the end zone. It’s also worth noting that Luck has thrown 4 passing touchdowns to tight ends in his last 3 games against the Titans. If Doyle can pick up some additional yards between the 20’s owners should see a very productive day from him.
In my weekly fade the Browns segment, you can’t really look past the Bengals ($4,300) this week at just above basement price. Terrelle Pryor is the only real playmaker on the Browns offence and looks unlikely to take the field on Sunday. If Pryor does in fact miss, I really don’t see how the Browns move the ball. No doubt a chalky play, but one of the safer ones this week.
Its never a bad week to pay up for Adam Vinatieri ($5,500) as the veteran has now made 41 consecutive field goals. He’ll look to break the NFL record this week in a matchup with the Titans. However, he has seen a steep increase in price in recent weeks so if you are looking for a budget option, Roberto Aguayo ($4,000) and the Bucs should move the ball enough against the 49ers to get some points on the board. The rookie out for Florida State has had his troubles this season, but I’ll back him to get it right following his match winning kick against the Panthers before the bye.
Be sure to continue the conversation with me on twitter @damonmarcon where we can talk all things NFL as well as those line-ups that are pushing towards DFS glory. Good luck!