With the first of the mega bye weeks now officially over, it is now time to say farewell to another six teams as they part ways with us for a week. While we regain the likes of Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and Odell Beckham this week, we arguably give up more to the bye, as the Patriots, Bengals, Cardinals and Texans amongst others all head into their week off.
As is always the case with DFS, knowledge is often power. However, with such slim pickings this week, this motto may ring true more than ever.
Pay up: Aaron Rodgers ($9,500) is yet to make his debut in my column so far this season and for the most part has not quite lived up to his lofty standards from years gone past. However, in more recent weeks Rodgers has somewhat bounced back and began to put up the numbers we have grown accustomed to. Arguably the most talented passer in the game, Rodgers faces a struggling Colts’ defence in week 9, who rank in the bottom three for passing yards surrendered and opposing quarterback rating. Rodgers has averaged over 40 pass attempts a game over the last month and while I don’t expect this type of volume to continue on Sunday, he is in a plus matchup that should easily see him eclipse 25 fantasy points.
Value play: Dak Prescott ($7,900) has been somewhat phenom this season and while there are still heaps of question marks around who the number one quarterback is in Dallas, Dak continues to go about his business quietly and confidently. On deck this week for Prescott is the winless Bronws, a team that ranks in the bottom three for fantasy points allowed to apposing quarterbacks. This is by no means a left field play, but given Prescott’s strong play thus far, you won’t get a better opportunity to roll him out this season. Expect Dak to make a statement here before Tony Romo returns to full fitness.
Pay up: Ezekiel Elliot ($9,300) also faces the Browns’ this week and while he may be a touch more expensive than his rookie teammate, making a case against him this week is quite hard. For the first time since week 2, Elliot failed to reach 100 yards on the ground last week, rushing for a measly 96 yards and adding another 52 through the air. Measly right? It’s almost comical how high his floor. Make no secret about it, the Cowboys are going to feed Elliot, he has amassed 20 touches in all but one game this season and the given the likely game script of his matchup this week, I don’t see any scenario where this does not continue. With a such a high floor and a huge upside, Zeke makes a fine play in any format this weekend.
Value play: Charcandrick West ($4,000) is this week’s newest addition to the ‘next man up’ section as his fellow teammate Spencer Ware has officially been ruled out due to a concussion picked up against the Colts in week 8. Given the fact that West was the only healthy running back on the Chiefs roster before they went on to add Bishop Sankey mid week, it is likely that West will take up almost all of the backfield. The Jags defence ranks in the middle of the back when it comes to points surrendered to apposing running backs, but given West’s near basement price, he is the closest thing to a ‘must start’ this week.
Pay up: Antonio Brown ($9,500) and Odell Beckham ($9,400) are the two big names we are left with this week as Mike Evans and Julio Jones both featured on Thursday Night Football and AJ Green is on bye. Neither need and introduction and make great pay up options each week. However, with Beckham still struggling with a hip injury and Brown potentially still missing his star quarterback, they do come with some question marks. If Big Ben takes the field this week, I would roll out Brown in a heartbeat. If not, Beckham may well be the better play.
Value play: Donte Moncrief ($6,200) returned to the field last week and picked up right where he left of to start the season, finding the end zone and racking up double digit fantasy points. Whilst there was still signs of rust between he and Andrew Luck, Moncrief could have had a much bigger day if he didn’t have a second touchdown called back in the game. There is no doubt that Moncrief is Luck’s second favourite target behind TY Hilton and in a such a pass heavy offense he should see a heap of targets going forward. A matchup with the Packers on the road may force the Colts to look downfield even more than usual as they look to keep in touch with a high-powered, Aaron Rodgers lead offence.
Kyle Rudolph ($5,900) has been a casualty of poor quarterback and even poorer offensive line play over the last month, but is undoubtedly the second option in the Vikings passing game. Rudolph has head 5 receptions or more in 4 of his last 5 games, which highlights a relatively safe floor given the scarcity at the position. Furthermore, he finds himself in a plus matchup this week against the Lions. Detroit rank dead last in points allowed to opposing tight ends. Look for Rudolph and the Vikings to bounce back this week in a home game against their divisional rivals.
The Chiefs ($6,500) are facing Blake Bortles this week who is simply not a good quarterback right now. There is really no other way to put it and as an Allen Robinson owner in fantasy, it is very frustrating. Marcus Peters currently leads the NFL in interceptions and given Bortles inclination to turn the ball over, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the second year pro take one to the house.
Will Lutz ($4,100) should have ample opportunity to get on the field this week against the 49ers. The Saints may not be as efficient on the road, but Drew Brees is still one of the best quarterback’s in the league with a heap of options at his disposal. If the 49ers can hold the Saints to field goals attempts in the red zone, Lutz will be in for a big day.
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!