Man, I have not been off to the hottest of starts in my locks. I nailed DeAndre Hopkins, who went for 21.7 points against a lost Titans defense but whiffed on both Mike Evans being shut down by the Giants and Paul Richardson emerging as Russell Wilson’s favorite target against the Colts. I should have locked up Amari Cooper against the Broncos. Dagnabit.
Also looking back on my picks last week, really sorry about cursing Chris Carson. I called that that would be his breakout game and of course he breaks his ankle and is out for the season. Let’s hope he has a speedy recovery and the “Pete’s FanDuel curse” doesn’t live past this week.
Also Todd Gurley can’t be stopped.
Season record: 3-6
Let’s get back to a winning record this week.
For those who have no idea what you’re about to get into, here’s a quick hitter. Here are four guys who I’m buying, selling and who I think will be steals based on their price and their matchups this week on FanDuel. Now, because it’s always fun to has some form of winning and losing, for one player in each group I give a success line, which is the minimum—or maximum for the “sell” guy—number of points they need to score for me to be happy about my choice. These will be the three guys I feel most confident in heading into the weekend.
With all that said, here are names to keep in mind, for good and bad, when you start to create your FanDuel lineups.
QB Deshaun Watson vs Chiefs ($7,500): Watson falls under the same category as Kareem Hunt did on this list a couple weeks ago: He’s just been unstoppable and you might as well buy in on him while you still have the chance. I have. With Marcus Mariota injured, I’m going full Watson in one of my leagues and hoping he carries me to glory. While the Chiefs have big names in their secondary, they haven’t been great against the pass, currently ranked 27th. The lights will be shining bright Sunday night but Watson will be brighter.
RB Le’Veon Bell vs Jaguars ($9,500): Wow real cool Pete, way to suggest I start the most expensive player this week. Well angry italicized person, there’s a reason he’s priced so high. Yes, Bell is a fantasy monster and FINALLY showed us that last week against the Ravens, but he’s also facing off against a Jaguars defense that, while strong against the pass, is awful against the run. Last week they gave up 27 points to Bilal Powell and another 20 points to some guy named Elijah McGuire. I think if I strapped on a pair of cleats I could get 10 points against this defense and I have nowhere near the athletic talent or sweet rhymes that Le’Veon Bell has. Easy win. And you know what, you want to give me shit for picking Bell? I’LL SHOW YOU HOW CONFIDENT I AM! LOCK IN BELL FOR START OF THE WEEK BABY!!
Success line: 27 points
RB Jay Ajayi vs Titans ($7,300): Now Ajayi hasn’t exactly started the season the way most people thought he would (for the record, I am not one of those people). However, despite how anemic the Dolphins offense has looked, they eventually have to have a good game. Right? Lucky for them, they’re facing a Titans defense that’s given up roughly 25 points per game to opposing running backs in the last three weeks. And they’re also coming off a game in which Lamar Miller just beat them in every way imaginable. Don’t let me down now Jay! (Ajayi that is, Smokin’ Jay Cutler has let me down from the words “I’m coming out of retirement”.)
WR T.Y. Hilton vs 49ers ($7,300): I also thought about picking Larry Fitzgerald here as the Eagles defense is one of the best at giving away points to starting wide receivers, but ultimately I picked the Colts’ speedster because I thought he’d take more persuading. Right off the bat, let’s acknowledge that clearly Jacoby Brissett isn’t Andrew Luck and the Colts miss their starting quarterback. That being said, Hilton’s start to the season hasn’t been horrible. He has less catches and targets than he did four weeks into his past two seasons, but his yards are basically the same as he had in 2015 and he even has one more touchdown (one this year, 0 in 2015 after four games). Basically, he has plenty of value outside of Luck and especially facing off against a 49ers defense that’s giving up 35 points per game to opposing wide receivers over the last three weeks.
QB Russell Wilson vs Rams ($8,000): Wilson was my sit on this week’s RB1 podcast and I’m sticking to it. The Rams have been tough on opposing quarterbacks all season and have only allowed 17.2 total points to opposing quarterbacks at home (3.3 to Scott Tolzien, 2 to Jacoby Brissett in Week 1 and 11.9 to Kirk Cousins in Week 2). In related news, the Seahawks can’t protect Wilson and the Rams are tied for 3rd in the league in sacks with 12. Somehow I have a hard time thinking the Seahawks’ line of misfit toys is going to slow down Aaron Donald.
RB Kareem Hunt vs Texans ($9,000): That’s right. I’m predicting the first game in which you will regret starting Hunt. I guess you could argue that last week was really the first week you regretted starting Hunt given that he only gave you 14.1 points but it doesn’t sound as Earth shattering to say I’m predicting the second game in which you’ll regret starting Hunt. The Texans have been the best team at stopping opposing running backs over the last three games, allowing only 8.6 points per game. It should be noted that two of those three weeks they were against the Bengals and Patriots—two teams that have little to no running game—but it’s still an impressive feat. As the second most expensive running back, your money can be spent better elsewhere this week. And you know what, for continuity sake, let’s lock up Hunt as the sit of the week as well. There, locked the two most expensive running backs.
Success line: 13 points
RB Jordan Howard vs Vikings ($6,700): This hurts to write because in the league that I care about—the one which I’m starting Deshaun Watson in—I have Howard and just don’t have the running back depth to bench him. But I can’t hide from the notion that he could be in for a very, very disappointing game Monday night. The Vikings are the second best team at contain opposing running backs this season, only allowing 13.2 points per game. Plus, this will be
Mitch Mitchell Trubisky’s first NFL start, meaning the Vikings will probably key in on the ground game, forcing Trubis to beat them through the air with all those non-existent receivers the Bears have.
WR Keenan Allen vs Giants ($7,500): Let’s start with a look at Allen’s first four games of the season:
What’s the point of this, you might ask. Well, Allen has been kinda up and down from week to week and I think that trend continues as the Chargers are set to face the Giants in New York/New Jersey. Which would mean he goes down rather steeply. The Giants are great against number one receivers and are awful against tight ends. I would expect the Chargers to utilize the Hall of Fame tight end and the young guy who scored eight touchdowns last year a lot, rather than test these Giants’ cornerbacks.
Bonus: Everyone on the Raiders
RB Wayne Gallman vs Chargers ($5,200): Who knows if the Giants can ever successfully run the football, but they’re about to find out as they face a Chargers defense that’s given up 25.7 points per game over last three games to opposing running backs.
WR Donte Moncrief vs 49ers ($5,100): Like I said with T.Y., the 49ers aren’t great at stopping opposing wide receivers. Moncrief caught his first touchdown last week against the Seahawks and could built upon that performance.
WR Kenny Stills vs Titans ($4,900): The Titans give up the fifth most passing yards per game and are tied for sixth in the league allowing the most 20+ yard plays. As the Dolphins’ deep threat, Stills could be in for a big game.
TE Hunter Henry ($5,200) or Antonio Gates ($4,600) vs Giants: The Giants give up an NFL worse 18.3 points per game to opposing tight ends. Pick your poison. Personally, I think it’ll be Henry who benefits from a bad Giants defense.
Success line: 11 points