Oh lawdy it was a crushing week for me. Derek Carr did not take advantage of his matchup against Washington like I thought he would and Blake Bortles did exactly what I said he wouldn’t do.
It didn’t really get better for my locks either. Zach Ertz (my buy) missed my success line by 1.5 points—he finished with 13.5—while DeAndre Hopkins beat my success line by 2.1 points, finishing with 11.1 against the Patriots. So close on both counts. And I don’t even want to remind you who my Steal lock was. But I’m a man of the people so I shall. It was Rashard Higgins. Spoiler alert, it did not go well.
0-3 on the week. Gotta bounce back this week.
Season record: 2-4
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 Trevor Siemian vs Oakland ($7,500): On Thursday’s RB1 Podcast, Jon picked Siemian has his surprise start of Week 4 and I’m sold. Siemian could even fall into the steal category he so cheap this week. But I’m putting him on my buy list because I believe in him that much. Here’s what Siemian has going for him: he’s playing at home again, where he’s averaging 23 fantasy points a game AND he’s facing off against a Raiders secondary that finally made Kirk Cousins look good again.
RB Todd Gurley vs Cowboys ($8,000): Gurley’s numbers have been dramatically increasing every week so far this season, culminating in a 35.4 point performance last week against the 49ers. Now the Cowboys defense isn’t as bad as the 49ers but I think their rushing stats are skewed because of who they’ve played. They started the season against the Giants—no running back there—and last week played the Cardinals who are currently David Johnson-less. The one time they have played a starting caliber running back was in Week 2 when they got torched by C.J. Anderson, giving up 28.9 points to him. With Gurley now a weapon in the passing and running game, I think he’ll be too much to handle for a untested Cowboys run defense.
RB Chris Carson vs Colts ($6,600): This is the week Chris Carson breaks out! Mark it in your calendars people. It’s happening Sunday night. (Oh my god, this is the Sunday night game? In Seattle? It’s going to be a bloodbath!) The Seahawks keep putting more and more on Carson’s plate and he got his first touchdown of the season last week against the Titans. In two of the first three weeks, the Colts have given up 15 or more points to opposing running backs, just another reminder that their defense is not good. Have I said that before?
WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. Titans ($7,300): I know Hopkins has had yet to have himself a big game this season, but he OWNS the Titans in his career. Through eight regular season matchups, Hopkins is averaging 6 catches, 102 yards and 0.6 touchdowns. That’s a very nice stat line to put your hat on. It gets even sweeter as the Titans are one of the worst teams against the pass this season. And you know WHAT!? I’m giving Hopkins a chance to redeem himself AND LOCKING HIM IN!
Success line: 17 points
QB Matt Ryan vs Bills ($8,000): Let’s start with Ryan’s price. He’s the second most expensive quarterback yet hasn’t put up a single 20 point game so far this season. And I don’t think he’s going to do it against a Bills defense that has been feasting on quarterbacks to start this season. I always have a hard time spending big on quarterbacks unless they have just an amazing matchup. For instance Russell Wilson is $100 cheaper and playing the Colts. I’d much rather buy him than Ryan.
RB Melvin Gordon vs Eagles ($7,500): I was bouncing between a bunch of different names before settling on Gordon. My biggest concern about Gordon is his knee. While head coach Anthony Lynn said that he’d be fine and ready to play Sunday, it’s an injury Gordon has struggled with in the past and not exactly something I want to rely on staying healthy for him to produce. Also, he’s facing a quietly tough Eagles defense on the ground.
WR Mike Evans vs Giants ($7,900): It’s taking awhile for Mike Evans to return to the former fantasy glory that he had last year and sadly the return won’t be made this week. Janoris Jenkins is back healthy and was terrific last week against the Eagles and you can bet he’ll be lining up across from Evans wherever he is on the field. The Giants have only given up one passing touchdown to a wide receiver—it’s been tight ends that’ve been their kryptonite—and that was against the Lions when Jenkins was out of the lineup. Something about this game is just speaking to me, and it’s talking so much I’ll listen. Locking Evans in as my sell of the week.
Success line: 10 points
WR Amari Cooper vs Broncos ($7,500): I was asked this on this week’s mailbag and I think it’s a question people need to start considering: What do I do about Amari Cooper? It’s a fair question. He has been missing for most of the season, averaging only 7 fantasy points per game and almost all of that coming from the first game of the season when he scored 14.7. He doesn’t face an easy task to right the ship against the Broncos in Denver. That is not the secondary you want to be facing after Washington held you to one lousy catch for six yards. Yikes.
RB Wendell Smallwood vs Chargers ($5,300): Smallwood led the Eagles in carries and yards last week. Look for his role to expand this week against a very suspect Chargers run defense.
RB Andre Ellington vs 49ers ($4,800): Ellington made plays last week against the Cowboys and led the team in rushing. Against a very weak 49ers defense, I expect him to put up good numbers.
WR Paul Richardson vs Colts ($5,000): The Colts are bad at defending the pass. Doug Baldwin is dealing with a groin issue. Paul Richardson has been getting more and more looks. It’s show time.
Success line: 10 points
TE Ed Dickson vs Patriots ($4,900): The Patriots have allowed a touchdown to the opposing tight end in each game this season. That’s a trend I like to see (though as a Patriots fan, I hate it).