Before we look forward, we must look back. The NFL season builds upon itself each week and offers up its share of highs and lows. This is on a cumulative basis but DFS gives us a fresh start each week. The key is to take everything as a learning experience while not overreacting in either direction.
Each week we will take a look at both positive and negative situations that transpired from the week prior and what it means going forward. Let’s keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg and throughout the week we will go into further detail about other players that deserve our attention for the coming slate of games. That is why you need to stick with us throughout the week.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? As a preview of what you can expect, let this be your reminder that the Jets are still not very good. Pitiful to say the least. If you want to throw embarrassing out there, that works too as there was nothing to see from a fantasy perspective from New York on Sunday. In other obvious news Patrick Mahomes is very good. All Mahomes did was complete 31 passes for 416 yards and five touchdowns as he led the Chiefs to another victory. Mahomes spread the love around as four different receivers caught touchdown passes but it was the usual suspects in Travis Kelce (eight receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown) and Tyreek Hill (four receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns) that led the way. We were also reminded that Mecole Hardman is an option to keep an eye on as he caught seven passes for 96 yards and a touchdown in a banner day for Kansas City. It was surprising though that despite a blowout Clyde Edwards-Helaire carried the ball just six times for 21 yards.
It is becoming clear that Cam Newton is not the answer at quarterback for New England as he threw for just 174 yards on Sunday without a touchdown. Again he added 54 yards rushing along with a touchdown so the overall point total had some relief, but Newton is a quarterback best avoided from a DFS perspective. We did have some clarity on New England’s backfield though as Damien Harriscarried the ball 16 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo didn’t require much from Josh Allen (11 completions for 154 yards and an interception) in their victory as it was all about the running game. Both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss carried the ball 14 times with the “veteran” outgaining the rookie by five yards (86 to 81) but it was Moss who scored two touchdowns in what very well could be a turning point game for him.
Wins have been tough to come by in Cincinnati so far this season but its clear things are trending in the right direction with Joe Burrow under center. The rookie led the Bengals to their second victory of the season with 274 passing yards and two touchdowns as Cincinnati made due without Joe Mixon. With 16 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown we got the best of Giovani Bernard and his limited upside while Tee Higgins continued his success with six receptions for 78 yards on nine targets. For the Titans Derrick Henry had another strong game with 112 rushing yards and a touchdown as Corey Davis showed what he is capable of catching eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
To say it was an ugly game between the Raiders and Browns from a DFS standpoint would be an understatement. Derek Carr and Baker Mayfield combined for just 234 passing yards but Josh Jacobs did rush for 128 yards even if he needed 31 carries to do it. And from there, in case you couldn’t tell from the performance of both quarterbacks, things went downhill pretty quickly.
The Colts won by 20 on Sunday and in doing so defeated a Detroit team that struggles to defend the run. On paper things lined up perfectly for Jonathan Taylor to have a strong game but instead he carried the ball 11 times for just 22 yards while Jordan Wilkins turned 20 carries into 89 yards and a touchdown. Going forward I would try not to read too much into this, more so on the Wilkins side, but it is something to keep an eye on. Things were very different for the Lions as they rushed for just 29 yards as a team with D’Andre Swift gaining one yard on six carries. I wish that was typo but it is the cold hard truth although it did come against a tough Colts’ defense. The Colts spread the ball around from a passing perspective as T.Y. Hilton continues to be a non-factor (two receptions for nine yards) while T.J. Hockenson was busy with seven receptions and 65 yards on 10 targets.
Things didn’t go according to plan for the Packers as a team last week but it’s hard to argue with Aaron Rodgers’ performance as he threw for 291 yards and three touchdown passes. While Robert Tonyan led Green Bay with five receptions for 79 yards proving he is very much a real and legitimate option at the tight end position, it was Davante Adams who caught all three touchdown passes. After missing a week due to injury prior to Minnesota’s bye week Dalvin Cook answered any and all questions about his status as he carried the ball 30 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns.
With an early touchdown pass to DeVante Parker it looked like it could be a good day for Tua Tagovailoa in his first career start but instead he finished with just 12 completions for 93 yards as a reminder that we should take our time from a DFS perspective on the new “shiny” object. Across the field Jared Goff did throw for 355 yards but he threw for just one touchdown along with two interceptions and he needed 61 attempts to do it. We did have a Cam Akers sighting but he gained just 35 yards on nine carries as this is still a backfield to stay away from. Both Cooper Kupp (11 receptions for 110 yards) and Robert Woods (seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown) had good DFS days but it was staggering to see Kupp targeted 21 times.
We have been waiting for weeks but Baltimore finally had a week where Lamar Jackson wasn’t their leading rusher. Granted Jackson did gain 65 yards on 16 carries as the Ravens did rely on the running game (47 carries) but rookie J.K. Dobbins burst through showing what he is capable of with 113 yards on 15 carries. While Jackson’s rushing production has helped to keep him afloat it’s still tough to target him each week considering he threw for just 208 yards and two touchdowns (along with two interceptions) in what was actually one of his more prolific passing performances. In facing a tough Baltimore defense it was a quiet day for the Steelers’ offense as Ben Roethlisberger threw for just 182 yards and two touchdowns but it was a good sign to see JuJu Smith-Schuster catch seven passes for 67 yards.
Justin Herbert turned in another solid performance with 278 yards and three touchdowns (along with two interceptions) but it was overshadowed by a dramatic Denver comeback. For those looking for clarity in the Chargers’ backfield, Joshua Kelley is on the way out as he carried the ball just seven times for 32 yards while Justin Jackson continued to take control of the situation with 89 yards on 17 carries while also adding three receptions for 53 yards. For the Broncos Jerry Jeudycontinues to be the receiver to own with the most upside. The rookie led Denver with 10 targets but he was only able to turn that into four receptions for 73 yards as he continues a strong debut season.
Allen Robinson owners were able to relax as he put any concerns of his concussion aside catching six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown as continues to be a reliable DFS target and probably the only consistent option on the Bears. Chicago’s defense continues to be a tough opponent and the Saints didn’t do much from a DFS perspective this week in what was not an ideal situation. We did see Alvin Kamara continue to be New Orleans’ top receiving option as he caught nine passes for 96 yards while adding 67 yards on 12 carries.
The injury bug continues to hit San Francisco hard as they are now without Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle for the next month or two. Nick Mullens did throw for 238 yards and two touchdowns and he could have value moving forward depending on his price. Both Brandon Aiyuk(eight catches for 91 yards and a touchdown) and Kendrick Bourne (81 yards on eight receptions) showed they can be viable DFS options as well, especially based on their price entering the week, and despite the injuries this is still an offense that deserves some attention. But no one warranted attention last week like D.K. Metcalf as he caught 12 of his 15 targets for 161 yards and two touchdowns while Russell Wilson turned in his customary four touchdown performance.
Unfortunately we closed out the day with an ugly DFS game as Carson Wentz threw for just 123 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. One of those touchdowns went to Travis Fulgham as he continues his recent success with six receptions for 78 yards while the other touchdown was caught by Jalen Reagor as he looks to find his footing after getting off to a slow and injury marred start to his career. On the Dallas side, Ezekiel Elliot continues to be a high-priced option I’m looking to stay away from as he gained 63 yards on 19 carries.
Tom Brady did just enough on Monday to get the job done with 279 yards and two touchdowns but he continues to be a viable fantasy option with Mike Evans as his most consistent receiver catching five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. It was interesting to see Ronald Jones essentially as non-factor gaining just 23 yards on seven carries while Leonard Fournette carried the ball 15 times, but just for 52 yards. The Giants appeared to figure out how to get Evan Engram involved as he was targeted 10 times for five receptions and 61 yards while we also saw what a healthy Sterling Shepard can do as he caught eight of his 10 targets for 74 yards.
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