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’s a look at what happened in Atlanta. Targeting the Falcons defense has become standard operating procedure and for a portion of the afternoon it looked like we wrong about Drew Lock. Despite missing Calvin Ridley, the Falcons and Matt Ryan got off to a fast start with Olamide Zaccheaus as the receiving star with four receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. Hayden Hurstwas also busy as he was targeted eight times which led to seven receptions for 62 yards with Julio Jones having a very ordinary game with five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. It is clear that Zaccheaus, and not Russell Gage, is the other Atlanta receiver to watch as Ryan continued to be a reliable option with 284 passing yards and three touchdowns. Lock though finished with the better statistical day (313 yards, two passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown along with an interception and 47 rushing yards) while Jerry Jeudy had the best game of his young career with seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. This is a combination to watch moving forward.
Daniel Jones made it through a game without a turnover. That is a reason to celebrate and while we are doing so the Giants also managed to not only get out to an early lead but also hang on for the victory. It was a pedestrian day for Jones though as he threw for just 212 yards and a touchdown while he remains outside of our DFS radars. The same can be said for his counterpart in Alex Smithbut it is impressive nonetheless to see him out on the field and throwing for 325 yards at that. Antonio Gibson led Washington with 20 rushing yards and this is another situation where we need to keep our distance as it is Terry McLaurin (7 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown) and everyone else from a DFS perspective. On the Giants side Evan Engram continued to be a large part of the Giants’ passing game with five receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown while Wayne Gallman had some value in the running game with 14 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown in a situation that should continue.
Zack Moss and Devin Singletary combined for 19 rushing yards this week in what is a situation to avoid. The complete opposite holds true for Josh Allen though as he completed 31 of his 38 pass attempts for 415 yards and three touchdowns as he also added 14 rushing yards and a fourth touchdown. This continues to be a banner season for Allen but we shouldn’t forget about Russell Wilson who threw 390 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort. The fact that the majority of that production came in garbage time is irrelevant to DFS players while DK Metcalf continued his standout season with seven receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.
While he was busy this week with 21 carries it was the rare ordinary afternoon for Derrick Henryas he gained just 68 yards against a tough Chicago defense. Jonnu Smith continued to be underwhelming with just two receptions for 32 yards but one of those was for a touchdown so he at least salvaged his afternoon. Thankfully for DFS players the Bears didn’t give up once the Titans opened up an early lead and Jimmy Graham made us look good with six receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown while Allen Robinson continued to be a solid option with seven receptions for 81 yards. Despite the victory it was a very ordinary day for Ryan Tannehill as with 10 completions for 158 yards he failed to make an impact although he did throw two touchdowns which included one to A.J. Brown who caught four passes for 101 yards as he continued a strong sophomore season and showed that there is no reason for concern with his ongoing knee injury.
Philip Rivers showed his true colors this week against Baltimore with just 227 passing yards as he failed to throw a touchdown pass. In an offense that lacks for DFS options these days, Rivers didn’t get any help from either Jordan Wilkins (11 carries for 39 yards) or Jonathan Taylor (six carries for 27 yards but with a touchdown) in the running game. The Colts’ defense is also a force but it shouldn’t be surprising to see another lackluster passing performance from Lamar Jackson with just 170 yards although he did carry the ball 13 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. J.K. Dobbinswas given a chance to show what he can do and while we have to grade on a curve based on the opponent but he was a disappointment with just 30 yards on 12 carries.
And here we go with the copy and paste portion. Patrick Mahomes was very good as this week he threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns with it clear who is favorite target is as Travis Kelcecaught 10 passes for 159 yards. If you can afford either or both in your lineups each week there is a clear benefit to doing so. The same cannot be said for targeting Kansas City’s running game as Clyde Edwards-Helaire once again failed to make any noise with just 14 yards on five carries as he should be off your DFS radars although he did catch a touchdown. Christian McCaffrey showed that there was no need to take things slow in his return as the Carolina running back carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching 10 passes for 82 yards and another touchdown. It is safe to get him right back into your lineups but now we have a shoulder injury to keep an eye on.
At this point what more can we say about Dalvin Cook? This week all he did in leading DFS owners to the winner’s circle was rush for 206 yards and two touchdowns while catching two passes for another 46 yards. While it was a quiet day in the passing game for Minnesota, Kirk Cousinscertainly was efficient as he turned his 13 receptions into 220 yards and three touchdowns. On the Detroit side we still have to tread carefully with D’Andre Swift (13 carries for 64 yards) but he is the running back to target while Marvin Jones (three catches for 43 yards) and TJ Hockenson (five catches for 39 yards) saved their days with a touchdown catch each.
While I’m not sure there is any DFS value to be found, Jake Luton did throw for 304 yards and a touchdown but more important D.J. Chark made a fool out of me with seven receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown in his best game of the season. James Robinson continued his solid rookie season as a dependable DFS option with 25 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. David Johnsonexited due to injury after just two carries but Duke Johnson failed to pick up the slack with only 41 yards on 16 carries while Deshaun Watson had another solid outing with 50 rushing yards and 281 passing yards along with two touchdowns.
I’m not bitter at all but wouldn’t it have been nice to know about Justin Jackson’s health status prior to the game starting? At least we received true clarity that Joshua Kelley can be written off as he gained just 28 yards on nine carries while Kalen Ballage carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Nothing else that we saw should have really come as a surprise with Justin Herbert throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns while Keenan Allen hit the century mark with 103 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. On the Oakland side there wasn’t much action on the receiving end of things with Derek Carr completing just 13 passes for 165 yards but Josh Jacobsdid rush for 65 yards while finding the end zone.
From a survivor perspective it could have gotten ugly as the Cowboys almost pulled off an improbable upset and Ezekiel Elliot continued to show why he is a DFS option to avoid with 18 carries for just 51 yards. With Pittsburgh forced to play from behind James Conner was a disappointment with just 22 rushing yards as the Steelers did things through the air. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 306 yards with three touchdown passes as he was able to sustain three wide receivers. JuJu Smith-Schuster continues his resurgence catching six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown while Diontae Johnson added six receptions for 77 yards. It was the rookie Chase Claypool who is the receiver we should be focused on as he led the team with 13 targets and eight receptions which he turned into 69 yards.
One of the more exciting match-ups this past week was in Arizona between Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa. We know that we are interesting times and one example of that is the fact that Murray was the only other player besides Cook this week to eclipse the century mark with 106 rushing yards on 11 carries along with a touchdown. Murray also added 283 passing yards and three more touchdowns while Christian Kirk was the receiving star with five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown while DeAndre Hopkins was a disappointment for the rare time this season with just three receptions for 30 yards. In the second start of his career Tagovailoa once again was the model of efficiency as he went 20 for 28 with 248 passing yards and two touchdowns while no other skill players stood out on Miami.
So this is what happens when Tom Brady gets pressured? Things couldn’t have gone any worse for Brady than they did against the Saints as he threw for just 209 yards with three interceptions. The opposite was true for Drew Brees as he threw for 222 yards while picking up four touchdowns by spreading the ball out. Michael Thomas did return this week but with five receptions for 51 yards he was best left ignored although I do expect that to change. Chris Godwin also returned for Tampa Bay catching three passes for 41 yards but I would consider that to be a blip on the radar although pumping the brakes on Brady wouldn’t be the worse course of action.
For a while it appeared the Jets might be victorious but order was restored with a last-minute field goal by New England. Cam Newton actually had a solid passing day with 274 yards through the air and only 16 on the ground but he did rush for two touchdowns so it was a typical game that looked better from a DFS perspective. While he did leave in the fourth quarter with an injury to keep an eye on Damien Harris continued to be a strong option with 14 carries for 71 yards and Jakobi Myers is a receiver to keep an eye on with 12 receptions for 169 yards. The same can be said for a healthy Breshad Perriman who caught five of his seven targets for 101 yards and two touchdowns as one of the few Jets worthy of our attention as he is finally on the field.
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