We’re a quarter of the way through this season already. Where has the year gone?
If you had of told me at the start of the season that the Kansas City Chiefs would be undefeated after 4 weeks, with Patrick Mahomes as the MVP front runner, I would have checked you into the looney bin. But here we are, and those guys don’t look like slowing down. And neither are we.
Let’s find some gems for your PlayON Daily Fantasy NFL contests.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos ($7m)
Another week and another game where Lindsay got more carries than Royce Freeman. The undrafted rookie is pacing his team, and not only that, he has more yards this year than #2 pick Saquon Barkley. Denver Head Coach, Vance Joseph, has said he wants to get Freeman more touches, but until that happens Lindsay is the back to target. He’s getting more work at a cheaper price.
On top of that, the Broncos face a Jets team have allowed the last 3 running backs facing them to combine for 203 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. And who are these stud backs? None other than Kenyan Drake, Carlos Hyde, and T.J. Yeldon. Lindsay can both run and catch and he can certainly score. He’s a super value play this week.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars ($10.6M)
Bortles is a polarizing figure in the NFL. You’re either a believer or you relentlessly laugh at all the jokes at his expense. Whatever side you might fall on, there’s no denying that Blake can put up points on his day. And this upcoming game against the Chiefs looks like it could be his day.
The Kansas City defense give up massive numbers. They’ve already seen Philip Rivers with 424 yards and three touchdowns and Big Ben with 452 yards and three touchdowns. All year, they allow 328.5 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Last week, Fournette hurt himself once again, which saw Bortles throw 38 attempts for 388 yards. Fournette is out again this week, and up against a team who haven’t scored under 27 points, the Jags will need to move the ball. They’ve thrown the ball 61.31% of the time in their past three games and I don’t see that changing too much here.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions ($11.8M)
Matt Stafford plays big against the Green Bay Packers. He rarely plays badly against the division foes. In fact, Stafford throws so much that he rarely has a bad fantasy game at all. He scored 238 DFS points last week in a loss to the Cowboys where he still went 24/30 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Packers have been decent against quarterbacks this season but they have played Mitch Trubisky and Josh Allen in that time. When they drew with the Vikings, Kirk Cousins had 425 yards and 4 touchdowns. So they can give up big numbers to a really good quarterback.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($11.2M) vs. Rams, Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers ($13.6M) vs. Falcons
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers ($6.5m)
There are a ton of great matchups for the top running back options this week. McCaffrey against the Giants. Gurley against Seattle. Zeke against the Texans. And in order to fit those sorts of names in, you’re going to need some value plays. Aaron Jones might just be the pick of them as your RB2 of even flex position.
Jones and the Packers are heading into Detroit to face the Lions and their league worst rushing defense. In just four games, the Lions have given up three 100 yard rushing days. Jones has only played two games thanks to an early season suspension, but he has already taken over the lead back duties, totaling 82 yards and a score for 142 DFS points last week against the Bills. This game also favours Green Bay so Jones could see a repeat performance.
Melvin Gordon III, Los Angeles Chargers ($14.3m)
Gordon is expensive but this week, he’s worth it. He’s a rushing beast with pass catching abilities and he’s one of Rivers’ favourite outlets. The Raiders are allowing the third most a rushing yards per game with 139, and they’re not doing a whole lot better against the pass.
Just last week against the Browns, Nick Chubb had 105 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 3 carries. Carlos Hyde had 82 yards and a touchdown and Duke Johnson Jr added another 56 all-purpose yards. That’s a grand total of 243 yards and 3 touchdowns to the running back position. Melvin Gordon should see his fair share of opportunity to add to the three touchdowns he’s had in four career games against Oakland.
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars ($9.6m) vs. Chiefs, James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers ($13M) vs. Falcons
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons ($8.7m)
I spoke about Matt Ryan a bit last week. I said that in weeks 2 and 3 “Ryan has responded with 646 yards, 7 touchdowns plus 30 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns”. Then he came out against Cincinnati and added 419 yards and 3 touchdowns.
111 yards came via Mohamed Sanu on 6 catches. Sure, Calvin Ridley has been getting all the touchdowns, but Sanu has still been seeing far more of the targets on a game to game basis. And the Steelers haven’t exactly made a habit of stopping the pass game. John Brown just toasted them for 116 yards plus a score on Sunday Night Football. They are allowing the 4th most passing yards per week at just a touch over 300. Matty Ice will pick them apart and Sanu should sneak in a big game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers ($12.4m)
If anyone in Pittsburgh has benefitted from Le’Veon Bell’s absence it’s been Juju. The second year man has seen 49 targets through four games. He’s caught 31 of them for 416 yards. Over 100 yards per game. That’s fantastic production. His game last week was actually his worst of the year. He only caught 4 of his 11 targets and still had 62 yards.
The banged-up Falcons defense are giving up 284 yards per game through the air, good for 8th most in the NFL. The way both of these defenses are playing, this game could turn into a shootout and Juju will see another bunch of targets.
Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders ($10.5m) vs. Chargers, Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7.8m) vs. Chiefs
Rhett Ellison, New York Giants ($5.2m)
As bad as the Giants are, they have to throw the ball to someone. Odell Beckham Jr is clearly the elite option, but he also sees all the attention. And there’s always Saquon Barkley. But Manning’s safety blanket, Evan Engram, is out injured for the second straight week. Against the Saints last week, Rhett saw his targets for the year almost double working as the main TE. He only caught 3 balls for 29 yards but the targets were a nice sign.
Ellison gets a nice matchup against the Panthers. They have given up solid days to tight ends like Tyler Eifert (6-74) and Austin Hooper (5-59-1) this season. Carolina also let CJ Uzomah score two weeks ago. They may be a good defensive play (I’ll get to that), but they allow points to tight ends.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6.7m)
Vance McDonald is super cheap for what he offers this weekend. The Big Ben home and road splits are well documented, but this one is back in Pittsburgh which is an automatic uptick for the entire offense.
Vance has seen 14 targets in his three games and caught 12 of them for 200 yards and a touchdown with the shotty Falcons defense next up. I’ve spoken before about all the injuries that have decimated this unit. But also, the scheme they play tends to take away the outside targets and keep things focused into the middle of the field. Just another reason to like Vance McDonald.
Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders ($8.1M) vs. Chargers, Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons ($6m) vs. Steelers
Tennessee Titans ($6.5m)
Last week, the Titans stole one in overtime against the reigning World Champs. In doing so, they sacked Carson Wentz 3 times, and recovered a fumble. This defense has 12 sacks, 3 picks and 2 fumble recoveries on the season. It’s all a byproduct of getting pressure on the opposing quarterback and forcing him into rushed decisions.
Well, in fantastic news for all you Titans fans, the Bills are next on the agenda. Their young QB, Josh Allen, has been sacked 18 times already and he’s only played 3 ½ games. It’s the most sacks on a rookie through his teams first 4 games since Derek Carr had 26 in the 2002 season. To put it into perspective, all other rookie QB’s this year have been sacked 16 times combined. Allen has also thrown 4 interceptions vs just 2 touchdowns.
Carolina Panthers ($6.6m)
The Carolina Panthers defense are averaging right around 65 points a week against some fairly solid offensive units. Next up is the poor New York Giants offensive line who are allowing almost 4 sacks a game on their old man quarterback. Manning and co. are a bottom 10 ranked scoring team too. Meanwhile, Carolina are fresh off a bye week in which they added a very handy new safety named Eric Reid. The Panthers are going to feast.
Baltimore Ravens ($7M) vs. Browns, Cincinnati Bengals ($6.3M) vs. Dolphins
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills ($9.5m)
Shady is starting to look like a bit of value as a premium running back for under $10m, but don’t get fooled. There’s a very good reason his price has dropped so much. I mean firstly, the Bills are terrible. They have 1 win which came in Minnesota and can only be described as a fluke. They followed that up by going scoreless against the Packers. Now they face the Titans who, as I just mentioned, have been winning games they had no right to.
Secondly, and more importantly, Shady has been terrible all year. He’s had 81 yards. Total. In three games. His highest rushing game has been 39 yards. He’s averaging 42 DFS points. Ples, he’s dealing with a rib injury. Best not to fall into the trap despite the price.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.