Divisional Rivals Tanking, Awful Defense, Take Advantage – Philip Rivers
As a Raiders fan it hurts me to say it, but the season is more than over, it’s irrelevant. The only goal of Jon Gruden right now is to have a good team in a few years – which doesn’t bode well now. The Chargers are a very powerful offense, and there is almost no way they lose this game, which means having Rivers at only $6,000 allows you a safe bet on someone putting points us and probably exposing the Raiders secondary at least once. It’s very possible he throws 3+ Touchdowns for 0 Interceptions.
Great Offense, Competitive Opposition, Potentially Weakened Defense – Matt Ryan
The Falcons are having a tough season, but Matt Ryan and the offense have been productive, and will continue to do so no matter what their record is. Ryan will be looking to lead them to a much-needed fifth win of the year, and so at $6,200 you can have the QB who throws the ball to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and when he’s up against a defense which may be missing its best defensive back in Denzel Ward who is banged up. Julio has scored the elusive first TD now so maybe it’s time for a few more.
Three-Down Back, Game-Script Proof, Against the Raiders – Melvin Gordon
This is going to cost you, so you could definitely argue you should just save a few extra dollars and get Gurley for $600 more, but Melvin Gordon is $9,000 and I think it’s very possible he is worth it. The absolute number one thing you get from the likes of Gordon is the assurance that he will be on the field every game for a lot of offensive reps. He gets around 20 opportunities every single game (rushes + targets) and when you put that up against the Raiders you have a very good chance of turning it into a Touchdown or two, whilst also being involved in the passing game.
Incredible Form, Less Expensive than the top 3 – Kareem Hunt
I usually give at least one discounted option to try and save money (and I will in my honourable mentions), but this week there is an insanely strong group of running backs at the top. In the main slate this week (6PM and 9PM games GMT) you have Gurley, Gordon, Kamara and Kareem Hunt, all above $8,000 – so you’re going to need at least one stud, and Hunt is the cheapest of those, at $8,500, which is good value. The Chiefs offense is absolutely dominant and having a slice of that is always good, especially against the Cardinals – if you could only pick one I’d probably take him over Gurley this week, even without including the money .
Targets, Targets, Targets; Volume vs the Falcons – Jarvis Landry
In the same game, I like the opposition offense too. Any receivers who get work underneath (including RB’s) against the Atlanta defense get a lot of work, because of their tendency to play over the top. When receptions are given up by the defense, you need the targets, and nobody knows targets like Jarvis Landry. Averaging 11 per game, you can expect him to have the ball thrown his way against any defensive unit, but when their philosophy is to let them have those shorter catches, he has a chance for 10 catches this week and that floor is incredible for $6,200 in the PPR format. Landry serves as a great WR1 option if you go RB heavy.
Budget Receiver, In Good Form – Adam Humphries
When you’re stocking two running backs for a cost of over $17,000 like I am, you need to take a punt on some budget receivers, and who better than Adam Humphries for only $3,900. Over the last four games he is averaging 15.6 points in DK’s scoring, and he has only scored in one game, to be able to put up double-digit points without scoring means that on those days where he does find the endzone he has the potential to have week-winning performances for under $4,000. I am using Adam Humphries in my lineups this week to help me save money and spend it on RB’s instead.
Bill Belichick is Petty, and Malcolm Butler is Bad – Josh Gordon
This is a fun one. Malcolm Butler is having a tough season, in his first outside of New England, and now his former team are coming to visit. Bill Belichick isn’t a big fan of Butler, and after he benched him in the Super Bowl, it was clear that Butler wouldn’t be sticking around anymore. If you know the Patriots Head Coach, you’ll know he would absolutely love to target the SB XLIX hero and embarrass him. It doesn’t help that Malcolm Butler is having an awful season – so I think that Josh Gordon is going to absolutely torture him. If Gordon scores on one deep ball he’s always good for 8+ points on just that single big play, but I think that his volume might creep up and stay around his season-high 10 targets again this week too, especially if Gronk stays out. If he gets that many targets, he will definitely make something happen against the Titans defense, and deliver on his huge upside, for a very reasonable $6,000.
Good Value, Great Talent but Very Reasonable Price – Trey Burton
Trey Burton is a difficult player to judge, because he is a very Touchdown dependent, but he has scored 5 of them in 9 weeks, so he’s actually doing very well, and he has a very respectable 12.4 Fantasy Points per game – a top 10 at the position. Last week in Buffalo he only caught two passes all game but he got 10.8 points because he reached the End Zone. For only $3,900 you can take him against Detroit at home, which seems too cheap to ignore.
Good Player, Great Offense, Opposition Defense Can’t Stop TE’s – Ben Watson
After last week’s performance it won’t take much for me to convince you that the Saints Tight End is a very talented player, but he is worth a lot more than his $3,400 price tag, especially when he’s on the road against the Bengals, who are 31st against the TE position. In 2018, this is the most difficult position to predict, and more than ever the expensive options like Kelce and Gronkowski etc, especially in conventional redraft fantasy leagues, but people like Ben Watson are those who have the skills (and Quarterback) to allow you to bank on them to make something happen for literally half the price of Kelce.
There is one game, and two defenses, which I’m interested in this week. The New York Jets are hosting the Buffalo Bills. Neither have their starting Quarterback. Neither have pretty much anything, honestly. This might be one of the worst offensive games of the season. The Bills are slightly cheaper at $3,200, but the Jets are $3,400 – I’d personally go for the Jets defense if I can afford both, but both of these can get the job done for a reasonable price.
Drew Brees @ Cincinnati – QB – $6,300
Duke Johnson Jr. vs Atlanta – RB – $4,700
Aaron Jones vs Miami – RB – $5,000
Michael Thomas @ Cincinnati – WR – $8,100
Calvin Ridley @ Cleveland – WR – $5,900
Tyrell Williams @ Oakland – WR – $4,500
Austin Hooper @ Cleveland – TE – $3,800