Last week, the winner of the Sunday $1 Million rostered only one player (Travis Kelce) from the highest scoring game (Steelers-Chiefs). Instead, they stacked Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen, producing greater point totals through a more consolidated game stack. The problem with playing the Steelers-Chiefs game was the allocation of production. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Patrick Mahomes had huge days and put up 39 points. However, Antonio Brown scored just 11.2 points, while Jesse James stole 22.3 points. On the other side, Tyreek Hill failed to return his costly price tag because Chris Conley and Demarcus Robinson each vultured a touchdown. However, the Vikings had two clear channels of scoring that proved to be very lucrative. Cousins put up 34.5 points, while Diggs and Thielen scored 31.4 and 25.1 points. So while Cousins put up less points as a quarterback, the overall game stack produced far better results.
In light of this, I wanted to post a contrarian lineup for Sunday that has very good channels of consolidation. While a ton of ownership will be out in Atlanta for the Falcons-Saints game, most people will have their eyes off of the Texans-Giants game. This should be a great spot for Houston. With Hopkins and Fuller serving as the sole beneficiaries to Watson, this game is a great way to illustrate how last week might take form this Sunday.
QB – Deshaun Watson (HOU) vs NYG – ($7,700)
In a game against the Giants who just lost their starting center to a broken ankle, Deshaun Watson will get plenty of opportunities to possess the ball. Watson returned to form last week posting 23.8 fantasy points. He looked strong having Will Fuller back by his side. Facing an opponent that’s lacking stability and rhythm, the Texans look to dominate the time of possession. Houston is projected to score 24 points this week, but that seems a bit low given their offensive ability. I fully expect Watson to throw for 3-4 TD’s.
RB – Alvin Kamara (NO) at ATL – ($8,700)
Alvin Kamara will be the highest owned player come Sunday and for good reason. He has a near 30% ownership projection. As I spoke out about Christian McCaffrey last week, Alvin Kamara is now in line for exactly the same. To reiterate, the Atlanta Falcons have given up the most receptions to RB’s in each of their last three seasons. They also lost two of their primary defenders (Safety, Keanu Neal & Linebacker, Deion Jones). McCaffrey was able to catch 14 receptions on 15 targets last week. Re-read that. 14 catches, that’s an insane amount of production. With Kamara now in line for the same, we’re adding a more talented player to the equation, who has a much higher scoring efficiency, on a better offense, in a higher projected game total (53 Points).
RB – Kareem Hunt (KC) vs. SF – ($7,900)
Kareem Hunt started out the season rushing 16 and 18 times. Having somewhat of limited opportunities, he’s been rather disappointing. This week, the Chiefs get to face the 49ers, who are the first non-elite unit they’ll see. With how special Patrick Mahomes is playing, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Chiefs run up a two touchdown lead. Game flow suggests that this could be Kareem Hunt’s week. I’d expect around 25 touches for him in this game. I think the Chiefs will finally utilize Hunt and coast to their first easy win.
WR – DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs. NYG – ($8,600)
DeAndre Hopkins is a greater red zone threat than Julio Jones and commands just as much attention from Deshaun Watson as Jones does from Matt Ryan. With Will Fuller now back, this Texans team could really start putting up big numbers. With Fuller’s ability to spread the field, Hopkins is going to have plenty of opportunity to work in space. Playing Hopkins over Jones this week could prove advantageous if the Falcons-Saints game disappoints. Projected ownership of Jones is at a whopping 22.5%. Projected ownership of Hopkins is only at 7.5%.
WR – Will Fuller (HOU) vs. NYG – ($7,200)
Will Fuller has scored in each of his five games playing with Deshaun Watson. He’s averaged an impressive stat line of 4.2 rec. / 78.4 yds. / 1.6 TD’s. I’ll be licking my chops if the Giants find a way to keep this game competitive. Fuller will certainly be involved this week, regardless of game script, but his full potential boils down to whether or not the Giants maintain pace. With Fuller’s ability to burn DB’s deep down field, having the Texans air it out promotes his lofty stat line. But even in a low scoring contest, as we saw last week, Fuller can still achieve a 8 rec. / 113 yds. / 1 TD stat line. Expect more of that to come.
WR – Geronimo Allison (GB) at WAS – ($5,000)
Allison is a sneaky good pick this week. He’s seen 8 and 6 targets in his first two games and has produced efficiently in both outings. The Packers have yet to find a groove with their running game and Rodgers has found trust in Allison. Facing a Redskins defense where Davante Adams will see plenty of Josh Norman, I expect Allison to be a consistent factor in this one. An every week bonus of Allison is his athleticism and ability to be utilized in the red zone. I could definitely see him returning double his price tag by finding the end zone against Washington.
TE – Jared Cook (OAK) at MIA – ($5,600)
We’ve seen two versions of Jared Cook so far and honestly I like both. If Cook’s floor is 4 catches for 49 yards, there’s merit to rostering him many weeks. Derek Carr has made it a point to get him the ball, functioning as his safety net. With Cook’s athleticism and clear usage in the passing game, I feel comfortable going to him even if we don’t have the best idea of what the Raiders are. The Dolphins-Raiders game has some potential to put up points. Neither team yields a strong defense and even without a touchdown, Cook still holds nice value at a fair price.
FLEX – Corey Clement (PHI) vs. IND – ($5,800)
A popular value pick, Clement is primed for a three-down workload (Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi have yet to practice through Thursday). Clement functions as both a nice runner and apt pass catcher. With a solid matchup against a susceptible Colts defense, Clement provides a great floor. Adding Carson Wentz back to the lineup only further lifts Clement’s ceiling. He’s my preferred bargain of the week over Giovani Bernard.
DEF – Cowboys (DAL) at SEA – ($3,400)
At one of the lower projected totals of the week (41.5 points), the Cowboys look to continue their string of great defensive play. They’ve so far held the Panthers and Giants to 16 and 13 points. An under the radar defense that has clearly gotten stronger over the off-season, the Dallas Cowboys look like a top 5 defensive unit. Against the Seahawks who are struggling to hold an offensive line, the Cowboys should be able to sack Russell Wilson and slow the rhythm of this offense. I expect little to come from this game. The Seahawks defense is no where near what it used to be and the Cowboys offense will do enough to run the ball and let the clock dwindle down.
Bonus Pick: DEF – Bears (CHI) at ARI – ($4,300)
With Khalil Mack dominating nearly every snap, the Bears defense has forced 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 touchdowns…in 2 games. Against the Cardinals who just put up a solid 0 points last week, they should be rostered very highly. They’re an amazing value at $4,300.