I’ve found it increasingly difficult this season to create balanced lineups on Yahoo DFS. Every week, players are being priced according to their matchup instead of their previous week successes. This week, the Lions-Patriots game (not featured on the main slate for FanDuel), is a prime opportunity for fantasy scoring. I love Tom Brady ($39) this week, but paying that much for a quarterback makes it extremely difficult to roster a well balanced team. I always find myself wanting to play value at QB and punting at DEF on Yahoo so I can roster a top RB and a solid group of WR’s. This week was another prime example of doing so.
QB – Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. NE – ($29)
Matthew Stafford fantasy owners have been a big fan of game script. The Lions have aired it out 99 times in just two games. Having trailed by multiple scores in both outings, the Lions are getting very used to playing from behind. This week, I see none of that changing as Tom Brady heads to Detroit. In an offensively minded battle, Stafford looks to keep pace with Blake Bortles previous 376 passing yards and 4 TD’s. If that’s any indication of what could be, Vegas also put this game tied for second in highest total of the week at 53.5 points. Look to see more of the same from Stafford as he throws another 40-50 times.
RB – Alvin Kamara (NO) at ATL – ($39)
No real surprise here. As I said in my FanDuel lineup article, Kamara is an industry lock. He’s facing an Atlanta Falcons defense who just surrendered 14 catches to Christian McCaffrey. The only true pivot off of Kamara this week is Todd Gurley ($40). I see merit to this strategy given anything can happen on any given week. Gurley has a favorable game script against a somewhat struggling Chargers defense, which definitely plays to his value. However, I do expect Kamara to put up more points in this one and think it’s more harmful than not to take the risk of leaving him on the bench.
RB – Corey Clement (PHI) vs. IND – ($13)
At a great price on Yahoo, I find it increasingly difficult not to play Clement in this spot. $13 normally affords you a fairly poor punt option. However, in this case, you’re receiving a running back that provides a very solid floor with much upside. With the return of Carson Wentz, the Eagles may finally be able to move the ball through the air. There will definitely be some rust on Wentz, but that only serves to provide greater value to Clement as his dump off option.
WR – Golden Tate (DET) vs. NE – ($24)
Averaging 14 targets a contest, you have to look at rostering Tate with or without Stafford. Tate’s ability to move the chains keeps him in the perennial eye of Stafford. The distribution of targets is actually fairly spread out among the Lions [ Tate (28) / Golladay (21) / Jones (17) ]. As I said above, the Lions are being forced to throw the ball an unprecedented amount of times. With plenty to go around in Detroit, Tate will certainly be fed well in this game. It’s expected to be a true back and forth contest. Look for Tate to grab 12-16 targets in what should be a very rewarding play.
WR – Robert Woods (LAR) vs. LAC – ($21)
I highly considered going Will Fuller ($20) here, but wanted to talk about another receiver I like that wasn’t already mentioned in another article. The Rams-Chargers game has an interesting, yet worrisome appeal. If the Chargers are able to combat the Rams premiere defense, this game could get out of hand very fast. However, more realistically, the Rams look to score a favorable amount of times while limiting Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. Brandin Cooks looks to take on Casey Hayward, so I’m really only interested in Woods and Kupp. The Chargers secondary has been highly ineffective thus far and I expect Goff ($35) to have a good day. Seeing a team high 18 targets, I felt comfortable choosing Woods. It’s somewhat of a gut call because TD distribution works more favorably towards Kupp ($20). However, as the Rams primary possession receiver, I like the floor that Woods brings with the potential upside in this game.
WR – Chris Hogan (NE) at DET – ($19)
With New England likely to score 3-5 passing touchdowns in this one, I love the upside of Hogan. He has only seen 5 targets in each of his first two games so far, but we have to take into account Jacksonville’s stout defense and potentially write one off as a fluke. Whether or not that is true, Hogan has 2-3 TD upside. Hogan will avoid Darius Slay in the slot, but Slay is already trending towards not playing, which only further promotes the Patriots offense. Josh Gordon is expected to suit up, but with his lingering hamstring injury and a lack of comfort with the playbook, I don’t expect much from him in this contest. Overall, the Patriots look to move the ball against a horrendous Lions defense and Hogan should be a great value play. I expect him to go under owned because of his questionable start to the season.
TE – Rob Gronkowski (NE) at DET – ($28)
In a great bounce back spot, Gronk is primed to rack up fantasy points. The Lions secondary has been burned in both games played and has no answer for Gronk’s athleticism. With the Lions likely able to keep some pace with the Patriots, Gronk will be utilized throughout the entire game. There’s a good chance Gronk has a multi-TD day in what should be another prosperous affair for him and Tom Brady.
FLEX – Kenny Golladay (DET) vs. NE – ($16)
A repeat from my week 2 article, Kenny Golladay has really come alive. Functioning as the Lions #2 WR, Golladay has proved to be very consistent through the start of the season. He now gets to face a Patriots defense that just gave up 16 rec. / 245 yds. / 3 TD’s to Jacksonville WR’s. Pacing the Lions for second in targets, he provides great exposure to the Lions passing attack in pairing him with Golden Tate. Don’t worry that you’re chasing points by playing him this week. He has a very favorable matchup in great game conditions.
DEF – Cowboys (DAL) at SEA – ($11)
Finding it difficult to manage expensive salaries, I elected to punt for the Cowboys DEF. They receive a nice matchup against Seattle but are on the road. Given this, I don’t think they’ll be highly owned, but do think they’ll yield a nice value. I’d rather be stingy at DEF than pay up on for it on Yahoo because of their expensive salaries. Defense only returns great value when a touchdown is scored. Because of the random nature to this, I find it’s always more secure to invest that money elsewhere into a player that is far more predictable.
Bonus Pick: DEF – Eagles (PHI) vs. IND ($16)
The Eagles DEF provides a nice game stack with Corey Clement. They’re reasonably priced and have good upside with the Colts functioning through check down throws and a running back committee. If you can afford them with a different QB/WR/TE game stack they should be considered.