FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Carson Wentz (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,600): Wentz looks ready to deliver an impact game in TDs with plenty of supporting yards. Over his last three starts, Carson passed for 937 combined yards with seven TDs while gaining over 20 yards on 12 plays. Two QBs passed for 300 yards against the Panthers in the last three games while showing risk vs. WRs (15/218/1 and 17/285/1) and TEs (9/109 and 8/84/1) in two of those games over this span. Overall, Carolina allows 7.6 yards per pass attempt with QBs passing for two TDs or more in their last four games. The Week 7 Million starts with Carson behind the steering wheel.
Joe Flacco (DK – $5,400/FD – $7,500): Flacco has two TDs or fewer in each of his last five games. Joe averages 44 passes attempts per game, but he gains only 6.8 yards per attempt. His best success came in Week 2 in Cinci (376/2). The Saints struggled in two games against QBs (TB – 417/4 and 374/5) while showing improvement in the last two games (255/1 and 275/0). New Orleans has risk vs. WR2 and WR3, which points to upside for Flacco in this matchup. In the Saints two bad games defending QBs, WRS finished with big success (18/36/4 and 17/285/4). Playable, with John Brown having a chance at hitting on a long TD.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Tom Brady (DK – $6,100/FD – $8,700): Over the last three games at home, the Patriots scored 129 points while scoring 14 TDs on 36 possessions. Over this span, the running game for New England became relevant thanks to Sony Michel (316 yards and four TDs). Brady played much better in his last three games (274/3, 341/3, and 340/1). The Bears will rush the QB (18 sacks), but they did struggle vs. QBs in two of their three road starts (GB – 341/3 and MIA – 380/3). Chicago allowed a TD to the TE position in four straight games, which may be a sign for a nice game by Rob Gronkowski. Also, the Bears showed risk defending WRs in three games (19/299/3, 19/229, and 18/281/2). I expect a downgrade in production by the Patriots on the road, and Chicago’s defense should be motivated after a poor outing in Miami. New England has developing weapons with Julian Edelman back in the starting lineup and Josh Gordon gaining momentum. Possible against the grain play.
Drew Brees (DK – $5,700/FD – $8,600): Brees has three strong games (439/3, 396/5, and 363/3) on his 2018 resume while coming up short in his last road start (217/0). Over his last two games, Drew saw his pass attempts drop to 31.5 per game compared to 43 per game over his first three starts. Over the last four games, the Ravens allowed only two passing TDs with one team passing for over 300 yards (342/1). Baltimore did show risk vs. the pass in their matchup in Week 2 (CIN – 265/4). In their best three games, the Ravens has 22 sacks (6, 5, and 11) while beating up on three weaker passing teams (BUF, CLE, and TEN). Brees will do a much better job getting the ball out quickly while his receiving core appears to be developing. Baltimore allowed 15 points or fewer in five of their six games. Against the grain options with the firepower to surprise.
Dak Prescott (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,900): Prescott beat big odds in Week 6 leading to the sixth highest score at QB (31.35) in four-point TD leagues. Half of his success came on the ground (82 yards and one TD). Dak passed for fewer than 210 yards in five of his last six games while failing to pass for over two TDs in any game. Last year he passed for 245 yards with two TDs in two games against the Redskins. Washington allowed nine passing TDs over their last five games with one bad game (363/3). Survey says, “his ticket won’t come in for a second straight week.”
Alex Smith (DK – $5,100/FD – $7,400): Smith doesn’t have a game of interested in 2018. He’s yet to pass for over two TDs in any game while failing to deliver over 300 yards in any contest. His completion rate is drifting backward over his last four starts (71.7, 60.0, 59.0, and 58.3). His receiving core has multiple injuries while showing no signs of impact value. QBs have eight TDs vs. the Cowboys with their worst game coming against the Lions (307/2). Boring options with more spills than thrills.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Deshaun Watson (DK – $5,500/FD – $7,500): Over six games, Watson has ten TDs and seven Ints while being sacked 25 times. Even with a short passing window, Deshaun averages 8.2 yards per pass attempt with success as well in the run game (36/203/1). The Jaguars had their ass handed to them in straight games on defense by the Chiefs and the Cowboys. They allowed seven FGs and seven TDs over opponents last 22 possessions compared to three TDs and eight FGs over 33 possessions in their first three games. QBs gain only 6.4 yards per pass attempt with five passing TDs. Jacksonville needs a bounce-back game in a big way, which points to a tough day for Watson.
Sam Darnold (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,800): Darnold was in position for a huge day last week, but New York struggled to finish drives leading to seven FGs and three TDs. He passed for 280 with two TDs with a strong completion rate (80). Sam passed for fewer than 200 yards in four of his six games. On the year, Darnold has nine TDs and seven Ints. The Vikings allow 8.9 yards per pass attempt with most of the damage coming vs. the Rams (465/5). In their other five games, Minnesota allowed five passing TDs. Wrong kind of matchup for me plus the Jets have some injuries at the WR position.
Jared Goff (DK – $6,600/FD – $8,300): After a great four-game run (1,494 passing yards and ten TDs), Goff came up short in Denver (201/0) due to Todd Gurley running wild. His completion rate (69.1) remains elite, but he does have three Ints and one TD in his last two starts on the road. Last year Jared passed for 292 yards and three TDs in his game in San Fran. The 49ers have struggled vs. QBs in three games (DET – 347/3, KC – 314/3, and GB – 425/2). This week Goff should be without Cooper Kupp, which is a slight concern. San Francisco will have their hands full with Gurley creating more opens space at the second level and third levels of the defense for the Rams’ receivers. His high salary may push some Fantasy owners away. Very winnable matchup.
Kirk Cousins (DK – $6,400/FD – $8,000): In three of his last four games, Cousins only has one TD while seeing regression in his last pass attempts in his last three games (55, 50, 37, and 34). Kirk has two impact games (425/4 and 422/3) with both games coming in the road. The Jets have allowed over 300 yards passing in four of their six games with only one QB passing for more than two TDs (IND – 301/4). On the year, New York showed risk defending WRs in three games (DET – 19/253/1, JAC – 17/260/1, and DEN – 20/245/2). The key for Cousins upside with be the Jets’ offense solving the underachieving Vikings’ defense. Minnesota has the strength at WR to make Cousins shine in this matchup on the road.
Jameis Winston (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,800): The Fitz-magic crowd was silenced a bit last week when Winston gained 426 combined yards with four TDs on the road vs. the Falcons. Over the first five games, the Bucs’ QBs pass for 395 yards or more in four games with three games with four TDs. Tampa’s QB have gained 10.0 yards per pass attempt. Overall, their QBs are on pace for 6,067 passing yards and 51 TDs. Cleveland has been hot and cold in different areas on defense in 2018. Their biggest failure came against the Raiders (438/4), and their best defensive showing vs. QBs came in Week 2 against the Saints (243/3). In two of the last three games, the Browns allowed 45 and 38 points, which is enough of a sign to believe in Winston adding a strong game to his short 2018 resume.
Andrew Luck (DK – $6,200/FD – $8,200): Luck has been special in the Fantasy market over his last three games (464/4, 365/3, and 301/4), but his success is driven more by volume (48 passes per game). Andrew gains only 6.2 yards per attempt. A healthy T.Y. Hilton would be a nice boost to his big-play ability, but it’s too early to know if Hilton will play this week. Buffalo struggled in their first two games (82 points) against the Ravens and Chargers, but they’ve allowed 22 points or fewer in each of their last four games. QBs gain 6.7 yards per pass attempts vs. the Bills while allowing three TDs to QBs over the last four games. Tough to dismiss with so many balls in the air in this offense.
Cam Newton (DK – $5,900/FD – $8,200): Newton has been steady in his last four games in Fantasy points (31.95, 31.10, 20.75, and 27.05) in four-point TD leagues leading to the sixth place ranking at QB. His best game came in Week 2 vs. the Falcons (377 combined yards with three TDs). QBs have eight TDs vs. the Eagles with three teams having success in yards (TB – 402/4, TEN – 344/3, and MIN – 301/1). For the most part, the Eagles have played teams that didn’t have a QB with running ability. In their only game vs. a running QB, Marcus Mariota rushed for 46 yards on ten rushes while having better than expected success passing the ball (344/2). This game has the makings of being played at a fast pace. I’m interested in both sides of this game.
Baker Mayfield (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,100): Mayfield averaged 44.3 pass attempts over his last three games, but his completion rate (52.7) has weak over this span. His number two WR (Antonio Callaway) has 37.5 catch rate with weaker success over his last three games (33 percent). Baker has four TDs and five Ints over his last three starts while averaging 292 pass yards per game. Tampa allowed over 300 yards passing in every game this year with QBs tossing 16 TDs. Of all the teams the Bucs have faced, the Browns may have the lowest upside in receiving talent. Mayfield comes into Week 7 with an ankle issue, but he’s expected to play. There are five weeks of data that suggests that Baker should be in play in this high scoring matchup.
Matthew Stafford (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,500): Stafford was expected to be a lockdown top 12 QB in 2018, but he currently ranks 17th in four-point TD leagues. Matt has two games with over 300 yards passing and one game with three TDs. His WR core has depth and talent, which points to explosiveness in TDs. Miami allowed 93 points in their last three games with teams scoring 12 TDs on 34 possessions. Over their recent decline on defense, they’ve allowed 97 rushes for 452 yards and one TD leading to only 32 passing attempts against per game. Overall, three QBs have over 300 yards passing vs. the Dolphins with two teams tossing three TDs. Miami allows 8.1 yards per pass attempt, which is a positive sign for Stafford’s upside on the road.
Mitchell Trubisky (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,500): There’s a lot to like about Trubisky over his last two games as Chicago has transitioned from power run team to modern multi-dynamic passing offense. Mitchell passed for 670 yards and nine TDs over his last two weeks with nine TDs. He’s also rushed over 100 yards over this span on 11 carries. Over his first three games, Trubisky passed for fewer than 225 yards with two TDs. New England struggled in three games against QBs (JAC – 377/4, IND – 365/3, and KC – 352/4). New England should score, and the Bears will need to throw to win this game. Worth a ticket or two in the Millon Dollar dream while already delivering a winning ticket to one lucky Fantasy owner in 2018.
Blake Bortes (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,500): Bortles has five TDs and six Ints over his last three games. In his three bad outings, Blake passed for fewer than 180 yards in each game. He has three strong games (376/4, 388/2, and 430/1). Last year he passed for 326 yards and three TDs in his home start against Houston. The Texans played better vs. QBs in their last two games (208/1 and 145/1) while facing two weak passing teams (DAL and BUF). Over the first four games, the Texans allowed 11 passing TDs with one disaster game (464/4). Possible low-value hookup with Keelan Cole as Houston’ secondary does have failure risk.
C.J. Beathard (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,400): Over his three starts, Beathard has seven TDs while averaging 313 combined yards per game. His completion rate (64.0) is much better than 2017 (54.9) while adding more length to his pass attempts (7.8 to 6.4). In a way, C.J. has been a better version of Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018. The Rams allowed over 300 yards to three QBs while showing downside in passing TDs allowed over the last four games (ten TDs). All of the passing TDs allowed by LA went to the WR position. Favorable salary while playing in chaser game fits the mold for the daily games, but it’s never that easy to win a million dollars.
Brock Osweiler (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,500): Osweiler came off the bench to pass for 380 yards and three TDs. He completed five passes over 20 yards with Albert Wilson turning two of those passes into long TDs. Over the first five games, Miami’s QBs passed for 230 fewer yards in four games. Their best success over that stretch came in Week 3 at home against Oakland (341/4). The Lions played well vs. QBs over the first four games, which led to no QB passing for more than 255 yards and seven combined passing TDs. In Week 5, the Packers picked Detriot apart for 442 passing yards and three TDs. Tough to believe in a repeat showing if he does get the start again this week.