This NFL write-up is a mix of Cash and GPP Plays. Because football is an event driven sport, we are simply looking for solid game scripts to produce good value with upside. Do not be afraid to identify the ‘chalk’ CORE players you cannot live without and then wrap them with your game theory plays each week in both cash and single-entry GPP’s. For MME contests I will get off the grain usually, but below is my core plays for Cash, Single-Entry GPP’s and core lineups.
Note, much like with baseball I don’t care much about what Vegas thinks or what the chalk is when considering matchups and what I think the game scripts will be.
- Green Bay @ Atlanta
- New England @ New Orleans
- Philadelphia @ Kansas City
- Washington @ LA Rams
- NY Jets @ Oakland (Raiders side obviously)
- Aaron Rodgers — I love a shootout in a dome and this week we have two games that are very popular and both feature MVP caliber Quarterbacks going against mediocre defenses. So why is Rodgers #1 out of the big 4 this week? Simple process of elimination for me. A-Rod is going to have the most opportunities to throw touchdowns this week against an Atlanta defense who led the league in 2016 in targets to Running Backs. And this isn’t just a 2016 trend, the Falcons have consistently been a defense built up front and at CB. This leaves the Running Back pass option as a huge target and the Falcons try to rely on their speed on defense to pursue the RB. So how does this impact Rodgers? Well, we know he has the perfect pass catching RB in Ty Montgomery and add Ty the trio of Jordy/Cobb/Adams and the Packers should be able to spread out the Falcons and throw all game long. This is a perfect spot for Rodgers to finish with 350 and 4 TD with 1 of them being rushing as the Packers win a high scoring game and get revenge for last years NFCCG.
- Matt Ryan — No reason not to love the other side in this game. His price is 900 less than Rodgers on FanDuel which makes him the no brainer play there — especially in cash games.
- Jameis Winston — Winston had a decent game last year against the Bears and is going overlooked this week with all the high end QB’s and the fact that the Bucs didn’t play last week so everyone doesn’t know what to make of them. I love the Winston->Evans combination this week.
- Alex Smith — Could Alex Smith repeat what he did last week? Absolutely. I mentioned this game as one of my CORE games this week and after watching how the Chiefs played in week one I am buying into Alex Smith having another big game this week against the Eagles in a shootout. He will throw an INT though.
- Jared Goff — I think this is the second highest scoring game on the slate. The Rams coaching staff is full of ex-Redskins and the Skins defense lacks pass rush and has bad safety play. Goff in a Rams stack…
- Tom Brady — See below …
- Drew Brees — Will he throw 300 yards? Possibly. But this isn’t a spot where Brees is going to throw for 350+ and 3 to 4 TD. This is more of the 290 to 300 yards and 2 TD tops for Drew. The Saints have their 3rd & 4th OT with one of them being a rookie and will rely heavily on their running game to slow this game down
- Ty Montgomery — Like I said above. Falcons give up a ton of targets to RB and he is the perfect guy to tear them up.
- Melvin Gordon — Earlier this week I documented one of my favorite trends which is to take home Running Backs who are favored. Gordon checks a ton of boxes this week for me. At home, favored and against a team we used RB’s against last season. He will be chalky but not insane chalk.
- Mike Gillislee/James White — Kenny Vaccaro is going to shadow Rob Gronkowski. This means two things. First, it means we get a lot more 3 safety sets from the Saints and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep Brandin Cooks from taking the top off the defense. But second, it means the Saints lose arguably their best tackler. The Saints LB group is vastly improved but they’re still small on defense and this is one of those games where the Pats rely on their bigger RB to beat up the Saints and use White as an extra WR.
- Lev Bell — Because of roster construction and this week, Bell will come in lower owned but is worth a flier in the larger tournaments because of his volume upside and the fact that the Steelers offense is also so good at home plus the Vikings come in on a short week.
- Mark Ingram & Alvin Kamara — I said last week that the Saints would use Kamara everywhere in this game, however the more I look at it with Streif being out the more I see them relying on Ingram. Kamara is the pass catching option and would be the guy I roll with on DK but I would be shocked if Ingram does not score this week.
I am really really really going heavy on Mark Ingram this week. The more I look at this game the more I see it being the Saints early Super Bowl and they’re gonna use their best skill position guys as much as they can and that means Ingram is on the field a ton and scores twice.
- Marshawn Lynch — I think he has a hard ceiling where he won’t hurt me if I fade him, so while he is a logical and no brainer cash play. I am fading him.
- Julio Jones — Best play on the board and a perfect correlation play against Rodgers/GB stack. If you fade or play Ryan then also consider Mo Sanu who was a problem for the Packers last year.
- Mike Evans — I love Evans at home and I love him this week despite a matchup against the Bears who DO limit the other teams #1 WR.
- Keenan Allen — If you fade Gordon you need to get a ton of Allen in your lineups.
- DeVante Parker — This play is entirely based on the late news that Jason Verrett is likely OUT for this Sunday. That opens up a HUGE hole in the back-end of the Chargers
- Tyreek Hill — They will find a way to get him the ball and I think the Eagles focus their attention on stopping the running game and making Smith beat them.
- Randall Cobb — My Rodgers pairing is to go A-Rod+Ty Montgomery as a slightly contrarian pairing this week but I fully expect Rodgers to utilize his WR’s a ton and I want to stay away from the Falcons top corners.
- Martavis Bryant — I can see this game being a sneaky high scoring game and I love a Ben+Bell+Bryant stack with Diggs on the other side.
- Stefon Diggs (DK) — Down there with the LevBell play, but he’s in my MIN/PIT gamestack…. With the Bradford knee issues I am not on Diggs or Rudolph as much anymore (see below)
- Rob Gronkowski — Don’t be scared to fade Gronk if you cannot make him fit based on price. This is a spot where I see Gronk getting 60 yards and a touchdown because the Saints don’t have anyone with the size that will be matching up with him in red-zone targets. But I also think the Patriots keep it on the ground and use their WR’s in quick passing games a ton this week and Gronk returns just an average score. If you can fit him, play him… The other TE options are weak….
- Dwayne Allen — All the focus is going to be on Gronk and Brandin Cooks for the Saints defense. So, what do we know about the Patriots offense when it’s at its best? Two TE’s… With Kenny V shadowing Gronk all day and the Saints outside LB’s forced to pay attention to James White out of the backfield that will leave Dwayne Allen wide open for a < 2% owned touchdown.
- Kyle Rudolph — I do like Rudolph a ton who is Bradford’s safety valve and in what should be a high scoring game. — I am off Rudolph with the Bradford knee scare.
- Delanie Walker — Tournament only play against a good Jacksonville D.
- Zach Ertz — Ertz is probably the main target again for Wentz, but he won’t have the high volume he had (and always has) vs the Redskins last week.
- Martellus Bennett — A solid way to get more exposure to A-Rod and the best game of the week.
- Baltimore — My top defense this week. Baltimore is always solid at home.
- Oakland — Jets stream. I’m fading.
- Pittsburgh — I love Pittsburgh defense this week. The Vikings offensive line looked good against a soft Saints pass rush at home. Now they go on the road and the Steelers will steal 4+ sacks this week.
- LA Rams — I prefer them over the Chargers this week. When coming off the obvious teams I want situations where the opposing team is going to throw and lead to sacks/INT/pick-6 upside. I see this here with the Rams this week against Washington
- LA Chargers — Fine pivot off the Rams. Always can attack Cutler.
- Justin Tucker
- Cairo Santos
- Will Lutz
- Stephen Gostkowski
- Blair Walsh — Forgot to mention him before.