In times like these, everyone must remember we will only take credit for positive things the players we pick do. We will never acknowledge the negative. That being said, it was a rough week for the Jags who are looking to bounce back to their original glory in Week 8. This week is special in that it marks the half point of the season and that Ohio State and Penn State are facing off. I, myself, am not a follower of college football but my fellow Jag, Chris, is. So I’m warning you now, the following will contain multiple shameless plugs for The Ohio State University and their supremacy. I will try to appeal to all the other fans out there who don’t want to hear about the Buckeyes, but I’m afraid it might be too little too late. Yinz been warned. Who Yinz Got?
Chris – Kirk Cousins ($6,400 vs DAL) – Alright, raise your hand if you had this as a sentence ever during the 2017 season. Kirk Cousins is the model of consistency. Anybody? You, in the back? No? That’s what I thought. I honestly can’t bring up Cousins without thinking of the infamous “You like that?!” outburst, but in all reality, yes – I like that. Cousins has had a passer rating over 100 since Week 3, scoring on average 27.53 DKpts per week. Why is he $6,400? Because he is Kirk Cousins. The ‘Skins and ‘Boys are facing off in an exciting division matchup this week, with the highest projected point total and a close line, with Dallas at -2. Cousins hasn’t turned the ball over much this year, featuring a 4:1 TD to INT ratio this year. I also like Prescott this week, but Dak is averaging 26.8 DKpts since Week 3 and is nearly $1K more expensive. Either choice is solid, as I plan on targeting this game a lot this week, but Cousins offers a little more salary relief this week.
DJ – Russell Wilson ($6,500 vs HOU) – Russell Wilson began the 2017 campaign by accounting for a single touchdown in the first two weeks of the season. Since then all Wilson has done has been a scoring machine, accounting for 12 total touchdowns in four weeks. Those, like myself, who can do simple math will point out that Wilson has averaged three touchdowns a game in that span. In fact the only game during that span where he scored less than 29 DKpts was against the Rams and we (the Jags) warned you about that matchup. First off, you’re welcome. Second, Wilson is poised to pick apart the JJ Watt-less Houston Texans this week and continue his run as a top 5 fantasy QB.
Chris – Matt Ryan ($6,800 @ NYJ) – The Jets defense hasn’t been great, but neither has Ryan and the Falcons offense. Perhaps coming off a little bit a Super Bowl hangover, Ryan hasn’t seemed to break out of his shell this year. With Dak and Kirk above, I looked at performance since Week 3, both of which were in the mid/high-20s in DKpts on average. Ryan, by comparison is averaging 14.52 DKpts since Week 3. He is more expensive than Cousins. Basically, Matt Ryan is the definition of a Jag this week. Admittedly, my QB Jagoff picks this year have played well. Is this because my research is flawed? No. It’s just that I attack the high price QBs that I believe are overvalued for each particular Week. I never want to cop out on a Jag pick, and I stand by my choices. Ryan isn’t a great play this week, and should be high owned in a seemingly great matchup.
DJ – Tom Brady ($7,600 vs LAC) – I too can attack the high priced QBs and none is more higher priced than Tommy Brady himself. Name recognition is the only reason he is priced this high. In his past three contests Brady hasn’t surpassed 19 DKpts. Those games pitted Tommy boy against the Bucs, Jets and Falcons; not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to defenses. I’m not saying that the Chargers are the cream of the crop, but I can guarantee that they will make Brady jittery. The Chargers feature a talented pass rush that will make Brady rush his already quick throws. I’m not going on a limb and saying that the Chargers will shut him down, I’m just saying that he won’t return the necessary points to be worth rostering.
Chris – Zeke Elliot ($9,200 @ WAS) – As shown last week, Zeke can go off at any given time. Rushing for over 100 yards over the past two weeks, Zeke is truly in mid-season form. Zeke has had over 21 rushing attempts in 5/6 games so far this year, eclipsing 20 DKpts 3 times. Reaching 3x value for Zeke will certainly be a challenge, but even a 2-2.5x return will be valuable. As noted above, this is slated to be a high scoring matchup in DC with a tight moneyline. I expect both offenses to be firing on all cylinders, and Zeke is hot right now. This is a feel pick. Washington has played well against the run this year, but Zeke knows how to find the endzone and in a tough division matchup I expect Zeke to go back to the line for seconds. Let the big boy eat this week. Plus, gotta roll with a Buckeye this weekend who will hopefully be coming off of a huge win at the Shoe over PSU this weekend. O-H…
DJ – Chris Thompson ($5,800 vs DAL) – I’m not getting involved in the PSU-OSU banter as I actually don’t care to follow college football. We Are Go Blue amiright? Anyways, Chris Thompson (Florida State for the record) has quietly been a huge payoff this season. He’s averaging 19.3 DKpts/ week, that’s more than LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, Christian McCaffrey and Carlos Hyde. All of whom will cost more to roster than Thompson, who has been heavily involved in the Redskin offense. He’s on pace to become the first running back since Marshall Faulk to have 100 rushing attempts and 1,000 yards receiving so there’s no reason to not roster him this week. The Cowboys defense gives up an average of 216 passing yards per game and 115.5 rushing yards per game; both of which points to Thompson having a huge game.
Chris – Carlos Hyde ($6,000 @ PHI) – …I-O! Alright, not fair right? Didn’t we just say we are riding with the Buckeyes in the biggest game of the year so far Urban and the squad? Well, yes – but we aren’t dumb. Hyde is a beast, but boy has he been a roller coaster. There isn’t great value in the middle ground this week, making it a tough slate. Hyde is a good fade in a game in which PHI is the -12 favorite. If the Eagles jump out to a huge lead (which they probably will), Hyde won’t see his touches. Hyde is averaging around 13 DKpts over his past 4 games, which simply isn’t enough to wet the beak this Sunday. His rushing attempts have hovered in the mid-teens during this time, and his pass catching hasn’t been enough to excite. Hyde yo kids, Hyde yo wives, and Hyde yo 49ers this Sunday.
DJ – Jordan Howard ($6,800 @ NO) – The picture of inconsistency, Jordan Howard is just as likely to be a feature point in the offense and explode for 20+ DKpts, as he is to completely disappear and score under 10 DKpts. I’m taking the the under here as Howard and the Bears face off against the Saints in New Orleans. I bring up the venue because the Saints at home tend to score points in bunches. That will affect Howard and the run game as it will cause rookie QB Mitch Trubisky to play from behind and throw the ball 20+ times. This isn’t a recipe for success for the Bears or for Howard who doesn’t have the receiving back duties on full lock down. Furthermore, the Saints defense has actually been pretty stout recently, so I am avoiding the UAB product.
Chris – Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,700 vs CHI) – WR was slim pickens this weekend. Hasn’t that been the case for season-long leagues as well? Are studs still studs? Who are these no-names racking up huge weeks only to return to the darkness. Well, NFL, if that’s how we’re gonna play it then I guess we gotta take some risks. How about Teddy Ginn Jr.? “Hey wait a minute, isn’t he a…” You’re damn right he’s a Buckeye! I’m pumped up for the OSU/PSU game so let’s keep with the theme (I swear I didn’t do this intentionally, but boy is it fun). TGJ has seen an increase in targets in each of the past 3 games he’s played. Last week was his shining star of the year, with 7 catches for 141 (no TD). Ginn has exceed his value in each of the past two week, and I look for more of the same against the Bears. Ginn is a speed demon and has great home run potential. Saints are -9 favorites with the second highest O/U of the slate at 47.5. Ginn will have to hit his dinger early to pay-off, but I have a feeling he’ll have a lucky Horseshoe with him (get it?).
DJ – Doug Baldwin ($6,900 vs HOU) – Already having Wilson on my roster makes this selection pretty easy. The top receiver in the Seahawk offense, Baldwin, undrafted out of Stanford, has gotten it going recently, catching 26 balls in his past 4 contests. Although he has only found the endzone one in that span, he has been able to put up numbers that are worthy of his price tag this week. The touchdowns will start to come as both himself and Wilson are notorious second half of the season performers and that begins this week (kinda). I foresee this duo hooking up for over a hundred yards and a touchdown this week.
Chris – DeAndre Hopkins ($7.500 @ PIT) – What is happening down in Houston? Suspect comments made their owner this week have their teams support of the organization in question. Seattle is not a welcoming place for a team that is without identity, without leadership from the front office, and now possibly without some players who walked out of practice Friday and are questioning taking the field Sunday. Hopkins has had a resurgent 2017 after an abysmal 2016 campaign, but Hopkins is coming off of a complete dud against Cleveland last week. Yes, Cleveland. 19 yards and a touchdown netted his owners 9.9 DKpts. Hopkins has only eclipsed 15 DKpts in 3/6 games this year, and for a WR at a fringe-stud price I need a guaranteed performance. Pass on Hopkins this week in a tough matchup with a messy situation brewing internally in Houston.
DJ – Amari Cooper ($6,600 @ BUF) – After witnessing his breakout performance last week I can see a lot of people rostering Cooper this week. I will not be one of them. The Bills defense has one of the best in the league when it comes to preventing touchdowns, giving an average of 16.8 total points per game. Couple that with Cooper’s inconsistency and I don’t have a warm, fuzzy feeling about this matchup. I talked about consistency with other players before and I generally don’t like rostering those players with inconsistent production. Cooper is a poster child for this, he was invisible in the weeks prior to his 200 yard 2 touchdown performance and I can see (or not see) him becoming invisible again.
Chris – Jason Witten ($4,200 @ WAS) – Grandpa Jason gets the call this weekend. As I mentioned previously, I’ve targeted this game throughout my lineup as I think it will hit the over and feature offense. Aside from completely disappearing in Weeks 3 & 4, Witten has averaged 18.3 DKpts in his 4 other games. Witten isn’t supposed to be our hero this week, he is supposed to be our rock. All we need is 12-15 DKpts and we are thrilled. Josh Norman will be all over Dez, Zeke will put backers into the box, and Witten should be able to find some space and targets, specifically if the game remains close. PS – Zach Ertz is now $7,000. Flashback to Week 1 when he was $3,500 and we rostered him to start the year in anticipation of him being a “larger part of the offense”. RIP to rostering him, but damn what a strong season he is having (and what an extremely impressive prediction on my end, toot toot)…Deej can you fit him in?
DJ – Rob Gronkowski ($7,100 vs LAC) – I mean I could fit Ertz in here, but then I would be acquiescing to you and we can’t have that, it’s bad for business. For those that are wondering, acquiesce- accept something reluctantly but without protest. Don’t want our readers having to leave our site to look up words, they might not come back. I think I’ve stalled long enough, Rob Gronkowski. Need I say more? Ok, fine, I will. Best Tight End in the league. Roster him. How’s that for analysis?
Chris – Jordan Reed ($4,700 vs DAL) – What a strong Week 7 for Reed against the Eagles, scoring 2 TDs, and going 8 for 64. But Reed’s price tag is still attached to his name, not his performance. Last week was only the second time all season he has eclipsed 10 DKpts. Reed between the lines people, his floor is simply not there. Unless you are paying wayyyy up for an Ertz, Gronk, etc, there is no need to play the risk game at the TE position. Reed is averaging 11.7 DKpts per game this year, barely exceeding a 2x value. Yes, a high scoring projected game, but I don’t think Reed is the way to get that exposure.
DJ – Hunter Henry ($4,800 @ NE) – I’m staying in Foxborough with my Jagoff selection as well. Sure, the Patriots have one of, if not the worst, defenses in the league, but I have a good, or bad depending on whose side you’re on, feeling about this. At some point, the Patriots are going to figure out themselves on defense and I don’t want to be on the other side when they do. Consistency, there’s that word again, hasn’t been Henry’s strong suit this season and will continue to be a risky DFS play until he proves otherwise.
Chris – Christian McCaffrey. ($6,200 @ TB) – We’ll have to go to the official scorekeeper, but I think the Swiss Mister has found his way into Who Yinz Got? at least once a week, in some form or another. He’s been a payoff, he’s been a jag, he’s been a headache, really. McCaffrey has been up and down, averaging 14.6 DKpts (which is seemingly decent for his price point), but that ranges from 8.4 – 22.4 DKpt performances. Mr. Mister gets his value through his receiving potential in the PPR format, and the targets have been there. His issue has been scoring. Both weeks he has scored, he has met or exceeded a 3x value to his price. He needs to take these broken wings, and learn to fly again, and get into the endzone, and get me into the money.
DJ – Chris Hogan ($6,500 vs LAC) – Yet another Patriot pass catcher here. Hogan, along with Gronk, have been the scoring threats for the Pats this season and I expect that trend to continue, especially with the news the Amendola is in danger of missing the game. Consistently catching 4-5 balls a week, Hogan has gone the past two weeks without finding endzone after 4 straight weeks with a touchdown. Look for Hogan to find his way back to paydirt this week.
Chris – New Orleans ($3,400 vs CHI) – Strictly a matchup play. The Saints are -9 favorites and the Bears offense is, well, 5th worst in total yardage and 9th worst in scoring. It’s a favorable matchup for the Saints and I like their defensive scoring and takeaway potential, compared to a few other teams I considered, specifically since they are up against a rookie QB. New Orleans has 8 picks this year (top 10), 8 TDs (top half) and 17 sacks (top half). I also like the Eagles and Bungles D/ST this week too, but NO stuck out to me as the play and I’m going with my gut.
DJ – Buffalo Bills ($2,900 vs OAK) – I believe I said this before, but the Buffalo Bills have one of the best defenses in the league. Another thing the Bills have going for them is that Marshawn Lynch is suspended for the game. The Bills are averaging 9.8 DKpts per week and only giving up an average of 16.8 points per game. The fact that they are so cheap is music to my ears.
Chris – Everybody else? (<$3,400 @ USA) – Such disparity this week (on paper). Based on how the NFL has gone this week, there will be a few upsets, a few new faces jumping off waiver-wires Monday morning, etc. I’ve listed my few choices above in PHI, CIN, and of course NO. Aside from these 3 teams facing horrendous offenses, I don’t see anybody jumping out to roster, so the only plausible explanation is that everyone else is a jagoff this week. Is this a cop-out? Perhaps, but in all reality, why pick a team’s D/ST if you aren’t convinced they are going to even win the game. Looking at the rest of the slate, there are plenty of toss-up games which I’ll gladly choose to avoid. If D/ST truly ends up being my demise this, then we are all in big, big trouble (shameless Billy Madison reference).
DJ – What kind of pick is that and how am I supposed to go off of that? I have nothing to put here. Chris covered it all.
Check back Sunday morning for the Jags official lineups. Follow us on Twitter @fantasyjags412 – we look forward to hearing from you.