Deshaun Watson, NFL darling and now Houston’s 26th favorite professional athlete (shout out Astros), went down this week with a torn right ACL. Watson has been great this year and looks to be a promising rising star for the league. Zeke Elliot, also went down this week, but for a different reason, with the NFL reinstating his 6 game suspension. Anddd it’s gone. Just kidding, he’s back. Can this saga just end already? Elliot will play Sunday and probably next Sunday and the Sunday after that (you see where this is going). Can’t wait to see the headlines on ESPN and other outlets with “Breaking News: Elliot suspension upheld” on every Wednesday from here until 2018-19 season, only to be follow up on Friday with a “meh, just kidding”. Aside from that, the only other news of the week to cover is Pizza-gate, with Papa John’s owner John Schnatter making remarks about the NFL leading to a bashing of Papa John’s online and apparently a hit to his net worth of $70M… When will be people learn, the only sure things in life are death, taxes, and NFL Sundays…and Zeke Elliot suspension appeals…and Jag’s writers cashing. Ok, you caught us on that last one, but one can dream. Let’s get to it – Who Yinz Got?
Chris – Dak Prescott ($6,700 vs KC) – I love this game. I know my fellow Jag is targeting Alex Smith, and although we agree sometimes, I refuse to allow us to write-up the same QB. In all honesty, I do like Dak a little better this week. He is coming off of a poor performance and a lot of that is weather related. The game at Washington last week was a monsoon, raining for just about the entire contest. This lead to conservative offensive play calling and a steady diet of Zeke (let him eat). But Dak is back in the friendly confines this week in the Jones-a-dome and should get back to his normal output. Prior to last week, Dak was over 22 DKpts 4 weeks in a row, eclipsing 30 DKpts once. Further, Dak has thrown 3 TD passes in 3 of his last 4 games, and has rushed for a TD in 2 of the last 4 games. I anticipate an ole’ fashioned Texas Shootout in Big D this weekend, and Dak will be the leading gunslinger.
DJ – Alex Smith ($6,500 @ DAL) – Here’s hoping my fellow Jag is right about a Texas Shootout. However, it is my (completely correct) opinion that the better shot in this game is Alex Smith. Smith has accounted for 17 total touchdowns this year, 12 of which have come during road games. Maybe we should start calling him the Road Warrior. To go along with his 17 total touchdowns, Smith has also protected the ball extremely well this season having yet to throw an interception. This has helped contribute to his 26.9 DKpt average during away games. The fact that he costs less than Dak and will perform better should be enough to rub it in Chris’ face.
Chris – Cam Newton ($6,300 vs ATL) – Benjamin is gone and Newton is without his favorite target. I’m not gonna lie, this Jag pick scares me. For those of you keeping score at home, targeting QB Jags has not been my forte, and this just seems like one of those games where Cam comes into the week with no expectations, and goes off. However, the roller coaster ride that has been Cam Newton in 2017 is not worth $6,300 for me to find out. Cam is coming off back to back weeks of 13.56 and 10.44 DKpts against two teams with decent defenses. Cam’s average DKpts this year of nearly 19pts seem to support his salary, but he has featured 1 game in the 30s, 2 games in the 20s, and 4 games in the low teens. The Panthers are too much of a question mark at this point to roster, and until we find out how Rivera and Cam plan to spread the ball in Benjamin’s absence, the risk is too high. Cheers to Cam’s first 40 DKpt game of the year…
DJ – Carson Wentz ($6,100 vs DEN) – Carson Wentz could very well be the front-runner for the MVP this season, but this week he takes on the “No Fly Zone” of the Denver Broncos. Wentz is coming off a disappointing performance against the 49ers where he was only able to muster 18.1 DKpts facing one of the worst defenses in the league. This week is not looking like a bounce back week for the second year wonder as the Broncos are the 6th best defense against QBs this year. If Wentz is able to prove me wrong this is the game that MVP voters will point to as the crux of his season. Good thing I haven’t been proven wrong yet!
Chris – Alvin Kamara ($6,300 vs TB) – The two-headed monster the Saints have been employing this year has been unstoppable the past few weeks. After rattling off 5 in a row, Ingramara (poor attempt at a “couples” nickname) take on the Bucs at home. Really, I like both parts Ingramara this week, but Kamara is cheaper and allows some salary relief. Realistically, his production has been pretty close in value to Ingram. Kamara is averaging 17.65 DKpts over his past 4 games, while Ingram is averaging just over 22 DKpts, but with less disparity. Kamara has been consistently in the mid-teens, while Ingram has had a game in the 30s and a game at 10.2 DKpts during that span. For $1,300 in salary relief, I’ll take my chances with Kamara.
DJ – Kareem Hunt ($8,600 @ DAL) – The tough part with choosing Smith as a quarterback is who do you stack with him? Kelce is always seems a safe bet, but has his rocky games of one or two catches. Hill has home run ability, but an extremely low floor as well. Seems that the true safest best is the running back. By selecting Hunt I have virtually cornered all offensive touchdowns that the Chiefs can score, barring any short yard vultures. Hoping for the shootout even more than before, Hunt has cooled off since his historic start not having found the endzone since Week 3. With so many good DFS options on bye this week, I feel confident in Hunt to return on his value.
Chris – Christian McCaffrey ($6,500 vs ATL) – I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a more talked about player than the Swiss Mister himself. McCaffrey has been dubbed a payoff, a jagoff, and everything in between. Yes, the trade of Kelvin Benjamin may spell a few more touches for Ludaswiss, but his complete lack of rushing threat has turned him into an overvalued check-down receiver. Christian hasn’t been getting it done on Sundays and should be praying for a score, because that’s the only way he appears to meet value. The Panthers haven’t exactly been the model of offensive consistency either, seemingly either scoring in the high-20s/low 30s, or nothing. I expect the Benjamin-less Panthers to lack an outside threat and have trouble moving the and scoring (but I’ll probably be wrong), leading Swiss-Cross to make me wanna jump off a bridge at this price.
DJ – Lamar Miller ($6,200 vs IND) – With DeShaun Watson being out for the season one would think that Miller would get more touches and therefore be more valuable. Well, one would be wrong! Only producing two games this season of 21 DKpts or more, Miller has once again been a disappointment for fantasy owners and it’s only going to get worse. Without the threat of Watson at quarterback, the Colts can stack the box to stop the run and make Tom Savage beat them by throwing the ball. YIKES! Count me out on all things Texans this week.
Chris – Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,000 vs TB) – I’m back with Ginn, can you tell I like the Saints this weekend? Ginn isn’t my WR1 this weekend, but writing about studs is no fun. Check back before kick for final rosters to see who else I’m rostering (shameless plug). Ahem… now back to Teddy G (yeah you know me). The Saints have rolled off five in a row after getting off to an 0-2 start, and aside from the 2-headed rushing (and passing) attack from Kamara/Ingram, Ted Ginn has been an integral part of the offense. Ginn admittedly has more disparity week to week than Michael Thomas has shown, however his overall output has been just about equal to Thomas, and at a price $2,200 lower – aka, sign me up. Ginn doesn’t wrack up the targets and receptions, he is more of a homerun hitter that can house the ball at any time. The Saints/Bucs game has the second highest O/U of the weekend behind KC/DAL, and the Saints are -7 favorites at home this weekend. I foresee Ginn getting in on the action and putting the ball in the endzone before it gets out of hand and they start playing the clock game (sup, Kamara?).
DJ – Cooper Kupp ($4,500 vs NYG) – I’ve always preached about how consistency is king in my lineup construction. Well Kupp is the exact opposite of that. Producing just as many hits as misses, Cooper hopes to fill owner’s Kupps this week by following up a 15.1 DKpt week with his first back-to-back double digit DKpt effort of the season. Kupp is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns and leads the team in redzone targets. Kupp has quickly become a safety blanket for QB Jared Goff and being so affordable is actually my WR3 this week, much like my fellow Jag said, check back later for the other two (Sneak peek: A certain New Orleans receiver will be gracing the roster.)
Chris – DeAndre Hopkins ($9,200 vs IND) – Don’t @ me. So what that I called DeAndre a jag last week and he absolutely went off? Be honest, you aren’t that surprised. Talk about a softball this week though, as Hopkins output last week jumped him up $1,700 from his salary last week (they do say everything’s bigger in Texas). Welp, Hopkins will now be reliant on Tommy Football himself which should negatively impact his performance and make it extremely difficult to reach anywhere close to 3x value (i.e. nearly 30 DKpts). Hopkins has been outstanding in 3 of the Texans past 4 games, but that’s in large part due to Deshaun “Joe Montana” Watson absolutely setting the league on fire. The Savage may be serviceable, but won’t be setting any records. Houston fans are hungover from the WS victory this week anyway, and I don’t anticipate the Texans keeping the party going.
DJ – Mike Evans ($7,700 @ NO) – Much like the past few weeks, Jameis Winston is nursing a shoulder injury which could force Ryan “Harvard Grad” Fitzpatrick into action against a Saints defense that has been on the rise as of late. Evans will still get his, scoring in 3 of the last 5 games, but that’s about all he’ll be doing; finding the endzone once and catching maybe 2 more balls. This game could get out of hand quickly and when the Saints jump out to that big lead, Evans will see double coverage the rest of the game and will be unable to produce anything close to good value for his price tag.
Chris – Vernon Davis ($4,100 @ SEA) – Jordan Reed is out..there’s my analysis. Oh you want more? Alright well how about the ‘Hawks defense ranks in the middle of the pack this year against TEs, allowing on average 11.9 DKpts per game to TEs? How about the Redskins are one of the only teams in the league to regularly feature the 2-TE set? How about Jamison Crowder is still listed as questionable leaving Davis and Pryor as the only two real receiving threats? How about Kirky and the ‘Skins coming off of a disappointing loss and are looking to bounce back? How about I said so and have been pretty spot on with tight-end picks this year? How about we move on and see if DJ has anything valuable to offer?
DJ – Jack Doyle ($4,300 @ HOU) – Long story short, I don’t have much to offer if you ask Chris. Others, however, will say I am a gold mine of information whose fantasy analysis is topped only by my good looks. I’m still waiting to meet these “others”, but I’m sure they exist if I believe hard enough, right? This is a week late on Doyle whose 33.1 DKpt performance last week was a thing of beauty. Doyle is trending upward in the TE ranks as he has seen his targets per game increase from 5.3 over the first three games to 9.75 over the previous four. In those four games he has caught 30 passes for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. Granted the yards are a bit low, but I like the volume and catches that Doyle provides at his price tag.
Chris – Jason Witten ($4,600 vs KC) – This pick is a product of continued inconsistency from Witten. Grandpa Jason is in a good spot this weekend, with DAL/KC having a 54 pt O/U, with a tight 2 point spread. With Zeke back in the mix for Dallas, I don’t anticipate Witten having a huge role yet again. Witten’s saving grace are his redzone targets essentially being set up by play action passes to Zeke and defensive backfield focus on Dez, but that’s about it. Sans a score, Witten has disappointing in general this year, and at $4,600 I can’t buy in. Yes, TE is a grave yard this week with many injuries and question marks heading into Sunday, but guys like Doyle, Kroft and Davis are cheaper and provide more upside and a higher floor.
DJ – Zach Ertz ($6,800 vs DEN) – IF the Denver Broncos defense has a weak spot it is covering the TE. We (the Jags) have raved about Ertz since Week 1 and now he’s become an elite TE in fantasy. We do know what we’re talking about…sometimes. Take this week for example; I do not have a warm fuzzy feeling about Ertz. I wrote earlier about how Carson Wentz is going to be a Jagoff this week and the main reason behind that is going to be Ertz’s inefficiency. A late addition to the injury report this week, Ertz is going to be dealing with hamstring injury that will hamper his movement and ability to get separation from what will be tight coverage. Ertz and his $6,800 price tag should be left in the player pool this week.
Chris – Jack Doyle ($4,300 @ HOU) – Oh, Doyle rules. Jack is coming off of a monster game, in which he had 12 catches for 121 and a score; 33 DKpts. Do I expect this again? No. But at a $4,300 price point, the knowledge of that kind of output being possible is too enticing to pass up. Doyle now has double digit targets in 2 of his last 3 games and I don’t anticipate anything changing. Brissett hasn’t been great, but is stuck leading a team with a severe lack of offensive threats. Doyle has obviously become his favorite target and is the only Colts receiver with multiple touchdown receptions on the year. Call me an old-school, hard-knocks, western PA type football guy, but I’m thrilled to be running the two-TE set this week, allowing me to pay up at other positions. If rostering two-TEs is cool, then consider me Miles Davis…
DJ – Chris Thompson ($6,100 @ SEA) – In his wonderfully insightful piece on Vernon Davis, my fellow Jag left out one of the important, if not THE most important, receiving weapon for the Redskins, running back Chris Thompson. I wrote about Thompson last week and he was able to return twice his value in what could be considered one of his worst performances of the season as he turned in an almost season low 16.4 DKpts. The point I’m trying to make is that this dude is the real deal and is virtually a lock for 15 DKpts in every game he plays. Why he continues to cost so little still baffles me, but I will not complain.
Chris – Jacksonville ($3,800 vs CIN) – The Bungles’ offense has been abysmal, registering only 2,010 yards this year and averaging 17.4 points per game (ranking 31st and 26th, respectively). The Jags’ (team, not us) defense has been as advertised, allowing only 300 yards per game and 15.7 point per game (ranking 3rd and 1st, respectively). The Jags (team, not us) also lead the league with 33 sacks and are ranked 3rd in INTs with 10. Normally, I’m against paying up for the most expensive defensive, but Jacksonville against the Bungles is a no brainer. The Jaguars D/ST has scored over 20 DKpts in 3 of 7 games so far this year (the Swiss Mister himself has only done that 2 times this year at nearly double the price…can you tell that I’m over him?)
DJ – Baltimore Ravens ($2,900 @ TEN) – The Ravens have scored double digit fantasy points in 5 of the 8 weeks so far. In fact, in those weeks Baltimore is averaging 20.6 DKpts. In those other 3 weeks, Baltimore didn’t score more than 3 DKpts. The hope is for the Ravens D to be one the best in the league again this week against an ailing Titans team who could be without Mariota and Walker. No long write up needed here.
Chris – New Orleans Saints ($3,400 vs TB) – The Saints are in the middle of the pack in yards per game allowed and points allowed per game, at 344 ypg and 20.7 ppg. They are in the top-half of the league in turnovers this year, but I don’t see how this places them into the top-5 most expensive defenses for Week 9. Tampa Bay ranks 4th in the league in offensive yards per game this year at 377 ypg, but have thrown 8 picks (5th most in the league). If Jameis can limit his turnovers, the Saints D/ST shouldn’t return much in fantasy value. If Winston takes a turn for the worst, it could end up being a barn burner for NO as they are expected to put up a lot of points, leading to a forecasted passing attack from TB to stay in the game. But, for $3,400, there are safer options at D/ST that I’m targeting this week.
DJ – Houston Texans ($3,600 vs IND) – Much like Chris isn’t one for finding QB Jagoffs, I am not one for defensive Jagoffs. I throw my hat at one of the most expensive defenses and hope Goddell doesn’t suspend me for leading with my head. That’s all I have to say about that.
Check back Sunday morning for the Jags official lineups. Follow us on Twitter @fantasyjags412 – we look forward to hearing from you.