I had the best week of daily fantasy I’ve ever had last Sunday, and the main reason is because I was paying attention the injury report. Let me explain. I had originally put Frank Gore and Amari Cooper into my cash game lineup. I liked Gore against Jacksonville last week, but only if Andrew Luck was going to be playing. It had been reported all week that Luck wasn’t practicing and was questionable to play. I didn’t like the idea of using Gore if Luck wasn’t going to be on the field so I planned ahead.
If Luck started, I was going to use Gore and Cooper, but I had another scenario where I would swap out Gore for Matt Forte. Now Forte was much more expensive than Gore, so that meant I would have to swap out another player for someone cheaper. While I didn’t like the idea of removing Cooper from my lineup, I didn’t like the idea of playing Gore without Luck even more. So I made the decision when Luck was ruled out to swap out Gore and Cooper for Forte and Allen Hurns. Hurns ended up having a huge day and at a very cheap price.
Gore and Cooper ended up doing well, but by swapping in Forte and Hurns I was able to reduce the risk in my lineup. By paying attention to the injury report I was able to plan ahead if Luck was out and not scramble at the last minute to keep my lineup under the salary cap. If you find yourself liking a player but only under certain circumstances, plan ahead so you can be confident that you’ve given yourself the best chance to win with the lowest risk.
Marcus Mariota ($6,000) is in a great position to return value this weekend. He’s averaging 278 passing yards and 2.7 touchdowns per game. Buffalo is giving up an average of 305 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. Buffalo is tough against the run and allow a ton of fantasy points to quarterbacks and wide receivers. The biggest knock on Mariota is that he’s a rookie, but after you look at his stats over his first three games it becomes clear that he’s a solid fantasy quarterback. Combine that fact with the non-existent run game that Tennessee has and Mariota is a good play this week.
Sometimes you just have to ride the hot hand. So far this season that guy is Carson Palmer ($6,600). Palmer has been playing like the top quarterbacks but with a $1,000 discount. Palmer has three games of more than 300 passing yards and the one he didn’t cross that mark he had four touchdowns. I think he’s got another good shot to cross the 300-yard mark and pick up the bonus points for doing so. Detroit has allowed Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning to throw all over the field in recent weeks. The two quarterbacks who didn’t have big numbers against Detroit are guys I consider less of the true pocket passer types in Teddy Bridgewater and Russell Wilson. Palmer is much more like Rivers in Manning and I expect another big week from him.
Jamaal Charles ($7,800) is expensive this week, but you should still try to get to roster him. Charles’ matchup is too good not to. His home game against Chicago this week is one where he should have no problem getting to and over the 24.7 DraftKings points he’s averaging so far this year. He’s also averaging five catches a game as well as better than a touchdown per game. Add in his yards, and his floor is very high. Charles is one of those rare running backs where game script doesn’t affect him. He’s going to be on the field whether Kansas City is winning or losing. With Kansas City favored by more than a touchdown you can bet that Charles is going to be a huge part of why Kansas City is winning.
T.J. Yeldon ($4,400) doesn’t have a touchdown yet this year despite getting 33 percent of the rushes in the red zone for Jacksonville. I think he notches his first touchdown this week when he plays Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay has allowed Bishop Sankey, Mark Ingram and Alfred Blue to all find the end zone so far. Yeldon has been staying on the field for all three offensive downs this year and got 94 percent of the offensive snaps last game. Yeldon’s value has also dropped $1,100 since the beginning of the season, but his workload has only increased. This will be one of the easiest defenses Yeldon has faced so far this season, and I like him to have value this week.
This week, I will not be rostering Devonta Freeman ($6,300). His salary has climbed too high too fast for me and he has some factors pointing in the wrong direction for him. One, he’s playing a very tough Washington defense. Washington hasn’t allowed any running back to gain more than 36 rushing yards and have allowed just one rushing touchdown this year. Second, the return of Tevin Coleman means less touches for Freeman. He’ll still the be lead running back, but I expect Coleman to get 6-10 touches and that’s just less chances for Freeman to put up yards. Third, is that a ton of Freeman’s value over the past two weeks has been tied to his six rushing touchdowns. He’s not going to keep rushing for three touchdowns every week and I think he’ll have a hard time getting one against Washington. This screams to me as a down week for Freeman.