How is everyone doing today! It’s another DFS piece coming your way, helping you make the hard decisions while shedding some light on some undervalued guys. Without further ado, it’s Ice and Fire time.
All values are subject to DraftKings’ prices and scoring format. All ownership data is courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
Fire ‘em up
Justin Herbert @ MIA, $6,600 (Projected ownership: 4.6 percent)
Miami’s offense has been impressive this season and a strong opponent is always good for your fantasy quarterback. The battle of the first-round rookie quarterbacks will certainly be a fun storyline, but Herbert is the one who should be hammered into lineups. Miami allows the seventh-most fantasy point to quarterbacks and could be without several key defenders due to COVID-19, namely linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Herbert has been outstanding for fantasy, averaging almost 27 fantasy points per game, so he can definitely take advantage of a good matchup. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus only expects the Chargers quarterback to be owned in 4.6% of lineups. Lock him in.
Miles Sanders @ NYG, $6,400 (Projected ownership: 4.1 percent)
The Giants are bad, Sanders is great, and the Eagles are healthy again (kind of). Sanders will have game script, opportunity and talent all on his side against a weak New York defensive front that is allowing the eighth-most points to running backs. There isn’t much thought that needs to go into this, especially when the projected ownership of Sanders is a mere 4.1%.
Tyler Boyd @ PIT, $6,400 (Projected ownership: 3 percent)
It has been criminally ignored how well Boyd has played this season, and in PPR formats he has been one of the biggest steals in redraft formats. He squares off against Pittsburgh. With Joe Mixon (foot) likely to be inactive, the Bengals will lean on the passing attack once more rather than try to run into Pittsburgh’s stellar run defense. The Steelers missed slot cornerback Mike Hilton last week, and he is currently questionable to play this week. A hampered Hilton or no Hilton at all should leave DFS owners scrambling to put Boyd in their lineups, especially with DraftKings PPR scoring format.
Mike Gesicki vs. LAC, $4,300 (Projected ownership: 3.6 percent)
Let me start this off by saying that I lost my matchup earlier this season thanks to Gesicki’s zero-point game. This pick was not made out of love, but logic.
Last season, Gesicki saw a clear rise in value once Preston Williams was injured. Gesicki finished no worse than the TE9 in five of the eight games without Williams last season. He was never a TE1 with Williams in 2019. The sophomore wide receiver is now on the IR while Gesicki faces off against a Chargers defense that has allowed five TE1 performances in just eight games, two of which were the TE1 on the week. You might grimace as you do it, but Gesicki is a smart play this week.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYG, $3,600 (Projected ownership: 11.5 percent)
Daniel Jones is averaging one interception a game. The Giants are allowing over three sacks per game. The Giants are also fumbling once a game.
In short, it doesn’t really matter who the defense is — you can fire them up against the Giants, who offer a nice baseline in terms of turnovers. With the Eagles offense likely to be stronger than they were in past weeks, this could lead to sizable passing volume for Jones which is perfect for an Eagles defense that is at home, in their element. Everyone might be playing them, but it’s an easy and safe pick with a good ceiling given Jones’ love to turn the ball over.
Colder than ice
Baker Mayfield vs. HOU (Projected ownership: 1.7 percent)
Gusts up to 40 miles per hour is enough to derail a passing attack — simply look at the Browns when they played the Raiders a couple weeks back. A run-first team will happily play to their strength if pushed into it — their run game, which should feature Nick Chubb who likely returns from his knee injury. Even if he doesn’t play Kareem Hunt is capable of filling the role against a weak Texans front. There are plenty of reasons to not play Mayfield — don’t be attracted by the matchup and avoid the signs.
Josh Jacobs vs. DEN, $6,500 (Projected ownership: 9.6 percent)
The matchup isn’t great for Jacobs, who has had a bad year by anyone’s standards. Volume has gotten it done, and while that’s a good opportunity to have it won’t matter if touchdowns don’t follow. They have come in clumps for Jacobs, and when facing off against a Denver defense allowing just 0.8 rushing touchdowns per game, I’m willing to bet that he doesn’t find the end zone. Without touchdowns the ceiling won’t justify the price or the ownership percentage for buying a name like Jacobs’.
Allen Lazard vs. JAX $4,000 (Projected ownership: 8.9 percent)
Simply put, the Packers do not and will not need Lazard to beat the Jaguars. The weather forecast is not favorable with gusts that could reach 40 miles per hour, derailing the passing attack. Lazard enjoyed a great start to the year but was derailed by a core injury. Now, back sooner than anyone expected, he is set to return in what should be an easy game for Green Bay. It makes no sense to push him and he could see limited snaps. Hell, he could miss; he felt sore after Friday’s practice and was held out for precautionary reasons. Take him out of your lineups.
Hunter Henry @ MIA, $4,100 (Projected ownership: 4.9 percent)
It’s time to cut loose on the Henry chain. He’s a talented player but simply has not been used in the right way for fantasy. His 6.74 yards-per-target is a clear reason why, down multiple yards from his normal average mark. When he catches the ball it’s not down the field, and now he faces off against a Miami defense that has yet to allow a TE1 finish to tight ends this season. Avoid the price tag, the ownership and the ill-fated matchup.
Cleveland Browns vs. HOU, $2,900 (Projected ownership: 8.2 percent)
Houston losing David Johnson (concussion) for the week is addition by subtraction — make no mistake. Duke Johnson can be just as good if not better, while Deshaun Watson is more than capable of putting a team on his back. Houston only turns the ball over 1.1 times per game on average, the tenth-best mark in the league. Don’t bet against Watson.
Derek Carr vs. DEN, $5,400 (Projected ownership: 3.2 percent)
Five QB1 finishes allowed. Surely Carr has to find himself in there, right?
I believe I ran this through my DFs lineup last week, so fool me once. But I like taking matchups where the team shuts down the other outlet, in this case the running game with the aforementioned Josh Jacobs. Points will be scored and if they don’t come on the ground they will come through the air. Make no mistake; there are no guarantees with the Raiders. But everything points to a promising performance from Carr this week.
Matt Breida vs. LAC, $4,000 (Projected ownership: 2.0 percent)
The former 49er was a popular waiver pickup last week after Myles Gaskin’s injury (knee) only for he himself to be inactive with a hamstring injury. Breida has since practiced, albeit limited, all week. It puts him in a good spot to return as the team’s pass-catching back, a valuable role since Tagovailoa targeted Gaskin a team-high six times in his first start. At the bare minimum price with an incredibly low ownership percentage Breida is a nice dart-throw I’m taking this week in a potential shoot out with the Chargers. Remember; DraftKings is PPR-based.
Keelan Cole @ GB, $3,400 (Projected ownership: 0.9 percent)
Cole has demonstrated a surprisingly high ceiling, and while things change under Jake Luton it’s worth a deep shot against a Green Bay defense that will likely be without lockdown cornerback Jaire Alexander. Jacksonville will play from behind in this — make no mistake — and Cole could have a surprisingly good game in a bad matchup — on paper. Laviska Shenault (hamstring) is inactive so the playing time and opportunity will be there. Dart throws are always risky but it’s one I’m willing to take.
Ross Dwelley @ NO, $3,800 (Projected ownership: 1 percent)
Playing in a dome is always nice — no DFS weather concerns to consider. Going against a strong Saints offense that just destroyed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should create a great game script. Nick Mullens loves to target the tight end.
Oh, and have I mentioned that the Saints can’t guard the tight end? They’ve allowed FIVE TE1 finishes to the tight end this season and with Mullens hyper targeting Dwelley, this could be a big week for the 2018 undrafted free agent. Matchup and opportunity are two keys to fantasy football — Dwelley will use both to be a boon of value for fantasy owners this weekend.
Washington Football Team @ DET, $3,200 (Projected ownership: 0.7 percent)
The disrespect to this defense is insulting. Say what you want about the offense, but Washington is currently allowing the fifth-fewest yards per game and the 11th fewest points per game. Detroit looked out of sorts this weekend without Kenny Golladay, and their star receiver isn’t going to be their knight in shining armor this weekend as he continues to miss time with a hip injury. Meanwhile, tight end T.J. Hockenson is dealing with a toe injury, and while he looks likely to play it’s another variable in an already underwhelming offense. With so many team’s playing the expensive, safe defenses in DFS, Washington projects to be a sneaky start albeit at a relatively high price tag.