Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Tom Brady (DK – $7,600/FD – $9,400): Brady has two TDs or fewer in his last four starts while his passing yards have trended backwards over his last six games (447, 378, 307, 303, 257, and 249). Tom's averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt, which is his highest rate since 2011 (8.6). On the year, Brady has 15 TDs and only two Ints with strength in his completion rate (66.4). The Chargers are 7th in the NFL defending QBs with the last six QBs scoring fewer than 18 Fantasy points in DK scoring. QBs have nine passing TDs with no team passing for more than 242 yards while gaining 6.7 yards per pass attempt. LA has 23 sacks on the year (three games with five sacks). The Patriots allowed 18 sacks in 2017. Not the best matchup leading to Tom being an against the grain play. It's never a bad thing in the daily games when you have New England's passing attack as a low percentage own.
Dak Prescott (DK – $7,300/FD – $8,600): Dak has three TDs or more in each of his last four games. Over this strength, Prescott averaged 230 passing yards and 26 rushing yards per game with 13 combined TDs. Last season he had 532 combined yards and three TDs against the Redskins. Dak is the highest scoring QB after six games. Washington struggled in two games vs. QBs (KC - 349 combined yards with two TDs and PHI - 331 combined yards and four TDs). The Eagles threw the ball well also in Week 1 (307/2) vs. the Redskins. The key here is the availability of CB Josh Norman. Playing at a high level, but this offense to be balanced. If you want to ride the hot hand, Prescott is your man.
Carson Wentz (DK – $7,200/FD – $7,900): Just like Dak Prescott, Wentz had been on fire over his last three games (304/4, 222/3, and 268/4) with success as well on the ground (14/99) over this span. Carson pushed his way to fourth in QB scoring with a great TD to Int ratio (17:4). The 49ers fell to 31st in Fantasy points allowed to QBs after their failure over the last two games (330/2 and 236/3) plus ten rushes for 65 yards and two TDs. QBs have a rushing TD in three straight games against San Fran while three teams have over 300 yards passing. The Eagles don't run the pass well (104 yards per game with three rushing TDs) so Philly will attack in the deep passing game. As exciting as Carson will be, a couple of turnovers by the 49ers could make this a run feast in the second half. Favorable matchup for sure while needing second half follow through to deliver a winning score in the daily games.
Drew Brees (DK – $7,000/FD – $8,500): Brees only has one game in 2017 with over two TDs (Week 3 - 220/3) plus two games with over 300 passing (356/2 and 331/1). Over his last two games, Drew has three TDs and four Ints. Some of his upside has been stolen from the improve run game (27/149/1, 37/193/2, and 24/181/2) over their last four wins plus growth in their defense. The Bears want to run the ball with a weak passing attack, which helps keep game score in line. No team has over 235 passing vs. Chicago over the last six games with QBs gaining only 6.4 yards per pass attempt with eight passing TDs. They've faced Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers. Brees will get his yards and TDs while possibly being overlooked at home in Week 8.
Matt Ryan (DK – $6,800/FD – $8,100): The Jets will play their four straight games vs. the AFC East, which should have been a good stretch before the season. Matt had fewer than 250 yards passing in each of his last three games. He has fewer than two TDs in five of his six games. Over his last four games, Ryan had five TDs and six Ints. His only game with over 300 yards passing came in Week 1 (321/1). QBs have 15 TDs vs. the Jets, but they are gaining only 6.8 yards per pass attempt with Miami having the most success (326/4). The Falcons will have success on the ground in this matchup, which will lower the upside Matt. This offense could be ready to explode after scoring only 41 points in the last three games.
Cam Newton (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,800): After two special games throwing the ball (316/3 and 355/3), Newton struggled in his last two starts (239/1 and 211/0) while tossing five Ints. Cam has nine interceptions over his last five starts. His value as runner has been improved in his last two games (20/121/1). In his only game against Tampa in 2016, Newton passed for 237 yards and a TD. Four teams have over 300 yards passing against the Bucs with 11 TDs. On the year, they gain 8.2 yards per pass attempts. Most of the risk on Tampa's defense comes vs. WRs (CHI - 17/204/1, MIN - 16/282/3, NE - 236/1, and ARI - 14/231/2). Cam is the top play at QB this week with a chance to deliver an explosive game.
Derek Carr (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,800): Most Fantasy owners parked Carr in the garage last week after the Raiders' struggled to throw the ball for a month. Derek challenged the Chiefs' defense deep leading to his best game of the season (417/3). It was his first game with over 262 yards passing. The Bills started to show risk vs. QBs in the last two games (328/1 and 384/3), but they've only allowed five passing TDs on the year. Possible follow through, but this looks like a second-tier matchup in the daily space. On the positive side, Amari Cooper may have regained his form last week.
Russell Wilson (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,900): Wilson played his best ball in three of his last four games (373/4, 295/3, and 334/3). In his three down games, Russell passed for fewer than 200 yards in each game (158, 198/1, and 198/1). The Texans struggled vs. QBs in two of their last four games (NE - 378/5 and 324/3) while playing at high level in their other four games (125/1, 224/0, 109/0, and 140/1). The loss of J.J. Watts and Whitney Mercilus adds more risk to Houston’s defense. The Patriots exposed their WRs (12/247/4) while no other team has been able to have the same success. Seattle struggles to run the ball so Wilson will be part of most TDs in this game. Worth a dance.
Deshaun Watson (DK – $6,400/FD – $8,000): Watson has 13 TDs over his last three games, which all came at home. His passing yards have declined in his last four games (301, 283, 261, and 225) while gaining strong yards per pass attempt in each of these games (9.1, 8.3, 8.4, and 7.8). This will be his toughest test of the year as a full-time starter. The Seahawks are third in the NFL defending QBs with no one scoring over 22 Fantasy points. QBs gain only 5.6 yards per pass Seattle with five passing TDs. This is a tough matchup, but Houston will be the toughest test for the Seahawks' defense since Week 1 (Green Bay). Fade for me in the daily games.
Kirk Cousins (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,800): Over his last four games, Cousins has over 300 yards in three games with 11 combined TDs. His completion rate (68.2) remains in a strong area along with his yards per pass attempt (8.3). Last season Kirk had 813 passing yards and four TDs in two games against the Cowboys. One team has over 300 yards passing vs. Dallas (ARI - 325/2) while Aaron Rodgers (221/3) and Trevor Siemian (231/4) had success in TDs. The Cowboys allow 6.7 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing 11 TDs. Cousins has a great resume in this matchup in 2016 while having more overall weapons in the passing game in 2017. Call me intrigued in a game that looks to have a lot of offensive scoring.
Philip Rivers (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,500): Rivers had two games with over 300 yards passing and two games with three TDs. He struggled in his two matchups vs. the Broncos (192/3 and 183/2). The Chargers are playing a strong brand of defense leading to a more balance attack in some games. The Patriots allow the most Fantasy points to QBs with two teams having a high level of success (KC - 368/4 and CAR - 316/3). Six of seven opponents have passed for over 300 yards against New England with QBs gaining (8.4 yards per pass attempt) with 15 passing TDs allowed. This is a very good matchup for Philip especially when you consider the Patriots will score points.
Jameis Winston (DK – $6,100/FD – $7,600): Winston passed for over 300 yards in his last four full games (328/2, 332/3, 334/1, and 384/3) while attempting 42 passes per game in those matchups. Last season he passed 421 combined yards and two TDs in two games against the Panthers. Tampa will give up points (34, 35, and 30 - on the road) while doing a better at home (7, 23, and 19). This may lead to a wide-open game. Carolina held five QBs to fewer than 230 passing yards with only the Patriots success (307/2). QBs gain 6.8 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing ten TDs vs. the Panthers. Not the ideal matchup, but the lack of defense by the Bucs points plenty of balls in the air for Jameis.
Tyrod Taylor (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,600): Taylor had a serviceable game (321 combined yards with a TD) last week vs. weak Bucs' defense. Tyrod doesn't have a rushing TDs in 2017 while passing for only seven passing TDs. In his other five games, he passed for fewer than 225 yards in each game. Two teams passed for over 300 yards vs. Oakland (WAS - 365/3 and KC - 342/3). QBs gain 8.2 yards per pass against the Raiders with ten passing TDs. May surprise in this game, but his salary did jump by $800 from last week requiring a higher score to payoff.
Andy Dalton (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,600): Dalton had tough sledding last week (140/2) vs. top Steelers' pass defense. Andy has one game with over 300 yards passing (328/1) and one game with an edge in TDs (286/4). In his other four games, he passed for fewer than 225 yards and four TDs. Five teams have over 300 yards passing vs. the Colts (318/1, 332/1, 353/2, 306/1, and 330/1). QBs gain 8.9 yards per pass attempts with ten passing TDs. Indy has high risk against WRs (86/1415/4 on 145 targets). This sure looks like a great day for the Andy Dalton/A.J. Green hookup. The downside here is that the Colts will give up rushing TDs (10) in close. Worth a flier, but this looks like a steady matchup.
Josh McCown (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,300): McCown had a season high three passing TDs last week, but low passing attempts (27) led to short yards (209). Josh had one game with over 300 yards passing (354/2). Over his last four games, he has seven TDs and five Ints. His completion rate (69.2) remains in a strong area. The Falcons hold QBs to 6.5 yards per pass attempt with nine passing TDs allowed. Only one QB has over 265 yards passing (GB - 343/2). Low upside matchup with more risk than reward.
C.J. Beathard (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,300): After two games, Beathard had a short completion rate (55.4) while gaining only 6.5 yards per pass attempts. C.J. has two TDs in two games (one rushing and one passing) while tossing one Ints. The Eagles allowed over 300 yards passing to three QBs (NYG - 366/3, LAC - 347/2, and WAS - 303/3). QBs averaging 291 passing yards per game with 11 TDs. The stats point to a possible uptick game, but I sense Beathard makes a couple of mistakes leading to a low possession game with minimal upside.
Jacoby Brissett (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,700): Brissett still hasn't passed for more than one TD in game while delivering a zero in passing TDs in two of his six starts. He helps his value with his legs (31/129/3). His only game with over 300 yards passing came against the 49ers (314/0). Jacoby has fewer than 220 yards passing in four of his six games. Cinci ranks eighth in QB Fantasy defense with five teams scoring fewer than 20 Fantasy points. The only team to have success as the Packers (313/3). Tough to believe in his upside on the road against a solid defense.
Mitchell Trubisky (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,400): Trubisky won his last two starts despite attempting only 23 combined passes for 220 yards with one TD. Last week he went 4-for-7 for 107 yards with 70 of those yards coming one play. His completion rate (50.0) remains in a weak area while gaining 7.3 yards per pass attempt. The Saints played great vs. QBs in three of their last four games (184/0, 164/0, and 87/0) while showing risk in their other three games (MIN - 346/3, NE - 447/4, and 312/3). Tough to believe in Mitchell until he proves he can have success throwing the ball.