Fantasy Football is back! Before we dive in, let us rejoice in the fact that every Sunday for the next few months will be filled with wings, brews, and football. Is there anything better?
Crazy stat of the week: Alex Smith threw as many TDs as Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Wilson, and Roethlisberger COMBINED. Totally predictable, right? Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned vet like me, there’s always something new to learn.
Starting now until season’s end, I’ll be writing about “Elliott’s Eight.” Basically, after each week, I’m going to cover a wide array of topics (eight if you couldn’t guess). To kick off Week 1, we’re going to discuss “Panic or Relax”, “DFS Value Plays”, and “Waiver Wire.” Let’s get started!
Cooper Kupp (LAR) WR: Ah, Cooper Kupp. Not only a fun name to say, but a fun name to have in any lineup. I was high on this kid the second the Rams drafted him, and he’s still my favorite candidate for Offensive Rookie of The Year. Kupp tied for the lead in targets (six), converting four of them for 76 yards and a score. He was the real deal in college—I don’t care that he played for Eastern Washington. 428 catches over a four-year span is ridiculous at any level! I took Kupp with the last pick in every single draft and it paid off week 1 in the flex spot. He’s STILL available in 70% of leagues. Don’t be a doubter —Kupp should be on every roster. He’s also a good value pick for DFS this week ($5,400 on Fan Duel).
Tarik Cohen (CHI) RB: The player I took in the 2nd to last round of every draft, prior to Cooper Kupp? You guessed it—Tarik Cohen. As a diehard Broncos fan, I watch every game, even preseason. The Broncos first game was against the Bears and it didn’t take long for Cohen to show he has the pure raw talent that makes GMs drool. I’m not knocking Jordan Howard by any means—he’s still a great talent. But more so from a strictly running perspective. Cohen can run and catch. On a team who’s #1 receiver now becomes Kendall Wright, expect the Bears to be down early and often. Tarik Cohen could easily finish the year with 80+ receptions. Glennon loves to dump the ball off, and when(if) Trubisky gets the start, you can guarantee he’ll be looking to Tarik Cohen to bail them out of long downs. Even in standard leagues, Cohen is worth a flex spot. In PPR, he should be in your starting RB slot every week. Before Sunday’s contest, he was only owned in 2% of leagues. It’s now up to 45%.
Panic or Relax:
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB: Just over 50% completion rate, five turnovers, five sacks, 0 touchdowns. Seriously? Baltimore’s defense is good, but they aren’t THAT good. Cincinnati’s O-line looked terrible. Dalton had virtually no help in the run game (77 yds, 3.5 YPC). I was never on the Joe Mixon hype train, but for some reason, this kid kept flying off the draft boards in the 3rd and 4th round. Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard are just as capable, if not better. Mixon rushed eight times for a grand total of 9 yards. Ouch. With a lack of a run game, a shaky line, and only one WR threat who’s going to be double covered just about every week, I’d stay away from Dalton. PANIC!
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR: One reception for 25 yards?! Come on, KB! I don’t fault Kelvin for his performance. He led all WRs in targets (5), showing that he is still Cam’s most trusted big receiver. San Fran’s pass defense is decent, and there were times where Benjamin was double teamed, freeing up Shepard for a long catch and score. Benjamin and Newton are both back to 100% health, I’m not worried about his bad game to start the season. Last year he finished with a goose egg against Minnesota, it happens. He’s still a solid WR2. RELAX
DFS Value Plays
Philip Rivers (LAC): $7,000 vs Miami
I was at the game this past Monday in Denver. I’m a diehard Broncos fan and there is no greater feeling than taking down Rivers and the Chargers. Heading into the 4th quarter, the No Fly Zone held Rivers to under 100 yards and only 1 TD to go with 1 INT. Then craziness ensued and Rivers threw a beautiful score to Keenan Allen followed by a bomb to Travis Benjamin. Only one other time in the last three years has an opposing QB thrown at least 3 TDs against the Broncos. Rivers has a plethora of weapons and is now returning to LA to face a Miami defense that was less than stellar last season.
Tarik Cohen (CHI): $5,400 vs Tampa Bay
Have I mentioned how much I love me some Tarik Cohen? I don’t need to repeat myself. Athleticism meets opportunity. He’s locked in for double digit touches and points, and this is probably the last week you’ll be able to get him for so little.
Cooper Kupp (LAR): $5,400 vs Washington
I know I know. I sound like a broken record. In addition to being on every Fantasy roster, Kupp deserves the nod for your WR3 slot in DFS. He’s got beautiful chemistry with a much improved Jared Goff, and faces a Washington secondary who let slot WR Nelson Agholor burn them for a 58 yard TD. I’m still saying Kupp finishes as OROY.
Coby Fleener (NO): $5,300 vs New England
This game is going to be an absolute shootout. Remember a few years back when Eli came to town and he along with Drew Brees combined for 13 passing TDs? I don’t think it’ll be that many this time around, but there’s definitely a chance. The Pats secondary was humiliated last week against the Chiefs, and Fleener tied for first on the Saints this past week in receptions and yards, with a score to go along with it. Brees finally trusts him enough, and I do too.
Good luck to everyone this week! The season’s just getting started, so don’t worry if you start 0-2 or miss the big pay day on DFS. I’m here to help make you a better and more knowledgable fantasy player, just be patient with me!
Also published on Medium.