I’m getting married next year (God willing). I started a weekly Fan Duel contest between myself and my eight groomsmen. I took home the prize last week, but the trio of Cooks, Cooper, and Jordy Nelson decided they didn’t want me to win two weeks in a row. It’s okay though–my DFS value plays this week will get me back to Title Town, and I’m hoping it helps you too. But slow down folks, I’ve got to cover Waiver Wire and “Panic or Relax” first!
Chris Carson (SEA) RB: Carson was on my radar last week. Not because I think he’s great per se, but more so that the other three running backs in Seattle are so terrible. Carson ran for 93 yards against the 49ers. Not an elite performance by any means, but definitely a respectable one. He added another catch for seven yards. More importantly, he touched the ball 21 times during the contest. He’s clearly established himself as the lead back, even if it’s behind a questionable offensive line. The opportunity is there, get him now while you can.
J.J. Nelson (ARI) WR: I was fortunate to scoop up Nelson last week. I’m not trying to brag, it’s only because I foolishly drafted John Brown and needed the next man up. J.J. Nelson had a great outing against the Colts. I mean, anyone can have a great day against the Colts, but I take solace in Carson Palmer‘s new favorite target. He racked up 120 yards on five receptions, reeling in one for a 45-yard score. He almost had two TDs but wasn’t able to keep both feet in bounds. Without David Johnson, the Cardinals will be behind in almost every game, with no choice but to air it out. I love Larry Fitz, but he isn’t getting any younger. Nelson is a solid WR3/Flex option moving forward, regardless if John Brown plays.
Panic or Relax
A.J. Green (CIN) WR: Like me and the rest of the world, if you have A.J. Green on your roster, more than likely you used a 1st round pick to acquire him. And like me, you’re definitely disappointed in the results two weeks in. I don’t blame Green. The volume is there—18 targets through two games is beautiful. However, the 10 receptions and 141 yards with zero TDs is concerning. The Bengals are the ONLY team in the NFL who have yet to score a touchdown. As a result, the team fired their OC shortly after an embarrassing offensive performance against the Houston Texans. Keep the faith. Green is one of the most consistent WRs in the game. If you don’t have him, now is the time to trade for him before he blows up against a suspect Packers pass defense. The Bengals will be behind early and eventually are going to score a touchdown. RELAX.
Brandin Cooks (NE) WR: 11 targets, 5 receptions, a whopping 125 yards. Does anyone else remember all the hype around Cooks in the offseason? I was never on that train. I avoided him in all drafts. Brady is arguably the greatest QB to ever play the game, but the competition for volume in New England is too high. Even with Edelman out for the year and most of the WR corps banged up, he’s still fending off Gronk, Allen, Hogan, White, Lewis, Burkhead, and Gillislee. The only way Cooks consistently contributes is if most of the four-headed RB monster gets injured. He still has the deep threat potential, but Brady has so many weapons now who are also just as capable. In season-long leagues, you obviously can’t bench him, but stay away in DFS. PANIC.
DFS Value Plays
Christian McCaffrey (CAR) RB: $6,800 vs. New Orleans
So far, McCaffrey has not lived up to his post-draft hype. In addition to being out-touched by Jonathan Stewart in both games, the Stanford prodigy has only mustered 57 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards, with zero touchdowns. Here’s some good news though—he gets to play against the Saints this Sunday at home! There is nothing that makes any positional player (or his owner) happier than squaring off against the worst defense in the NFL. In their first two contests, the Saints have yielded the 2nd most points to opposing RBs. Last week, the Patriots’ backfield accumulated 13 receptions alone. I expect numerous Panthers to be beneficiaries this week, but there’s a good shot McCaffrey could lead the pack.
Davante Adams (GB) WR: $6,800 vs. Cincinnati
I love matchup-based plays. I love them more than I love food, and as a larger man, that’s saying a lot. So why would I recommend playing a WR against the stingiest pass defense so far? Cincinnati has only allowed 13 receptions for a grand total of 152 yards to receivers through two weeks. However, those games were against Baltimore and Houston. I’m not knocking Flacco and Watson, but one is over the hill and the other just started his first game. Now Cincy has to travel to Green Bay and face off against a pissed off Aaron Rodgers. Remember what a pissed off Tom Brady did this past week to the Saints? Allow me to remind you—447 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brady’s first half ALONE yielded more points than every other Quarterback’s entire game. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are banged up. Volume alone will be there for Adams. Expect Rodgers to look his way early and often.
Rashard Higgins (CLE) WR: $5,100 vs Indianapolis
Who? But seriously. Who? Rashard Higgins was a 2016 fifth-round draft pick who amassed only six catches on 183 snaps last year. With all of the injuries and inconsistency to the Cleveland receiving corps, he was promoted from the practice squad this past Saturday. In Sunday’s game against Baltimore, he led the team in targets (11), catches (7), and yards (95). Corey Coleman broke his hand yet again. Kenny Britt has been disappointing. This opens up the door for Higgins to see a high volume of Kizer’s passes. The Colts’ secondary is one of the worst in the league, giving up the 3rd most points to opposing receivers. The opportunity will be there, don’t be surprised if Higgins racks up 80 yards and finds the end zone in what I expect to be one of the most boring games this weekend.
Hunter Henry (SD) TE: $5,500 vs Kansas City
Last week Henry posted a very respectable stat line, hauling in all seven of his targets for 80 yards. While it was Gates who saw all the end zone targets, it came as no surprise. The Chargers weren’t very quiet in their plan to get the ball to Gates in the red zone so he could become the all-time TD leader for Tight Ends. Now that he has the milestone, look for Rivers to focus more on Henry. The Chiefs pass defense is nothing to write home about. I expect this game to be a shootout with many Chargers and Chiefs accumulating their fair amount of points, but none for a better bargain than Henry.
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