Oct 5, 2017
We are about to enter arguably the best time of year for sports fans, as we will soon have all four major sports going at once. Between the baseball playoffs, hockey just starting, the NFL season a quarter of the way in, and NBA games starting sooner than usual this year in mid October, we are in a great spot for fans. As tough as the season can be with the various ups and downs, remember to enjoy the moments in sports that caused us to become fans in the first place. No matter how crazy the world may become, sports are a constant reminder that we can all come together and share an experience that, good or bad, lets us know that we are not alone.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Tyrod has the Buffalo Bills sitting in first place heading into Week 5 and this is certainly unfamiliar territory. The match up against Cincinnati seems tough on paper, but the Bengals’ numbers have been boosted a bit by their early opponents. They played the Ravens, who hadn’t had a QB break the 200 yard mark in a game until last week; the Texans in DeShaun Watson’s first NFL start; a loss to the Packers who hurt them through the air; and the Browns, who I swear are a real NFL team. Taylor has averaged just over 15 points per game in DraftKings and that puts him right at the triple up threshold. Aside from that, Taylor goes to Cincinnati with both staring CBs limited in practice with injuries. I think Tyrod settles in somewhere between DeShaun Watson’s game and Aaron Rodgers’. He won’t throw for a bunch of yards, but should be effective enough in the air and on the ground to exceed his 15 point floor. He has yet to rush for a touchdown this year and that could easily put him into 20+ point range. The pricing for QBs has gotten tight, and if you want to go with a cheaper option this week, Tyrod is a great place to start.
Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland Browns
I can’t help it, I’ve just got a soft spot for Duke. I wrote about him in the preseason, drafted him where I could, and have used him in a bunch of DFS lineups, and now I’m back for more. Johnson seems to have found niche in the Browns “offense” and more importantly, that role looks to be as stable as a running back on a team that might not win 2 games can be. Simply put, he will catch passes and occasionally run the ball too. With as often as Cleveland has found themselves behind, they throw a lot, and that is where Duke becomes a huge asset. He’s coming off of 11, 22.4, and 21 point performances in DraftKings and he is still priced at only $4900. His opponent this week is the New York Jets, who have been really bad at covering #1 WRs, but Cleveland has Kenny Britt who hasn’t scared anyone this year; middle of the pack at covering #2 WRs where Rashard Higgins has been a huge hit or miss (mostly miss) project; really good at covering TEs; and pretty bad at covering RBs. This is all to say that where the Jets might be exploited through the air, the Browns don’t have the pieces to maximize the opportunity except for at the RB position. NY seemed to find a bit of life last week with Bilal Powell going off for a huge day against the Jaguars, ripping their rush defense apart for over 250 yards on the ground. If that pattern repeats and Cleveland is down, they will need to throw and Duke will be their best recevier on the field. He should comfortably settle in with a handful of catches, decent yardage, and more work on the ground. Isaiah Crowell has shown nothing exciting over the first four weeks, and despite complaining about his touches, still hasn’t taken over as their most productive back. Duke is their best chance to score on the ground, and this week, probably their best chance through the air as well.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Typically, I wouldn’t single out someone with as high a price as Diggs unless I was very comfortable with the player and the situation. Diggs playing against the Bears is a great example of a time where it’s the right player at the right time. The Bears have struggled in a big way to cover #1 WRs since losing the heart of their defense Jerrell Freeman, surrendering 22.3 points to Mike Evans in week 2, 30 to Antonio Brown in week 3, and 23.5 to Jordy Nelson last Thursday. They will also be down two other defensive starters in LB Danny Trevathan after his ugly head shot on DaVante Adams last week and S Quintin Demps is out with a broken arm. Chicago is thin at a couple of spots on defense and will be breaking in new starting QB, Mitchell Trubisky. It will be a tough night for the Chicago D if Trubisky can’t sustain drives and give his D a break. On the Vikings’ sideline, there are other factors leaning towards a run heavy game script. This will be the first game since Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL, and it seems like Jerick McKinnon will play but he also hurt a knee last week and was questionable to play earlier this week. Diggs is primed to add to his league leading yardage total and is currently averaging 97.8 yards and a TD on 5.5 catches. He should be able to get free for at least that much and could go well above those season averages.
TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton’s season has been tough in the early going. His overall numbers look good, but a lot of that production came in a win against Cleveland and their suspect defense in Week 3. He’s had a combination of bad QB play from Scott Tolzien and inexperienced play from Jacoby Brissett who was acquired via trade just before the start of the season and thrown in as the starter almost immediately. He’s also had a brutal schedule of top cornerbacks tasked with keeping him contained, starting with Trumaine Johnson, followed by Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. The one week he didn’t have a lock down guy on him most of the game was against Cleveland. This week he’ll be facing a San Francisco defense that doesn’t have anyone capable of containing him one on one. The 49ers have struggled with receivers on the outside and have been one of the worst defenses in the league with WRs lined up on the right side, which just happens to be where Hilton mostly lines up. San Francisco has also been especially vulnerable to slot receivers, another spot Hilton has worked out of this season. Indy will want to move him wherever they think he can best exploit the defense. Hilton’s alignment will put him in good position to make plays, and he will have ample opportunities as the Colts second leading receiver in targets and yards, TE Jack Doyle, has already been ruled out for this week with a concussion. With the 49ers having to travel in for the early start on Sunday, Hilton is one of the top options in DFS and is also one of the highest ceiling players suiting up.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
With the exception of the week 2 game against Carolina, Charles Clay has scored no fewer than 15.3 points in DraftKings in any game this season, reaching a season high of 19.2 points last week against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Like I mentioned above in the Tyrod Taylor section, the Bengals defense has looked good on paper, but they haven’t played the toughest schedule, and they will also likely be playing with several key offensive players hurt or out altogether inlcuding Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, John Ross, and Brandon LaFell. If Cincy can’t move the ball consistently, then their defense will be in for a long day. On the Bills’ side, they will be without their best receiver Jordan Matthews for this game, leaving Brandon Tate and struggling rookie Zay Jones as Taylor’s outside threats. Clay will be getting plenty of targets this week and has the talent to do something with them. Clay will be the best TE the Bengals have seen so far this season and he makes for a very cheap stack with QB Tyrod Taylor.
Dak Prescott, Brian Hoyer, Jacoby Brissett
Carlos Hyde, LeGarrette Blount, J.D. McKissic, Andre Ellington
Devante Parker, Pierre Garcon, Tyrell Williams, Tyler Lockett, Robby Anderson
Jesse James, Evan Engram, Zach Miller, Austin Seferian-JenkinsBack to DFS