Oct 17, 2017
Well, that was weird. The Steelers, who looked awful last week after a horrific day from franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger came back this week to hand the Kansas City Chiefs their first taste of defeat this season. The team that had embarrassed the Steelers the week before, the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed up their best win of the season with a stinker at home against a Los Angeles Rams team traveling across the country. The Chicago Bears, a team who would be the avatar for bad QB decisions if not for the Cleveland Browns, also traveled to take on a good defense on the road, and managed to beat the Baltimore Ravens in QB Mitchell Trubisky’s second career start in the NFL. And in the strangest game of the week, the previously winless New York Giants went into Denver and stunned the Broncos despite being down their top three wide receivers. Despite the craziness, there were still plenty of players who met some pretty lofty expectations; let’s see how our picks did.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
As mediocre as Smith’s day ended up being, it was actually looking much worse late into the Chiefs upset loss to the Steelers. The Chiefs had only managed to score 3 points heading into the fourth quarter, and Smith had less than 100 yards before the final three drives in the fourth quarter. He finished with 246 passing yards, another 13 on the ground, and one passing TD for 15.1 points. While this would have been a very typical Alex Smith score pre-2017, this is not what we had seen from him his year. This was tied for his low score of the year, a season he also had 15.1 points in Week 3, but had gone over 27 each of the last two weeks. This was especially tough to watch as he missed several open receivers and the Chiefs’ offense struggled to gain momentum for most of the day as a result. Still, if a 15 point day is going to be his floor, that’s not a bad place to be for some steady point scoring from a mid-tier option at QB. If Smith’s price slips, he could still be a decent value play in the future, provided he rebounds to his previous 2017 numbers.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Maybe Sean Payton will finally realize the running back he’s been looking for for years has been on his roster all along. Facing the Detroit Lions, who came in with a top 5 rush defense per Football Outsiders, Ingram was someone we were hoping could turn an increase in volume and a low price into a good value play. What we got was a huge day from Ingram totaling 34 points in DraftKings. Over 110 yards rushing, another 36 receiving on 5 catches, and two TDs made for a huge return on his $4400 DK salary. In the first game action since the RB shuffle, Ingram and Kamara formed a sort of thunder and lightning backfield, with Kamara gaining more yards per touch, but Ingram getting the bigger workload and two short, goal line TDs. It was also interesting that Ingram had more targets than Kamara, who profiles as more of a receiving back. Ingram has been underrated as a receiver out of the backfield and he will continue to contribute points there. Given his performance and usage here, Ingram likely won’t be this cheap again so hopefully you were able to capitalize on the value this week.
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
In another very good game from the Rams, they were able to go on the road and get a win against a very hit or miss Jacksonville defense. Gurley was a higher end play as the Jags had looked very vulnerable on the ground and we has able to hurt them, gaining 116 on the ground and adding one catch for another 4 yards. The 16 DraftKings points didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t quite what most people were hoping for given the matchup. Despite scoring 27 points, the Rams only had one TD from the offense and it wasn’t Gurley that scored. He did get a first down carry from the 10 yard line and gained 6 yards, but a penalty moved the ball closer. From there backup tight end Gerald Everett made his only catch of the day to vulture the TD. That TD would have put Gurley just under the triple up benchmark and made his day more of a fantasy success. Still, Gurley continued his good work this season and seems to have found the form he showed during his rookie year. He remains one of the few workhorse backs in the league, for a team looking to make some noise in the seemingly wide open NFC.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Fantasy owners around the country joined Green Bay fans everywhere lamenting the loss of Aaron Rodgers. Adams ended up just falling short of tripling up his $5700 salary (16.4 points vs 17.1), but managed to have a decent day. Based on the Vikings’ secondary, we were looking for Adams to be the best fantasy bet among the Green Bay WRs, and he did finish with the highest point total. With Rodgers getting hurt on the Packers second drive of the day, backup QB Brett Hundley stepped in to play the majority of the game. From that point on, Adams was on the receiving end of by far the most targets from Hundley with 10. Jordy Nelson had 9 and no one else had more than 4. With Hundley looking at potentially having to finish off the remainder of the regular season, that kind of target distribution bodes well for Adams’ future. Hundley was a very effective player in college at UCLA, and showed flashes of greatness. If head coach Mike McCarthy can work his magic on Hundley, Adams might be able to hold his value better than Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb. If the Packers’ receivers see their prices drop because of the QB change, Adams could still remain a good value play moving forward.
Another player who had to experience a QB change is Zach Miller. Playing on the road against the Ravens, Miller was listed as a dirt cheap TE option. A very successful TE play this year has been to stream, targeting favorable matchups, with Baltimore being one of the top targets. Based on matchup alone, Miller should have been priced closer to $4000, and instead was only $2900. Very rarely will you find someone that cheap with a real chance to produce at any position, but this led to a great opportunity to accrue points while gaining a ton of salary flexibility elsewhere. Miller had looked okay playing with Trubisky last week against the Vikings. A lot of the Bears targets were over the middle and to the right, possibly to avoid Xavier Rhodes or to work to Trubisky’s throwing side, or a combination of both. No matter the exact reason, Miller was the beneficiary of a team high 7 targets last week and that was the trend we were hoping to seize upon. Trubisky only targeted Miller twice, but the big play for Miller was a 21 yard TD pass on a trick play from RB Tarik Cohen. Clearly, the Bears wanted to exploit the Ravens coverage issues with TEs and had this play in their back pocket when they were in the red zone. Miller was able to hit his triple point threshold over his tiny salary and scored 10.5 points in DraftKings on the day. This was just another case for paying for top options Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, and Travis Kelce or bargain shopping based on matchups. With as volatile as the TE position has been this week, I’d rather put a small investment there and spread the extra salary around to my other spots.Back to DFS