IN this article we’ll give you some information about picks that we have our eyes on which should hopefully help you formulate your NFL DFS lines for each NFL week.
We’ll look at the main slate (3am Monday morning start) on Draftstars with the GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) in mind. This article is typically written on a Saturday so not all injury/transaction information will be to hand at the time so keep an eye on the players mentioned for any changes.
There is so much information out there for NFL DFS and a lot of it can be confusing with endless data. I want to keep this as simple as possible so anyone can pick it up and have a go. If you haven’t had a chance to read my ‘Beginners Guide to NFL DFS’ article then check it out to gain some basic insight and understanding on how to construct lineups.
Baker Mayfield $17,370
I am in on Baker just for the narrative alone. It’s been well publicised what Baker thinks of his former coach Jackson and with Jackson now standing on the sideline, you bet Baker is going to want to come out on top in this matchup. It was only 4 games ago that the Browns went up against the Bengals and Mayfield put up 258 passing yards to go with 4 TD’s, a haul of 25.92 DS points which is his best result for the season. The Bengals have allowed a TD in 13 of their 14 games while Mayfield has thrown multiple TD’s in 6 of his last 8. I do hold some concerns about Chubb stealing some work from Mayfield as he is also in a great matchup, plus the fact that Mayfield has been limited to 31 pass attempts or less since seeing the Bengals last, but I’ll take the price point and the upside. There is some great options around this price point however and the likes of big Ben and Ryan are on my radar too.
Taylor Heinicke $5,000
Any time there is a $5k starting QB up for grabs you just simply take him as a punt option, even if you don/t know how to pronounce his surname. With that said, I am not totally advocating for taking Heinicke, just merely suggesting he be a part of your player pool at least and someone to watch in the lead up to the games. Newtown has now been shutdown for the year and with only 2 games left for the season there is a real concern that the Panthers might shut down some others with minor health concerns on this offence which could be a total disaster for Heinicke. The must watch for news is that of CMC, who is listed as questionable for this game after missing practice at the back end of the week. If he does sit, I’d probably steer clear of this pick altogether as Heinicke will need to go away from his dump off comfort zone to actually throwing the ball. That means the other side of the ball is well and truly in play, something we’ll talk about later.
Other options – Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger
Saquon Barkley $18,640
Barkley had the worst game of his career last week against the Titans, on his way to just 9.6 DS points after putting up 31 rushing yards and 25 receiving yards. We’re hoping that might put some people off him this week and get him at a lower than usual ownership rate. He faces another tough running challenge in the Colts and we saw what they did against Zeke just last week. Why Saq then? We’re going to target him for the passing game opportunities in DS PPR format. Barkley is a big asset in the passing game of the Giants and will be targeted heavily this week. The Colts have given up the 2nd most receptions to RB’s while allowing the 6th most yards. This mean anything that we can get from his run game will be a bonus as it puts at least 10DS points on the board before he takes his first carry – in theory. As I said, hopefully others are looking away from him this week after last weeks struggles. I also like Zeke around this price but I can guarantee he will be heavily owned.
Tevin Coleman $9,400
For this price I think everyone is going to be looking at Howard which there is no issue with, but if you’re looking to be slightly different then this might be the best pick under $10k. Coleman is coming off a career high mark of 145 rushing yards against the Cardinals (who are awful against the run, I know) on just 11 carries. This week is a little tougher, going against a capable run D in the Panthers who have been quietly going about their work. The good news however is that Coleman is the only RB that has totalled more than 100 rushing yards against them, back in Week 2 when he was the lone RB for the Falcons, just like this week. He may not pull off another 100 yard day but there is at least a better chance he snags a TD or two as you’d think the Falcons D has every chance of setting up their offence in great field position. I think he will provide great ROI here and you can pick him with some confidence.
Other options – Nick Chubb, Jordan Howard
Amari Cooper $14,010
Here is another guy that had a disappointing week last week. Cooper went for just 4 receptions and 32 yards, en route to just 8.3 DS points. Similar to Barkley, I think this is a spot where we can get a guy at lower than normal ownership due to his last game performance. Cooper has been a standout since moving to the Cowboys while the Bucs secondary has been trash all season. They are starting to get some guys back now however and Cooper should see a rotation of coverage from the Bucs. Since moving to the Cowboys, Cooper has seen a minimum 5 targets and a minimum 8 in five of them. Zeke should be able to get the ground game going which opens up the passing options for Dak and most of his targets will be in the direction of Cooper. He’s in a nice bounce back spot and should provide a nice return.
Robby Anderson $8,570
After a disappointing season, Anderson has bounced back in the last couple of weeks on the back of Darnold’s performances. He gone for 17.6 & 22.6 DS points in his last 2 and now gets a home game against a Packers defence that is a mixed bag. He’s been targeted at least 7 times in his last 3 games so this is a good sign that the connection between these two is finally there. The Packers have had tough times against WR1 spot over the season and we’ve seen some great numbers against them. Anderson might not be in the same category as some of those names but he is far and away the most favourite target of Darnold so the opportunity will be there. GB have also allowed the 4th most TD’s to WR’s through the season so he has full TD upside which is always a must. Enunwa is also missing this game so that puts Anderson firmly in a positive opportunity spot.
Other options – Devante Adams, Ju Ju
Zach Ertz $11,150
For a change we finally get Ertz at a great price, well cheaper than what he has been in a long time. The Texans are a solid defensive outfit, although their one weakness is limiting the TE spot. He gets more targets (unbelievably) when he plays with Foles as opposed to Wentz, although his efficiency does dip just slightly. His season numbers are ridiculous and you know what you’re going to get with Ertz each week. He’s also another candidate for the bounce back spot after a disappointing Week 15 outing. Houston have allowed the 7th most receptions to TE’s, while Ertz averages just under 7 receptions with Foles under centre. Looking for Ertz to hit double digit targets, around 7 or 8 receptions and a TD in this one.
Other options – Evan Engram, Austin Hooper
Atlanta Falcons $5,000
Here we are again, picking a minimum priced defence. The Falcons travel to Carolina to take on a Cam-less Panthers offence that could also be without CMC. Who the heck is going to do anything for the Panthers? The Falcons smashed a 20 DS points performance last week against Arizona and we are every chance of seeing it again this week. As already mentioned, Carolina might be forced to actually throw the ball which opens up all the opportunity for Atlanta takeaways and a repeat double digit performance from their D. The Falcons D hasn’t been that great this year but they are getting pieces back which helps them and their experience. I’ll be playing a lot of this D at a minimum price and all the opportunity to shut down a Panthers offence that is using 2nd and 3rd strings.
Other options – Indy Colts, Chicago Bears
Agree or disagree with my picks? Whether you’re new to DFS or an old hand I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a tweet (@ausmojo), always open to answer any questions or chat DFS on Twitter.