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.
Cam Newton $22,350
This is probably no shock pick, attacking the Tampa Bay defence has been a tested and proven method all season long. They rank dead last against the pass while ranking in the bottom 5 for pass catching RB’s, WR1&2 spots as well as the TE position. Can they cover anything? The Panthers come in with a 30+ team total, -7 home favourite and Cam has more weapons than ever. Newton is having close to his best season, posting some fantastic numbers across the board thanks to the team he has around him. He has a RB who can run and catch, he has multiple receivers with some ability for a change and he still has the old warhorse in Olsen going around. He’s had a multi TD game in every single week outside of week 1 and he’s rushing on average for 53 yards per game. I don’t see how this Tampa defence is going to stop him, especially with Alexander missing in the middle for the Bucs. Cam could easily go 30+ in this one providing Fitzmagic and the Bucs can keep the score ticking over.
Baker Mayfield $15,510
What a week in Cleveland, they finally fired Hue Jackson. I think the whole world has been calling for this, not just the Browns faithful. What does this mean? It means the offence can now open up and play the football they are capable of playing. They have a lot of talent on their roster and Hue was definitely the reason it was held back. Mayfield get a home game against the red hot Chiefs and you would think the game script calls for him having to make some big throws in this one. I think the Browns try to run the ball, keep KC off the field and then strike through the air when it opens up a bit. KC give up the 7th most FP’s to QB’s and I believe Mayfield has enough weapons to at least give you a solid score here. If he can give you 15-20 points then that’s probably enough from your QB to at least sneak in to the cash. Personally, I’ll be paying up at QB this week with value at the RB spot but I know there is a lot out there who don’t like paying for QB.
Other options – Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady
Kareem Hunt $17,340
I wrote up Hunt last week and I’m going write back to the well with this one. He feel slightly short on expectation last week but I think at this price he’s easier to jam in to lineups than the likes of Gurley/Kamara/McCaffrey. The Browns actually have a very good pass defence, ranking 25th in FP’s allowed against to the QB and sitting 1st against the Pass overall. I know it’s Mahomes, but he might be missing Hill this week which limits is ability to air it out and will need to rely on Hunt out of the backfield to stretch the field a bit. The Browns are at the other end of the scale when it comes to the run game, they rank 27th vs the run and have given up the 6th most FP’s to the RB spot. I am quietly confident we see a 100 yard rushing day with a TD from Hunt against this Browns run stop and then there is his receiving upside which has been on display with 5 receptions each week over his last 3 games. He gets a better matchup than those around him for a similar price.
Isaiah Crowell $10,670
With Powell now on the shelf for the year, it leaves Crowell to pick up as much work as he can possibly handle. Crowell has been super quiet over the last 3 weeks but to be fair he has seen 3 defences that rank in the bottom 14 for FP’s allowed to RB’s, with the worst being Indy who comes in at 18th. The last team he saw that ranks in the top 10 for FP’s to RB’s was Denver and he managed to put up 200+ yards on them! Now he gets a Dolphins team that gives up the 4th most points to RB’s and while I’m not saying he’ll duplicate his Denver efforts, he has every chance to get a solid score for his $10k. You would imagine this game stays fairly close with Vegas giving us a 3 point spread so the game script tends to lend itself to RB situations here – meaning they won’t be phased out of the game. He is getting consistent work and I think he can get a number of redzone attempts against a below average run D.
Other options – Lamar Miller, Nick Chubb
Stefon Diggs $14,210
The Vikings have a home date with Detroit, a team that has struggled against the pass this year. Diggs is coming in off an 11 target, 10 reception game that he turned in to 119 yards and a TD against the Saints. Detroit are ranked 28th to the WR2 spot and 30th against the pass overall. They do sit in the bottom 3rd for FP’s against to the WR position but I don’t think that’s a major cause for concern when you have the talent of Thielen and Diggs running your routes. Diggs has shown that when he gets around double digit targets that he can produce some big fantasy numbers and I think he can do that this week with the expectation that the Vikings have plenty of the ball. Cousins will need to throw as I think the Lions run D has stiffened up since getting Harrison from the Giants. You can 100% pay for Thielen here and I wouldn’t begrudge that, but that $20k price tag is a tough one to take on. I prefer to pocket the $6k and slot Diggs in with a nice matchup.
DeSean Jackson $8,240
Fitzmagic is back and with that comes the return of Jackson. We saw the first couple of weeks with Fitz under centre that Jackson was one of his favourite targets, totalling FP scores of 31.6 and 22.9 in the opening two weeks. In fact, 3 of Jackson’s best scores have come when Fitz is the QB. He doesn’t have the greatest of matchups looking at the numbers but we have seen the Panthers secondary get moved around and scored on, even Eli did something against them. This gives me some confidence that any one of the 4 receivers can get a good fantasy score. Picking which one is the hard part but I think in terms of value, Jackson is in the best spot. He is the cheapest of the 3 primary receivers and unless you have enough confidence to pay all the way down for Humphries then DJ is your best bet to run back some of those Cam/McCafferey stacks.
Other options – Brandin Cooks, DJ Moore
David Njoku $8,940
I woke Monday morning to a message from a reader “Njoku, can’t ** believe what I’m seeing” … and neither could the rest of the DFS world that picked Njoku in a great spot. He delivered an absolute donut much to the surprise of many in the DFS community. So what do we do? We go right back to him in yet another great spot. Kansas City ranks 27th against the TE position and gives up the 5th most FP’s on average per game. The game scrip reads well for the Browns with Mayfield having to throw a lot, something we touched on already, so Njoku should be in line for a decent target share this week. He puts up 4 decent weeks before his zero last week so I’m happy to just ignore last week and look ahead. The bonus we could get here is people will be right off so we could get him at low ownership and if he does turn in a great game you’ll benefit. Outside of Njoku you’re either paying right up or right down with very limited TE’s in play this week.
Other options – Travis Kelce, Chris Herndon
I expect that there is going to be a lot of people paying up for the Bears D this week and why wouldn’t you, going against Peterman is a sure fire way to find gold but at nearly $10k it’s a big chunk of your salary cap. I will have some shares of the Bears but I also intend on having some shares on the other side with the Bills. Trubisky comes to Buffalo and goes against an underrated defence, ranking 4th against the pass and 12th against the rush. They currently sit 11th in the league for sacks and while they aren’t a standout D, at home against a Bears offence likely to be without Robinson, I think they are a great chance to put up a productive score at just $5k. Add to this the notable injury to OL Kyle Long and the quality that the Bills have up front, it might be a bit of an uncomfortable day for Trubisky. The Bears can’t run the ball either so Trubisky might be scrambling a bit in this one. The Bills have flashed good DST scores of 17,16 and 12 and I believe they can get up there again.
Other options – Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins
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.