Kevin Walsh | September 21st, 2019
All my plays are based on DraftKings pricing. It’s also important to note that when I list a player as a fade, I do not mean I will have 0% of them, but I will be way under the field as far as exposure goes, and likely will not play them on single entry lineups.
This could be the sneaky spot of the week. The Lions have not got much going on the ground, and the Texans defense is formidable against the run. Golladay has been on fire, and Hockenson benefits from some recency bias. Add that you have two reasonable receivers on the other side to bring it back with, and there could be some fireworks this weekend.
This is pretty much Jameis’ last chance. The Giants defense is dreadful against the pass. Evans and Howard have been disappointing at a minimum. This is the makeup spot for the letdown of week one and the brick of a Thursday night game they made us watch. Note that Winston’s ownership has been rising through the week, so it may get to a point where you need to get off of this bus.
All we want is for the Ravens to compete, and we can have some record day for Mahomes. The hardest part of stacking this game will always be who we stack with Mahomes, but the Ravens bring-back receivers are fairly obvious in Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. It’s hard to get away from this with so much uncertainty coming into this week.
Honorable Mentions: BAL, PHI, CAR/ARI, ATL, LAC/HOU
POSITION BY POSITION
I will refrain from continuing to mention the same players across sections, so these will be more about other players I am interested in outside of big game stacks. I will try to pick a player or two in each pricing tier (High, Middle, Low).
Patrick Mahomes ($7,600) – How can you argue against Mahomes any week anymore? It’s mostly just hard pinning down what weapons of his are going to go off. It’s honestly probably better for Mahomes to play against a team that puts up some resistance, and they get that this week in Baltimore. They may not score many more points than usual, but the MVP will be slinging it.
Jameis Winston ($5,400) – We are only two weeks removed from trusting him and having him lay an egg on us opening week. He has had extra rest since they played on Thursday, so that helps our case a bit. The best part is that the Giants are REALLY BAD on defense. If Winston can’t get it done this week, we can cast him aside for the rest of the season. I suspect Bruce Arians wants to rebound from a rough start and get to playing some solid football.
Philip Rivers ($5,800) – The Chargers play at one of the slowest paces in the league, but because their defense is so banged up, they are going to have to keep up against Deshaun Watson and this high-powered offense. Watson will want to bounce back from their offensive dud against Jacksonville, so that puts Rivers squarely in play for me this weekend.
Fade – Kyler Murray ($5,800) – While I will have some Kyler in my MME lineups, I think he is going to go over-owned this week against the Panthers. While the Carolina offense is struggling, the defense is holding up pretty well. I don’t think that Kyler is a horrible play, but I think there is a pretty good chance he fails to live up to chalk expectations in this spot.
Dalvin Cook ($7,800) – Minnesota comes home to go against a Raiders defense that is far from spectacular. The Raiders aren’t falling apart yet, but a tough matchup in Minnesota may send them off the cliff here. Cook has been heavily involved and it seems like this is the game they want to go to moving forward, so it looks like another heavy workload for Cook.
Austin Ekeler ($7,200) – This is an absurd price for his involvement in the offense. Ekeler has six catches in each of the first two games, so Ekeler is game-script-proof. He has been so dynamic for them and its hard to imagine the Texans really manage to slow him down.
Frank Gore ($4,400) – I am not in love with this spot, but you can’t ignore the workload for this price any week. Old Man Gore may get 20 carries for a measly 80 yards, but it could also be accompanied by two touchdowns, so you cannot ignore him here.
Fade – Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900) – While it makes sense on paper, this game may get far out of hand before Zeke hits paydirt, and that is more or less what you are betting on here. If he ends up being less-owned than I think, he could actually be a leverage spot, but as of now I think I am mostly staying away.
Julio Jones ($7,300) – The Colts are typically tough against the run so that lines up well for a Julio game. It’s hard at times to catch Julio when he is catching fire as it sometimes extinguishes just as fast as it flares up, but Julio already has three touchdowns in the first two games, which is unheard of for him the past couple seasons. When the Falcons struggle, they go to Julio, and Matt Ryan has not really begun to get going, so for now, Julio is the main target here.
Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800) – How can you ignore a number one receiver at this price tag? When Joe Flacco is running the hurry-up offense, he is looking for Manny. When the game is on the line, he is locked in on Manny. He is projected to be pretty highly owned, but it is for good reasons this time. This is good chalk, fire him up.
Kenny Golladay ($6,600) – The Philadelphia defense is not what it once was. It has been torn apart by Case Keenum and Matt Ryan to some degree. Golladay has come out of the gates on fire, and I expect that hot streak to continue this week in what could be a sneaky shootout.
Larry Fitzgerald ($5,100) and Christian Kirk ($5,000) – The Arizona receiving corps benefits from this uptempo offense that Kliff Kingsbury is running, and it is not reflected yet in the price of Kyler’s weapons. My only fear is that we have not really seen what Arizona does when they have a lead, and that is a possibility this week with Cam Newton sitting out this weekend. Even still, these guys will see six or seven targets each and it’s hard to ignore that volume at this price.
Travis Kelce ($7,100) – Spoiler alert: I pay up at tight end. The position is terrible at times. There is very little certainty. Kelce hasn’t had that ceiling game yet, despite all the points that the Chiefs are scoring. Don’t miss the breakout that everyone is waiting for out of Kelce.
Evan Engram ($5,200) – Danny Dimes is here to light up the world, but he really has little to work with through the air. While Sterling Shepard seems to be back to full speed, Engram should be the first read most of the time, so after the last week dud from Engram, this is an excellent bounce-back spot.
Mark Andrews ($4,600) – I have resisted so far to jump in on Andrews, but his volume cannot be ignored. Lamar seems to be looking for him out there, and it’s almost like they are telegraphing it. Andrews is on the field almost exclusively on passing plays. That may catch up to them, but for now, if you are paying down this far for tight end, Andrews seems to be a reasonable play.
Patriots ($3,600) and Cowboys ($4,300) – It’s obnoxious that these expensive chalk defenses keep going off, but you can’t totally fade these solid defenses that are playing against the Jets and the Dolphins. Neither team is putting up much resistance, and it’s just a simple spot to pick on right now. Not my favorite plays, but they need to be considered.
Vikings ($3,300) – Oakland is still going to Oakland some weeks. Is there a harder place to play than in Minnesota? Their defense is stern, unforgiving, and opportunistic. At the very least, they sack Carr five times and pick him off once. This may be my most owned defense.
Honorable Mentions – Bills, Lions, Chargers
In this section, I will list my favorite player at each position that is projected to be less than 5% owned. These will sometimes be dart-throws, and some will be more conviction plays and leverage spots. Don’t go slamming all these guys in one lineup and expecting success. They are low-owned for a reason, folks.
QB – Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson
TE – Jared Cook, T.J. Hockenson
DST – Packers
TWO MINUTE WARNING
Last week was a rough one for me. Who knew Raiders chalk week could fail so hard? I feel like some things I overlooked last week will be corrected in the coming weeks. I feel a big one coming, and I (always) hope it is this week.
If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter @Walsh_Sports. I will answer any questions you have!
Let’s make that money this week!
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