Fri Oct 23 9:52am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Murray is setup for big numbers
Offense might not be hard to come by in Week 7 with seven games having an over/under of at least 50 points. That leaves us with a lot of options to wade through in DFS, so let’s get right to it and discuss some players to consider at various price points, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Kyler Murray, ARI vs. SEA ($6,700): Murray has turned into a touchdown machine. His 10-passing touchdowns through six games might not seem great, but he also has six rushing touchdowns, which brings him to another level. He had 544 rushing yards during his rookie season and he’s set to blow past that mark with 370 rushing yards already this year. In a great matchup against a Seahawks team that has allowed the most passing yards per game in the league, Murray could thrive.
Justin Herbert, LAC vs. JAC ($5,900): If you don’t want to spend a ton at quarterback, Herbert is a great option. He’s fresh coming off of a bye and he’s thrown seven touchdown passes over his last two games. He’s faced some tough opponents in his rookie campaign with two of his four starts coming against the Bucs and Chiefs, who rank eighth and ninth in the league, respectively, in terms of fewest points allowed per game. This matchup is at the other end of the spectrum with the Jaguars allowing the eighth-most points per game and the seventh-most passing yards per contest.
Player to Avoid
Jared Goff, LAR vs CHI ($6,000): The Bears are off to a surprising 5-1 start, in large part, because of their defense. They have only allowed 19.3 points per game with the Falcons being the only team to score at least 30 points against them. They have been particularly adept at stopping the pass, allowing just four passing touchdowns all season. That’s not good news for Goff, who has also thrown an interception in three of his last four games. Considering Herbert’s salary is $100 cheaper, taking a chance on Goff seems unnecessary.
Aaron Jones, GB at HOU ($7,600): It doesn’t get much better than this for Jones. He’s already been racking up touchdowns in bunches, totaling seven of them through five games. The Texans have not only allowed eight rushing touchdowns, but they’ve also allowed the most rushing yards per game in the league. In what could be a high-scoring game between two struggling defenses, Jones could be left with a couple of opportunities to find his way into the end zone while also generating plenty of yards on the ground.
Justin Jackson, LAC vs. JAC ($5,900): The Chargers aren’t likely to get Austin Ekeler (hamstring) back anytime soon. With him sidelined, Jackson and Joshua Kelley will split the duties out of the backfield. Jackson looked like the far superior option in their last game against the Saints, finishing with 94 total yards on 15 carries and six targets. Meanwhile, Kelley only had 38 total yards on 11 carries and one target. Jackson’s ability to be a dual threat makes him an extremely appealing option at such a reduced salary.
Player to Avoid
Josh Jacobs, LV vs. TB ($7,300): This was already slated to be a tough matchup for Jacobs with the Bucs allowing fewest rushing yards per game. To further complicate matters, it’s unclear how many of the Raiders’ starting offensive lineman will be available for this game after Trent Brown was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Even if Brown is the only one that can’t play, his absence alone would still be huge. Given that their salaries are so similar, it doesn’t make much sense to roll with Jacobs over Jones.
Kenny Golladay, DET at ATL ($7,500): Targeting the Falcons’ defense is usually a sound strategy. They have allowed 30.7 points per game and the second-most passing yards per contest. On top of that, they have allowed 18 touchdown passes. That could all add up to a huge afternoon from Golladay, who has 224 yards and two touchdowns in only three games. It should also help his cause that the Lions’ defense has also played poorly, which could make this game a shootout.
Mike Williams, LAC vs. JAC ($5,500): As far as players who are available at a cheap salary, few are as appealing as Williams, regardless of their position. He’s coming off of his best performance of the season, torching the Saints for 109 yards and two touchdowns Week 5. Talent has never been a question with him, but his inability to stay healthy has been a problem. Now fresh coming off of a bye, Williams could feast here.
Player to Avoid
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT at TEN ($7,100): For those who play in season-long fantasy leagues, Smith-Schuster has been one of the biggest disappointments at wide receiver. After posting 69 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, he has 125 yards and one touchdown over his last four games combined. Just as concerning is that he’s received five or fewer targets three straight contests. With Diontae Johnson (back) expected to make his return and Chase Claypool playing extremely well, targets may continue to be hard to come by for Smith-Schuster.
Hunter Henry, LAC vs. JAC ($5,200): A Charger at every position? It’s not all that crazy given the matchup and their salaries. Much like Williams, the only question surrounding Henry has been his ability, or lack thereof, to stay healthy. That hasn’t been a problem for him so far this year, which has enabled him to receive 35 targets across five games. He is also second on the team in red zone targets behind only Keenan Allen.
Logan Thomas, WAS vs. DAL ($4,600): As much as I like Henry, going with Thomas at an even cheaper salary might be a good way to load up at other spots while still receiving intriguing upside from the tight end spot. The Cowboys have allowed 36.3 points per game, so Washington might be more productive than we are used to seeing. Like Henry, Thomas is also a popular red-zone target considering he leads Washington with six of them this season.
Player to Avoid
Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. CHI ($5,100): This is an easy pass. As previously discussed, the Bears have thrived at keeping opposing pass catchers out of the end zone. Higbee scored three touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 2, but he hasn’t scored in any of his other five games. He’s also seen his opportunities to catch passes dwindle, in general, leaving him with four or fewer targets in each of his last four contests.
Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Chase McLaughlin is not a viable starter this week. Though he has made all three of his field-goal attempts and both of his extra-point attempts in two games played this season, the sample size is too small and it's fair to question his reliability compared to other kickers who have played most of the season. As a result, there are better options to start at the position for Week 13.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tyler Eifert is not a worthy starter this week against Minnesota. In nine games played, the TE has only surpassed 40 yards once, and he has also been very inconsistent in his weekly numbers. Because the Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack, this makes Eifert too risky to start and thus irrelevant for fantasy purposes.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Defense should remain benched or on waivers this week. The Jags play Minnesota, a team that has solid receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, an elite back in Dalvin Cook, and a QB in Kirk Cousins who can get hot any given week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville ranks among the bottom of the league in most defensive categories, which keeps this unit well off the fantasy radar this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole Sr. is only a low-end flex for this week. Cole has produced at least five targets in three of the past five games but has only gotten over 40 yards in two of the past five games. The Jaguars don't have a strong passing attack due to their multiple changes at QB. Cole should not be trusted this week given his inconsistent stats.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. is a WR3 for Week 13 against the Vikings. As the WR1 on the team, Chark does see targets, but he doesn't always produce. The WR has gotten at least seven targets in four of the past five games but has only gotten at least 45 yards in three of those contests. Nevertheless, his weekly volume should keep him in the starting tier against a Minnesota team allowing the second-most points to fantasy wideouts.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. should be considered nothing more than a lower-end flex against the Vikings this week. In the past four games, the rookie has only eclipsed 40 yards and five targets once. Jacksonville has no stability at QB and its passing attack isn't high-powered. As a result, Shenault doesn't produce consistent and decent numbers each week. There are better options to start this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon will once again get the start this week but should remain benched in fantasy. Glennon posted 235 yards and two touchdowns last week in an impressive performance, but that was only one game and the journeyman has not proved he is worthy of a start each week. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy QBs, but there are certainly better, proven options out there.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson is an RB1 this week against the Vikings. The 22-year-old has now rushed for at least 99 yards in four of the last five games and has been stellar this season as the lead back for the Jags even though his value in the passing game has been minimal. The Vikings are middle-tier against fantasy backs, but Robinson's high weekly volume sets him up to produce once again.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had a good performance last week against the Falcons, and he will look for another solid performance this week against a poor Jets secondary. He is a consistent possession receiver but lacks the explosion to be considered a viable fantasy option. Renfrow is averaging 3.5 catches and 46 yards per game this season, so those numbers make him a fringe flex option. He has not found the end zone in four consecutive games, but the Jets Defense allows a lot of points. He consistently catches passes every game, but his ceiling is low.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller disappointed last week against a bad Falcons Defense but will likely bounce back this week against the Jets. The Jets Defense ranks 29th against opposing tight ends, and Waller is the second-most expensive DFS tight end this week. Waller has had a few bad performances this season but always seems to bounce back. He has followed up his disappointing performances this season with at least five catches in the following game. Look for Waller to rebound in a big way this week. He is definitely a must-start TE1 in Week 13.
Indianapolis Colts TE Trey Burton (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Burton has been targeted 11 times over the last two games and has two touchdowns during that span. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Devontae Booker (back) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Booker likely will receive most of the work at running back with Josh Jacobs ruled out. He will have a favorable matchup this week and can be considered a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Jalen Richard (chest) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Richard may have a bigger role in the offense with Josh Jacobs not available to play. He has a chance to be a flex option in deeper point-per-receptions leagues but is not a must-start option.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III had three catches on five targets for 56 yards last week and sees a favorable matchup this week against the Jets. Ruggs had a 36-yard reception last week against the Falcons, and the Jets have allowed 38 passing plays over 20 yards this season. His fantasy value is still limited considering he is not even averaging two receptions per game. He also has just one touchdown and has only helped the team move the chains eight times all year. The big-play potential is there against this Jets secondary, but Ruggs has proved to be unreliable. Fantasy owners can feel comfortable leaving him on the bench this week.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 4, but is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton posted a season-high 81 yards last week and picked up his first touchdown of the season. He will see a handful of targets this week and could be at least a flex option because of the matchup.
Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers (toe) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Rivers has thrown at least two touchdowns in four of the last six games and has posted solid passing numbers over the last several weeks. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 quarterback in some deeper leagues this week.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is set to start Sunday against the Jets due to Josh Jacobs (ankle) being out. Jacobs is a workhorse back, so Booker's touches have been limited throughout the season. He has just one game where he has seen double-digit carries, and he took advantage of that opportunity. While Booker has seen a limited amount of attempts, he is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Jets have actually been decent against the run, allowing 3.8 yards per carry so far this season. Booker will likely share some touches with Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick, but he is worthy of starting consideration.
Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Dec. 4, and is not on the injury report for Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins continues to be one of the top receivers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has been cleared to play in Week 13 against the Saints. Koo was dealing with a quad injury, though he is good to go for the divisional rematch with New Orleans. The 26-year-old has been the best kicker in fantasy football this year, which shouldn't change against the Saints. Koo made all three of his field-goal attempts in his previous meeting with New Orleans and is a top-five option this week.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr struggled mightily last week against the Falcons but will have a good chance to bounce back against the 0-11 Jets. The Jets have allowed 21 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 104.8. Carr has played well against the Jets in his career, averaging 210 yards and over two touchdowns. Other than last week's performance, Carr has also played well on the road. He has nine touchdown passes and a passer rating of 103.1 away from Las Vegas. Carr does not put up the volume numbers to be in the QB1 conversation, but he should have QB2 value against a horrendous Jets team.