Originally posted: November 8, 2017
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This week’s Thur/Sun/Mon FanDuel roster is led by a G.O.A.T. to G.O.A.T. QB/TE stack and the top running back in football. There’s also a RB/D/ST stack that’s included, and the wide receivers are a high-ceiling trio from the bargain bin, including the only player on the roster from the Thursday Night Football game or Monday Night Football game that are included on this slate but not the main slate.
Tom Brady (NE): $8,500 @ Broncos
The Patriots return from their Week 9 bye to square off with the Broncos in Denver. Last week, Denver was carved up by Carson Wentz even without top pass catcher Zach Ertz. Brady could be without one of his top weapons, Chris Hogan, but even if that’s the case, he’ll have plenty at his disposal (including his stack partner below). Brady is showing basically no signs of slowing down, and this year he ranks first in pass attempts (309) and passing yards per game (31.7.6), fifth in completion percentage (66.7%), tied for fifth in touchdown passes (16), fourth in yards per attempt (8.2), and second in adjusted yards per attempt (9.0) and Quarterback Rating (106.5), per Pro-Football-Reference. Football Outsiders ranks the Broncos sixth in defense DVOA, but there is a sizable gap in their rush defense rank (second) and pass defense rank (15th). They’re much more beatable through the air this year than on the ground, and that’s likely not lost on Bill Belichick. I fully expect the Patriots to take the path of least resistance against the Broncos defense, and that puts Brady in a great spot to rack up points. The Patriots have an implied team over/under total of 26.75 points, per Pinnacle.
Le’Veon Bell (PIT): $9,400 @ Colts
Bell’s the premier workhorse in the league, and he leads the way in carries (194), and among running backs he ranks tied for ninth in targets and tied for eighth in receptions (35). In other words, he’s busy in all facets of the game this year and averaging a whopping 28.7 touches per game! He’s parlayed his heavy workload into 122.4 yards from scrimmage per game, and he’s reached the end zone five time. Bell’s volume elevates both his floor and ceiling, and he’s in a dreamy spot to rack up points in bunches this week. The Steelers are 10.5-point favorites in Indianapolis, and FO ranks the Colts 21st defending the run and dead last defending running backs as receivers. The Colts are tied for the third most FanDuel points per game allowed to running backs this year.
Jordan Howard (CHI): $7,200 vs. Packers
Howard isn’t nearly as skilled a receiver as Bell, but he, too, is a workhorse and ranks third in carries (162). He’s piling up 82.8 yards rushing per game and chipping in 1.8 receptions for 5.6 yards receiving per game, and he’s found pay dirt four times. The sophomore back’s shortcomings as a receiver lower his floor in matchups where game script can get out of hand, but a game against the Brett Hundley-led Packers isn’t one where that’s a concern. The Bears are 5-point favorites at home, thus, setting up for another heavy dose of Howard on the ground. FO ranks the Packers 11th defending the run, but Green Bay’s surrendered the sixth most FanDuel points per game to running backs this year.
Robby Anderson (NYJ): $6,500 @ Buccaneers
The Jets offense hasn’t been horrible this year and ranks in the middle of the pack in scoring, and Anderson just might be their best weapon. He leads the team in targets (57), receiving yards (483), and receiving yards per game (53.7), is tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions (four), and is tied for second in receptions (31). He’s an explosive playmaker as evidenced by his 15.6 yards per reception, and he’ll look to show off his field-stretching skills against a Buccaneers defense that FO ranks 31st defending the pass and 25th defending No. 1 receivers. Tampa Bay has allowed the third most FanDuel points per game to receivers this season.
Marvin Jones Jr. (DET): $6,400 vs. Browns
In his first year with the Lions in 2016, Jones Jr. flashed early and then fizzled out. This year, he opened the season with back-to-back games reaching the end zone, but he was held under 50 yards receiving in each of Detroit’s first four games. He broke the 50-yard threshold with a 6-54-0 line on eight targets in Week 5, and he’s been on a heater over his last three games. In his last three contests, he’s totaled 36 targets, 19 receptions, 331 yards receiving, and three touchdown receptions. Detroit’s running game continues to sputter, and Cleveland’s run defense is actually a strength (1st, per FO) while their pass defense (28th) is a major liability, setting up a perfect storm for Jones Jr. and Detroit’s passing attack to hang numbers. Jones Jr. is an underpriced — and likely chalky — piece of exposure to Detroit’s robust implied team over/under total of 28.75 points.
Curtis Samuel (CAR): $4,900 vs. Dolphins
Samuel does two helpful things for this roster. One, he’s a valuable source of salary relief. Two, he’s a high-upside, likely low-ownership swerve from the field. The explosive rookie hasn’t had a breakout game yet, but there’s a chance this could be the week. Carolina’s trade sending Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills has opened up significant playing time and targets to the remaining members of the receiving corps, and it was Samuel who led Carolina’s receivers in offensive snaps played (49) last week. Samuel tied his season high for targets (five), and he set new highs in receptions (three) and receiving yards (23), and the do-it-all receiver also carried once for 14 yards. The Panthers could use someone stepping up as a big-play threat, and Samuel’s 4.31 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine indicate he has game-changing speed. FO ranks the Dolphins 30th defending the pass, 28th defending No. 2 receivers, and 30th defending “Other” receivers. Beyond the juicy matchup, Carolina’s implied team over/under total of 24.75 points provides further reason to roll the dice on Samuel.
Rob Gronkowski (NE): $8,100 @ Broncos
Even though the Broncos dodged facing Ertz last week, they were still beaten up by another tight end this year, coughing up a pair of receptions for 41 yards and a score to Trey Burton. The touchdown was only the third of Burton’s career (55 games played). Gronk’s a slightly more challenging matchup for the Broncos, and look no further than Travis Kelce’s 7-133-1 line against them in Week 8 for an idea of what an elite tight end can do to them. FO ranks the Broncos 25th defending tight ends this year, and they’ve ceded the third most FanDuel points per game to the position. Gronk has surpassed 50 yards receiving every game since opening the year with just 33 yards, and he’s caught four or more passes in five of his last six games while scoring five touchdowns in that six-game stretch. Don’t get sticker shock. Pony up for Gronk at tight end.
Mike Nugent (DAL): $4,700 @ Falcons
Nugent is filling in for injured Dan Bailey, and he’s attached to a potential shootout. The game in Atlanta has the highest over/under total (50.5) of the week and just a 3-point spread favoring the host Falcons. Atlanta has had the seventh most field goals attempted (20) against them this year, and Nugent won’t have to worry about nasty weather thanks to the retractable roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Bears (CHI): $4,300 vs. Packers
The Bears D/ST is a great correlation play with Howard, and they’re underpriced to boot. Green Bay’s offense has been a disaster with Hundley playing quarterback, and they’ve totaled just 571 yards of offense in his two starts while scoring 17 points in each of the games. Hundley took four sacks in relief of Rodgers in Week 6, and he’s taken four more in his two starts since. He’s also thrown four interceptions this season. Chicago’s defense has been above average this year and ranks 13th in DVOA, tied for 17th in turnovers forced (11), tied for ninth in sacks (23), and 13th in scoring defense (21.4 points allowed per game). Green Bay’s team over/under total is a tiny 16.5 points, and a 5-point spread favoring the Bears is ideal, too.
Source: Fantasy Pros
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