The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 9 WEEKEND UPDATE
November 7, 2015 | Doug Shain
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The Huddle – Opening Statement
Welcome to the WEEKEND UPDATE for Week 9 of the Hail Mary. All updated thoughts and plays will be in bolded italics.
We have reached the midway point of the NFL season which means it’s time to break out the good old KWL chart. Remember, KWL stands for what I know, what I want to know, and I’ve learned.
|What I know||What I want to know||What I’ve learned|
|It is never a bad idea to play Tom Brady.||Is Andrew Luck ever going to be worth his high price tag?||You can win a GPP with a bad QB on a bad offense if you’re able to pinpoint which one will air it out in garbage time.|
|The RB position is a mess right now.||Will any RB step up and join Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley as every week safe plays? If so, who is it? Ronnie Hillman? Latavius Murray? Adrian Peterson?
|I kind of already knew this, but opportunity is king for RB. DeAngelo Williams, Charcandrick West, and Dion Lewis are all mid to top tier DFS RB simply because they’re the guys getting the ball.|
|WR is one of the hardest positions to narrow down each week because of the wealth of options.||Can Peyton Manning’s noodle arm hold up long enough for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to reach their potential?||It doesn’t take long for a virtual unkown (Stefon Diggs) to become one of highest owned WR each week.|
|You don’t have to pay up for Gronk each week to have an advantage over the field at TE. Be smart and play the matchups.||Can Ben Watson continue to be a reliable target for Drew Brees?
Is Johnny Manziel going to ruin Gary Barnidge? Will Coach Chud turn Coby Fleener into a stud?
|TE is a great place to find value and give you roster flexibility.|
|Getting at the QB and forcing turnovers is a lot more important than how many points you give up for DFS purposes (I’m looking at you, Philly).||Is Houston going to be able to build on their performance last week and become a top flight defense?||You can never go wrong playing the Denver or Rams defenses.|
|Hitting on an under-owned QB/WR stack can be huge.||Who is the next Stefon Diggs? Is it Tavon Austin? Travis Benjamin? Malcolm Floyd? Michael Floyd?||A sneaky way to stack is QB/TE (Brees/Watson) or QB/pass catching RB (Brady/Lewis).|
|The Chargers defense is so bad that Philip Rivers is a pretty solid play every week.||When will the RB injuries stop?||It is never a good idea to play anyone on Detroit. They are very, very untrustworthy.|
To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!
The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week
I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Tom Brady – NE||Philip Rivers – SD||Blake Bortles – JAX|
|Aaron Rodgers – GB||Andy Dalton – CIN||Ryan Tannehill – MIA|
|Drew Brees – NO||Cam Newton – CAR||Tyrod Taylor – BUF|
|Ben Roethlisberger- PIT||Derek Carr – OAK||Jameis Winston – TB|
|Matt Ryan – ATL||Jay Cutler- CHI||Kirk Cousins – WSH|
|Eli Manning – NYG||Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ||Andrew Luck – IND|
|Peyton Manning -DEN||Blaine Gabbert – SF|
– Eff You Mode Tom Brady is always in play no matter the ownership levels or the matchup. You can totally win a GPP with a 30+% owned Brady. ARod has another tough matchup this week, but I’m not sure he’s capable of two bad games in a row. He might actually be a lot more HuLo than you’d think. It could look pretty dumb, but I’m fading Drew Brees and Eli Manning this week since I expect their ownership to be sky high and there’s no way they replicate last week’s success. I’ve changed my mind and I’m going to have some more Eli than I originally thought. The matchup is just too good to completely fade.
– The more I think about it the more I really like the matchup for both Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr. This should be a really high scoring game and both guys are in play for me today (Carr more than Ben given the price and expected ownership of both).
– Once again my favorite QB play this week is Philip Rivers. His defense and running game are so bad that he’s always going to be throwing. Even with banged up weapons he should be able to light up a terrible Bears defense. Speaking of the bad Chargers defense and banged up weapons, Jay Cutler should be throwing a lot this week. Derek Carr going to Pittsburgh will be a true test to see if he’s a fantasy stud or just a few week wonder. I’m betting he’s closer to fantasy stud than dud.
– Now that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been given a clean bill of health I’m much more inclined to give him a go this week. The Jags can’t really stop anyone and Fitzpatrick has been highly productive this year. His injury status should help keep his ownership at a reasonable level.
– Blake Bortles is so much better than you realize. A matchup against the Jets seems daunting, but remember what Derek Carr just did to them. Tyrod Taylor is back! He’s immediately in play against the Dolphins. On the flip side, I expect a bounce back from Ryan Tannehill after the Patriots game debacle. Jameis Winston is limiting his mistakes and takes on the weak Giants D that just got torched for 7 TD’s. At least we know that Kirk Cousins is going to have to throw.
– Remember Zach Mettenberger last week? Yeah, me neither. That’s Blaine Gabbert this week. Don’t play him. If you’re going to go cheap at QB stick with Kirk Cousins or Jameis Winston.
My guys: Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Todd Gurley – STL||DeAngelo Williams – PIT||Antonio Andrews – TEN|
|Adrian Peterson – MIN||Mark Ingram – NO||DeMarco Murray – PHI|
|Dion Lewis – NE||Jeremy Hill – CIN||Giovani Bernard – CIN|
|Ronnie Hillman – DEN||Darren McFadden – OAK||TJ Yeldon – JAX|
|Devonta Freeman – ATL||Chris Ivory – NYJ||C.J. Spiller – NO|
|Latavius Murray – OAK||Lamar Miller – MIA||LeSean McCoy – BUF|
|Doug Martin – TB||Jonathan Stewart – CAR|
|Jeremy Langford – CHI|
|Melvin Gordon – SD|
– The price and ownership levels on Todd Gurley is out of control. His matchup isn’t great this week and I’ll be fading him. The Public RB’s I like most this week are Hillman (vs a wretched Colts run D) and Freeman (very high floor). As long as Brady is throwing then Dion Lewis is in play on PPR sites.
– I had Ronnie Hillman in a lot of my early week sample lineups, but his questionable status is starting to scare me. I suppose for a GPP that uncertainty could be a bonus to keep his ownership low, but if he ends up being limited you’re kind of out of luck. I’d rather play DMC, Murray, Langford, or DWill at this point.
– DWill is a top 10 RB the rest of the year with LeVeon Bell out. He should have a very good game this week against the Raiders for RB3 prices. Khiry Robinson’s season ending injury probably locks Mark Ingram into goal line carries. Those carries were the only thing keeping him from being a top 5 RB this year. Jeremy Hill gets the Browns but it’s always a crapshoot between him and Gio Bernard. With Joseph Randle’s release we can finally look at DMC as a reliable bell cow.
– I’ve added Melvin Gordon to the Expert list because I can’t refresh my Twitter without seeing the phrase Melvin Gordon Week. I’m not so sure I buy into it, but it’s at least worth noting that he’ll be a popular play.
– The player who may benefit the most from Khiry Robinson’s injury is C.J. Spiller. I expect him to get more snaps between the 20’s and he’ll become the primary pass catching RB. This role has a lot of value in PPR leagues. DeMarco Murray is probably chomping at the bit to run all over Dallas. He’s a little costly, but this is one narrative that I’ll buy into. Jeremy Langford may or may not be any good, but he’s cheap and he gets one of the worst defenses in the league this week with the carries all to himself. I will be playing him a lot. Now that he’s officially the starter for Monday night I’m even more convinced that Langford is a solid play this week. He’s going to be on a lot of lineups though, so I’ve moved him over to the Expert plays list.
– There aren’t a lot of workhorse backs in the league, so when you read that the Titans are going to feed Antonio Andrews the ball you kind of have to listen. He’s a total lottery ticket, but if he gets 20 carries it’s a lottery ticket with some decent odds. If you want to punt an RB or FLEX spot, but are worried about Langford’s ownership level, then Andrews is the guy to play.
My guys: Devonta Freeman, Jeremy Langford, Antonio Andrews, DeMarco Murray, DeAngelo Williams, Doug Martin, Dion Lewis…RB is rough this week
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Julio Jones – ATL||Alshon Jeffery – CHI||Eric Decker – NYJ|
|Odell Beckham – NYG||Malcom Floyd – SD||Michael Crabtree – OAK|
|Antonio Brown – PIT||Mike Evans – TB||TY Hilton – IND|
|A.J. Green – CIN||Jarvis Landry – MIA||Willie Snead – NO|
|Demaryius Thomas – DEN||Allen Robinson – JAX||Tavon Austin – STL|
|Julian Edelman – NE||Donte Moncrief – IND||Jamison Crowder – WSH|
|Dez Bryant – DAL||Brandin Cooks – NO||Ted Ginn – CAR|
|Stefon Diggs – MIN||Allen Hurns – JAX||Dwayne Harris – NYG|
|Amari Cooper – OAK||Martavis Bryant – PIT||Rishard Matthews – MIA|
|Alshon Jeffery – CHI||Randall Cobb – GB|
– There are so many WR to choose from. Of the more highly owned players I’m most inclined to get Demaryius, Antonio Brown, and Amari Cooper into my lineup. I’d have considered Julio, but ATL should demolish the 49ers and I’m not sure the Falcons are going to need a big game from Jones. I’d be much more comfortable with Freeman and Tamme in this matchup. I’m more and more comfortable with Cooper as the week wears on. OBJ is playing on another level right now and he’s got a killer matchup. He’s one of my top plays for the week if you can swing it.
– Malcom Floyd has a great rapport with Rivers and with Keenan Allen out for the year he’s going to be the guy to own. His price is spectacular and a Rivers/Floyd stack is my favorite of the week. Floyd is my top play at WR for the week when you factor is price/matchup/ownership. Allen Robinson may be stuck on Revis Island so I’d probably be more likely to play Allen Hurns. Hurns is going to be covered by Cromartie. Cromartie is terrible. I’m in! This is going to be the week that Mike Evans goes off; one week after all the hype. Jarvis Landry is only going to get better and Buffalo’s defense has been exposed. I like both he and Rishard Matthews this week. Brandin Cooks is finally starting to become a reliable WR for Brees. I prefer him over Snead. I don’t know how I missed Martavis this week. He’s got a great matchup and is priced very low. I really like this play and he’ll be in a lot of lineups. I also missed Alshon? What is wrong with me?
– Eric Decker has been extremely consistent and his price remains low. As long as Geno or Fitzpatrick gets the start this week he should be good for 60+yds and/or a score. Fitzmagic is in, so Decker is a top play for sure. Tavon Austin is one of my favorite plays this week. He doesn’t get a ton of volume, but he’s been extremely productive with his opportunities and I love how he’s being used since Todd Gurley became the starter. Ted Ginn is a whole new WR since he came to CAR and is an upside play against the Packers this week. Jamison Crowder is a decent play in PPR leagues. I’d probably not chase the 2 TD game from Dwayne Harris.
– Jeff Mans totally talked me into Randall Cobb this afternoon on Fanduel Daily. Cobb won’t be playing against Josh Norman and the public is totally off of him. This makes him the ultimate HuLo play. He’s contrarian for sure, but this is the kind of matchup Rodgers loves to have to prove people wrong.
My guys: Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper, Martavis Bryant, Eric Decker, Malcolm Floyd, Mike Evans, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||>HuLo Plays|
|Rob Gronkowski – NE||Tyler Eifert – CIN||Jordan Reed – WSH|
|Gary Barnidge – CLE||Ben Watson – NO||Vernon Davis – DEN|
|Greg Olsen – CAR||Charles Clay – BUF||Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TB|
|Antonio Gates – SD||Coby Fleener – IND||Jacob Tamme- ATL|
|Julius Thomas – JAX||Heath Miller – PIT|
– Gronk gonna Gronk HARD against the Redskins. You’re either paying up for him or you’re not. There’s really nothing else to say so I’ll just keep repeating it every week.
– Barnidge has been great, but I’m not sure if I love him with Manziel at the helm. Gates appears to on track to play. While I think Floyd is going to get the big targets, there’s no denying how much Rivers loves his security blanket of a TE.
– With Pep Hamilton out and Rob Chuzinsinsinsihi (ok, I can’t spell it, we’ll call him Chud) in as Colts OC I expect a lot more Fleener. Coach Chud loves his TE’s. You know who else loves his TE? Tyrod Taylor. Welcome back to relevance, Charles Clay.
– I’m going to ride this Ben Watson thing until it ends.
– If Allen Robinson really is blanketed by Revis, then Bortles is going to need a 2nd target to look for. Thomas is a cheap upside play.
– Heath Miller is going to test the “always play your TE against the Raiders theory”. He’s not going to Eifert or anything, but a handful of catches and a TD for his low price make him worth a looksie.
– Jacob Tamme has stolen all the targets from Roddy White. He’s the de facto #2 pass catcher in ATL right now. If Vernon Davis suits up for Denver he’s immediately in play. It looks like DK won’t give points for Vernon, but other sites should. Couldn’t you just see a 2-12-2 type of game? Jordan Reed should be good for some garbage time against the Pats. The price is right and garbage time really does count. The matchup is going to scare some people off, so enjoy the lower ownership.
My guys: Jordan Reed, Jacob Tamme, Coby Fleener, Charles Clay, Ben Watson, Antonio Gates, Heath Miller
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|STL Rams||New England Patriots||Atlanta Falcons|
|Denver Broncos||Carolina Panthers||Buffalo Bills|
|New York Jets||Philadelphia Eagles||Jacksonville Jaguars|
– Denver and STL are pretty much in play against anyone right now. The Jags’ offense is improved but Bortles is still throwing picks. I like all the Public plays this week. If I had to choose one it’d be Denver. Even if Luck goes for 300 yards and 3 TD, he’s been throwing picks like nuts. You play Denver against anyone.
– Philly is always in play as they get at the QB and force turnovers. Matt Cassel is the opposing QB.
– The Jags against “who knows” at QB for the Jets is rather appealing. Look what they did in London against EJ Manuel (even if they gave up a ton of 2nd half points). Now we know that Fitzpatrick will play for the Jets. This does hurt the Jags a lot, but they can still have a somewhat productive day as Fitz has been known to throw a pick of two from time to time. The Falcons against Blaine Gabbert and the dysfunctional 49ers seems like free money.
My guys: Rams, Broncos, Falcons, Eagles
Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the Fantasy Aces section but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.
Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!