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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 5

Hi, y'all! Four weeks of NFL action are in the books and we're moving on to another. Welcome to our Week 5 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. Each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

Frank Ammirante will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Justin Carter will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games. You can also read about the Monday Night Football matchup. Let's help guide you to that Week 5 victory!

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ and @juscarts and feel free to ask away. Let's get on to the matchups!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team

Matchups We Love:

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee has been a bit of a disappointment this season, as he's not receiving the same volume (12.82% target share, 20th among tight ends) that he saw down the stretch last year. The good news is he takes on a Washington defense that ranks 29th in PPR PPG to tight ends. Mark Andrews just put up 57 yards and two touchdowns against them last week.

Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

Gibson is taking over this backfield, coming off a breakout game that saw him finally get some more receiving volume (5 targets, 4 receptions, 82 yards). The dynamic rookie takes on a Rams Defense that has allowed 29 targets (T-21st) to running backs. New quarterback Kyle Allen loves to check it down to his backs, which bodes well for Gibson.

Matchups We Hate:

Darrell Henderson Jr. (RB, LAR), Cam Akers (RB, LAR), & Malcolm Brown (RB, LAR)

This backfield has become a mess, with Henderson surprisingly taking a back-seat to Brown last week. Cam Akers' return this week further muddles this backfield, making it a clear avoid against a Washington defense that has been decent against the run, allowing 4.03 yards per carry (14th) and 17.6 PPR PPG (T-11th).

Other Matchups:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR), Robert Woods (WR, LAR), & Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

The Rams' passing game has an exploitable matchup against a Washington defense that is tied for 26th in PPG to quarterbacks. Washington has allowed a few big plays downfield, so we could see one or both of these receivers have decent games. Temper your expectations though, as Washington has allowed the second-fewest PPR PPG to wide receivers.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

McLaurin should see a boost in value with Kyle Allen at quarterback, but he has a tough matchup here against an elite cornerback in Jalen Ramsey. McLaurin's high volume (27.27% target share, 7th) keeps him in play as a WR2, but this is more of a floor week for him against Ramsey.

 

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Matchups We Love:

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, CAR)

Bridgewater is coming off a QB4 finish and has a great opportunity to keep it going against a depleted Falcons secondary allowing the most PPG to quarterbacks. It appears as if Bridgewater is getting more comfortable in Joe Brady's offense, so he's one of the best streamers in an exploitable matchup this week.

Mike Davis (RB, CAR)

Davis has become the bell-cow RB1 in CMC's absence, finishing as the RB9 and RB7 in his two starts. The Falcons have allowed 40 targets (31st) and 34 receptions (31st) to opposing running backs, so expect Davis to continue racking up the catches (21 receptions in his last three games) in this one.

D.J. Moore (WR, CAR)

Moore has been disappointing, but he still has a 42.83% air-yard share and 23.36% target share, so the volume is there, he just needs to build more of a rapport with Bridgewater. Moore has a great opportunity to get his season back on track against this struggling Falcons secondary.

Calvin Ridley (WR, ATL)

Ridley was shut out against the Packers, so we could see the Falcons make more of an effort to get their stud wideout more involved in the offense. There's a chance that Julio Jones misses this game, in which case Ridley would see a bump in targets. While the Panthers have allowed the seventh-fewest PPR PPG to wide receivers, I still love Ridley here because of his volume.

UPDATE: Julio Jones is officially out for Week 5.

Todd Gurley (RB, ATL)

Gurley is coming off a two-touchdown effort against the Packers and has a good chance to keep it rolling against a Panthers Defense that has allowed the fourth-most PPR PPG to running backs. We could see the Falcons look to establish the run again, especially if Julio is out, which makes Gurley a strong RB2 in this one.

Matchups We Hate:

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Ryan has a tough matchup against a run-funnel Panthers defense that has limited opposing passers to 6.34 yards per attempt (3rd) this season. It's hard to start Ryan whenever Julio is out of the lineup, which appears to be the case at this point. This profiles more as a Gurley & Ridley game for the Falcons.

Other Matchups:

Robby Anderson (WR, CAR)

Anderson has shown more chemistry with Bridgewater than Moore has, but I expect the Panthers to make an effort to get their young wideout going in this one. However, the Falcons secondary will have a tough time with these wideouts, so we could see a big game from Anderson as well. I'm not ready to concede that Anderson has supplanted Moore as the top target in this offense, so consider him more of a strong WR3 play.

Hayden Hurst (TE, ATL)

Hurst has a tough matchup against a Panthers defense that has limited tight ends to 9.8 PPR PPG (T-10th), but he could see a bump in volume if Julio were to miss this game. Consider Hurst a lukewarm play on the TE 1/2 fringe against the Panthers here.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Lamar Jackson is in another smash spot against a Bengals Defense that has allowed 93 rushing yards to quarterbacks (24th). Last season, Jackson ran for a combined 217 yards and two touchdowns on 26 attempts in two games against the Bengals. Expect another Top-5 finish for Lamar here.

Marquise Brown (WR, BAL)

Hollywood Brown hasn't had a big game yet, but his volume is encouraging - 27% target share and 43% air-yards share - so the breakout is coming soon. He has a good matchup against a Bengals defense that just allowed D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault to combine for 13 receptions, 181 yards, and two touchdowns.

Matchups We Hate:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Burrow has had a terrific start to his rookie season, but he'll be in tough against a Ravens Defense that is limiting opposing passers to 7.18 yards per attempt (10th). The Ravens have posted a 46% pass-rush win-rate (T-6th) and the Bengals have a 52% pass-block win-rate (25th), so this is a clear mismatch - Burrow could be under duress often on Sunday.

Tee Higgins (WR, CIN) & A.J. Green (WR, CIN)

Since the Ravens pass-rush will likely cause issues for the Bengals, it's going to be difficult for Burrow to connect with Tee Higgins and A.J. Green downfield. Higgins is starting to supplant Green on the depth chart, so the rookie is the preferred play here, but I'm not excited about this matchup at all.

Other Matchups:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Joe Mixon broke out last week against a weak Jaguars Defense, but he has a much tougher matchup here - the Ravens have limited opposing backfields to 23 PPR PPG (10th). The good news is that Baltimore has allowed 36 targets to running backs (26th), so we could see Mixon do some damage in the passing game.

Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)

Tyler Boyd has established himself as the number one option in this offense. We could see the Bengals focus their gameplan on short passes to Boyd and Mixon against this pass-rush, so both players remain lukewarm options, but I don't love the matchup against the Ravens.

Mark Ingram II (RB, BAL) & J.K. Dobbins (RB, BAL)

The Ravens' backfield has a great matchup against a Bengals defense that has allowed 26.1 PPR PPPG to running backs (20th), but it's hard to rely on Ingram or Dobbins as anything more than average FLEX options. Gus Edwards also eats into their value, so this has become a situation to avoid until one back starts to take over.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews has received three targets in two of his four games this season, lowering his weekly floor and making him more of a touchdown-dependent choice in some weeks. While he remains a Top-5 tight end, this profiles more of a Lamar-to-Hollywood game mixed with chunks of rushing yards, making Andrews more of a lukewarm play.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Matchups We Love:

James Robinson (RB, JAX)

Robinson has a great chance to keep up his RB1 production against a Texans Defense that just allowed Dalvin Cook to rush for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Houston is allowing the fourth-most PPR PPG to running backs, so this is a smash spot for the biggest surprise in fantasy football this season.

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU) & Will Fuller (WR, HOU)

The Jaguars defense just got shredded by Joe Burrow (300 yards, 8.1 yards per attempt), so Watson will have a good chance at a big week in his first game without Bill O'Brien. Fuller is the clear-cut number one option in this offense when he's healthy, so we could see this duo connect early and often against an exploitable Jaguars defense.

Other Matchups:

Gardner Minshew II (QB, JAX), D.J. Chark (WR, JAX), & Laviska Shenault (WR, JAX)

The Texans have a run-funnel defense, as they have limited opposing passers to 19.8 PPG (T-4th) because teams are opting to run more and pass less against them (114 pass attempts allowed, 3rd-fewest in NFL). I expect the Jaguars to lean on Robinson in this game, which caps the upside of Chark and Shenault. Consider Chark a mid-range WR2 with Shenault as an average FLEX in this one.

David Johnson (RB, HOU)

DJ has a great matchup against a Jaguars defense that just got shredded by Joe Mixon for 181 total yards and three touchdowns. The issue here is that we're not sure if Bill O'Brien's departure will lead to decreased usage for Johnson. Last week, DJ's snap count fell from 90.30% to 55.38% with Duke Johnson's return, so there's some concern here. Consider DJ an average RB2 this week and temper your expectations despite the strong matchup.

Brandin Cooks (WR, HOU)

Brandin Cooks was a non-factor last week, putting up a goose egg on three targets against the Vikings. While we could see the team make more of an effort to get Cooks back on track, he's merely a low-end WR3 until we see some improvement from this offense. This is a lukewarm play even though the Jaguars have a weak defense.

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

Matchups We Love:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Josh Jacobs has a good matchup against a Chiefs run defense allowing 4.99 yards per carry (27th). Jacobs should be a major part of the gameplan as the Raiders try to play keep-away from Mahomes and Co. He could also get a few check-down targets when the Raiders are playing catch-up, especially since the status of wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards is still in question.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC), Tyreek Hill (WR, KC), & Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Mahomes is in a smash spot against a banged-up Raiders secondary that just got shredded by Josh Allen for 288 yards on 8.5 yards per attempt. Tyreek Hill has a great opportunity to get loose deep against a defense that ranks 30th in defensive DVOA. Travis Kelce has dominated the Raiders throughout his career and has the highest floor at his position. Fire up the top two Chiefs' pass-catchers in this one.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, KC)

CEH takes on a Raiders defense that is allowing 38.1 PPR PPG (32nd), 39 targets (T-28th) and 31 receptions (T-31st). The Chiefs should be able to move the ball with ease in this matchup, so the touchdown upside is high for CEH. They'll also likely be playing with a lead, which will lead to more rushing volume. CEH is an elite RB1 for this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Derek Carr (QB, LV) & Henry Ruggs III (WR, LV)

The Chiefs have allowed 21.1 PPR PPG to opposing quarterbacks (8th), so this is a tough spot for Derek Carr, despite the fact that he'll likely be trying to play from behind and airing it out in the second half. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest PPR PPG to wide receivers, so this is a bad matchup for Ruggs, who has a chance to return from a hamstring injury.

Other Matchups:

Darren Waller (TE, LV) & Hunter Renfrow (WR, LV)

Waller is an every-week TE1, but the Chiefs Defense has been tough against tight ends (13th in PPR PPG). This is more of a floor week for Waller. Like Ruggs, Renfrow has a difficult matchup, but he can at least rack up underneath targets, so he's a lukewarm play in PPR formats.

Mecole Hardman (WR, KC) & Sammy Watkins (WR, KC)

Hardman and Watkins are dart throws who can be appealing DFS tournament punt plays in a game where Mahomes should be able to have his way with the Raiders defense. I wouldn't consider starting them in season-long formats, but they're definitely worth a look as GPP plays.

 

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets

Matchups We Love:

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, ARZ)

DeAndre Hopkins' 34.07% target share ranks 2nd in the NFL. After a slow week against the Panthers (7 receptions for 41 yards), Nuk is in a bounce-back spot against the Jets. With his volume, Hopkins has the highest floor among any receiver in the NFL. It's always good to play an alpha WR1 in the week immediately following a down game, as they tend to bounce back often. Fire up Nuk here.

Other Matchups:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARZ) & Christian Kirk (WR, ARZ)

Kyler Murray's rushing output gives him a terrific combination of floor and upside, but there's a chance that the Cardinals get out to an early double-digit lead here which will lead to more volume for Kenyan Drake, capping Murray's upside. I think this is more of a floor play this week, which still makes Murray a Top-7 option, but one that I'm avoiding in DFS. Christian Kirk is merely a DFS tournament punt play who needs more usage. I expect him to play more of a role as the season progresses.

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARZ)

Kenyan Drake has been the biggest disappointment at running back this season, failing to produce in a smash spot last week against the Panthers. Luckily, he gets another great matchup against a Jets Defense that just allowed Melvin Gordon to rush for 107 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals should control this game from start to finish with Joe Flacco quarterbacking the Jets, so Drake remains a high-end RB2 for this matchup.

Chase Edmonds (RB, ARI)

Drake is trending down, with Edmonds potentially putting his name into the "who will be Arizona's lead back by the end of the season" conversation. He's already a bigger passing game threat than Drake. It's not yet time for a change, but Edmonds increasingly workload does give him flex appeal.

Le'Veon Bell (RB, NYJ)

Le'Veon Bell finally returns to action at a moment of dire need with Flacco at QB. We could see the Jets scale back his touches while they get him up to speed, so Bell is more of a lukewarm FLEX play in this one. However, it wouldn't surprise me to see him rack up a few checkdown receptions as the Jets try to play catch-up.

Jamison Crowder (WR, NYJ)

Jamison Crowder has caught 14-of-23 targets in two games this season, so it's clear that he's become a focal point of this offense. The Cardinals rank 4th in PPR PPG to wide receivers this season, so this isn't a smash spot, but Crowder's volume should keep him in your lineup as a WR3.

 


Hi, Justin taking over now. Thanks, Frank!

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers

Matchups We Love:

Eric Ebron (TE, PIT)

The Eagles have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Ebron was targeted 12 times over the past two games. Great chance for him to have his first huge game as a Steeler.

Matchups We Hate:

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Meh. Wentz is currently the QB16 in overall scoring, which was actually surprisingly higher than I expected. The Steelers are allowing 18.7 fantasy points to game to quarterbacks, which is more than I expected. And yet, even with those positive signs, I can't get behind playing Wentz unless I'm desperate.

All The Eagles Receivers

Alshon Jeffery might be returning! DeSean Jackson might be too! And that'll suddenly cut into Greg Ward's snaps and targets! This is all a mess! None of these guys can be trusted to be more than a WR4! Ahh! Exclamation points!

Other Matchups:

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT)

The Eagles allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but they've played the following quarterbacks: Dwayne Haskins, Jared Goff, Joe Burrow, and the combination of Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. Translation: I don't think the Eagles are as good defensively as expected. Roethlisberger isn't a QB1 this week, but don't let the matchup fool you: he's still a very good QB2 play this week.

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Ahh, the classic "matchup vs. volume" conundrum. The Steelers are a rough matchup for running backs, but Sanders is getting plenty of usage in both the run and passing game. He's not an RB1 this week, but he's a solid RB2 option with upside who has been targeted 19 times this season.

James Conner (RB, PIT)

Another player who borders on dislike here, but should see the right volume to be an RB2 option even against an Eagles Defense allowing the 13th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far.

JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson (WR, PIT)

A pair of decent plays here. Smith-Schuster isn't getting his expected volume and is dealing with a knee injury, but he has three touchdowns already. Diontae Johnson should be back from his concussion and is the top target for Roethlisberger so far this year. The matchups against Philly isn't the easiest, but both guys should be considered solid starting options.

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

This has not been a good year for Zach Ertz. The targets are there, but the yardage isn't. Last week, he had four catches but finished with just nine yards. Yikes. But some returning receivers might allow Ertz to see lighter coverage, and you have to start him as a TE1, even if there's a lot of risk here.

 

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:05/4:25 PM ET Games

Three games on the afternoon slate for y'all. Let's break them down.

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers

Matchups We Love:

49ers Running Backs

So, some caveats here, even though the 49ers face a Dolphins team that's allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs:

  • Raheem Mostert (knee) practiced and could play. If he does, he's probably the lead back and a solid RB2 play.
  • If Mostert is held out, Jerick McKinnon will be the lead back and also an RB2 play. If Mostert plays, McKinnon is more risky, but still an RB3/RB4 option.
  • Jeff Wilson is an RB4 option if Mostert is out, but not playable if Mostert plays.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Okay, look: the Dolphins are allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but George Kittle is back and you have to consider him a top-two tight end anytime he plays. Don't overthink this.

Matchups We Hate:

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, MIA)

At some point soon, Ryan Fitzpatrick is getting benched for Tua Tagovailoa. That Fitzpatrick faces a scary (but injured) 49ers Defense this week makes this feel like a bit of a swan song for Fitz. Will he even make it through the game before the Dolphins bring in Tua? Not only is Fitzpatrick not a fantasy start, you can probably go ahead and drop him in most formats.

The 49ers Quarterback (QB, SF)

Jimmy Garoppolo? Nick Mullens? C.J. Beathard??? Too much uncertainty here, so I'm avoiding this situation when planning my lineups.

UPDATE: Jimmy G. will make his return in Week 5.

Myles Gaskin (RB, MIA)

Volume for Gaskin makes him playable every week, but the Niners allow the fewest fantasy points to running backs of any team in the league, so while Gaskin is playable, he's also an extremely risky play in most formats. Kind of a catch-22 here, isn't it?

Preston Williams  (WR, MIA)

Yikes. Not only is this a horrendous matchup, but Williams has only six catches all year for 89 yards. I'm not playing him anywhere. No way.

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

Big Gesicki fan, but the 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Gesicki is coming off consecutive games with just a single catch. Maybe when a QB swap happens, we'll see Gesicki involved as a safe option, but don't love the usage patterns right now.

Other Matchups:

DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)

If you're going to play a Dolphins receiver, it should be Parker. The 49ers allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers, but Parker's role as the No. 1 guy on an offense that throws a ton makes him a WR3 option.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR, SF)

Fine matchup, but concerned about just how many times he'll touch the football. The floor is too low for me to play him in shallow leagues, but think he's an intriguing DFS play.

Deebo Samuel (WR, SF)

Again, fine matchup, but what's the workload look like? A 34 percent snap rate last week in his return is worrisome, because if that number doesn't rise a good bit, Samuel will have an extremely low floor.

 

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

This defense is horrible, which means Prescott just keeps throwing the football. And while the Giants have been really good defensively when it comes to limiting fantasy production for quarterbacks, this game has the makings of a shootout. Dak's the best quarterback New York has faced. He's easily a top QB1 option again.

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Daniel Jones has not had a good 2020 season, but maybe the antidote to that is facing a Cowboys Defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Something has to give here, and *looks at this Dallas secondary* I don't think it's the Cowboys who change course. Jones is a good streaming option.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Touches each week for Elliott: 25, 28, 20, 20. While he hasn't had a 100-yard game yet on the ground, his increased usage as a receiver has helped make up for that, and Elliott is currently the overall RB4 in half PPR. Yes, he's a must-start RB1.

Darius Slayton & Golden Tate (WR, NYG)

I like Slayton more, but both should see ample targets against a Cowboys secondary that's been really rough so far. Consider Slayton a solid WR3 and Tate to be someone with WR3 upside, but a little more risk since Slayton's been higher in the pecking order for Jones.

Amari Cooper (WR, DAL)

I don't love this week quite as much for Cooper as I should, because Cooper will have a tough matchup against James Bradberry. But look, Cooper's been a stud so far, and you start him as a WR1 every week because of his upside in this high-powered offense.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb is a strong WR3 play with upside every week. This game is no exception, as he'll see lighter matchups from the defense than Cooper and should get a good number of easy looks.

Matchups We Hate:

Nothing here. Expecting a lot of offense.

Other Matchups:

Devonta Freeman (RB, NYG)

Solid matchup, but not totally sure I'm ready to trust Freeman yet. He averaged just three yards per carry last week after averaging two yards per carry the week before. There's a lower floor than you think here, even if he has RB3 upside.

Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)

I am officially concerned about volume. Three or fewer catches in three of the four games this year. One huge performance against Seattle and three mediocre ones. But you'll play him in a lot of leagues as a WR3 because of the upside, as we know he can deliver in the right situation.

Evan Engram (TE, NYG)

Dallas allows the sixth-most points to tight ends, so why is Engram only here? Because Engram has been a disappointment relative to expectation. He was targeted 10 times last week; he finished with 35 yards, which was also his second-highest yardage total of the year. In season-long, you have to start him, but in DFS, I have big, flashing "NO AVOID HIM THIS TIME" letters beside his name.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

The Giants are allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, so there's that major minus. Still, Schultz has been very good in the lead tight end role here, with 17 catches for 208 yards and two scores in the last three games. So, he's still a high-end TE2, but might have to work for it more than usual.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns

Matchups We Love:

Kareem Hunt (CLE, RB)

With no Nick Chubb, Hunt slides in as the No. 1 running back for Cleveland. He has a tough matchup against a Colts Defense allowing the third-fewest points to opposing running backs, but relative to what you spent in the draft on Hunt, he's a great value and a high-end RB2.

Zach Pascal (WR, IND)

The Browns struggle against wide receivers, and with injuries to Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr., Pascal has an expanded role now. This matchup screams "DFS VALUE" to me, and he's fine as a flex play in deeper season-long leagues as well.

Mo Alie-Cox (TE, IND)

Okay, so we thought that with other options back, Alie-Cox would take a step back last week. And he did, getting targeted just twice, but he found the end zone for the second week in a row. I like him a lot as a streaming play this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

No team has allowed fewer points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year. Just 11.2 per game for passers facing this Colts defense. Not a week where I want to rely on Mayfield at all.

Austin Hooper and David Njoku (TE, CLE)

The Colts allow the fewest fantasy points to tight ends of any team, and Hooper won't see the needed volume to make him a decent play. Sit him in 12-team leagues if you have a good streaming option available. (Also, Njoku should be back which hurts Hooper even more. Njoku isn't someone to add either at the moment, but keep an eye on him.)

Other Matchups:

Philip Rivers (QB, IND)

It's a good matchup! But Rivers isn't throwing a lot, has four touchdowns in four games, and has three picks. He's just not a quarterback I want to use as anything but a matchup-dependent play in a two-QB league. And hey, this is probably an okay time to use him as that, if you want to.

Jonathan Taylor & Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

The Browns allow the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Taylor has been getting a ton of carries lately, including 17 last week, so volume alone gives him RB2 upside, though a better matchup would give him RB1 upside. Hines might get 10ish touches, but the tough matchup makes him risky as anything but a deep-league flex play.

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)

The Browns allow the third-most points to wide receivers, though that number is inflated because of last week's game against the Cowboys. Hilton should be able to take advantage still, but something is off with the veteran wideout, who is averaging just 40.5 yards per game. What do we make of Hilton? An upside play, but with a WR5 floor? Sure, let's go with that.

Odell Beckham Jr. & Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE)

Nothing wrong with either of these guys, but the Colts defense is just a little too good for comfort. Beckham had a big Week 4, but should take a step back in Week 5, though you still start him as a WR2. Landry isn't getting a lot of volume or yardage, but his role does make him a low-end WR3 play in full PPR leagues.

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

Matchups We Love:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Seattle's defense is allowing 28.3 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the second-highest amount in the league. Cousins has had a growing rapport with Justin Jefferson lately and while this doesn't have the makings of a full-on shootout, Cousins still has to be considered a very good streaming play.

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

You play Russell Wilson against anyone and you expect him to deliver. Full stop. The end.

Chris Carson (RB, SEA)

The Vikings allow the 13th-most fantasy points to the running back position. Last week, Carson went from being very, very questionable with a knee injury to scoring two touchdowns. Play Carson this week and expect low-end RB1/high-end RB2 production.

UPDATE: Carlos Hyde is officially inactive for Week 5

Adam Thielen & Justin Jefferson (WR, MIN)

If we expect the Seahawks trend against the pass to continue, we should expect Thielen and Jefferson to be the primary players who benefit from that. Both players can easily finish as WR2s or better this week and both should be in season-long lineups in any league where you have them. They're good DFS plays too, though could be a bit chalky.

D.K. Metcalf & Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

These two should be started as high-end WR2s every week, especially with multiple rookies playing heavy minutes in this Vikings secondary.

Matchups We Hate:

Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)

The Seahawks allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Rudolph has six catches this year. Not a streaming option this week.

Other Matchups:

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Look, you obviously deploy Cook as a looked-in RB1 in season-long, but the Seahawks are only allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, so you might want to use Cook in fewer DFS lineups than you'd usually have him in.

 

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday / Tuesday Night Football

We have a whacky schedule this week for games on Monday and Tuesday night, due to COVID-19.

 

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints

Click here to read about the Monday Night Football matchup between the Chargers and Saints.

 

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

UPDATE: TheBroncos-Patriots game has been cancelled for Week 5. It is postponed from Monday October 12th, and moved to next Sunday October 18th.

Click here to read about the Monday Night Football matchup between the Broncos and Patriots.

 

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans

This game has been moved to Tuesday night, though we'll see how that ends up working out. Check back soon for updates...



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NFL DFS Stacks: Week 5 (Premium Content)


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Frank Ammirante's Rest-of-Season PPR Rankings

We're a quarter through the NFL season, so it's the perfect time to update my PPR rankings. These are tiered rankings organized by position. My rankings prioritize upside and downgrade injury concerns.

In this article, I'll identify players to consider trading away or acquiring to help you find trade targets and optimize your redraft lineups. These rankings account for overall volume and remaining schedule.

Below you'll find a few selections that will surely have you raising an eyebrow. Be sure to voice these concerns and come at me on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ! I can assure you that I'll be ready to provide insights behind these selections and we can engage in debate.

 

Quarterbacks

Tier Rank QB Previous Rank
1 1 Patrick Mahomes 2
1 2 Lamar Jackson 3
1 3 Kyler Murray 6
1 4 Russell Wilson 5
1 5 Dak Prescott 4
1 6 Josh Allen 11
2 7 Deshaun Watson 1
2 8 Cam Newton 15
2 9 Aaron Rodgers 14
3 10 Joe Burrow 10
3 11 Tom Brady 13
3 12 Matthew Stafford 12
3 13 Matt Ryan 7
3 14 Ben Roethlisberger 19
4 15 Carson Wentz 8
4 16 Daniel Jones 9
4 17 Justin Herbert 34
4 18 Drew Brees 16
4 19 Gardner Minshew II 22
4 20 Teddy Bridgewater 24
4 21 Ryan Tannehill 18
4 22 Jared Goff 21
5 23 Jimmy Garoppolo 17
5 24 Kirk Cousins 27
5 25 Baker Mayfield 25
5 26 Derek Carr 28
6 27 Tua Tagovailoa 33
6 28 Drew Lock 20
6 29 Nick Foles 32
6 30 Philip Rivers 30
6 31 Ryan Fitzpatrick 31
6 32 Sam Darnold 26
6 33 Dwayne Haskins 29
7 34 Mitch Trubisky 35
7 35 Jameis Winston 37
7 36 Jalen Hurts 36
7 37 Andy Dalton 38
7 38 Jarrett Stidham 40
7 39 Jacoby Brissett 39
7 40 Brett Rypien N/A

BUY HIGH: Josh Allen looks like a different passer this season, ready to join the elite ranks of the position. The addition of Stefon Diggs has been massive to Allen's growth as a quarterback. Pay the premium price to acquire Allen.

BUY LOW: Daniel Jones has really struggled this season, but the Giants have had a tough schedule. This will be a pass-heavy team that plays at one of the fastest paces in the league, so the fantasy points will be there. Jones has probably been dropped in your league.

SELL HIGH: Dak Prescott is one pace to shatter yardage records, but the Cowboys are playing at too fast of a pace, which is leaving their defense out to dry. Expect them to slow things down a bit and feed Zeke more. This team also loves to run in the red-zone, which caps Dak's upside. Sell high on the current QB1.

SELL LOW: Drew Brees is no longer the big-play passer that he once was. It's tough to trust a 41-year old quarterback to provide fantasy production, especially when quarterback is such a deep position. Currently QB23 in fantasy points per game, it's time to trade Brees for 40 cents on the dollar.

 

Running Backs

Tier Rank RB Previous Rank
1 1 Alvin Kamara 5
1 2 Ezekiel Elliott 3
1 3 Dalvin Cook 12
1 4 Aaron Jones 10
1 5 Derrick Henry 4
1 6 Clyde Edwards-Helaire 6
1 7 Christian McCaffrey 2
2 8 Joe Mixon 8
2 9 Josh Jacobs 7
2 10 Kareem Hunt 27
2 11 Miles Sanders 9
2 12 Jonathan Taylor 16
3 13 James Robinson N/A
3 14 Melvin Gordon 19
3 15 Chris Carson 22
3 16 James Conner 13
3 17 Kenyan Drake 15
3 18 David Montgomery 30
3 19 Todd Gurley 25
4 20 Antonio Gibson 18
4 21 Raheem Mostert 24
4 22 Devin Singletary 32
4 23 David Johnson 21
4 24 Myles Gaskin N/A
5 25 Le'Veon Bell 20
5 26 Ronald Jones II 38
5 27 Mark Ingram II 23
5 28 Leonard Fournette 26
5 29 Darrell Henderson 48
5 30 Cam Akers 17
6 31 Latavius Murray 40
6 32 D'Andre Swift 34
6 33 J.K. Dobbins 28
6 34 Damien Harris 42
6 35 Austin Ekeler 14
6 36 Joshua Kelley 49
6 37 Jerick McKinnon 79
6 38 Nick Chubb 11
7 39 Chase Edmonds 39
7 40 Devonta Freeman N/A
7 41 Mike Davis N/A
7 42 Alexander Mattison 41
7 43 Phillip Lindsay 47
7 44 James White 48
7 45 Zack Moss 29
7 46 Jamaal Williams N/A
7 47 Adrian Peterson N/A
8 48 Tony Pollard 44
8 49 Nyheim Hines 50
8 50 Duke Johnson 45
8 51 Rex Burkhead N/A
8 52 Malcolm Brown 50
8 53 Darrel Williams 53
8 54 Carlos Hyde 54
8 55 Giovani Bernard 55
8 56 Kerryon Johnson 31
8 57 Wayne Gallman N/A
8 58 Brian Hill N/A
8 59 Boston Scott 59
8 60 Darrynton Evans 60

BUY HIGH: James Robinson has come out of nowhere as an undrafted rookie for a rebuilding team to deliver RB1 production. He's become the bell cow of the Jaguars' backfield, even adding some receiving production. Jacksonville has the ninth-friendliest schedule for running backs.

BUY LOW: David Montgomery has the easiest schedule for running backs. The injury to Tarik Cohen could allow him to see more work in the passing game. Nick Foles is an upgrade at quarterback, so we could see more touchdown opportunities.

SELL HIGH: Kareem Hunt has been highly productive this season and now Nick Chubb is on the shelf, but the Browns seem to prefer to keep their committee in the backfield. Some people view Hunt as a top-five back going forward, so take advantage of this selling opportunity.

SELL LOW: Mark Ingram is stuck in a committee that has become a situation to avoid for fantasy players. There's a chance that the Ravens start to give more work to rookie J.K. Dobbins, who looks like the more dynamic player. Try to sell Ingram's big-name for a more appealing bench piece with upside.

 

Wide Receivers

Tier Rank WR Previous Rank
1 1 DeAndre Hopkins 13
1 2 Davante Adams 1
1 3 Michael Thomas 2
1 4 Amari Cooper 15
1 5 Tyreek Hill 3
2 6 Allen Robinson 11
2 7 Adam Thielen 8
2 8 Keenan Allen 28
2 9 Calvin Ridley 19
2 10 Tyler Lockett 22
2 11 D.K. Metcalf 18
3 12 A.J. Brown 5
3 13 Mike Evans 10
3 14 Odell Beckham Jr. 12
3 15 Kenny Golladay 14
3 16 Terry McLaurin 16
3 17 Stefon Diggs 26
3 18 Cooper Kupp 21
3 19 Robert Woods 20
3 20 D.J. Chark 17
3 21 Will Fuller 23
3 22 Tyler Boyd 24
4 23 D.J. Moore 6
4 24 Julio Jones 4
4 25 Chris Godwin 9
4 26 JuJu Smith-Schuster 7
4 27 Diontae Johnson 45
4 28 Marquise Brown 27
5 29 CeeDee Lamb 30
5 30 Robby Anderson 57
5 31 DeVante Parker 25
5 32 Justin Jefferson 63
5 33 Julian Edelman 36
5 34 Michael Gallup 31
5 35 Deebo Samuel 24
6 36 Jarvis Landry 41
6 37 Tee Higgins N/A
6 38 Jamison Crowder 44
6 39 Darius Slayton 57
6 40 John Brown 42
6 41 T.Y. Hilton 35
6 42 Jerry Jeudy 45
7 43 Laviska Shenault Jr. 56
7 44 Jalen Reagor 39
7 45 Christian Kirk 37
7 46 Marvin Jones 40
7 47 A.J. Green 34
7 48 Brandon Aiyuk 48
7 49 Cole Beasley N/A
7 50 Mike Williams 50
7 51 Golden Tate 51
7 52 N'Keal Harry 59
7 53 Mecole Hardman 43
8 54 Hunter Renfrow 66
8 55 Brandin Cooks 38
8 56 Emmanuel Sanders N/A
8 57 Russell Gage N/A
8 58 Scotty Miller N/A
8 59 Preston Williams 58
8 60 Corey Davis 68
8 61 Sammy Watkins 67
9 62 Allen Lazard 65
9 63 Parris Campbell 55
9 64 Alshon Jeffery 71
9 65 DeSean Jackson 47
9 66 Sterling Shepard 46
9 67 Michael Pittman Jr. 62
9 68 Tim Patrick N/A
9 69 Keelan Cole N/A
9 70 Anthony Miller 53

BUY HIGH: Amari Cooper is still the alpha WR1 in Dallas, posting over 25% target share and more than 30% air yards share, both of which lead the team. He's currently WR1 in PPR PPG and he should remain an elite option on a pass-heavy offense loaded with weapons.

BUY LOW: D.J. Moore has been a massive disappointment, but he still has over a 23% target share and more than 42% air yard share, so the production will come soon. Try to pry him off a fantasy player who thinks that Robby Anderson has supplanted Moore as the Panthers' WR.

SELL HIGH: JuJu Smith-Schuster still has the big name and his production has been inflated by his three touchdowns, but Diontae Johnson actually leads the Steelers in target share. There's a chance that Diontae has surpassed JuJu as Ben's favorite target.

SELL LOW: A.J. Green looks like a declining player, ready to be supplanted by promising rookie Tee Higgins. If you can use Green's big name to pick up an upside bench player like Chase Edmonds, I would fully support that move.

 

Tight Ends

Tier Rank TE Previous Rank
1 1 George Kittle 1
1 2 Travis Kelce 2
2 3 Darren Waller 5
2 4 Mark Andrews 3
3 5 Zach Ertz 5
3 6 Evan Engram 6
3 7 Hunter Henry 19
4 8 Jonnu Smith 15
4 9 T.J. Hockenson 12
4 10 Noah Fant 7
4 11 Robert Tonyan N/A
4 12 Hayden Hurst 14
4 13 Mike Gesicki 13
4 14 Jared Cook 19
4 15 Tyler Higbee 7
5 16 Dalton Schultz N/A
5 17 Mo Alie-Cox N/A
5 18 Rob Gronkowski 18
5 19 Eric Ebron 23
6 20 Dallas Goedert 17
6 21 Jimmy Graham N/A
6 22 Jordan Akins N/A
6 23 Logan Thomas N/A
6 24 Greg Olsen N/A
6 25 Chris Herndon 11

BUY HIGH: Jonnu Smith is breaking out before our very eyes, posting a 20.83% target share (3rd among tight ends), including 33.33% in the red-zone (2nd among tight ends). He's currently TE3 in PPR PPG and looks here to stay as a TE1.

BUY LOW: Evan Engram ranks second in targets among tight ends, but the production has not matched the volume yet. Luckily, he plays on a fast-paced, pass-heavy offense that has the second-easiest schedule for tight ends. Engram should get back on track this week against the Cowboys.

SELL HIGH: Robert Tonyan is generating tons of hype after his dominant performance on Monday Night Football. While I still consider him a TE1 going forward, try to take advantage of his big game and see if you can acquire someone reliable like Jonnu Smith.

SELL LOW: Tyler Higbee is just not receiving enough volume to put up TE1 numbers, ranking 22nd in targets among tight ends. While it's only been three games and he does have a three-touchdown performance under his belt, Higbee is someone to move right now - perhaps you can grab an upside wide receiver like Tee Higgins for Higbee.



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Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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Now Is the Time to Sell High on Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott came into the season as a consensus top-five quarterback in fantasy football. Through four games, the Dallas Cowboys QB has soared past those expectations, completing 68% percent of his passes for 1,690 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions. Currently ranked as QB1, Dak is on an absurd pace of 6,000+ passing yards on 800+ pass attempts.

With a franchise running back and a trio of talented receivers at his disposal, Dak has all of the pieces in place for elite production. He is also forced into shootouts because the Cowboys offense plays at a fast pace and their defense has struggled, allowing an NFL-worst 146 points on the season.

Despite this talented supporting cast and appealing team context, the time has come to sell high on Dak. His value will never be higher than it is now. In this article, we'll take a look at the offensive scheme, remaining schedule, and fantasy production to outline why you need to try and trade Dak while his value is at a season-high. We'll also provide a couple of trade offers that can guide you in your attempt to capitalize on Dak's terrific start to the year.

 

Offensive Scheme

Rotoviz: NFL Offensive Pace and Run/Pass Report (Top 10)
Team Offensive Stats, Point Dif: -7 to 7, Excluding Last 2 Mins of Half (Weeks 1-4)
Team GMs Plays Sec/Snap Pass% Run%
Cowboys 4 160 21.8 65% 35%
Cardinals 4 171 23.9 53% 47%
Titans 3 185 24.4 49% 51%
Washington 4 112 25.4 59% 41%
Falcons 4 111 25.5 59% 41%
Lions 4 168 25.8 58% 42%
Eagles 4 216 26.3 60% 40%
Giants 4 143 26.3 64% 36%
Jets 4 101 26.6 56% 44%
Bills 4 165 26.8 61% 39%

The Cowboys are playing at a much faster pace than any other team in football, taking 2.1 fewer seconds per snap than the second-fastest team. They are also airing it out 65% of the time, which ranks first in the NFL. While this has led to a ton of yardage and points, it has been taxing on the defense. This defense has regressed, partly due to a depleted secondary, but it's not as bad as it's looked so far.

Football Outsiders: Defensive DVOA (20-32)
Rank Team DVOA
20 Chargers 2.4%
21 Seahawks 3.8%
22 Bills 5.7%
23 Patriots 6.8%
24 Cowboys 7.9%
25 Falcons 7.9%
26 Packers 8.8%
27 Texans 9.0%
28 Panthers 9.8%
29 Lions 10.8%
30 Raiders 15.8%
31 Dolphins 16.0%
32 Jaguars 16.2%

Football Outsiders Defensive-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) analyzes every play to compare a defense with the league's baseline average, adjusted for the strength of each opponent. With the way the Cowboys have allowed points this season, you might expect their defense to rank in the bottom-five in the league, but that's not the case. This indicates that the fast-paced offense has left the defense out to dry, resulting in a 1-3 start to the season for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

We've seen the Cowboys hide a flawed defense by playing more of a ball-control style to great success in the past (13-3 in 2016, 12-4 in 2014), so perhaps we could see head coach Mike McCarthy opt to slow things down a bit. While Dak is putting up videogame numbers, the team isn't winning football games. Something needs to change here and I expect the Cowboys to try to lean on Zeke more in the coming weeks.

 

Remaining Schedule

Week Opponent PPG vs. QB
5 vs. Giants 19.6 (3rd)
6 vs. Cardinals 22.5 (T-14th)
7 at Washington 26.0 (T-26th)
8 at Eagles 21.4 (T-10th)
9 vs. Steelers 22.7 (16th)
10 BYE
11 at Vikings 22.5 (T-14th)
12 vs. Washington 26.0 (T-26th)
13 at Ravens 24.8 (T-23rd)
14 at Bengals 21.4 (T-10th)
15 vs. 49ers 20.9 (T-6th)
16 vs. Eagles 21.4 (T-10th)
17 at Giants 19.6 (3rd)

The Cowboys' remaining schedule ranks 24th for quarterbacks, including tough matchups in the fantasy playoffs against the 49ers and Eagles. Their schedule includes eight games where they project as favorites, including two games at home against the Giants and Washington which could end up as blowouts, resulting in more run-heavy game scripts. This is not a favorable schedule and when you account for a likely increase in rush attempts, you have a clear path to regression.

 

Fantasy Production

Rank Player PPG
1 Dak Prescott 31.30
2 Russell Wilson 31.23
3 Josh Allen 30.09
4 Kyler Murray 27.07
5 Patrick Mahomes 27.04
6 Aaron Rodgers 25.77
7 Tom Brady 22.37
8 Lamar Jackson 21.32
9 Ryan Fitzpatrick 20.07
10 Gardner Minshew 19.61

Despite leading the league in passing yards with 1,690 (364 more than 2nd place Josh Allen), Prescott is only slightly ahead in fantasy production due to a lack of passing touchdowns compared to his counterparts (nine TDs, sixth in NFL). This is because the Cowboys love to feed Zeke in the red-zone.

Red-Zone Usage
Player Inside 20 Inside 10
Ezekiel Elliott 17 ATT (3rd) 14 ATT (1st)
Dak Prescott 17 ATT (T-16th) 7 ATT (T-19th)

As we can see here, Dak is middle-of-the-pack in red-zone usage, which will affect his touchdown production. Quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Josh Allen are three elite fantasy quarterbacks who each have more pass attempts in the red-zone. The Cowboys will likely continue to feed Zeke in the red-zone, so the incoming regression in yardage due to fewer pass-heavy game scripts is unlikely to be supplemented by an increase in passing touchdowns for Dak. We also need to consider that Prescott already has three rushing touchdowns in only four games, which is only three less than his career-high of six. This rushing touchdown rate is unsustainable, influenced by the two pass-heavy game scripts that Dak encountered against the Falcons and Browns. Dak also doesn't run as much as Mahomes, Allen, Jackson, Murray, Watson, or Wilson, so that also caps his upside.

 

Outlook

Dak Prescott remains a top-seven fantasy quarterback for the rest of the season, but it's time to capitalize while his fantasy value is at its peak. A player to target in a trade could be Lamar Jackson, who's currently ranked as QB8 and could be acquired at a cheaper price. You might also decide to package Prescott with a player like Jerick McKinnon for a significant upgrade at running back, perhaps picking up a player like Josh Jacobs. You could even trade Prescott for an underachieving quarterback like Deshaun Watson plus a player at a position of need, like D.J. Moore or A.J. Brown. Capitalize on this selling opportunity and upgrade your team to guide you on your path to a fantasy championship.



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NFL DFS Stacks: Week 4 (Premium Content)


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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 3

Hi, y'all! Two weeks of NFL action are in the books and we're moving on to another. Welcome to our Week 3 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. Each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

Frank Ammirante will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Justin Carter will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games. You can also read about the Monday Night Football matchup. Join us as we help your 2-0 team stay undefeated or guide you to a much-needed victory after a disappointing start to the season!

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ and @juscarts and feel free to ask away! Let's get on to the matchups!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Bears at Falcons

Matchups We Love:

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

Robinson is in a smash spot against a woeful Falcons secondary that ranks 29th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. The Bears' WR1 has gotten off to a quiet start (8 REC, 107 YDS in two games), but he has 18 targets (T-6th in NFL), so it's only a matter of time before he breaks out. Robinson should be peppered with targets in a likely shootout in Atlanta against a Falcons team that plays at the 8th-fastest pace in neutral game scripts in the NFL.

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

Montgomery has looked solid thus far, putting up 146 rushing yards on 29 attempts (5.0 Y/A) in two games. What's most encouraging is that he's received six targets already (4 REC, 55 YDS) after totaling only 35 last season. Last week, Monty showed off his receiving skills with an impressive 28-yard touchdown. The Falcons rank 23rd in fantasy points per game to running backs, so this is a strong matchup.

Calvin Ridley (WR, ATL)

Ridley has gotten off to a blistering start this season, posting 16 receptions for 239 yards and four touchdowns on 22 targets, slotting him as the WR1 overall through two games. Julio Jones is banged up with a hamstring injury, so there's a chance that he might act as a decoy if he even plays, which will lead to more targets for Ridley.

Matchups We Hate:

Todd Gurley (RB, ATL)

Gurley looks like a shell of his former self, putting up RB19 and RB42 finishes in the first two games where the Falcons scored a combined 64 points. He is no longer a factor in the passing game (2 REC, 1 YD), so he depends on game script and touchdowns for fantasy production. While the game script could be in his favor with the Falcons as 3.5-point favorites, the Bears are stout against the run, ranking 13th in fantasy points per game allowed to running backs.

Other Matchups:

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

Trubisky on the streaming radar this week in a likely shootout against a Falcons Defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Keep in mind that this was against Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott, so temper your expectations with Trubisky, who has finished as QB8 and QB23 despite two strong matchups, demonstrating his volatility.

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI) & Anthony Miller (WR, CHI)

Cohen has surprisingly only put up three receptions for 21 yards so far this season. While this profiles as a positive game script in a potential shootout, it's hard to trust him as more than a desperation FLEX or DFS tournament dart throw with this middling production. Miller also has a good matchup, but he's been mediocre so far, putting up four receptions for 76 yards on nine targets, making him a WR4 at best.

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Ryan takes on a Bears Defense that is allowing the 5th-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, so this is a lukewarm play. If Julio Jones misses this game, Ryan would become a player to avoid this week against Khalil Mack and the Bears pass-rush.

Julio Jones (WR, ATL), Russell Gage (WR, ATL) & Hayden Hurst (TE, ATL)

Julio's status is uncertain for this game, but even if he plays, there's a risk that he'll be a decoy, so you might want to bench him if you have a viable alternative. If Jones misses the game, Gage and Hurst would be in line for a bump in targets. Hurst is the better option, as the Bears are tied for 18th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Consider Gage a middling WR3 with Hurst on the TE1/2 fringe.

 

Rams at Bills

Matchups We Love:

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

The Bills just allowed Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki to go off for eight receptions, 130 yards, and one touchdown last week. Gesicki is used more as a slot receiver than in-line tight end, so this exploitable weakness benefits Kupp more than Higbee. Cornerback Tre'Davious White will make things difficult on the perimeter, so the Rams' best course of action on offense should be to feature Kupp.

Matchups We Hate:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR) & Robert Woods (WR, LAR)

Goff goes up against a Bills Defense that ranks 10th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks after finishing 3rd last season, while Woods will be locked down by Tre'Davious White, who is one of the best cornerbacks in football. Goff can be avoided in all formats, while Woods is more of a WR3 that should be avoided in DFS. The Rams need to attack the middle of the field against the Bills.

Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, & Darrell Henderson Jr. (RB, LAR)

The Rams running game is an easy avoid given their split usage and tough matchup (Bills rank 11th in fantasy points per game to running backs). If Akers is to miss this game (status is currently unclear), that would bump up Brown and Henderson, but not enough to consider as anything more than a DFS punt play.

UPDATE: Cam Akers has been ruled out for Week 3.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF) & John Brown (WR, BUF)

Diggs is off to a terrific start in Buffalo (16 REC, 239 YDS, 1 TD), but this is a tough matchup against an elite corner in Jalen Ramsey. The Rams are tied for the second-fewest fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers, so consider Diggs more of a WR3 this week. Brown is a bit banged-up with a foot injury and has six fewer targets than Diggs. He should be viewed as a WR4 for this game as the clear-cut number two in Buffalo.

Other Matchups:

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee had a big game against the Eagles (5 REC, 54 YDS, 3 TD), but his nine targets rank 22nd among tight ends. While Gesicki (75.5% slot usage) tore up the Bills, Higbee (9.6% slot usage) is more of an in-line tight end. The Bills limited Chris Herndon (13.6% slot usage) to six receptions for 37 yards, so it's tough to view this as a strong matchup for Higbee. Consider him a low-end TE1 here.

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Allen is off to a terrific start with consecutive QB3 finishes, but the Rams are a tough matchup, as they rank 8th in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks. This game does not project as a shootout, so this looks like more of a floor game for Allen. Consider him as a low-end QB1 for this week.

Devin Singletary (RB, BUF) & Zack Moss (RB, BUF)

Singletary (57.43% of snaps, 19 rush attempts, 10 targets) and Moss (45.27% of snaps, 17 rush attempts, 4 targets) are pretty much splitting time, with Singletary as the slightly better option. They take on a Rams Defense that ranks 25th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, so this could be an opportunity for one of these backs to breakout. However, with their similar usage, it's hard to trust them as anything more than as a decent FLEX. At the same time, if Moss were to miss this game, he would become a play that I love.

UPDATE: Zack Moss has been ruled out for Week 3.

 

Washington at Browns

Matchups We Hate:

Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

Gibson's time is coming (snap share increased from 25.71% to 65.15%), but not this week. The Browns Defense is allowing the 7th-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs, along with 2.97 yards per carry. Washington's o-line has struggled this season and will now be without their best lineman in Brandon Scherff. The coaching staff has not yet featured Gibson in the passing game, so this is a bad spot in a game where Washington will likely be trailing.

Other Matchups:

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS) & Logan Thomas (WR, WAS)

Washington's offense is becoming one of the more narrow units in football with McLaurin and Thomas each posting a 26.98% target share. McLaurin looked great last week (7 REC, 125 YDS, 1 TD), but he'll be matched up with Denzel Ward, who held A.J. Green to three receptions for 29 yards on 13 targets. The Browns (31st in TE points per game allowed) have struggled against tight ends, so Thomas has an opportunity to breakout. However, given the struggles of this team's o-line, I still consider them lukewarm plays. I like McLaurin on the WR 2/3 fringe with Thomas as a viable cheap option in DFS cash games and tournaments.

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

Mayfield takes on a Washington defense that ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, but the Browns are a run-heavy offense, so it's tough to rely on him here, especially at such a deep position with superior streamers available this week. This projects to be a low-scoring game controlled by the Browns, so I'd look elsewhere at QB.

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE) & Kareem Hunt (RB, CLE)

Chubb and Hunt could wind up being one of the best running back duos in NFL history, but this is not a smash spot since they face a Washington defense that has played very well against the run (fewest points allowed to opposing running backs). Consider Chubb more of a high-end RB2 and Hunt as a FLEX play. The good news is that the Browns will likely control this game, so the volume could still be there for this dynamic duo.

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR, CLE), Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE) & Austin Hooper (TE, CLE)

Beckham (4 REC, 74 YDS, 1 TD) got loose in the Bengals secondary last week, but he only received six targets. This makes him more of a lukewarm play against a Washington defense that ranks 18th in fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Landry (16.07%) and Hooper (10.71%) have low target shares, so consider them a WR4 and TE2 in this one. It's tough to play the guessing-game and decide which of these passing options will break out against a susceptible Washington secondary, so I can't put any of them as players that I love this week.

 

Titans at Vikings

Matchups We Love:

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry hasn't broken out yet, but it's great to see that his volume (56 rush attempts in two games) hasn't declined so far. It's only a matter of time before he finds the endzone, as he leads the NFL with the most carries without a TD this season. Henry takes on a Vikings Defense that allowed rookie Jonathan Taylor to run for 101 yards and a TD on 26 carries. As long as Henry's getting this much volume in an exploitable matchup, he'll remain an elite RB1.

Jonnu Smith (TE, TEN)

Smith broke out last week (4 REC, 84 YDS, 2 TD) against the Jaguars and he now faces a Vikings defense that just allowed five receptions for 111 yards to Mo Alie-Cox. I expect Smith to remain the focal point of this Titans offense while A.J. Brown is out, so Smith is well-positioned for another strong game.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

The Vikings are desperate for a win, so we could see Mike Zimmer opt to lean even more heavily on his playmakers here. Cook has only 26 rush attempts in two games this year, but I'd bet that we see him eclipse 20+ against a Titans Defense that just allowed 102 yards on 16 carries to undrafted rookie James Robinson. I think that the Vikings get a much-needed win here, so that would mean a big game from Cook.

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)

Thielen (3 REC, 31 YDS) had a slow week against Indy, but he still leads the team in target share (33.33%) and air yards (274). This type of desirable volume makes Thielen an every-week WR1. He takes on a Titans defense that is still without top corner Adoree Jackson, so this is an exploitable matchup for Thielen to get back on track.

Other Matchups:

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN) & Corey Davis (WR, TEN)

Tannehill and Davis have a good matchup (Vikings ranks 22nd vs. QBs and 31st vs. WRs in fantasy points allowed per game), but I don't think that the Mike Zimmer-coached defense can continue playing this poorly, so we could see them step up in a must-win game. Consider Tannehill on the QB 1/2 fringe and Davis as a decent WR3.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins (QB9 and QB33) has been on opposite sides of the spectrum in his two games this season, demonstrating his volatility as a fantasy quarterback. This projects to be a bounce-back game against a Titans defense that just allowed Gardner Minshew to throw for 339 yards (7.5 yards per attempt). Cousins is in play as a DFS tournament option or as a potential streamer, but I wouldn't be rushing to my waiver wire to grab him.

 

Raiders at Patriots

Matchups We Love:

Cam Newton (QB, NE)

Cam is back to MVP-form with QB6 and QB2 finishes so far this season, including double-digit carries in both games. His running ability makes him a matchup-proof QB1 for the rest of the year. Cam is the focal point of this Pats offense and it's not out of the realm of possibility to see him finish as a Top-5 fantasy QB. The Raiders rank 9th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, but they've also faced Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Brees, so they're not a matchup to fear here.

Matchups We Hate:

Henry Ruggs III (WR, LV), Bryan Edwards (WR, LV), & Hunter Renfrow (WR, LV)

It's tough to rely on these Raiders wide receivers because Carr is either peppering Waller with targets or spreading the ball around to his receivers. Ruggs has the most upside due to his downfield ability, but he's also the most likely to be covered by Stephon Gilmore. Consider Ruggs a WR4 with Edwards and Renfrow as WR5 options here. They simply are not getting enough volume to even consider.

Sony Michel (RB, NE)

Michel has a great matchup against a Raiders defense that ranks 29th in fantasy points per game to running backs, but this backfield is one to avoid right now. I wouldn't consider playing Michel or any of these backs in any format right now.

Other Matchups:

Derek Carr (QB, LV) & Darren Waller (TE, LV)

Carr (QB14 finish vs tough Saints Defense) is on the streaming radar against a Patriots Defense that ranks 23rd in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Waller (38.71% target share) has been a volume monster, so he's matchup-proof, but we all know how Bill Belichick excels at taking away an opponent's best weapon, so temper your expectations here.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Jacobs is an every-week RB1 with a legitimate chance to finish as the best at his position this year, but this isn't a great matchup against a stout Patriots defense (3.91 yards per carry allowed) as road underdogs.  Jacobs is still a top-10 play at running back, but this is a lukewarm option that I would avoid in DFS.

Julian Edelman (WR, NE), & N'Keal Harry (WR, NE)

Edelman (8 REC, 179 YDS) set a career-high in receiving yards last week, so it appears that Cam is actually unlocking more of his potential. Harry (18 targets in two games) is starting to become more of a factor in this offense. The Raiders have been average against opposing receivers this year (16th in points per game). I don't expect this game to be a shootout like last week against Seattle, so the Pats WRs are lukewarm plays. Consider Edelman as a low-end WR2 and Harry as a volatile WR3 this week.

 

49ers at Giants

Matchups We Love:

Darius Slayton (WR, NYG)

Slayton is in a smash spot facing a 49ers Defense that will be without its best pass-rusher (Nick Bosa) and cornerback (Richard Sherman). The Giants lost Saquon Barkley for the season and will also be without Sterling Shepard, so we could see a significant bump in targets for Slayton. I expect NYG to transition into more of a pass-heavy offense, which means more shots to Slayton downfield.

Jerick McKinnon (RB, SF) & Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, SF)

We could see the 49ers lean on check-downs to McKinnon and inside-runs to Wilson with Nick Mullens at quarterback and George Kittle likely out for a second consecutive week. The Giants have been stout against the run, ranking 11th in fantasy points per game allowed, but the expected volume for these 49ers' backs make them worthy plays this week. Consider McKinnon an RB2 and Wilson as a FLEX play with touchdown upside.

UPDATE: George Kittle has been ruled out for Week 3.

Matchups We Hate:

Devonta Freeman (RB, NYG) & Dion Lewis (RB, NYG)

This Giants backfield is an easy avoid as Freeman acclimates to a new offense and Lewis continues to look like a shell of his former self. I expect the Giants to move the ball through the air with Slayton mixed with some underneath passes to Engram and Tate in this game. We might also see Wayne Gallman get involved in the running game, so steer clear of these two.

Other Matchups:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG), Golden Tate (WR, NYG), & Evan Engram (TE, NYG)

Daniel Jones is flying under-the-radar as a potential streamer against a depleted 49ers defense. I love him as a potentially low-rostered tournament play in DFS. Tate and Engram will likely see a bump in targets with Shepard and Barkley's injuries, but Slayton has the better matchup, as the 49ers struggle on the perimeter more than in the middle of the field.

Nick Mullens (QB, SF), Brandon Aiyuk (WR, SF), & Jordan Reed (TE, SF)

The Giants have been surprisingly decent against quarterbacks, allowing 6.98 yards per attempt (12th in NFL). It was encouraging to see Aiyuk play 72.13% of snaps, he only received three targets in his debut.  While the Giants rank 26th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, it's hard to trust Aiyuk right now, especially with Nick Mullens. Jordan Reed looked great last week, but the Giants have been tough on tight ends (4th). Each of the 49ers pass-catchers get a downgrade with Jimmy G on the shelf, so these are lukewarm plays.

 

Bengals at Eagles

Matchups We Love:

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders is in an absolute dream matchup against a Bengals Defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs. It was great to see Sanders step right back into the bell-cow role (20 carries, seven targets) in his first game returning from injury. I would expect 20+ touches in a positive game-script here, so Sanders looks like a top-5 RB and autoplay in DFS.

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Wentz has been struggling mightily this season (QB23, QB24 finishes), but he has a get-right matchup against a Bengals defense that has allowed big plays in the passing game (8.06 yards per attempt, ranks 22nd in NFL). They haven't allowed a lot of fantasy points to quarterbacks (15.3 points per game, 2nd-fewest) but that's because their run defense has been so poor. I think Wentz steps it up here and turns in a Top-12 finish at QB.

Other Matchups:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN), A.J. Green (WR, CIN), & Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)

The Bengals passing game takes on an Eagles Defense that ranks 11th in fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and ninth to wide receivers. They have held WR1s like Terry McLaurin (5 REC, 61 YDS) and Robert Woods (2 REC, 14 YDS) in check. Green couldn't do much with his 13 targets last week (3 REC, 29 YDS) and this doesn't look like the matchup to bounce-back, as he'll likely be matched up with Darius Slay. This game sets up better for Tyler Boyd, who just allowed five receptions for 81 yards to fellow slot receiver Cooper Kupp. Consider Burrow a high-end QB2 and the two receivers as upside WR3s.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon has been very disappointing in the early going (RB44, RB29 finishes), but it's a bit encouraging to see Zac Taylor slowly start to use him in the passing game (four targets, four receptions last week). The Eagles just allowed Darrell Henderson Jr. (12 ATT, 81 YDS, 1 TD) and Malcolm Brown (11 ATT, 47 YDS) to gash them on the ground, so perhaps Mixon gets it going here. I can't say this is a matchup that I love, so consider him a lukewarm play and low-end RB1 here.

Drew Sample (TE, CIN)

Sample takes over for the injured Uzomah. He had 9 targets last week, which makes him an intriguing streamer at tight end. The Eagles are allowing the most fantasy points per game to tight ends, so this is a great matchup for Sample. I wouldn't start him in redraft leagues, but he's absolutely worth a look in DFS tournaments.

DeSean Jackson (WR, PHI)

Jackson has a chance to get loose deep against a Bengals defense that allowed downfield threats like OBJ (43-yard TD) and Mike Williams (37-yard reception) to make big plays. The injury to Jalen Reagor should lead to a bump in targets for D-Jax, so that also bodes well for his outlook. I'd consider D-Jax as a WR3 in this one, but it's a lukewarm play because there's a chance that the Eagles focus on feeding Miles Sanders.

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI) & Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

The only reason that Ertz and Goedert are not listed on plays that we love is because they cut into each other's value a bit, even though the Eagles do use them both as TE1s. Goedert (17 targets) is slowly starting to supplant Ertz (14 targets), so I'd prefer the former over the latter. The Bengals are rank 12th in fantasy points per game against tight ends, so it's not a smash spot, but consider them both low-end TE1s.

 

 


Hi there RotoBallers, Justin taking over now. Thanks, Frank!

 

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Matchups We Love:

James Conner (RB, PIT)

Remember when we thought Conner would see his role reduced last week and he ended up playing 77 percent of snaps, with 16 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown? Yeah, let's not overthink this week either. Conner's the lead back. The Texans have allowed the fifth-most points to the running back position this year. Conner's a really strong play.

Diontae Johnson (WR, PIT)

Disregard what the Texans Defense did against the Ravens, who don't have a real go-to wideout yet. They allowed a pair of touchdowns to receivers in Week 1 against the Chiefs and almost allowed more if Demarcus Robinson hadn't had some drop issues. Diontae Johnson appears to have surpassed JuJu Smith-Schuster to be the primary target for Ben Roethlisberger, and I really like him this week. His target share continues to rise after a strong end to 2019 and now a strong start to 2020.

Matchups We Hate:

David Johnson (RB, HOU)

The Steelers are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. David Johnson was held in check by the Ravens last week (11 carries for 34 yards) and is likely looking at another game in which his yards per carry are low and he loses opportunities in the second half because Houston is forced to throw more.

Will Fuller V (WR, HOU)

It's not that the matchup itself is horrendous, but more than Fuller wasn't even targeted last week and faces a pretty good Steelers Defense that won't give Deshaun Watson a ton of time to find Fuller down the field.

The Other Texans Receivers Too

There's just so little consistency here through two games. Brandin Cooks is the most interesting option after a pretty decent Week 2 but he's also dealing with a quad injury and had just 20 yards in Week 1. Randall Cobb is a low-volume slot guy. Kenny Stills needs injuries ahead of him to be viable. I think this is a receiving corps that we can trust against bad teams, but that we have to mostly avoid against strong defenses.

Other Matchups:

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU)

The Steelers Defense is pretty terrifying, but Watson's got too much upside to sit in this one (or ever -- don't sit Watson in season-long leagues!) Houston's trying to avoid an 0-3 start and Watson will take on a huge role on this offense to try avoiding that nearly insurmountable record. And while the Steelers defense has shut down the Giants and Broncos, Watson and the Texans are at a different level offensively. This won't be the lopsided Texans loss that so many expect.

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT)

The Texans just faced the league's two best quarterbacks in consecutive games. They held Patrick Mahomes to 211 passing yards and Lamar Jackson to 204. This run defense has been bad, and that's kept opponents from throwing a ton. Roethlisberger has solid upside as the Texans have yet to pick a quarterback off, but his lack of mobility limits his upside in this one. He's obviously startable, but I don't love the matchup.

Darren Fells and Jordan Akins (TE, HOU)

Both guys have value in deeper leagues and should be able to function as short yardage options for Deshaun Watson, who won't have the time in the pocket to let things develop downfield. Fells is a boom-or-bust, touchdown-dependent option. Akins is a solid deep league play based on recent volume. Both are fine. I don't hate them, at least, which is something when the Steelers D is so good.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT)

Yeah, he's fine this week. Houston's secondary is fine, too. I just think Smith-Schuster -- who is dealing with a knee injury -- has been getting too many of his opportunities in the short yardage game and that without a touchdown, he'll have a pretty "ehh, this was okay" type of day.

Chase Claypool (WR, PIT)

Claypool's an interesting deep-league dart throw. He can make big plays. Houston can also allow big plays. He's definitely a better play than James Washington, who I didn't even bother to write about this week because I just have no interest in James Washington.

 

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:05/4:25 PM ET Games

There are four games on the afternoon slate for y'all. Let's break them down.

 

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers

Matchups We Love:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Look, I don't love Herbert as, like, your starting QB in a one-QB league, but I think he's a solid play in Superflex. Herbert stepped in as an emergency starter for the injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2, gong 22-for-33 for 311 yards with a touchdown and interception, plus adding 18 rushing yards and a score. Carolina's defense hasn't given up huge numbers to quarterbacks so far, but this should be a game that doesn't feature a lot of great secondary play on either size, setting up plenty of chances for Herbert to have a strong second start.

Also, LOL:

Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley (RB, LAC)

The Panthers have allowed the most points to opposing running backs. Josh Jacobs scored three rushing touchdowns against them in Week 1 and had 46 receiving yards. Leonard Fournette had 103 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2, plus he, LeSean McCoy, and Ronald Jones II combined for 11 receptions. Ekeler's a RB1 option. Kelley is an RB3 option. This is a great chance for both players.

Matchups We Hate:

Mike Davis (RB, CAR)

Not only is Carolina without star running back Christian McCaffrey, but his replacement gets to pay a Chargers Defense that's allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. I can't in good conscience recommend that you play Davis in a single league this week. But I understand that a lot of owners may be in a crunch due to RB injuries, and Davis should get catches out of the backfield, making him more palatable in PPR leagues.

Robby Anderson (WR, CAR)

The Chargers defense allows the sixth-fewest net yards per pass attempt. Anderson -- and Curtis Samuel -- are best when they can be deep threats and this isn't a matchup where they can be deep threats.

Other Matchups:

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, CAR)

This is a good matchup for Bridgewater based on what the Chargers Defense has allowed to quarterbacks so far, but this is also Teddy Bridgewater in an offense that won't have Christian McCaffrey, so how much can you really love Bridgewater this week? I suppose he'll throw more with no McCaffrey, but at best he's a mid-tier QB2 option.

Keenan Allen and Mike Williams (WR, LAC)

The Panthers run defense is so bad that wide receivers haven't had as many opportunities to do damage against them. It's a trend that I think holds true this week, giving both Allen and Williams a lower floor and ceiling than usual. Plus, with a rookie at quarterback, I expect to see some safer throws to Ekeler and Henry. Don't dislike these two, but maybe not the best DFS plays.

Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)

The Panthers are only allowing 2.9 fantasy points per game to tight ends in standard scoring, but they did allow six catches to Darren Waller in Week 1 before shutting down the collection of disappointing guys who make up the 2020 Buccaneers tight end room. Henry should be more on the Waller end, with Herbert looking his way a good amount on short throws.

D.J. Moore (WR, CAR)

Bad matchup, but if I'm trusting a Panthers receiver, it's Moore, who has 22 targets through two games. Volume can fix a lot of things and while I think his ceiling is a little limited this week, he's always a solid floor play.

Ian Thomas (TE, CAR)

If there's one part of the Chargers pass defense that hasn't been so strong, it's been their defense of tight ends. In Week 1, they allowed five catches to C.J. Uzomah, and then last week got ripped apart by Travis Kelce. Thomas is no Kelce, but if you're already playing the tight end streamer game, Thomas could have some interest. Of course, his 2020 has gotten off to a really rough start, so don't be surprised if this is the last week we even write about him.

 

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

Matchups We Love:

Philip Rivers (QB, IND)

Yes, I'm worried about this offense with no Parris Campbell, but the Jets have a poor pass defense that would look even worse if the 49ers hadn't lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a mid-game injury last week. Rivers should be able to throw all over this secondary. He's a high-end QB2 with QB1 upside this week, especially if the connection with Michael Pittman Jr. starts to materialize.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

The Jets don't have a very good run defense and Taylor had 26 carries last week, rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown. Lock Taylor in as an RB1 this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Sam Darnold (QB, NYJ)

The Colts have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks so far. They picked Kirk Cousins off three times last week, and while Gardner Minshew had a good game against them in Week 1, he only had 173 passing yards. Darnold had three of his top receivers either miss practice or be limited in practice this week, which could leave the cupboard very dry. Sam Darnold isn't even a safe second QB in a Superflex this week.

Frank Gore (RB, NYJ)

Frank Gore got 21 carries against a beat-up 49ers Defense last week and averaged three yards per carry. The Colts are currently allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this year.

Whoever The Wide Receivers Are (NYJ)

Braxton Berrios SZN? Let's be real here: you want to avoid this whole Jets offense this week. Name a Jets receiver and then don't play him.

Chris Herndon IV (TE, NYJ)

almost flipped and put Herndon in the "other matchups" section just because he's got upside most weeks, but then I remembered that the Colts are allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, so...yeah, ignoring him too!

Other Matchups:

T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

I'd definitely play both guys this week. Hilton's been inconsistent but has a plus matchup that should see him finally putting up some solid numbers, and if he doesn't then we'll officially hit the worry button. As for Pittman, his targets jumped from two to six last week, but his yardage numbers were still low. He should have an increased role this week.

Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox (TE, IND)

If Doyle plays, both guys are solid plays but take enough away from each other to not have huge upside. If Doyle -- who is questionable with a knee injury -- sits, then Mo Alie-Cox is a great play. So, this is in the "other" category but if there's no Doyle, I'm all over Alie-Cox, who had 111 receiving yards last week.

UPDATE: Jack Doyle is list as questionable, and returned to practice as limited this week.

 

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks

Matchups We Love:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

I know what you're saying. Loving Dak against Seattle??? But Seattle let Matt Ryan throw for 450 yards in Week 1 and then let Cam Newton throw for 397 yards in Week 2, plus rush for a pair of touchdowns. This defense has not been able to prevent opposing QBs from throwing all over them, and Dak should be considered a top fantasy option in this week's game.

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

I'll keep this short: Russell Wilson is a top fantasy option in season-long and DFS this week against an inexperienced Cowboys secondary.

Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb and Cooper both topped 100 yards last week, with both getting six catches. In what looks like it's going to be a game of back-and-forth offensive explosions, I have to love the top-two receivers on this Cowboys team.

D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

Same thing as Cooper and Lamb, really. Two receivers who complement each other's games well in a high-powered offense (THAT IS FINALLY PASSING THE BALL AND UNLEASHING RUSS) against a Cowboys Defense that's allowing the sixth-most fantasy to the position. Love both of them in season-long and DFS.

Matchups We Hate:

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Yeah, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find things I dislike about this game. I wouldn't play Schultz, even though he had a huge Week 2, with nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. It was an impressive showing, but Seattle is allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends and this feels like a let-down spot.

Other Matchups:

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

In a game that likely favors the passing game, I don't love Zeke. Which isn't to say I wouldn't play Zeke, because that would be a dumb thing to say. I'm not going to be dumb. But in DFS, I might not play someone going up against a Seahawks Defense allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

Chris Carson (RB, SEA)

Carson's a fine RB2 option and his involvement in the passing game gives him upside. But like with Zeke, this game projects to have a game script that favors the receivers, which likely leads to fewer carries and more uncertainty for Carson. He's still a solid RB2 in season-long, but is someone to maybe pivot off of in DFS.

Michael Gallup (WR, DAL)

Gallup has made some long catches, averaging 21.6 yards per reception so far this season. But the third-year receiver is also averaging just 2.5 receptions per game and has taken a clear backseat to Cooper and Lamb. Gallup is a fine upside play, but not someone who projects to be a consistent fantasy option.

 

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Matchups We Love:

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray's an early part of the MVP conversation and faces a Lions Defense that let Mitch Trubisky throw for three touchdowns in Week 1 and hasn't gotten an interception yet. Add in Murray's rushing upside, and I love him as a high-end QB1 play in this matchup.

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARI)

The Lions are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and is getting a lot of usage so far, with 36 carries through two games. Drake has a chance to stomp all over this Lions front and should be considered a low-end RB1 in this matchup.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, ARI)

Remember when we thought this offense would spread the ball around too much for Hopkins to be the same level of player as he was in Houston? Well, he's been targeted 25 times already in two games, with a league-high 22 catches. Detroit hasn't been particularly great against the pass either.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Defense is hard to predict on a year-to-year basis, but I'm not quite ready to abandon the whole "the 2019 Cardinals were horrendous against tight ends" narrative. Maybe this is the week that we either 1) see that it's still a problem or 2) realize it isn't. Either way, Hockenson's a solid play at tight end as he's caught all nine of his targets this season.

Matchups We Hate:

Marvin Jones Jr. (WR, DET)

With Kenny Golladay back, Jones will move into a smaller role. He's already averaging just four catches per game and hasn't had a ton of yards. Don't love the matchup. Don't love where he'll likely be at in the pecking order. Think there are definitely better plays this week.

Other Matchups:

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)

Don't look now, but the Arizona Cardinals appear to have a defense. Except, well...they faced Jimmy Garoppolo and Dwayne Haskins, so not world beaters, which is why I'm not completely out on Stafford this week, who should get wide receiver Kenny Golladay. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about Stafford in this one.

Adrian Peterson, Kerryon Johnson and D'Andre Swift (RB, DET)

Arizona's only been marginally better against the run than Detroit, setting us up for what could be a game of running backs doing a lot of running. The problem for Detroit? Predicting which of their backs you should play. All of them have some upside, but also extremely low floors. Consider Peterson and Swift to be slightly above Johnson in your rankings, but all of them are decent upside flex plays in deeper leagues.

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET)

Golladay returns from a hamstring injury and now gets to face Patrick Peterson? Yikes. But Terry McLaurin had a strong performance against this secondary last week and I'd be willing to bet on Golladay's talent in this one.

Danny Amendola (WR, DET)

Amendola was a low-ceiling, high-floor slot receiver before Golladay returned and he'll be a low-ceiling, high-floor slot receiver after Golladay returns. I don't think there's ever a bad time to flex in Amendola in a deep league.

Arizona's Other Wide Receivers

Against Washington, Andy Isabella and Christian Kirk each had just two catches. They got a bunch of yards, but their consistency is an issue. Larry Fitzgerald had seven catches but just 50 yards and is a safe play in full PPR leagues, but is unlikely to break off any huge plays. All of these guys are playable. None of them are exciting. It is what it is.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos

Matchups We Love:

Melvin Gordon III (RB, DEN)

The Buccaneers have struggled against the run. Sure, they've also faced some really good running backs so far, but Melvin Gordon is also good, and he's got the clear lead here in this backfield in terms of rushing attempts, especially with Phillip Lindsay unlikely to return this week. Should be a great game for Gordon.

Chris Godwin (WR, TB)

Godwin is expected to play after missing last week with a concussion. His ability to play inside and outside makes him a perfect receiver for Tom Brady, and in Week 1 they hooked up for six catches and 79 yards. Denver is allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season and should be a top option at wide receiver this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Whoever Starts At QB For Denver

Jeff Driskel? Blake Bortles? Doesn't matter, because I'm not playing either of them unless it's an emergency. [Update: It's Driskel.]

Ronald Jones II (RB, TB)

I think Leonard Fournette has grabbed the starting job from RoJo, which leaves Jones in a tough spot. Add in that Denver has done a good job limiting opposing running backs this season and Jones is probably best left on the bench.

All The Buccaneers Tight Ends

Yeah, we're right back to the "don't play tight ends in a Bruce Arians offense" thing. Last week, O.J. Howard was targeted three times, with one catch for 11 yards. Rob Gronkowski was targeted once, finishing with no catches. Tom Brady joining this team changed nothing for Arians.

Other Matchups:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

It's not an ideal matchup for Brady, who has three touchdowns and three interceptions so far this season. But as he continues to grow more comfortable in the Bruce Arians offense, Brady will continue to settle into the role he'll play for fantasy managers all year: a decent QB2 option with matchup-based upside. There isn't as much upside this week, but the return of Chris Godwin will give him a solid floor.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

Y'all, here's your new Buccaneers starting running back! Don't love the matchup, but do love the brute force of Leonard Fournette and the touchdown upside that he brings to the table.

Jerry Jeudy (WR, DEN)

Someone has to catch passes from Jeff Driskel with Courtland Sutton out. Jeudy should see double-digit targets moving forward just out of necessity, and while the Buccaneers haven't done a bad job defending receivers this season, Jeudy's target upside makes him a solid play.

Mike Evans (WR, TB)

You're starting Mike Evans in every season-long league, but I do have some questions about him in DFS. The Broncos don't allow a ton of yards to receivers, though they have allowed a good number of touchdowns and Evans already has two. Think this ends up being a strong game for Evans, but I have enough doubt to not want to pay up for him in DFS.

Noah Fant (TE, DEN)

Two weeks, two touchdowns for Fant, who looks like the next great NFL tight end. But Tampa has been extremely good against opposing tight ends this year, allowing just six receptions to the position. So, that's a negative for Fant, and while he should provide Driskel with a big, reliable target, the defensive numbers worry me just enough to question how much I'll use him in DFS.

 

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

Matchups We Love:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

The Saints have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing passers so far and just allowed three touchdown passes to Derek Carr. Rodgers has six touchdown passes so far this season and is completing 67.6 percent of his passes, which would be his highest mark since 2011. He'd be doing even better if not for some bad luck with drops, with an 8.5 percent drop rate so far. That'll regress back to average.

Drew Brees (QB, NO)

The fact that Drew Brees is last in the league in intended air yards and that Michael Thomas's status is up in the air this week worry me, but Brees still has some solid weapons -- Alvin Kamara, Tre'Quan Smith, Jared Cook -- and faces a Packers Defense that's is susceptible to the passing game. This should be a big game for offenses, with Brees being a solid low-end QB1 play with upside.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

I don't particularly love this matchup -- New Orleans is pretty good against the run -- but Jones is a beast this season and is coming off a 168-yard, two-touchdown game against Detroit in which he also added four catches for 68 and a score. With Jones getting all this passing game usage, he's an easy RB1 play.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Packers are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs, including giving up three rushing touchdowns. I'd feel better about Kamara if the Packers were playing worse against backs in the receiving game, but he's still gotten 25 rushing attempts through two games. He's an easy RB1 this week.

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO)

We're assuming that Michael Thomas is out at this point, in which case Smith is the No. 1 receiver. He had five catches for 86 yards last week against the Raiders and the Packers are allowing the seventh-most points to wide receivers. Playing Smith as a WR2/3 is a smart call this week unless by some miracle Thomas suits up.

UPDATE: Michael Thomas has officially been ruled out for Week 3. 

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

Looking for a streamer? Tonyan caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown last week and the Saints have allowed the most receptions to tight ends of any team in the NFL.

Matchups We Hate:

Hate? In this game???

Other Matchups:

Latavius Murray (RB, NO)

Volume concerns knock him down some, but like I said with Kamara, this is a good matchup for running backs and I'd feel comfortable flexing Murray.

Davante Adams (WR, GB)

Adams is questionable with a hamstring injury. If he plays, you play him, but he'll also be covered by Marshon Lattimore, limiting some of his upside. I probably won't put Adams in a DFS lineup, but he's far too good to ever consider sitting him in season-long.

Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, GB)

If Adams plays: Lazard and MVS are solid flex plays who'll likely play bigger roles than usual due to a likely limited Adams.

If Adams doesn't play: Lazard and MVS are solid flex plays who'll likely play bigger roles than usual due to there being no Adams.

UPDATE: Davante Adams is officially listed as doubtful for Week 3.

Jared Cook (TE, NO)

Packers have been pretty middle of the road in terms of defending tight ends. Cook had a touchdown last week but also just 13 yards. He's risky, but his upside -- especially if there's no Michael Thomas -- makes him a low-end TE1 option.

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

Click here to read about the Monday Night Football matchup between the Chiefs and Ravens as well...



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NFL DFS Stacks: Week 3 (Premium Content)


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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Lineup Picks for Tuesday 9/22

The MLB season is filled with ups and downs, but the key to success is to find some gems to stream! Today we're going to stream a Rockies pitcher away from Coors and continue to ride a slugging Rays' first baseman!

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Tuesday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/22 - Infielders

Nate Lowe (1B, LHB, TB) - 13% Rostered

Matchup: @ NYM RHP Seth Lugo

Lowe finds himself in this article once again, as he continues to see the ball well, going 12-for-36 (.333) with nine runs, four homers, and 11 RBI in his last 11 games. He faces Lugo, who just got rocked for six runs on eight hits in only 1.2 innings, so this is an exploitable matchup.

Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B, RHB, PIT) 9% Rostered

Matchup: vs CHC LHP Jose Quintana

Hayes has been impressive since being called up, slashing .323/.391/.597 with 11 runs, three homers, eight RBI, and one stolen base. He's been a fixture in the two-hole, so he's in a prime position for production. Hayes has hit the ball hard, posting a 94.2 MPH average exit velocity. He goes up against Quintana, who hasn't pitched since August 30th.

Jedd Gyorko (1B/3B, RHB, MIL) 3% Rostered

Matchup: @ CIN RHP Sonny Gray

Gyorko has been rock solid lately, going 7-for-26 (.269) with six walks, five runs, two homers, and five RBI in his last nine games. He's rotated between the fourth and sixth spot in the lineup during that span. Gyorko goes up against Gray, who has allowed 11 earned runs in his last two starts (four innings).

Josh Fuentes (1B, RHB, COL) 1% Rostered

Matchup: @ SF LHP Drew Smyly

Fuentes has been swinging a hot bat of late, going 14-for-40 (.350) with eight runs, one homer, and eight RBI in his last ten games. He's been mashing lefties this season, slashing .333/.333/.667 against them, so he could take advantage of Smyly here.

Hitter Streamers for 9/22 - Outfielders

Jurickson Profar (2B/OF, SHB, SD) 28% Rostered

Matchup: vs. LAA RHP Griffin Canning

Profar is a streaky hitter and right now he's rolling, going 11-for-26 (.423) with four runs, one homer, six RBI, and two steals in his last eight games. He goes up against Canning, who's been a major disappointment this season, posting a 4.29 ERA (4.55 FIP), 13.0 K-BB%, and 10.9 SwStr% (-2.9% from 2019).

Nick Solak (2B/3B/OF, RHB, TEX) 28% Rostered

Matchup: @ ARZ LHP Caleb Smith

It looks like Solak is starting to get on a hot streak, as he's 5-for-8 (.625) with three runs, one RBI, and two steals in his last two games. He's slashed .333/.349/.367 against southpaws this season, so he has a good matchup against Smith, who's struggled through a difficult season dealing with COVID-19.

Corey Dickerson (OF, MIA, LHB) 14% Rostered

Matchup: @ ATL N/A

We're not sure who's starting for the Braves yet, but that doesn't matter too much with the way Dickerson has been swinging the bat lately - he's gone 6-for-14 (.429) with four runs, one homer, three RBI, and one steal in his last four games.

Pitcher Streamer for 9/22

Kyle Freeland (CHW, LHP) 34% Rostered

Matchup: @ SF

Like every Rockies pitcher, Freeland has been much better away from Coors Field, posting a 2.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP on the road, compared to a 4.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP at home. He's pitched six innings in three consecutive starts, allowing six runs, walking seven, and striking out 15 during that span (18 innings). He should be able to turn in a quality start against the Giants here.



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Picks for 9/21/20

It's another manic Monday, so you know what time it is - it's time to dig deep and find some streamers. Today is a tough day for pitcher streamers, so we'll roll on a streaky Rangers' starter. We'll also pair a couple of Yankees and Marlins in favorable matchups.

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Monday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/21 - Infielders

Asdrubal Cabrera (1B/2B/3B, WAS) vs. PHI 16% Rostered

It looks like Cabrera is starting to get hot, as he's gone 10-for-33 (.303) with five runs, three homers, and seven RBI in his last seven games. While he has a tough matchup against RHP Zach Wheeler, this is a streaky hitter who could be on the start of a nice stretch, so we'll stream him here.

Miguel Rojas (SS, MIA) @ ATL - 12% Rostered

Rojas has swung the bat well lately, going 9-for-28 (.321) with seven runs, two homers, and five RBI in his last eight games. He has a decent matchup against RHP Josh Tomlin, who has posted a 4.84 ERA and 9.6 SwStr% in 35.1 innings this season.

Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, MIA) @ ATL - 10% Rostered

Cooper has been a nice source of power lately, going 7-for-20 (.350) with seven runs, two homers, and five RBI in his last six games. Cooper has been a fixture in the three-hole, so he's a nice option as a low-rostered player hitting in the heart of the Marlins' lineup.

Daniel Vogelbach (1B, MIL) @ CIN 2% Rostered

We're digging deep with this stream, as Vogelbach is available in almost every league. He only plays against righties and he faces the struggling RHP Anthony DeSclafani here. Vogelbach has gone 8-for-17 (.471) with six runs, three homers, and nine RBI in his last four games.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/21 - Outfielders

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) 25% Rostered

Gardner has been red-hot of late, going 9-for-21 (.423) with seven runs, two homers, and five RBI in his last seven games. The Blue Jays' starter hasn't been posted yet, but we'll still go with Gardner hitting in the bandbox that is Sahlen Field. We need to exploit this struggling pitching staff right now with a share of the red-hot Yankee lineup.

Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY) 9% Rostered

Hicks makes for a nice pairing with Gardner hitting in this Yankee lineup in a favorable ballpark. Hicks has gone 6-for-23 (.261) with six runs, one home run, and one RBI in his last six games. He's mostly hit in the three-hole, which is a great spot to be in one of the hottest lineups in baseball.

Tyler O'Neill (OF, STL) @ KC 3% Rostered

O'Neill has flashed some power and speed lately, with two home runs, seven RBI, and one stolen base in his last seven games. He takes on the Royals in what should be a bullpen game, as probable starter RHP Carlos Hernandez has pitched between two and three innings in each of his three appearances this season. The Royals' bullpen is nothing to fear.

 

Pitcher Streamer for 9/21

Kyle Gibson (RHP, TEX) @ LAA - 10% Rostered

Gibson is the best pitcher streamer for tomorrow, coming off a dominant, complete-game shutout against the Astros, where he walked three and struck out nine. While he was struggling prior to that start, allowing five or more runs in four of his previous five turns, this is a streaky pitcher who we need to ride against the Angels. Simply put, it's a tough time of year to stream pitching and Gibson is the best of the bunch.



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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/20/20)

There's nothing like spending your Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch and watching your DFS stack of hitters mash. Today we're going to help that become a reality for you.

I'll take a look at each position and build a lineup using my favorite plays on the slate. Our goal here is to take down a GPP and secure a nice return on our investment. Today's a tough pitching slate, but there are some great values that would allow us to load our team with premium hitters. Always remember to stack your hitters to optimize your lineups!

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 9/20/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports as well.

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Deivi Garcia - P, NYY @ BOS ($7,600)

Garcia pitched seven strong innings in each of his last two starts, allowing a combined five runs, while walking two and striking out 12 in 14 innings. The Yankees are on fire right now, currently on a 10-game winning streak - they've scored an absurd 57 runs in their last five games. Garcia has a good chance to secure the win in this one, making him an even more appealing option at this cheap price.

Ryan Yarbrough - P, TB @ BAL ($7,100)

The Orioles are really playing poorly lately, going 2-8 in their last 10 games, as their offense has gone ice-cold - they have scored one run or less in eight of their last 11 games. Yarbrough doesn't pitch deep into games, but he should have an opportunity to provide some strikeouts with a quality start against this struggling offense.

DraftKings DFS Infielders

Travis d'Arnaud - C, ATL @ NYM ($4,600)

d'Arnaud has been red-hot lately, going 16-for-41 (.390) with five runs, three homers, and nine RBI in his last 10 games. He's been a fixture in the cleanup spot, so he has an opportunity to put up some counting stats and keep it rolling against RHP Rick Porcello, who is always in play as a pitcher to exploit.

Carlos Santana - 1B, CLE @ DET ($3,600)

Santana is a nice value here against LHP Matthew Boyd, who has been losing his command lately, walking eight hitters in his last two starts (8.2 innings). Santana has always hit lefties better than righties, so this is a solid matchup against one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball.

D.J. LeMahieu - 2B, NYY @ BOS ($5,500)

LeMahieu is rolling right now, going 16-for-39 (.444) with 14 runs, five homers, and 11 RBI in his last nine games. He goes up against RHP Tanner Houck, who is coming off a strong start where he pitched five shutout innings, but this isn't a matchup to avoid. The Yankees lineup is just way too hot right now, so we need to start our stack with their leadoff hitter.

Jose Ramirez - 3B, CLE @ DET ($5,300)

Ramirez is swinging the bat well lately, going 15-for-34 (.441) with six runs, four homers, eight RBI, and one stolen base in his last eight games. Ramirez's power-speed profile and plate discipline raises his floor, since he can walk and steal a base if the power isn't there for the day. He makes for a nice pairing with Santana against Boyd, so we'll fire up this Indians duo.

Gleyber Torres - SS, NYY @ BOS ($4,300)

Torres is starting to pick it up lately, going 9-for-24 (.375) with five runs, two homers, and seven RBI in his last seven games. He's a terrific value that allows us to add another share in this scorching Yankees lineup.

 

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Clint Frazier - OF, NYY @ BOS ($4,800)

Frazier has been a revelation this season, slashing .306/.422/.595 with eight home runs in 133 plate appearances. He's increased his walk rate from 6.5 BB% to 15.6 BB%, demonstrating a notable improvement in plate discipline. Frazier has gone 11-for-25 (.440) with 10 runs, three homers, and nine RBI in his last eight games.

Ryan Braun - OF, MIL vs. KC ($3,500)

Braun is an awesome value today because you get a red-hot hitter at such a cheap price. The Brewers' veteran has gone 11-for-29 (.379) with seven runs, five homers, and 15 RBI in his last nine games. He takes on RHP Brad Keller, who is coming off a complete-game shutout, but allowed four or more runs in two of his previous three starts.

Ryan Mountcastle - OF, BAL vs. TB ($3,500)

Mountcastle has been fantastic since being called up, slashing .344/.404/.552 with five home runs in 109 plate appearances. While he has a tough matchup against LHP Ryan Yarbrough, this cheap price allows us to fit in a Yankees and Indians stack, so we need to ride with Mountcastle.

 



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/19/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

Get ready for another Saturday of MLB action! It's a good day to pay a premium for pitching with a D-Backs' ace on the board. We'll be going cheap at pitcher and targeting some value Rays to allow us to fit in Luke Voit, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger.

In this article, we'll identify players who will help you win a cash game and build your bankroll or take down a GPP for a big pay-day. Every player on this list is on one of my own FanDuel teams.

  • I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 9/19/2020. Be sure to also check out all the MLB player news including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports too.

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Kwang-Hyun Kim - STL @ PIT ($8,300)

Kwang-Hyun Kim has terrific surface stats with a 0.63 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 28.2 innings. While his peripheral stats - 3.40 FIP, 7.3 K-BB%, and 8.7 SwStr% are underwhelming, we need to ride this hot streak, as Kim has allowed only one unearned run in his last four starts (24 innings). Kim is doing a good job suppressing contact, as he's posted a 86th-percentile hard-hit rate. He has an exploitable matchup against the Pirates today.

Charle Morton - TB @ BAL ($7,600)

If you prefer to go even cheaper, Charlie Morton is a solid choice against an ice-cold Orioles lineup that has put up a .275 wOBA and 27.4 K% over the last seven days. While Morton has been mediocre since returning from injury, his strikeout-to-walk ratio (11 strikeouts, three walks in 11.1 innings) is solid, so perhaps today is the start of a strong finish. Morton's pitch count increased from 57 to 77 in his last start, so he should be ramped up to 90+ in this one.

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Luke Voit - 1B, NYY @ BOS ($4,500)

There's no way that we can pass up Luke Voit with the way that he's swinging the bat right now. The Yankees' slugger has slashed .313/.320/.771 with seven home runs in his last 50 plate appearances. He gets to feast on Red Sox pitching at Fenway, so we need to exploit this matchup. Voit takes on RHP Chris Mazza, who has pitched into the fifth inning in only one start this season.

Nate Lowe - 1B, TB @ BAL ($2,900)

Nate Lowe has played very well since returning to the Rays, slashing .282/.404/.564 with three home runs in 47 plate appearances. He goes up against Orioles' RHP Jorge Lopez, who is coming off a gem start (seven innings, one run) but has been poor overall, allowing 3rd-percentile exit velocity and 8th-percentile hard-hit rate, so he's really giving up hard contact.

Joey Wendle - 3B, TB @ BAL ($2,500)

Joey Wendle has hit safely in six of his last eight games, racking up one home run and three stolen bases during that span. He helps us save some money after paying up for Voit and Clevinger, making a nice pairing with Lowe. Fire up Wendle facing a mediocre pitcher who allows hard contact at the bandbox that is Camden Yards.

Josh Rojas - 2B, ARZ @ HOU ($2,200)

Josh Rojas is another punt play to allow us to fit in some higher-priced options. He's hit safely in six of his last eight games, a stretch where he put up 12+ FanDuel points three times. Rojas goes up against Astros' RHP Cristian Javier, who has been solid this year but is not a matchup to fear.

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Mookie Betts - OF, LAD @ COL ($4,800)

Saving some money at pitcher and with our hitter punt plays allows us to fit in a mini-Dodgers stack at Coors. Mookie Betts is coming off a big game where he went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. He goes up against RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez in a mouth-watering matchup.

Cody Bellinger - OF, LAD @ COL ($4,400)

Cody Bellinger completes our Dodgers duo - he's coming off a game where he went 3-for-5 with one home run and three RBI. While this will be a chalky selection, we need to ride it because the matchup and ballpark is too good to pass up.

Yoshi Tsutsugo - OF, TB @ BAL ($2,700)

Yoshi Tsutsugo is another value Ray to play at Camden Yards. While his overall slash of .200/.314/.415 is underwhelming, he has posted a 83rd-percentile hard-hit rate, so at least he's generating solid contact. Tsutsugo is worth a look in a strong matchup.

 



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NFL DFS Stacks: Week 2 (Premium Content)


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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Lineup Picks for Tuesday 9/15

The MLB season is filled with ups and downs, but the key to success is to find some gems to stream! Today we're going to stack four Rays against a struggling Nationals' pitcher!

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Tuesday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/15 - Infielders

Rougned Odor (2B, LHB, TEX) 28% Rostered

Matchup: @ HOU RHP Jose Urquidy

Odor is as streaky as they come and right now it looks like he's finally getting things going, as he's homered in three consecutive games. Urquidy has struggled since returning from injury - despite a 3.72 ERA (5.79 FIP), he's allowed six walks to only three strikeouts in 9.2 innings. This is an exploitable matchup that gives Odor a great opportunity to keep up the hot streak.

Bobby Dalbec (1B/3B, RHB, BOS) 25% Rostered

Matchup: @ MIA RHP Sandy Alcantara

Dalbec has been on a roll lately, going 10-for-25 (.400) with six runs, five homers, and eight RBI in his last seven games. While his strikeout rate (46.8 K%) is way too high and will eventually lead to a slump, we need to ride with Dalbec here due to his power upside. Alcantara has allowed one or more homers in three of his four starts this season, so this could be a chance for Dalbec to keep things rolling.

Joey Wendle (2B/3B/SS, LHB, TB) 5% Rostered

Matchup: vs. WAS RHP Anibal Sanchez

Wendle has been a nice source of speed lately, swiping four bags in his last eight games. He has a terrific matchup against Sanchez, who is really struggling this season, especially with keeping the ball in the park - he's posted a 2.11 HR/9. Fire up Wendle in this strong matchup.

Nate Lowe (1B, LHB, TB) 3% Rostered

Matchup: vs. WAS RHP Anibal Sanchez

Lowe is finally getting regular playing time and he's starting to produce, going 4-for-11 (.364) with four runs, two homers, and five RBI in his last three games. Lowe has the power upside and prospect pedigree to make an impact down the stretch, particularly in this prime spot. He makes for a nice pairing with Wendle.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/15 - Outfielders

Randy Arozarena (OF, TB, RHB) 17% Rostered

Matchup: vs. WAS RHP Anibal Sanchez

Arozarena has shown some power upside, smacking four homers in only 33 plate appearances. He's also posted a 15% barrel rate, so he's generating premium contact. Arozarena has 94th-percentile sprint speed, so he can also chip in with some stolen bases. Fire him up in this great matchup.

Manuel Margot (OF, TB, RHB) 14% Rostered

Matchup: vs. WAS RHP Anibal Sanchez

Margot completes our Rays stack against Sanchez. He's been an elite source of speed lately, stealing eight bases in his last seven games. In a league where stolen bases are so hard to come by, Margot deserves to be rostered in more leagues. Ride the wave against a struggling pitcher.

Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY, SHB) 9% Rostered

Matchup: vs. TOR RHP Taijuan Walker

Hicks' counting stats (four home runs, 13 RBI, two stolen bases) are underwhelming, but he's an on-base machine (.373 OBP). He has some power and speed, so there's a chance that he can get hot playing in the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium. Hicks has been a fixture in the three-hole, so he's in a great spot for production.

 

Pitcher Streamer for 9/15

Dave Dunning (RHP, CHW) 28% Rostered

Matchup: vs. MIN

Dunning has been solid as a rookie, posting a 2.70 ERA (2.81 FIP), 17.3 K-BB%, and 15.4 SwStr%. He's also generated weak contact, with elite numbers in exit velocity (95th-percentile) and hard-hit rate (82nd-percentile). In a tough slate for streamers, ride with this impressive rookie.



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Picks for 9/14/20

It's another manic Monday, so you know what time it is - it's time to dig deep and find some streamers. Today is a tough day for pitcher streamers, so we'll roll the dice on a formerly hyped Pirates' prospect.

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Monday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/14 - Infielders

Brian Anderson (3B/OF, MIA) vs. PHI 26% Rostered

Anderson is swinging a hot bat lately, going 12-for-24 (.500) with four runs, one homer, and six RBI in his last six games. It's not yet known who will be starting for the Phillies tomorrow, but Anderson's been hitting well enough to warrant a stream regardless of who's on the mound.

Alec Bohm (3B, PHI) @ MIA 24% Rostered

The Phillies' rookie slugger continues to impress, slashing .330/.381/.500 with three home runs and 19 RBI on the season. Bohm is hitting the ball hard, posting 88th percentile exit velocity and 92nd percentile hard-hit rate. He was also bumped to the cleanup spot in this lineup, so he's in a prime position for production.

Ty France (2B/3B, SEA) vs. OAK 10% Rostered

France has been hitting well since being traded to Seattle, slashing .367/.447/.667 as a Mariner. He's also batting in the two-hole, so he has a chance to put up some counting stats. France has a double-header tomorrow, which makes him even more of an appealing streamer.

Miguel Rojas (SS, MIA) vs. PHI 7% Rostered

Rojas has had a rock-solid year, slashing .359/.438/.551 with two home runs, 16 RBI, and three stolen bases. He's hit safely in seven of his last eight games, so it's pretty surprising that his rostered percentage remains so low. Rojas makes for a nice pairing with Anderson to help build a Marlins stack.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/14 - Outfielders

Shogo Akiyama (OF, CIN) vs. PIT 20% Rostered

Akiyama has turned it on of late, going 8-for-22 (.364) with three runs, two RBI, and two stolen bases in his last six games. He's hit in the leadoff spot in three consecutive games, so he's in a great situation. Akiyama also has a doubleheader tomorrow, which makes him a must-stream.

Corey Dickerson (OF, MIA) vs. PHI 13% Rostered

Dickerson completes our Marlins stack as another hot-hitter who has gone 12-for-41 (.293) with eight runs, two homers, and four RBI in his last nine games. He's also hit in the leadoff spot for six consecutive games, which makes him the ideal choice to pair with Rojas and Anderson.

Nick Markakis (OF, ATL) @ BAL 6% Rostered

Markakis has a great matchup at Camden Yards against RHP Jorge Lopez, who ranks in the eighth-percentile in exit velocity allowed and 15th-percentile for hard-hit rate. Markakis should be able to get things going facing a struggling pitcher in the bandbox that is Camden Yards.

 

Pitcher Streamer for 9/14

Mitch Keller (RHP, PIT) @ CIN 31% Rostered

Tomorrow looks like one of the more challenging days to stream a pitcher, so we're forced to go with Keller, who is making his first start since returning from an oblique injury. While it's likely that the Pirates will have Keller on a pitch count to ease him back in, he's the best option on a weak slate due to his prospect pedigree and impressive stuff. Keller was struggling prior to his injury, but perhaps the long layoff allowed him to get things going.



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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/13/20)

There's nothing like spending your Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch and watching your DFS stack of hitters mash. Today we're going to help that become a reality for you.

I'll take a look at each position and build a lineup using my favorite plays on the slate. Our goal here is to take down a GPP and secure a nice return on our investment. Today's a tough pitching slate, but there are some great values that would allow us to load our team with premium hitters. Always remember to stack your hitters to optimize your lineups!

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 9/13/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports as well.

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Brad Keller - P, KC vs. PIT ($6,800) 

Keller has slowed down a bit after a great start, allowing four or more runs in two of his last three outings, but this is a good matchup against a Pirates offense that has only scored 24 runs in their last eight games (3 runs per game). While the strikeout upside is limited (17.1 K%), Keller should be able to take care of this weak lineup.

Sixto Sanchez - P, MIA vs. PHI ($6,200)

It's hard to believe that the electrifying Marlins' rookie is priced so cheaply on DraftKings, but here we are. Sanchez has absolutely dominated so far this year, posting a 26.6 K% with only a 2.1 BB%. While it's a tough matchup against a red-hot Phillies lineup that has scored 32 runs in their last four games (8 runs per game), this value is too good to pass up.

 

DraftKings DFS Infielders

Gary Sanchez - C, NYY vs. BAL ($4,500)

Sanchez has been a disappointment this season, slashing .130/.242/.330, but his power upside makes him worth the look against LHP John Means, who has allowed an absurd 3.12 HR/9.

Luke Voit - 1B, NYY vs. BAL ($5,400)

Voit is having a great season, slashing .277/.343/.613 with 16 home runs. This is a great matchup against Means, so we'll make Voit the core play of our Yankees stack.

Whit Merrifield - 2B, KC vs. PIT ($4,600)

Merrifield is swinging a hot bat lately, going 9-for-22 (.409) with six runs, two homers, and two RBI in his last five games. He has a good matchup against RHP Chad Kuhl, who has struggled with command (13 walks in his last four starts).

Maikel Franco - 3B, KC vs. PIT ($4,200)

Franco adds to our Royals stack and gives us a power threat at third base. He has hit safely in nine of his last ten games, including one home run and 11 RBI during that span. As the cleanup hitter, he could have some opportunities to drive home Merrifield, who bats leadoff.

Adalberto Mondesi - SS, KC vs. PIT ($3,100)

Mondesi is absolutely on fire right now, going 12-for-35 (.343) with nine runs, four homers, 11 RBI, and eight stolen bases in his last nine games. That's a crazy stretch that is helping make up for a lengthy slump that previously characterized his season. Mondesi is an auto-play here.

 

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Christian Yelich - OF, MIL vs. CHC ($5,500)

Yelich has struggled this season, slashing .203/.337/.439, but he has a good matchup against RHP Alec Mills, who has allowed four or more runs in four of his last six starts. Yelich still has 97th-percentile exit velocity this year, so it's only a matter of time for another hot streak.

Eloy Jimenez - OF, CHW vs.  ($5,300)

Eloy has gone 12-for-35 (.343) with five runs, one homer, and eight RBI in his last ten games. He should be able to keep it going against RHP Spencer Turnbull, who has been inconsistent this season.

Clint Frazier - OF, NYY vs. BAL ($4,400)

Frazier completes our Yankees stack against John Means. He's been solid this season, slashing .270/.383/.517 with five home runs, so he's worth the look at a reasonable price.

 



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Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 1

We're officially back RotoBallers! Welcome to our Week 1 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. Each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

Frank Ammirante will start off by covering the first set of games that begin at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, and Justin Carter will take you home with his analysis of the late afternoon and evening games. Getting off to a strong start is key, so we're going to guide you to that Week 1 victory!

If you have any additional lineup questions, follow us on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ and @juscarts and feel free to ask away! Let's get on to the matchups!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 PM ET Games

Eagles at Washington 

Matchups We Love:

Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

Zach Ertz goes up against a Washington defense that allowed 14.2 PPR points per game against tight ends last season, ranking 28th in the NFL. Washington's linebackers are mediocre: Jon Bostic, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Kevin Pierre-Louis are nothing to worry about. In his last seven games vs. Washington, Ertz has averaged 8.1 targets, 6.4 receptions, 72.4 yards, and 0.3 touchdowns per game. Washington has a nasty front-seven that consists of five former first-rounders including rookie Chase Young, which could pose a problem for a banged-up Eagles' o-line. This could force Carson Wentz to get rid of the ball quickly, in which case Ertz would be his primary target. Ertz has a legitimate chance at a Top-3 finish at tight end for Week 1.

Matchups We Hate:

Dwayne Haskins (QB, WAS)

If you're considering starting Dwayne Haskins in Week 1, then you have major problems on your fantasy team. Even in Superflex leagues, Haskins is one of the worst options at the deepest position in fantasy football, so you need to take a wait-and-see approach with this sophomore quarterback until he shows some positive signs. While the Eagles ranked 14th with 21.1 fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, they have added cornerback Darius Slay to help address their issues in the secondary. Haskins is an obvious avoid for Week 1.

Steven Sims Jr. (WR, WAS)

Steven Sims Jr. garnered some offseason buzz for his strong finish to his rookie campaign that saw him post 36 targets, 20 receptions, 239 yards, and four touchdowns in his last four games, but he remains a bench stash until we see his role in the offensive scheme implemented by new offensive coordinator Scott Turner. I wouldn't even start Sims as a punt-play in DFS tournaments because of this uncertainty.

Antonio Gibson & J.D. McKissic (RB, WAS)

I'm bullish on Antonio Gibson's season-long outlook, but it's probably best to leave him on your bench for Week 1 after news that J.D. McKissic is listed as starting running back on the team's depth chart. McKissic is not worth starting either because he's merely a pass-catching specialist who will be splitting with Gibson. The Eagles allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season, so this is a tough matchup. Let's wait to see how Washington uses their backs before considering starting Gibson or McKissic.

Other Matchups:

Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)

Carson Wentz faces a weak secondary that ranked 26th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks last season, but pass-protection concerns with a depleted o-line against a ferocious pass-rush makes him a lukewarm play for Week 1. Expect Wentz to check it down to Ertz and Sanders often in this one. He's still a QB1, but I would consider him on the bottom end of that spectrum for Week 1.

Boston Scott (RB, PHI)

Boston Scott takes over for the injured Miles Sanders, which has fantasy players excited. Scott put up 340 total yards in four games when he received nine or more touches. While some believe that he's easily an RB2 this week, I view him as more of a flex play because I believe he'll be splitting time with Corey Clement, who was injured last season. Temper your expectations for Scott in this one.

DeSean Jackson (WR, PHI)

DeSean Jackson has a great matchup against a group of corners that includes Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby, but the Eagles' o-line issues could make it difficult for Wentz to have adequate time to find Jackson deep. Jackson is more of a lukewarm option due to pass-protection concerns. Jackson looks like a decent WR3, but I wouldn't suggest playing him over superior players with weaker matchups on paper. He'll likely be highly-rostered in DFS, so he looks like a clear fade in those formats.

Jalen Reagor (WR, PHI)

Jalen Reagor was a full participant in Thursday's practice, so there's a decent chance that he defies the odds and suits up for the Eagles in Week 1 after originally expected to be out until Week 2 at the earliest. Reagor looked great in Eagles camp and has a clear path to targets with only DeSean Jackson as a real threat on the perimeter. Taking a wait-and-see approach with the rookie is the more prudent approach, especially if Doug Pederson limits Reagor's snaps.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Like Ertz, Dallas Goedert has a prime matchup, but as the team's clear-cut number-two tight end, he's not a play that I love. Goedert is more of a high-end TE2 whenever Ertz is on the field. He could be an interesting pivot if you want to exploit Washington's weakness against tight ends in DFS, as he'll have a lower roster percentage than Ertz.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Terry McLaurin caused problems for the Eagles last season, posting a combined 16 targets, 10 receptions, 255 yards, and two touchdowns in two games, but he'll likely be shadowed by cornerback Darius Slay in this one, so it's a tougher matchup than last year. With that said, I still think that he's a mid-range WR2 in this game, it's just that he's not a slam-dunk pick that I'd be playing in DFS formats.

 

Seahawks at Falcons

Matchups We Love:

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)

Wilson is one of my favorite quarterback plays on the slate and a clear-cut top-three option against a Falcons Defense that ranked 25th in fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season. This projects to be a close game (Seahawks favored by two points) and shootout (49-point total), so we could see Wilson erupt here. Many observers have advocated for the Seahawks' coaching staff to allow Russ to air it out, since the team sought to establish the run too often. This is the perfect matchup to start the transition from a run-heavy offense into an aggressive, aerial attack. Start Wilson with confidence in both season-long and DFS formats.

D.K. Metcalf (WR, SEA)

Metcalf really came on in the second half of his rookie season, posting 69 targets, 46 receptions, 717 yards, and four touchdowns in his final ten games (includes playoffs). At 6'4, 229-lbs with 4.33 speed, Metcalf is a mismatch for any secondary, particularly the Falcons, who are starting rookie A.J. Terrell and Isaiah Oliver at cornerback. The Falcons ranked 17th in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers last season. Fire up Metcalf in both season-long and DFS formats as a high-end WR2.

Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

While Metcalf is the flashier option with his size, speed, and athleticism, Tyler Lockett has fantastic chemistry with Russ and we can expect more strong production out of the sixth-year wideout out of Kansas State. Lockett should have no problem feasting in the slot against this porous Falcons secondary. Like Metcalf, he's another high-end WR2 in this game and I would seriously consider pairing both Seahawks' wide receivers with Wilson in both cash and tournament DFS contests.

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Matt Ryan remains a high-floor option as your fantasy quarterback, but this looks like a potential ceiling game in this shootout against the Seahawks. Seattle ranked 17th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks last season. While they've added stud safety Jamal Adams to their secondary, he excels more in the run game. Ryan is going to have to keep pace with Wilson by airing it out here, so he's firmly in play as a mid-range QB1.

Julio Jones (WR, ATL)

Julio Jones is always in play as an every-week WR1, but his outlook looks even better in this likely shootout. The Seahawks ranked 15th in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers last year. Julio also put up better numbers at home last season, where his yardage output increased by 12 in one less game, along with a 15.6 yards per reception compared to a 12.8 Y/R on the road. If you decide to stack the Seahawks in DFS, I would strongly recommend adding Julio as the opposing wide receiver option to get more action on a game that should feature a ton of fireworks.

Calvin Ridley (WR, ATL)

Calvin Ridley was everyone's favorite breakout target at wide receiver this offseason after putting up 93 targets, 63 receptions, 866 yards, and seven touchdowns in 13 games last season. The Falcons are very thin at wide receiver, so we'll likely see both Julio and Ridley get peppered with targets. As the number-two receiver, Ridley will get to avoid Shaquill Griffin, the top corner on the Seahawks. He has a real chance at starting his breakout season with a bang here. Consider Ridley an elite WR2 vs. Seattle.

Hayden Hurst (TE, ATL)

The Falcons gave up a second and fifth-round pick in exchange for Hayden Hurst and a fourth-rounder, so it's clear that they believe that he has what it takes to replace the departing Austin Hooper. Hooper leaves behind 97 vacated targets (in only 13 games), so there's real opportunity for Hurst to thrive in Atlanta. The Seahawks allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends last season, so you need to make sure Hurst is in your lineup for Week 1.

Matchups We Hate:

Greg Olsen & Will Dissly (TE, SEA)

The Seahawks have a crowded tight end room that includes Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, and Luke Willson. It's likely that Olsen and Dissly will eat into each other's target share, making this a situation to avoid in fantasy. Each of these players will be touchdown-dependent and in a year where tight end is deep, you need to leave Olsen and Dissly on the waiver wire.

Other Matchups:

Chris Carson (RB, SEA)

Chris Carson has been a bell-cow for the past two years, receiving a combined 525 rushing attempts during that span, but the Seahawks plan to scale back his workload this season. They signed veteran running back Carlos Hyde, who has a redundant skillset to Carson as a between-the-tackles runner with limitations in the passing game. We could also see the Seahawks move to a more pass-heavy approach with their star quarterback and receiver duo. Carson takes on a Falcons defense that ranked 11th in fantasy points allowed to running backs last season. He's more of a mid-range RB2 in this shootout game. I wouldn't consider him in DFS.

Todd Gurley (RB, ATL)

It's hard to trust Todd Gurley with his knee issues, but he's in a good spot for a touchdown in this shootout. I think that the days of 80+ targets are gone for Gurley and we'll see his value derived from rushing volume. While you're obviously starting him as your RB2 given the draft capital it took to select him, Gurley is more of a mid-range option that I would avoid in DFS. The Seahawks ranked 20th in fantasy points allowed to running backs last season, but I expect the Falcons to move the football through the air.

 

Browns at Ravens

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Lamar Jackson is an elite QB1 every single week because of his absurd rushing ability. In two games against the Browns last season, he ran for a combined 169 yards while also throwing for 485 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. While he's headed for negative touchdown regression - his 9% TD rate was the second-highest total all-time among passers with at least 400 attempts - this will be mitigated by a likely increase in pass attempts. The Browns ranked 20th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Mark Andrews broke out for 64 receptions, 852 yards, and 10 touchdowns in 15 games last season. We can project a bump in his 98 targets with the departure of Hayden Hurst and likely increase in team passing volume. Andrews goes up against a Browns Defense that allowed 11th-most points to tight ends last season. As Lamar's favorite target, Andrews is a high-end TE1 that should get off to a good start here.

Matchups We Hate:

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)

Baker Mayfield should see improvement in his overall efficiency with the Browns' upgraded offensive line and coaching staff. New head coach Kevin Stefanski is likely to implement a run-heavy scheme that will help mitigate Baker's turnover issues. I just don't see enough passing volume for Mayfield to excel as a fantasy quarterback - last season, when Stefanski was with the Vikings, Kirk Cousins attempted only 444 passes, which was 90 less than Mayfield. Expect Mayfield to be in tough against a Ravens Defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks last season.

Kareem Hunt (RB, CLE)

Kareem Hunt is likely to play the James White role as a pass-catching back for the Browns. It remains to be seen how many carries he'll get in this offense, so this looks like a good matchup to leave him on the bench or avoid him in your DFS lineups. The Ravens allowed only 79 targets to opposing running backs last season, which was the fewest in the league. This does not bode well for Hunt's outlook in this one.

Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE)

It's tough to be bullish on a WR2 that spent most of his offseason rehabbing a hip injury, playing for a team that is transitioning to a more run-heavy approach, now facing a division rival that ranked 13th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Newly signed tight end Austin Hooper will also eat into Jarvis Landry's target share, so this is a player to avoid, especially against such a good Ravens defense.

Austin Hooper (TE, CLE)

Austin Hooper should be avoided in his Browns debut as we wait-and-see how he fits in Stefanski's offense. I expect him to eat into Landry's target share and become the number-two option in this passing game, but it's tough to rely on Hooper in this game. The Ravens defense is one of the best in the NFL against tight ends, allowing the fewest fantasy points to the position last year.

Other Matchups:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

While Kareem Hunt will eat into Nick Chubb's rushing upside, this is still one of the best pure runners in the NFL. He now plays for a team with a much-improved offensive line and for a head coach who has had success with the running game. The Browns will likely look to establish the run this season, which bodes well for Chubb. Last time these two teams faced off in Baltimore, Chubb ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns on only 20 attempts. The Ravens are stout against the run (4th-fewest points to running backs last season), so that makes Chubb on the RB1/2 fringe for this one as a lukewarm play.

Odell Beckham Jr. (RB, CLE)

The Ravens' pass defense is among the best in the NFL, allowing only 6.1 yards per attempt last season, which ranked 4th in the NFL, but Beckham is among the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, so we have to leave him here as a lukewarm play. You have to think that the former Giants' star is motivated to bounce-back coming off a disappointing debut season in Cleveland, so OBJ remains a mid-range WR2 despite the tough matchup.

Marquise Brown (WR, BAL)

Marquise Brown is fully healthy this season after playing his rookie campaign with a screw in his foot due to a Lisfranc injury, so we could see a breakout sophomore year. It also bodes well that the Ravens figure to pass more, since it's unlikely that they'll be blowing out teams as often as they did last year. Brown goes up against a Browns' defense that allowed the 9th-fewest points to wide receivers last year, so he's not a player that I love for Week 1, but he still looks like a solid WR3/flex play.

Mark Ingram & J.K. Dobbins (RB, BAL)

This looks like a situation to avoid until we see how the Ravens allocate snaps to their running backs. Obviously Mark Ingram had a high draft capital, so you're starting him as a mid-range RB2 in season-long leagues, but we need to avoid him in DFS. Dobbins begins the season as fourth on the depth chart, but take that with a grain of salt, as he still should see some volume in Week 1. If one of these backs were to miss time, they would be firmly on the RB1 radar. For now, they're lukewarm plays against a Browns defense that tied for 23rd in fantasy points allowed to running backs last season.

 

Jets at Bills

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Josh Allen comes in the season with the best weapons of his career after the acquisition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs and selection of rookie running back Zack Moss. He takes on a depleted Jets Defense that traded their best player in safety Jamal Adams, while also losing linebacker C.J. Mosley to an opt-out. The Jets are trotting out Blessuan Austin (71.4 PFF grade) and Pierre Desir (58.8 PFF grade) at corner, so Allen will have a chance to connect on deep shots to his two stud downfield threats.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

Stefon Diggs would be a slam-dunk pick if there weren't any concerns about his adjustment to a new team and offense, but I still love him against this depleted Jets' defense. Diggs looks like a solid WR2 against a Jets defense that ranked 22nd in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers last season. He's firmly in play in both cash and tournaments on DFS, as perhaps players might shy away from him in his first game with a new team.

John Brown (WR, BUF)

John Brown was an absolute stud in his first season with Buffalo, posting 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. While Diggs is going to eat into Brown's target share, this is still a solid receiver who has an established rapport with Josh Allen. There's a legit chance that Brown outscores Diggs, at least in the early stages of the season. I love both Bills receivers in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Sam Darnold (QB, NYJ)

Sam Darnold is only worth using as a streamer in Superflex leagues or a punt play in DFS tournaments to begin with, so he's an easy avoid against a nasty Bills Defense that allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season. Don't even think about using Darnold here, even in a 15-team Superflex league.

Breshad Perriman (WR, NYJ)

Breshad Perriman says he's 100% recovered from a knee injury, but there's always the risk that the Jets scale back the workload of their new receiver. That said, even if this wasn't a factor, Perriman would still be a clear avoid against cornerback Tre'Davious White and this Bills' pass defense.

Chris Herndon (TE, NYJ)

Chris Herndon has generated a lot of buzz over the last month, but this is not a good spot for him. The Bills allowed the second-fewest points to opposing tight ends last season. The Jets are really going to struggle moving the ball in this one and we could see Herndon stay back to block to help counter this Bills' pass rush. Leave Herndon on your bench here in an avoidable matchup.

Other Matchups:

Le'Veon Bell (RB, NYJ)

Le'Veon Bell is still a lukewarm play here despite the tough matchup because we could see him get a bunch of checkdown passes from Darnold as the Jets struggle to dink and dunk down the field. The Bills allowed the ninth-most targets to running backs last season, so this could be a point of emphasis for the Jets as they battle to score points against this tough defense.

Jamison Crowder (WR, NYJ)

Like Bell, Jamison Crowder could receive a bunch of checkdown targets as Darnold tries to get rid of the ball quickly. The risk here is that Crowder is a bit banged up with a hamstring injury, but the Jets really need him so it's tough to see his workload scaled back too much. Crowder is firmly in play as a low-end WR3 in PPR formats because he's likely to see some volume as the Jets play catch-up.

Devin Singletary & Zack Moss (RB, BUF)

This is a situation to monitor to see the way the Bills deploy their running back duo. There were reports in camp that stated that Singletary was falling out of favor with the coaching staff due to fumbling issues. We also don't know exactly how much Moss will be used. They remain lukewarm plays because of the positive game script in a potential blowout, but it's hard to play them in DFS while the picture remains muddled.

 

Raiders at Panthers

Matchups We Love:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Josh Jacobs is in a smash-spot against a Panthers Defense that tied for most fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs last season. Since then, they've lost linebacker Luke Keuchly to retirement as well as defensive linemen Mario Addison and Gerald McCoy to free agency. This projects to be one of the worst defenses in football and there's a legit chance for a Jacobs eruption here. He's an elite RB1 in Week 1 and my favorite DFS play at running back this week.

Teddy Bridgewater (QB, CAR)

Teddy Bridgewater joins an uptempo offense with new offensive coordinator Joe Brady calling the plays. Bridgewater has a stacked group of pass-catchers at his disposal, including studs like Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore. This game has the potential to become a shootout, as evidenced by its 47-point game total. Bridgewater takes on a Raiders defense that ranked 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season. He's a great streamer in season-long leagues and worth a look in both DFS cash games and tournaments.

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

Christian McCaffrey is an every-week elite RB1, but this is a terrific spot against a Raiders defense that ranked 26th in receiving yards allowing to opposing running backs last season. While the Raiders improved their linebackers with the addition of Cory Littleton, they're still going to have their hands full with McCaffrey. Expect CMC to pick up right where he left off last season in this prime matchup.

D.J. Moore (RB, CAR)

D.J. Moore (11.2 aDOT) now has a quarterback that aligns perfectly with his skillset - Bridgewater (6.0 average target depth) should pepper Moore with targets in the short-to-intermediate passing game. Moore goes up against a Raiders defense that ranked 18th in fantasy points allowed to receivers, so this is a great matchup in a potential shootout.

Other Matchups:

Darren Waller (TE, LV)

You could argue that the additions of Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards will eat into Waller's target share, but you could also make the case that their talent and speed will open up room for Waller to work the middle of the field. Either way, he remains a top-8 tight end, but this is not a great matchup. The Panthers allowed the 5th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season. Luke Keuchly is gone, but Shaq Thompson is also good in pass coverage, so it's possible that the Panthers will remain stout against tight ends.

Henry Ruggs & Bryan Edwards (WR, LV)

I really like the talent of both of these receivers and expect both to emerge as the premier wide receivers on the team, but it's tough to see which one of them will burst loose against this weak Panthers defense that lost their top corner James Bradberry to free agency. The Panthers ranked 25th in points allowed to receivers last season, so it's a great matchup. I love playing one of these receivers in DFS tournaments as a punt play. For season-long leagues, you can take the shot if you're in a deeper format, otherwise, I'd take a wait-and-see approach.

Ian Thomas (TE, CAR)

Ian Thomas takes over the starting tight end position and has a chance for some volume with touchdown upside in this one, facing a Raiders defense that tied for 24th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends last season. Since I expect this to be a shootout, Thomas is on the radar as an upside TE2 and potential DFS tournament punt play.

Curtis Samuel & Robby Anderson (WR, CAR)

Both of these receivers have a great matchup, but I expect the targets to be funneled towards D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey. It's also tough to see which one of these two will breakout because we need to see how Joe Brady deploys his receivers. Each of these wideouts is worth a look as a tournament punt play in DFS, but beyond that, I'd leave them on the bench as WR4s.

 

Bears at Lions

Matchups We Love:

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

Allen Robinson is in a smash-spot against a Lions secondary that replaced stud corner Darius Slay with promising rookie Jeffrey Okudah, who is OUT for this game. Robinson put up a combined 14 receptions for 172 yards and one touchdown in two games against the Lions last year. The Lions allowed the second-most points to receivers last season, so we could see more of the same for Robinson here.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

T.J. Hockenson is one of the most talented tight ends in football and we all know how it takes time for players at this position to reach their potential. We could see a nice bump in production for Hock in his sophomore season. He takes on a Bears Defense that struggled against tight ends last season, ranking 23rd in fantasy points per game allowed. Hock is in line for more targets due to Kenny Golladay's absence.

Marvin Jones Jr. (WR, DET)

Marvin Jones takes over as the team's top receiving option with the injury to Kenny Golladay. Jones will see a bump in volume and now becomes an upside WR2. While the Bears have a solid defense, Matthew Stafford will be forced to pepper Jones with targets, so the volume outweighs the tough matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Adrian Peterson & D'Andre Swift (RB, DET)

The signing of Adrian Peterson made this running back situation even more of a mess, especially from D'Andre Swift's perspective. It's unclear how much Peterson will be used, so he's an easy bench, even in the deepest of leagues. The same goes for the talented rookie, as Swift has missed significant time during camp, so his snaps will likely be reduced. Don't even consider playing these players in any format for Week 1.

Other Matchups:

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)

Mitch Trubisky surprisingly won the starting job over Nick Foles. He's an intriguing option in Superflex leagues and as a DFS tournament play due to his rushing upside. The Lions allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year, so there's a legit chance that Trubisky turns in a strong effort here.

Anthony Miller (WR, CHI)

Anthony Miller came on strong at the end of last season, posting two 100-yard games in his last five, including nine receptions for 140 yards against the Lions. He's not a matchup that we love because this is still Mitch Trubisky at quarterback and it's an offense that can't really sustain two productive receivers in the same game. Still, Miller is a solid WR4 and decent option in DFS tournaments.

David Montgomery & Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)

David Montgomery is suiting up despite a groin injury, so we could see his snaps limited, so expect more touches than usual for Tarik Cohen. This is still a prime matchup though, so they remain lukewarm plays against a Lions Defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points as well as the fourth-most receiving yards to running backs last season.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)

Matthew Stafford was tearing up the league last year before a season-ending back injury, averaging the fifth-most fantasy points per game among quarterbacks. He takes on a Bears Defense that allowed the sixth-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks, so this is a tough matchup, especially if Kenny Golladay was out. Still, Stafford is a fringe starter and lukewarm play here because of his sheer talent and passing volume.

Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET)

Kerryon Johnson appears to be the most likely option to carry the load in the Lions backfield, as Peterson was just signed and Swift has been banged up. He goes up against a Bears defense that was average against the run last season, so his potential volume puts him in play as a decent flex for Week 1.

 

 

Colts at Jaguars

Matchups We Love:

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)

T.Y. Hilton gets an upgrade at quarterback with the arrival of Philip Rivers. He has a smash spot going up against a Jaguars' secondary that features cornerbacks Tre Herndon (54.7 PFF grade) and rookie C.J. Henderson. Hilton should be able to get loose deep in this one.

Jack Doyle (TE, IND)

Jack Doyle looks poised for an uptick in targets with the departure of Eric Ebron. Philip Rivers loves to check it down to his tight ends, so we could see a return to 2017 production. The Jaguars no longer have studs like defensive lineman Calais Campbell or cornerback A.J. Bouye on a defense that projects to be one of the very worst in football.

Marlon Mack & Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Both Colts' backs are in a smash spot against a Jaguars' defense that allowed 5.32 yards per carry (32nd) and 30.1 fantasy points per game (T-31st) to opposing running backs. This is also a potential positive game script with the Colts favored by 7.5 points, so we could see them chewing the clock by running the football towards the end of the game. It's likely that head coach Frank Reich will go with the hot hand here, but both backs are in play as strong FLEX plays in season-long as well as tournament and cash plays in DFS.

D.J. Chark (WR, JAX)

D.J. Chark has the perfect setup to really take off this season, playing for a tanking team that will be playing catch-up virtually every game. He goes up against a Colts Defense that tied for 23rd in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. The Colts have the declining Xavier Rhodes (46.4 PFF grade) and Rock Ya-Sin (65.3 PFF grade) at corner, so Chark has a chance at a field day.

Other Matchups:

Philip Rivers (QB, IND)

Philip Rivers is purely a streaming option in season-long formats, but he's in play here against a weak Jaguars Defense. The risk here is that the Colts get off to an early lead and slow the game down by running the football, but it's worth a shot to play Rivers behind this dominant offensive line, especially as a DFS tournament punt play.

Parris Campbell & Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

Both of these young receivers have shown promise during training camp and have a great matchup here, but it's best to take a wait-and-see approach. Having said that, they're worth a look as DFS tournament punt plays facing off against this porous secondary. Consider both of them as WR4 options.

Gardner Minshew II (QB, JAX)

Gardner Minshew is going to be slinging it all season. Here he goes up against a Colts defense that allowed 7.52 yards per attempt (22nd) last season. It could be a positive game script where the Jags play catch-up, so Minshew is in play as a streamer in deeper leagues. I really like him as a punt play for DFS tournaments, as he's a virtual lock to have a low roster percentage.

James Robinson & Chris Thompson (RB, JAX)

James Robinson looks to be entrenched as the team's starting running back, but this is a negative game script where the Jags could fall behind early. It's likely that Robinson will see some work on early downs before being spelled by Chris Thompson in passing situations. The Colts defense allowed the fourth-most running back targets last season, so there's a chance for production here. Both of these backs look like RB4 options for Week 1.

Laviska Shenault (WR, JAX)

Laviska Shenault is intriguing because of his ability to make plays in the screen game and out of the backfield. The rookie is a playmaker who has a real chance to become the waiver wire darling post-Week 1. I really like him as a DFS tournament punt play but for season-long leagues, it's best to wait and see how he's used. If he's on your waiver wire, pick him up now!

 

Packers at Vikings

Matchups We Love:

Davante Adams (WR, GB)

Davante Adams is in line for monster volume playing for a Packers team with few options in the passing game. He goes up against a Vikings Defense that ranked 23rd in fantasy allowed per game to receivers. In two games against the Vikings last year, Adams put up 20 receptions for 222 yards on 25 targets. Fire up Adams as an elite WR1 and make sure to play him in both cash and tournament DFS games.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Aaron Jones should see an uptick in receiving production as the defacto WR2 in this offense, which should help offset the negative touchdown regression coming off an unsustainable 16 touchdowns. In two games against the Vikings last year, Jones rushed 46 times for 270 yards and three touchdowns. The Vikings defense also allowed 120 targets to running backs last season, which ranked 21st in the NFL.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Dalvin Cook has a great matchup against a Packers Defense that allowed the sixth-most points to opposing running backs last season. They also gave up 130 targets to running backs, which was the five-most in the NFL. In one game against the Packers last year, Cook put up 187 total yards and one touchdown. Cook is an elite RB1 in this prime matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Kirk Cousins is merely a streaming option in all formats and this is a bad matchup. The Packers defense allowed the fifth-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks last season. Cousins plays for a low-volume, run-heavy offense, so you need to take him off your radar for this one.

Justin Jefferson (WR, MIN)

Justin Jefferson is a talented rookie receiver, but this is a bad matchup against the Packers' secondary. Green Bay allowed the sixth-fewest points to opposing receivers last season. Jefferson is also listed as the third receiver on this Vikings' depth chart, so it's unlikely that he makes much of an impact in this game.

Other Matchups:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Aaron Rodgers is merely a high-end QB2 this season due to his limited weapons in the passing game. In two games against the Vikings last season, Rodgers completed 48-of-74 passes (64.8%) for 425 yards (5.7 yards per attempt), two touchdowns, and one interception. The only reason that he's a lukewarm play instead of an avoid is because his two main weapons have great matchups.

Allen Lazard (WR, GB)

Allen Lazard is intriguing because he has a clear path to playing time with the WR2 role wide open on this offense. He has a good matchup here against a porous Vikings' secondary, but it's best to treat him as solely a DFS tournament play here.

Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)

Adam Thielen is set for massive volume with Stefon Diggs' departure and Justin Jefferson's development. At the same time, this is a tough matchup here, so that makes Thielen more of a high-end WR2 this week as opposed to the weekly WR1 that he should be for much of the season.

Irv Smith Jr. (TE, MIN)

Irv Smith Jr. is an intriguing sleeper at tight end because of his clear-path to targets on a Vikings team with limited weapons. The Packers ranked 14th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends last season, but Smith's potential volume makes him on the TE2 and DFS tournament radar as a punt play.

 

Dolphins at Patriots

Matchups We Love:

Cam Newton (QB, NE)

Cam Newton has a smash-spot against a Dolphins Defense that allowed the third-most points to fantasy quarterbacks last season. It'll be interesting to see how much Cam runs this year - if he looks healthy then those who drafted him got an absolute steal. Cam has a massive chip on his shoulder after being released by the Panthers, so you can bet that he's highly motivated to have a bounce-back season.

Other Matchups:

Julian Edelman (WR, NE)

It's hard to trust Julian Edelman as anything more than a lukewarm WR3 play even in a great matchup because: 1) He's currently nursing a knee injury and 2) We need to see how he does with Cam. I don't hate the play since he plays the Dolphins, but if you have an option with more upside I'd go with that choice.

N'Keal Harry (WR, NE)

N'Keal Harry's profile as an big, athletic receiver with the ability to haul in contested catches reminds me of Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, two wideouts that had success with Cam in the past. He's an intriguing WR4 right now because of those similarities and his prospect pedigree. The Dolphins allowed the third-most fantasy points to receivers last season.

Sony Michel & James White (RB, NE)

This profiles more of a Sony Michel game as a potential blowout with the Patriots as 6.5-point favorites, but Michel is going to be eased back after recovering from a foot injury. Plus, he's not a very good running back. White is the superior player, but I expect the Pats to get out to an early lead, so they won't really need his pass-catching skills out of the backfield. Also, it's unlikely that Cam will target him as often as Brady. Consider both of these players as low-end flex options for Week 1.

Matchups We Hate:

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, MIA)

Ryan Fitzpatrick is likely to be playing catch-up in this one, but this Patriots Defense remains a strong unit. It's going to be tough for the Dolphins to move the ball. The Pats allowed the fewest points to opposing quarterbacks last season, so I wouldn't consider Fitz in any format this week.

Jordan Howard & Matt Breida (RB, MIA)

Both of these backs are in a negative game script, as the Pats are likely to win by multiple scores in this game. Neither of them are great receiving backs, so it's hard to see them racking up receptions in garbage time. We also need to see how the Dolphins choose to use these backs, so take a wait-and-see approach and consider them RB4s.

DeVante Parker & Preston Williams (WR, MIA)

DeVante Parker has been limited in practice with a hamstring injury. Preston Williams is returning from a torn-ACL. The Pats allowed the fewest points to wide receivers last year. They also have the best corner in the game in Stephon Gilmore. Leave these two on the bench, they'll help you later in the season.

Mike Gesicki (TE, MIA)

Mike Gesicki opened the year as the number-two tight end on the Dolphins' depth chart. This is concerning because we've all heard about how new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey does not use his tight ends much in his scheme. Gesicki is a great athlete, but he needs to be on the bench in this one until we get more clarity.

 

Matchups Analysis - 4:05/4:25 PM ET Games

We've got just three games on the afternoon slate in Week 1 since one game that would usually be here (Titans at Broncos) is the second Monday night game. The headline game on this slate is the Buccaneers facing the Saints, a game that features Tom Brady's Buccaneers debut. That one should be on every fantasy player's radar.

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

Matchups We Love:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

In Joe Burrow's NFL debut, I'm expecting to see the team lean fairly heavily on Joe Mixon. And why wouldn't they, since he's coming off consecutive 1000-yard seasons and hasn't fumbled since 2017. Burrow needs someone to relieve the pressure off of him, so why not give the ball to a sure-handed rusher who's averaged four-plus yards per carry over the past two years? Especially when the Chargers allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs last year while shutting down the passing game on a much more consistent basis. I have Mixon penciled in as a must-start in season-long formats.

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

The Bengals Defense struggled last season and I don't see 2020 going too much different, especially out of the gate. The Chargers offense is going to look much different now that Philip Rivers is gone, but the Tyrod Taylor-led offense should do one thing mostly the same as the Rivers-led offense did: get Austin Ekeler involved. While the 5'10'' back may cede some rushing work to Justin Jackson, he should still get a good number of carries, plus he averaged 5.75 receptions per game last season. Ekeler should serve as a great safety valve for Taylor just as he did with Rivers, and the Bengals aren't going to have the playmakers to stop Ekeler when he gets to the edge.

Tyrod Taylor (QB, LAC)

Taylor's Chargers debut comes against a Bengals team that allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season. I'm fairly high on Taylor this year -- he was a solid QB2 with QB1 upside during his starting tenure in Buffalo thanks to his rushing ability and some solid accuracy. He's a solid QB2 option this week against a Bengals defense that I just don't trust.

Matchups We Hate:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Yes, the Chargers don't have Derwin James this year, but they still have a defense full of playmakers and are set to make Joe Burrow's life difficult in his NFL debut. Without a preseason, this will be the first time Burrow is seeing an NFL defense outside of seeing the Bengals defense in scrimmages. Things are going to move fast. The SEC is tough, but the SEC still isn't the NFL, and Burrow is getting thrown right into the frying pan. I don't doubt that the No. 1 overall pick has good games this season, but I do doubt that those good games begin in Week 1. Too much uncertainty here.

Bengals Wide Receivers

Part of me just wants to copy/past "too much uncertainty here" from the above paragraph and go with it. Tyler Boyd's a pretty safe play because of his target upside, but this isn't the game where I want to be playing A.J. Green in his first football game in over a year, or where I want to be taking a risk on rookie Tee Higgins, or where I'd take the dart throw on John Ross III or Auden Tate. Green will (probably) return to form this season. Burrow's accuracy on deep throws will help this offense hum along by the end of the year. But not this week. Outside of Boyd, I'm avoid this group.

Other Matchups:

Hunter Henry (TE, LAC)

The Bengals were in the middle of the pack last year in terms of points allowed to tight ends. With Rivers under center, I'd really like this matchup for Henry, but Taylor's presence gives me enough pause to just feel kind of "meh" about it. Why? Because in his three seasons with Buffalo, his top tight end finished at TE14 twice and TE20 once. Now, that might just have been because his top tight end was Charles Clay, who is 100 percent not as good as Hunter Henry. I'll play Henry in leagues where I have him because I drafted Hunter Henry to be a weekly starter, but I'll feel a little scared about it.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

Basically the same stuff as the Henry blurb above. Taylor in Buffalo supported top receiver finishes of WR16 once and WR62 twice. Throw that WR62 stuff into the sun because it means literally nothing, but in 2015, Taylor helped Sammy Watkins to a WR16 finish, which is really the only positive we have to go off of in terms of season-long production. I think Allen's going to be fine, but like with Henry, I don't feel overly confident in saying that, you know?

 

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Matchups We Love:

George Kittle (TE, SF)

This is the biggest no-brainer of the week. You're starting George Kittle in season-long no matter what because he's George Kittle, but he gets a boost in DFS this week because the Arizona Cardinals were so bad against tight ends last year. They allowed 14 touchdowns to tight ends last year, while the second-worst team in that category allowed 10.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

Starting Jimmy G against the Cardinals last year helped me win some fantasy games and make the playoffs. Garoppolo had three games with 300 or more yards in 2019, and two of those were against the Cardinals. He threw eight of his 27 touchdowns in just those two games. This is THE matchup for Garoppolo. If you're got him on your roster and are even thinking about starting him, do it.

Everyone In San Francisco TBH

I mean look, this whole Niners team is startable this week in the right context. In the second meeting between these teams last year, the running game struggled pretty bad, but Deebo Samuel, Kyle Juszczyk, and Richie James are all 50-plus receiving yards, Kendrick Bourne caught a touchdown, and Ross Dwelley had two touchdowns. In the first meeting, Matt Breida ran for 78 yards and added 14 receiving yards and even Dante Pettis got in on the action with a touchdown. This is a week where 49ers players have more upside than usual. Sure, you aren't starting Kendrick Bourne in an 8-team league, but if you're 50/50ing a 49ers player and someone else for a spot, I'd give the Niner a slight edge.

Matchups We Hate:

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)

Do I think Larry Fitzgerald still has value this season? For sure. I actually wrote about him earlier this week in my wide receiver column. But this is a bad matchup for the Cardinals, and while Kyler Murray's rushing floor and DeAndre Hopkins's projected role as the new top receiver on this team make them feel like safe starts, I'm avoiding some of the guys further down the pecking order. Christian Kirk? Sure, play him. Fitzgerald? Nope, I think he should sit this one out on your fantasy bench.

Other Matchups:

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARI)

Look, Kenyan Drake rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown and added 52 receiving yards in the first meeting between these teams last year, then followed that up with 67 yards in the second meeting. It was tempting to say I loved this matchup because of those numbers, but I'm just not sure I trust Drake that much against the 49ers Defense. Play him in season-long leagues, but he's a little risky in DFS this week because the 49ers were one of the best teams at limiting opposing running backs in fantasy last season.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray's ability to run the ball keeps him out of the hate column this week. He had one of his lowest passing outputs of the year last season against this team, throwing for just 150 yards in the second meeting. But his 67 rushing yards and a touchdown helped him have a solid fantasy day. That's what we should expect on Sunday: a solid day with the possibility of some upside.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, ARI)

Last year against the Cardinals, Christian Kirk had 14 targets. Second among wide receivers in targets in those two games was Larry Fitzgerald with nine. Kyler Murray focused on one guy more in those games, and this year that one guy is likely to be new addition DeAndre Hopkins. You don't trade for Hopkins to not use him heavily immediately. Still, the low passing volume that we saw from Arizona in the second Niners game last year gives me enough pause to feel "meh" about this matchup for DFS purposes.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

TB: QB - 9, RB - 31, WR - 1, TE - 6
NO: QB - 11, RB - 29, WR - 5, TE - 22

Matchups We Love:

Chris Godwin and maybe Mike Evans (WR, TB)

The "maybe" is because Mike Evans is already dealing with a hamstring injury, so while I like the matchup against a Saints team that allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers last year, it's a bit of a "wait and see" when it comes to Evans. But Godwin, who should see plenty of work inside and outside, is probably going to be Tom Brady's favorite target this year anyway, and he's a great Week 1 play.

Drew Brees (QB, NO)

The Buccaneers allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last year. Brees played Tampa once last year, and while he only threw for 228 yards, he had three touchdowns and completed 80 percent of his passes.  In a matchup of old guy quarterbacks, I'm taking the Brees side, even if...

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

...I also like the matchup for Brady. The Saints allowed the 11th-most points to quarterbacks and while Brady looked like he'd slipped at times in 2019, he's now playing in a Bruce Arians offense. If he still has something left in that arm of his, this is the offense where he'll show it. And this is the matchup where he might show it as well.

Michael Thomas (WR, NO)

Can I just replace this entire section with the words "start all of your Saints and Buccaneers players?" Tampa Bay allowed a lot of fantasy points to wide receivers last year. Michael Thomas is the best receiver in the NFL. He had 19 catches in two games against Tampa last year. He's the overall WR1 this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Rob Gronkowski (TE, TB)

The only matchup I hate here is Gronk. It's his first game since February 2019. The Saints were better against tight ends than against wide receivers last year. And Bruce Arians offenses have traditionally been really bad for tight ends. I don't expect Gronk to come out of the gate strong this year, as his importance to the Buccaneers is much more tied into late-season and playoffs. I don't think I have Gronk rostered anywhere, but if I did, I'd consider sitting him.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

The Saints allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. Fournette has been on this team for a short amount of time. I don't expect to see the workload that Fournette would need for this to be a great Fournette game.

While we're here, Ronald Jones II? I also don't love him this week! If the Buccaneers do damage, it'll be via Tom Brady's arm.

Other Matchups:

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

The one thing that the Buccaneers did well last year was limit fantasy points to running backs. Kamara's not just any running back, though, so he avoids the hate part of this column. He had some solid games against Tampa last year and should be fine again this year, but I just don't quite love this matchup more than I love some other running backs when it comes to DFS lineups.

 

Matchups Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams

DAL: QB - 20, RB - 20, WR - 27, TE - 8
LAR: QB - 21, RB - 14, WR - 23, TE - 19

Matchups We Love:

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

If there's one position Dallas struggled against last season, it was tight ends. I still don't quite know if I really trust Tyler Higbee or if I believe his strong end to 2019 was a fluke, but this is definitely a matchup where I'll give him an opportunity to prove that he's ready to be a set-and-forget TE1.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Zeke had 117 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and 43 receiving yards when these teams faced last season. The Rams might be able to slow down the passing game for the Cowboys, but expect Elliott to spend plenty of time toting the rock and cranking out five yard carries.

Rams Wide Receivers (WR, LAR)

Dallas got less experienced in the secondary this offseason, which should bode well for Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. What also bodes well for them? A higher projected target share this year now that the team doesn't have Brandin Cooks to take away looks. I'm extremely high on both guys this year, and a starting secondary of Anthony Brown, Trevon Diggs, Darian Thompson, and Xavier Woods, I don't see Dallas slowing these two down. Both should be in fantasy lineups.

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)

Did you see the names I mentioned above of guys who are starting in the Cowboys secondary? Sure, their front seven can get to Goff, but when he has time to throw, he'll have open receivers in good positions. Goff is ranked as a high-end QB2 this week, but I consider him a low-end QB1 due to the issues Dallas might be facing.

Matchups We Hate:

Amari Cooper (WR, DAL)

He's going to get shadowed by Jalen Ramsey. He had one catch for 19 yards against the Rams last year. You can't bench him in most formats (or can you???) but what you can do is not put Cooper in any -- or at least not many -- of your DFS lineups. He's not getting the football. It's going to take some miscommunication or some interesting playcalling to get a big Cooper game.

Other Matchups:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

Cooper only had 19 yards in this matchup last year, but Dak managed 212 yards and two touchdowns and added 12 rushing yards. Yes, that meant he tied for his lowest yardage total of 2019 and...

Sorry, I lost track of where I was going with that, mainly because it was only going negative places. Here's the thing though -- with a new head coach and a new weapon at wide receiver, I think last year's game is about what Dak's floor is for this one. Am I basing that on some speculation? Sure, but this is a weird upcoming season and we don't have 2020 data yet, so sometimes we have to speculate.

Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Cooper's going to blanketed, which should open things up for Gallup and Lamb to be fine options. Gallup's a high-end WR3 with some "getting more targets than usual" upside. Lamb's a WR4 with the same upside, but also with a pretty low floor because rookie wide receivers are incredibly hard to trust in fantasy. Neither guy screams "must play," but neither screams "must sit" either.

Cam Akers (RB, LAR)

Akers is the only Rams running back that I'm actually interested in for fantasy purposes, but he also sits third on the depth chart. I think that's a deceptive third and that Akers is going to get plenty of touches this week. Dallas doesn't seem like they'll be particularly good or bad against the run this year, so the real question here is what to expect with Akers in terms of role. That's why he's in this section instead of the "love" section, because there are enough questions around him to make him someone who you can't feel super confident about playing. Risky option, but with solid upside.



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/12/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

Get ready for another Saturday of MLB action! It's a good day to pay a premium for pitching with a D-Backs' ace on the board. We'll be targeting a couple of Royals who are swinging the bat at cheap prices to allow us to fit in an ace and the Angels' slugging duo at Coors.

In this article, we'll identify players who will help you win a cash game and build your bankroll or take down a GPP for a big pay-day. Every player on this list is on one of my own FanDuel teams.

  • I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 9/12/2020. Be sure to also check out all the MLB player news including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports too.

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Zac Gallen - ARZ vs. SEA ($10,000)

Zac Gallen has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 2.29 ERA (3.83 SIERA), 0.98 WHIP, 20.0 K-BB%, and 12.1 SwStr%. The emerging ace has allowed two runs or less in every start except his last outing against the Giants (four runs allowed). He takes on the Mariners, who came into Friday's game with a 26.5 K% (23rd), so there's some strikeout upside here. Gallen is the best pitcher on the slate and worth paying the premium price.

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Anthony Rendon - 3B, LAA @ COL ($4,500)

Anthony Rendon is worth the price in a game at Coors against LHP Kyle Freeland. Rendon has slashed .302/.394/.524 against southpaws in his career. He's also heating up, going 9-for-28 (.321) with six runs, two home runs, and six RBI in his last eight coming into Friday's game. Rendon will be a popular play as a star slugger at Coors, but he's absolutely worth it in this one.

Jeimer Candelario - 1B, DET @ CWS ($3,000)

Jeimer Candelario has been absolutely on fire, going 13-for-25 (.520) with seven runs, three home runs, and 11 RBI in his last seven coming into Friday's game. He goes up against RHP Reynaldo Lopez, who has been atrocious this season, putting up a 8.38 ERA and 2.79 HR/9. Candelario will be another popular play, but this is too good of a matchup for a red-hot hitter.

Adalberto Mondesi - SS, KC vs. PIT ($2,800)

It's about time that Adalberto Mondesi woke up - he's gone 9-for-28 (.321) with four runs, two home runs, eight RBI, and five stolen bases in seven games coming into Friday. Mondesi is as streaky as they come, so when he's hitting well, you need to ride the wave. He goes up against RHP Trevor Williams, who has allowed 16 runs in his last three starts, spanning 16 innings.

Gavin Lux - 2B, LAD vs. HOU ($2,800)

Gavin Lux is one of the top prospects in baseball and we saw why on Tuesday when he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI. He's worth a look as a cheap option against LHP Framber Valdez, who is coming off a start where he got pounded for eight runs in seven innings against the Angels. Even though it's a lefty-on-lefty matchup, Lux is still worth playing because of his prospect pedigree.

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Mike Trout - OF, LAA @ COL ($5,000)

Like Rendon, Mike Trout is an obvious play since he's hitting at Coors, even at such a high price. The key is to find other cheap options to allow you to fit in an ace plus this Angels duo. Trout continues to swing the bat well, going 12-for-29 (.414) with 11 runs, four home runs, and seven RBI in his last eight games coming into Friday's contest.

Tim Locastro - OF, ARZ vs. SEA ($2,4mondev00)

Tim Locastro has played well of late, going 3-for-11 (.273) with three runs, one homer, two RBI, and two stolen bases in his last three games. He has elite speed, so there are always opportunities for stolen bases whenever he's in the lineup. Just check in to make sure that he's in the lineup because he doesn't play every day.

Edward Olivares - OF, KC vs. PIT ($2,300)

Edward Olivares is another cheap outfielder to allow us to fit an ace and the Angels. He's been red-hot of late, going 12-for-34 (.353) with five runs, two homers, and six RBI in his last seven games coming into Friday. He makes for a nice pairing with Mondesi, especially at such a cheap price.

 



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Lineup Picks for Tuesday 9/8

The MLB season is filled with ups and downs, but the key to success is to find some gems to stream! Today we're going to target a pair of Rays at Yankee Stadium!

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Tuesday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/8 - Infielders

Kolten Wong (2B, LHB) 32% Rostered

Matchups: vs. MIN RHP Jose Berrios, vs. MIN N/A

Wong's double-header is a bonus here, as his hot bat would have made him a recommendation even without the two upcoming games. Wong has gone 13-for-31 (.419) with eight runs and five RBI in his last eight games. He has been a fixture in the leadoff role for the Cardinals, so he's in a prime position for production. He should play in both games tomorrow.

Chris Taylor (2B/SS/OF, RHB) 26% Rostered

Matchup: @ ARZ RHP Luke Weaver

Taylor has hit safely in six of his last seven games, posting one home run and seven RBI during that span. He has an exploitable matchup against Weaver, who has allowed four or more runs in four of his eight starts this season. Weaver has allowed 24th percentile exit velocity and 18th percentile hard-hit rate, so he's allowing hard contact, making Taylor a solid stream for Tuesday.

Colin Moran (1B/2B/3B, LHB) 22% Rostered

Matchup: vs. CHW RHP Dylan Cease

Moran has hit safely in four of eight games since returning from injury. He goes up against Cease, who has ranked in the 38th percentile in exit velocity and hasn't missed many bats, posting a 15.9 K% and 9.4 SwStr%. Moran has hit the ball hard all year, ranking in the 96th percentile in exit velocity and 92nd percentile in hard-hit rate. His power upside makes him a strong streamer.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, LHB) 18% Rostered

Matchup: vs. NYY LHP J.A. Happ

Tellez is on a torrid stretch right now, going 10-for-21 (.476) with six runs, two home runs, and five RBI in his last five games. Even though he faces a lefty in Happ, he's still a good stream because of how well he's swinging the bat. Tellez is in the 79th percentile in exit velocity and 78th percentile in hard-hit rate. His xStats are also good, ranking in the 86th percentile in xSLG.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/8 - Outfielders

Adam Duvall (OF, ATL, RHB) 11% Rostered

Matchup: vs. MIA RHP Sixto Sanchez

Duvall has been absolutely on fire of late, going 10-for-30 (.300) with nine runs, six homers, and eight RBI in his last eight games. While he goes up against the Marlins' electric Sixto Sanchez, who has been easily the most impressive rookie pitcher this season, we can't ignore this power binge.

Randy Arozarena (OF, TB, RHB) 10% Rostered

Matchup: @ WAS RHP Anibal Sanchez

Arozarena has swung a hot bat since joining the Rays on August 30th, going 8-for-17 (.471) with five runs, four homers, and five RBI in seven games. He has a great matchup against Sanchez, who has allowed nine home runs in only 33.1 innings this season. It's a great opportunity for Arozarena to continue his power binge.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, BOS, RHB) 9% Rostered

Matchup: @ PHI RHP Zach Eflin, @ PHI N/A

Bradley is on this list because he's another hot hitter in a doubleheader. He's hit safely in nine consecutive games, posting four runs, three homers, six RBI, and one stolen base during that span. Eflin has racked up strikeouts, but also allowed three or more runs in four of his last five starts. He's nothing to fear here.

 

Pitcher Streamer for 9/8

J.A. Happ (LHP, NYY) 29% Rostered

Happ has a tough matchup against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, but he's on a nice stretch right now, allowing only five runs in his last three starts, spanning 18 innings. He has also walked three and struck out 12 during this stretch. This is a difficult slate for pitcher streamers, so we'll ride with a guy who can pitch deeper in games and is starting to find his form right now.



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Picks for 9/7/20

It's another manic Monday, so you know what time it is - it's time to dig deep and find some streamers. Today is a tough day for pitcher streamers, so we'll roll the dice on a Yankees' lefty.

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Monday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/7 - Infielders

Nick Solak (2B/3B/OF, TEX) @ SEA 32% Rostered

Solak is another hitter who has swung the bat well lately, going 14-for-44 (.318) with four runs, six RBI, and one stolen base in his last eleven games. Solak faces off against LHP Marco Gonzales, who is coming off a complete game, one-run gem, but shouldn't deter you from a strong stream here.

Alec Bohm (3B, PHI) @ NYM 20% Rostered

The Phillies' rookie slugger has turned it on of late, going 8-for-26 (.308) with three runs, one homer, and four RBI in his last seven games. He goes up against LHP David Peterson, who has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in four consecutive starts.

Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B, DET) @ MIN 17% Rostered

Candelario has been rock solid this year, slashing .293/.351/.488 with four home runs. He's gone 11-for-29 (.379) with seven runs, two homers, seven RBI, and one stolen base in his last seven games. Candelario faces off against RHP Michael Pineda, who is off a season debut where he allowed two runs in six innings, but this remains an exploitable matchup.

Andres Gimenez (2B/SS, NYM) vs. PHI - 4% Rostered

Gimenez has been swinging a hot bat lately, going 7-for-17 (.412) with five runs, one homer, six RBI, and one stolen base in his last five games. He goes up against RHP Zack Wheeler, who has a 2.20 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, but only 29 strikeouts in 45 innings, so there will be opportunities for Gimenez to put the ball in play.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/7 - Outfielders

Alex Dickerson (OF, SF) vs. ARZ 31% Rostered

Dickerson showed off his power upside last week at Coors, smacking three homers and six RBI. He has a tough matchup against D-Backs' ace RHP Zac Gallen, but we have to ride with the young Giants' slugger because he has more upside than most players at this roster percentage.

Victor Reyes (OF, DET) @ MIN 27% Rostered

Reyes has been on fire lately, going 17-for-38 (.447) with eight runs, two homers, six RBI, and one stolen base in his last seven games. He makes for a nice pairing with Candelario against Pineda here. Reyes has done a terrific job since being moved to the leadoff spot in the Tigers' lineup.

Tyler Naquin (OF, CLE) vs. KC 5% Rostered

Another red-hot hitter to add to the stream machine! Naquin has gone 12-for-45 (.266) with six runs, four homers, and 13 RBI in his last 12 games. He has a tough matchup against RHP Brad Keller, but this is another hitter with power upside that we need to ride.

 

Pitcher Streamer for 9/7

Jordan Montgomery (LHP, NYY) @ TOR 19% Rostered

Montgomery is coming off a terrible start where he only lasted 0.2 innings, but he has some impressive underlying stats: 3.7 BB%, 16.5 K-BB%, and 42.5 GB%. He takes on a Blue Jays lineup that has power, but is beatable, especially towards the bottom of the lineup. The team is also without Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez.



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Frank Ammirante's Updated PPR Rankings vs. RotoBaller Consensus

We're right in the heart of draft season, so it's the perfect time to release my final PPR rankings. These are tiered rankings organized by position. My rankings prioritize upside and downgrade injury concerns. There are some players who I was previously high on, but was forced to downgrade due to injuries, such as Allen Robinson and D'Andre Swift. As with any rankings, remember to account for ADP in order to optimize your lineup!

In this article, I'll describe my reasoning behind a few players who I'm higher on than RotoBaller consensus, as well as others who I've ranked lower. I'll focus on players whose ranking discrepancy is more impactful, rather than just listing the players with the widest variance with RotoBaller consensus.

Below you'll find a few selections that will surely have you raising an eyebrow. Be sure to voice these concerns and come at me on Twitter @FAmmiranteTFJ! I can assure you that I'll be ready to provide insights behind these selections and we can engage in debate.

 

Quarterbacks

Tier Rank QB RotoBaller Rank
1 1 Deshaun Watson 6
1 2 Patrick Mahomes 2
1 3 Lamar Jackson 1
2 4 Dak Prescott 3
2 5 Russell Wilson 5
2 6 Kyler Murray 4
3 7 Matt Ryan 8
3 8 Carson Wentz 10
3 9 Daniel Jones 14
3 10 Joe Burrow 20
3 11 Josh Allen 7
3 12 Matthew Stafford 13
4 13 Tom Brady 11
4 14 Aaron Rodgers 12
4 15 Cam Newton 27
4 16 Drew Brees 9
4 17 Jimmy Garoppolo 19
4 18 Ryan Tannehill 17
5 19 Ben Roethlisberger 15
5 20 Drew Lock 22
5 21 Jared Goff 18
5 22 Gardner Minshew 25
5 23 Tyrod Taylor 31
5 24 Teddy Bridgewater 28
5 25 Baker Mayfield 16
6 26 Sam Darnold 24
6 27 Kirk Cousins 21
6 28 Derek Carr 26
6 29 Dwayne Haskins 30
6 30 Philip Rivers 23
6 31 Ryan Fitzpatrick 29
6 32 Nick Foles 33
7 33 Tua Tagovailoa 34
7 34 Justin Herbert 35
7 35 Mitch Trubisky 32
7 36 Jalen Hurts 41
7 37 Jameis Winston 37
7 38 Andy Dalton 38
7 39 Jacoby Brissett 39
7 40 Jarrett Stidham 36

 

QBs I'm Higher On

Joe Burrow (+10) checks off all the boxes that you want in a fantasy quarterback. He has a dynamic group of weapons in the passing game. He plays for a team with a weak defense. He's also a pro-ready prospect, so there won't be any playbook limitations. Burrow is going to make an immediate impact for the Bengals and he offers league-winning upside. Check out a more extensive look at Burrow's upside here.

Deshaun Watson (+5) now has an arsenal of deep-threats which align with one of his biggest strengths: downfield passing. He plays for a Texans' team with a porous defense which should increase his passing volume. His backfield consists of two backs more known for their receiving skills than running ability. It's the perfect storm for Watson to have a career year. I've laid out a more in-depth case for Watson at QB1 here.

Daniel Jones (+5) flashed significant upside as a rookie, putting up 25+ fantasy points in four games. He was able to do this despite never having all of his weapons on the field at the same time. Jones also has rushing upside, which raises his weekly floor. The Giants have a weak defense which will lead to several shootouts. You can check out more Jones talk here.

QBs I'm Lower On

Baker Mayfield (-9) is set for a bump in efficiency with an improved offensive line, but new head coach Kevin Stefanski looks poised to implement a more conservative offense that relies on the running game in an effort to mitigate Mayfield's turnover issues. Kirk Cousins attempted only 444 passes last season, so we can expect a similar number for Mayfield, who made 534 attempts last season. I just can't get behind that lack of volume.

Drew Brees (-7) is entering his age-41 season and has become more of a check-down passer. He threw 27 touchdowns on only 378 attempts last season, giving him a 7.1 TD%, which was the highest touchdown rate of his career. I just can't invest in an aging quarterback headed for significant touchdown regression, playing for a contending team that will likely limit his volume.

Josh Allen (-4) has the best supporting cast of his career with the additions of Stefon Diggs and Zack Moss. The problem is that much of his fantasy value is derived from his rushing touchdowns. Allen has rushed for eight or more touchdowns in the past two seasons - no quarterback has ever done that in three consecutive seasons, not even Cam Newton. Allen will need a bump in passing production to deliver fantasy value, but I can't bank on that given his struggles with accuracy.

 

Running Backs

Tier Rank RB RotoBaller Rank
1 1 Saquon Barkley 2
1 2 Christian McCaffrey 1
2 3 Ezekiel Elliott 4
2 4 Derrick Henry 7
2 5 Alvin Kamara 3
2 6 Clyde Edwards-Helaire 9
3 7 Josh Jacobs 12
3 8 Joe Mixon 6
3 9 Miles Sanders 10
3 10 Aaron Jones 14
3 11 Nick Chubb 13
3 12 Dalvin Cook 5
3 13 James Conner 20
3 14 Austin Ekeler 8
3 15 Kenyan Drake 11
4 16 Jonathan Taylor 21
4 17 Cam Akers 22
4 18 Antonio Gibson 59
4 19 Melvin Gordon 17
4 20 Le'Veon Bell 19
4 21 David Johnson 24
4 22 Chris Carson 16
4 23 Mark Ingram 23
4 24 Raheem Mostert 26
4 25 Todd Gurley 18
4 26 Leonard Fournette 15
5 27 Kareem Hunt 29
5 28 J.K. Dobbins 36
5 29 Zack Moss 43
5 30 David Montgomery 27
5 31 Kerryon Johnson 40
5 32 Devin Singletary 28
5 33 Jordan Howard 31
5 34 D'Andre Swift 25
5 35 Tarik Cohen 35
5 36 James White 30
5 37 Marlon Mack 37
6 38 Ronald Jones 32
6 39 Chase Edmonds 51
6 40 Latavius Murray 42
6 41 Alexander Mattison 48
6 42 Damien Harris 57
6 43 Tevin Coleman 41
6 44 Tony Pollard 53
6 45 Duke Johnson 45
6 46 Matt Breida 33
6 47 Phillip Lindsay 39
6 48 Darrell Henderson 46
6 49 Joshua Kelley 47
6 50 Nyheim Hines 44
7 51 A.J. Dillon 52
7 52 Jerick McKinnon 79
7 53 Darrell Williams 87
7 54 Bryce Love 71
7 55 Giovani Bernard 55
7 56 Chris Thompson 63
7 57 Dion Lewis 72
7 58 Carlos Hyde 68
7 59 Boston Scott 49
7 60 Darrynton Evans 56

 

RBs I'm Higher On

Jonathan Taylor (+5) has a terrific setup with the Colts, running behind the best offensive line in football. Concerns over Marlon Mack has created a buying opportunity. As another back with deficiencies in the passing game, Mack has a redundant skill-set to Taylor. The Colts would be wise to move Mack at the trade deadline. Simply put, Taylor is one of the best pure rookie runners we have seen in recent memory. Even if he gets off to a slow start, there's a high chance that he'll be considered an RB1 during the stretch run.

Josh Jacobs (+5) was an absolute stud as a rookie, but his passing game concerns have kept his draft stock lower than it should be. This is a player who is one of the most talented pure runners in football, ranking first on PFF's elusive rating. Jacobs has the upside to lead the league in rushing yards. Even with the signing of Theo Riddick, it's hard to imagine Jacobs not eclipsing the 20 receptions he posted as a rookie. Capitalize on the buying opportunity presented by concerns over receiving volume.

Aaron Jones (+4) is likely to be peppered with targets playing for a Packers team with limited weapons outside himself and Davante Adams. Jones is going to be a focal point of this offense, with gains in receiving volume helping off-set touchdown regression. This Packers team looks like the discount version of the Saints' offense, with Jones playing the role of Alvin Kamara.

RBs I'm Lower On

Leonard Fournette (-11) joins a Buccaneers' team with a stacked offense, but I expect him to form a one-two punch with Ronald Jones. I think this is the case where Bruce Arians and his staff unexpectedly saw a veteran back available and decided to pounce, but I do believe that they are still high on Jones. I'd rather have Fournette than Jones, but this is a situation to avoid for fantasy. Don't expect anywhere close to the receiving volume that Fournette saw in Jacksonville.

Dalvin Cook (-7) is an outstanding running back, but I just can't invest in him this year due to his injury concerns and potential holdout. When Adam Schefter makes a bold claim that he would hesitate drafting Cook if his contract issues are not resolved by the start of the season, you know it's a red flag. There's simply too many talented running backs that can be selected in the first two rounds, so I'm out on Cook.

Christian McCaffrey (-1) put up one of the best fantasy seasons in NFL history, but I prefer taking Saquon Barkley this year. The reason is simple: McCaffrey is being over-worked. He's coming off a 403-touch season in 2019, which came on the heels of a 326-touch year in 2018. Running backs that receive such a workload tend to have down seasons or even sharp declines, so the Panthers would be wise to limit the touches of their 5'11, 205-lb back. I mention his frame because most backs with such workloads are at least 220-lbs, so this makes it even more important to reduce CMC's touches.

 

Wide Receivers

Tier Rank WR RotoBaller Rank
1 1 Davante Adams 2
1 2 Michael Thomas 1
1 3 Tyreek Hill 4
2 4 Julio Jones 3
2 5 A.J. Brown 16
2 6 D.J. Moore 14
2 7 JuJu Smith-Schuster 10
2 8 Adam Thielen 12
2 9 Chris Godwin 6
2 10 Mike Evans 9
2 11 Allen Robinson 7
2 12 Odell Beckham Jr. 15
2 13 DeAndre Hopkins 5
2 14 Kenny Golladay 8
2 15 Amari Cooper 11
3 16 Terry McLaurin 26
3 17 D.J. Chark 21
3 18 D.K. Metcalf 20
3 19 Calvin Ridley 25
3 20 Robert Woods 18
3 21 Cooper Kupp 13
3 22 Tyler Lockett 19
4 23 Will Fuller 36
4 24 Tyler Boyd 29
4 25 DeVante Parker 23
4 26 Stefon Diggs 28
4 27 Marquise Brown 32
4 28 Keenan Allen 17
4 29 Courtland Sutton 22
5 30 CeeDee Lamb 38
5 31 Michael Gallup 33
5 32 Jerry Jeudy 45
5 33 Deebo Samuel 51
5 34 A.J. Green 31
5 35 T.Y. Hilton 24
5 36 Julian Edelman 30
5 37 Christian Kirk 44
5 38 Brandin Cooks 35
5 39 Jalen Reagor 57
5 40 Marvin Jones 34
5 41 Jarvis Landry 27
5 42 John Brown 43
6 43 Mecole Hardman 64
6 44 Jamison Crowder 42
6 45 Diontae Johnson 49
6 46 Sterling Shepard 47
6 47 DeSean Jackson 59
6 48 Brandon Aiyuk 58
6 49 Darius Slayton 37
6 50 Mike Williams 39
6 51 Golden Tate 40
7 52 Curtis Samuel 63
7 53 Anthony Miller 48
7 54 Bryan Edwards 95
7 55 Parris Campbell 67
7 56 Laviska Shenault 80
7 57 Robby Anderson 52
7 58 Preston Williams 50
7 59 N'Keal Harry 53
7 60 Breshad Perriman 55
7 61 Henry Ruggs 56
7 62 Michael Pittman Jr. 66
7 63 Justin Jefferson 46
7 64 Randall Cobb 71
7 65 Allen Lazard 54
7 66 Hunter Renfrow 62
7 67 Sammy Watkins 61
7 68 Corey Davis 73
7 69 Larry Fitzgerald 75
7 70 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 103

 

WRs I'm Higher On

Will Fuller (+13) is now firmly entrenched as the WR1 in Houston with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins. When Fuller is in the lineup, Watson shines: +52 in passing yards per game, +1.5 in yards per attempt, and +2.9% in touchdown rate, so it's clear that the duo has great chemistry. We saw Fuller's ridiculous ceiling against the Falcons last year, where he went off for 14 receptions, 217 yards, and three touchdowns. Use the injury concerns as a buying opportunity.

A.J. Brown (+11) was one of three receivers since 1990 to put up 50+ receptions, 1,000+ yards, and 20.0+ yards per reception. He did that as a rookie on only 84 targets. There are concerns over volume, but Brown produced at a 100 target pace with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. As the Titans move away from Corey Davis, expect them to funnel targets to Brown. 130+ targets is within the realm of possibility. That gives him mouth-watering upside.

CeeDee Lamb (+8) joins a loaded group of wide receivers in Dallas, but the team has 166 vacated targets with the departures of Randall Cobb and Jason Witten. There's enough volume here for all three receivers to provide fantasy value. Lamb is currently tearing up Cowboys' camp and I expect him to supplant Michael Gallup as the WR2 on this team. The rookie receiver out of Clemson has league-winning upside, so he gets a big bump in my rankings.

WRs I'm Lower On

Keenan Allen (-11) is a clinical route-runner, but he looks poised for a down year with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, as the Chargers will transition to a low-volume, run-heavy offense. Allen depends on volume to excel, as he's not really a big-play receiver, so that really downgrades him in these rankings. The Chargers have a great supporting cast, so it looks likely that Taylor will remain the starter. That's bad news for Allen.

DeAndre Hopkins (-8) is one of the best receivers in football, but it's hard to invest such a high pick in a player who's joining a new team during this tumultuous off-season. Kliff Kingsbury's scheme involves having the quarterback spread the ball around, so it's likely that we see some regression in volume - don't expect Hopkins to reach 150 targets like he did last year. As promising as Kyler Murray is, he's a clear downgrade from Deshaun Watson. Let someone else draft Hopkins this year.

Cooper Kupp (-8) saw a sharp decline in production once the Rams transitioned to more two-wide-receiver/two-tight-end sets, as Robert Woods became the preferred target in this offense. I would expect the Rams to continue to utilize this formation most often, so Kupp looks more like a WR2 that's being drafted as a low-end WR1. I'd rather take ascending players like Terry McLaurin or D.K. Metcalf.

 

Tight Ends

Tier Rank TE RotoBaller Rank
1 1 George Kittle 2
1 2 Travis Kelce 1
2 3 Mark Andrews 3
2 4 Zach Ertz 4
2 5 Darren Waller 5
2 6 Evan Engram 8
3 7 Tyler Higbee 6
3 8 Noah Fant 13
3 9 Hunter Henry 7
3 10 Austin Hooper 10
4 11 Chris Herndon 22
4 12 T.J. Hockenson 16
4 13 Mike Gesicki 14
5 14 Hayden Hurst 12
5 15 Jonnu Smith 18
5 16 Blake Jarwin 19
5 17 Dallas Goedert 17
6 18 Rob Gronkowski 9
6 19 Jared Cook 11
6 20 Jack Doyle 15
7 21 Ian Thomas 23
7 22 Irv Smith Jr. 21
7 23 Eric Ebron 20
7 24 Dawson Knox 25
7 25 Jace Sternberger 24

 

TEs I'm Higher On

Chris Herndon (+11) had his sophomore season washed out due to injury, which has created a buying opportunity. Herndon put up 500+ yards as a rookie, joining elite company that includes Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews. He also put up 8.96 yards per target that year, ranking 5th among rookie tight ends since the merger. Herndon has a clear path to targets playing for a Jets' team that has no alpha WR1. Check out a more in-depth look here.

Noah Fant (+5) is one of the most athletic tight ends in football, ranking in the 97th-percentile or higher in speed, burst, agility, and catch radius scores on PlayerProfiler. He flashed upside as a rookie with two 100-yard games on four or fewer receptions, including a 75-yard touchdown. Fant's big-play ability is unmatched at the tight end position. He looks like the best bet of the potential breakout young tight ends. Check out more on Fant here.

George Kittle (+1) takes over the mantle of top tight end because he could see a career-high in targets with injuries to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Kittle is also headed for positive touchdown regression, as he only put up five touchdowns despite ranking tied for second with most targets among tight ends within the 10-yard line. Kittle is four years younger than Kelce and ready to take over at TE1.

TEs I'm Lower On

Rob Gronkowski (-9) is a 31-year old tight end with back issues coming off a one-year retirement to join a new team in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are playoff contenders with terrific tight end depth with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, so they have an incentive to limit Gronk's snaps to keep him fresh for the stretch run. I just can't get behind investing in a touchdown-dependent tight end this year. Check out Gronk pessimism here.

Jared Cook (-8) is coming off a season where he set a career-high with nine touchdowns. The Saints are no longer a high-volume passing offense, so it's hard to expect Cook's low target total (4.64 per game in 2019) to increase. Cook is entering his age-33 season, making it tough to bank on sustained big-play production that he would need to deliver fantasy value. In a year where tight end is deeper than usual, I'm out.

Jack Doyle (-5) is another veteran tight end that I choose to avoid in favor of upside breakout targets. Doyle should get some volume with checkdown Philip Rivers at quarterback, but he's not a big-play tight end and he's never been a real threat in the red-zone (career-high is five touchdowns). I'd rather take a shot on a younger, more athletic tight end than settle for Doyle.



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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (9/6/20) - MLB DFS Lineups

There's nothing like spending your Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch and watching your DFS stack of hitters mash. Today we're going to help that become a reality for you.

I'll take a look at each position and build a lineup using my favorite plays on the slate. Our goal here is to take down a GPP and secure a nice return on our investment. Today's a tough pitching slate, so we're paying up at starting pitcher and stacking some value hitters. Always remember to stack your hitters to optimize your lineups!

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 9/6/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports as well.

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Shane Bieber - P, CLE vs. MIL ($11,000)

Bieber has been the best pitcher in baseball this season, posting an absurd 35.8 K-BB%. He's rightfully priced high, but it's a good day to roll with him against a Brewers lineup that has posted a .290 wOBA (28th) and 27.2 K% (29th) against righties.

Robbie Ray - P, TOR @ BOS ($6,600)

This play could have you holding your breath, but we'll take the risk and roll the dice on Ray finding his form in Toronto. He looked pretty good in his Blue Jays debut, striking out four and only walking one while allowing one run in 3.1 innings. He makes for a nice pairing as the cheap alternative to go with Bieber's hefty salary.

 

DraftKings DFS Infielders

Gary Sanchez - C, NYY @ BAL ($4,300)

Sanchez is underpriced as a slugging catcher who is finally finding his groove, homering twice in his last seven games. He has a great matchup at Camden Yards against RHP Dean Kremer, who is making his MLB debut.

Eric Thames - 1B, WAS @ ATL ($3,400)

Thames is always in play as a cheap option whenever he faces a righty because of his power. He's a good fit for this lineup because we paid up for Bieber. Thames takes on RHP Josh Tomlin, who has struggled this season.

Mike Moustakas - 2B, CIN @ PIT ($4,900)

Moustakas has struggled this season, slashing .231/.337/.372 as he's dealt with injuries. This will make him an under-rostered option against RHP Chad Kuhl, who has allowed a home run in five straight games, racking up only five strikeouts in his last 15 innings.

Maikel Franco - 3B, KC vs. CHW ($3,600)

Franco is always in play against a lefty, slashing .400/.423/.520 against southpaws on the season. He takes on LHP Dallas Keuchel, who has been very good, but this could help keep Franco's roster percentage down. Keuchel isn't a pitcher to fear despite his recent success.

Freddy Galvis - SS, CIN @ PIT ($2,900)

Galvis makes for a nice cheap pairing with Moustakas against Kuhl. While he's only slashing .213/.295/.436 on the year, he does have sox home runs, so he's worth a look at this price.

 

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Nelson Cruz - OF, MIN vs. DET ($5,800)

Cruz has a nice matchup against struggling rookie RHP Casey Mize, who has failed to pitch more than 4.1 innings in any of his starts this season. Cruz has hit safely in five straight, so perhaps this is the start of a hot streak.

Jesse Winker - OF, CIN @ PIT ($4,200)

Winker completes our Reds stack against Kuhl. He's enjoyed a breakout season, slashing .298/.407/.614 with 10 home runs. He has a reasonable price here, so we'll ride with him against a pitcher who I really think looks poised for a blow-up.

Jake Cave - OF, MIN vs. DET ($3,100)
Cave makes for a nice pairing with Cruz against Mize. He's a much better option whenever he faces a righty, as he's slashed .250/.308/.417 against them on the season.



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (9/5/20):

Get ready for another Saturday of MLB action! It's a good day to pay a premium for pitching with two aces to choose from. We'll be targeting a couple of Giants in a prime spot against a struggling former teammate.

In this article, we'll identify players who will help you win a cash game and build your bankroll or take down a GPP for a big pay-day. Every player on this list is on one of my own FanDuel teams.

  • I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 9/5/2020. Be sure to also check out all the MLB player news including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports too.

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Lucas Giolito - CHW @ KC ($10,400)

Giolito has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. He has walked only three compared to 34 strikeouts in his last 21 innings, a stretch where he's only allowed four runs. This is a hefty price, but he faces a weak Royals' lineup that has posted a .300 wOBA (27th) and 23.9 K% (18th) against righties.

Kenta Maeda - MIN vs. DET ($9,900)

Like Giolito, Maeda has been fantastic this season. He's walked only three while striking out 27 in his last 19 innings, a stretch where he's only allowed five runs. While Maeda doesn't usually pitch too deep into games, he should have no problem mowing down a Tigers lineup that has put up a .307 wOBA (24th) and 27.9 K% (30th) against righties.

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Rhys Hoskins - 1B, PHI @ NYM ($4,000)

Hoskins has been on fire of late, going 11-for-24 (.458) with seven runs, four home runs, and nine RBi in his last six games. He goes up against RHP Seth Lugo, who is a good pitcher but he's a reliever who won't pitch more than four innings. Give me some Rhys' Pieces here.

Wilmer Flores - 2B, SF @ ARZ ($2,900)

Flores is the lefty masher, slashing .308/.349/.718 with five home runs against southpaws this season. He goes up against LHP Madison Bumgarner, who has allowed 13 runs and six homers in his last start. Flores should be a popular play and for good reason.

Evan Longoria - 3B, SF @ ARZ ($2,900)

Prior to his 0-for-5 Friday, Longoria was on fire, going 9-for-22 (.409) with five runs, one homer, and five RBI in his previous five games. He makes for a nice pairing with Flores against former teammate Bumgarner.

Amed Rosario - SS, NYM vs. PHI ($2,400)

Rosario has started to heat up of late, going 4-for-7 with three runs and three RBI in his last two games. He's a streaky hitter, so perhaps this is the start of a nice stretch. Rosario goes up against rookie RHP Spencer Howard, who hasn't lasted past the fifth inning in any of his four starts.

 

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Michael Conforto - OF, NYM vs. PHI ($3,200)

Conforto continues to be criminally under-priced, despite a .326/.421/.539 slash and a red-hot stretch where he's gone 7-for-18 (.388) with two runs, two homers, and seven RBI in his last  three games. Pair Conforto with Rosario for a mini-Mets stack.

Alex Verdugo - OF, BOS vs. TOR (3,000)

Verdugo has been rock-solid all year, slashing .310/.368/.507 with five home runs and three stolen bases. Prior to Friday's 0-for-4, he had gone 14-for-35 (.400) with eight runs, one RBI, and one stolen base in his previous eight games. He goes up against RHP Chase Anderson, who has pitched well lately, but isn't scaring anyone.

Jackie Bradley Jr. - OF, BOS vs. TOR ($2,200)

Bradley is a great cheap option to allow you to fill out your lineup with solid bats despite paying up for a premium pitcher. He's hit safely in seven straight games with two home runs and one stolen base during that span. Pair him up with Verdugo.



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A Robbie Ray Reclamation in Toronto?

Robbie Ray is in the midst of an awful season, posting a 7.84 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and a hideous 20.1 BB%. Hitters have been able to pound his pitches, as he's allowed a 13.9 Barrel% and 2.61 HR/9.  These type of numbers should have you ignoring his trade to the American League and Toronto Blue Jays, right? WRONG.

In this article, we'll take a look at what makes Ray an intriguing starting pitcher for the stretch run in the fantasy season. We'll examine the Blue Jays' recent track record along with Ray's pitch mix to help make the case for the Robbie Ray reclamation.

The time to act on Ray is now. The change of scenery will do wonders for him. There's a great chance that he's been dropped in your league. Put in the FAAB bid. Place the waiver claim. Do whatever you need to do to acquire him and reap the rewards.

 

Mechanical Adjustments

Ray came into the season with a ton of hype because of a change in arm angle:


This change looked promising because he was dominating D-Backs' summer camp:


Obviously, the changes haven't worked out so far this season, as he's walking hitters and getting hit harder than ever before. The good news is that the Blue Jays have had a solid track record with veteran pitchers.

 

Toronto's Track Record

The Blue Jays have had recent success with veteran pitchers because of one man: Pete Walker. He took over as the team's pitching coach in 2013 and has really done well in recent years. Let's take a look at how he's helped tap into the potential of newly acquired pitchers in their first year in Toronto.

Marco Estrada

Before arriving in Toronto, Estrada had real issues with keeping the ball in the park. At the time, many thought that this problem would be amplified in the bandbox that is the Rogers' Centre. SPOILER: They were wrong.

MIL (2014) 150.2 IP 4.36 ERA 1.20 WHIP 1.73 HR/9 -9.8 FB pitchVAL 5.6 CH pitchVAL
TOR (2015) 181.0 IP 3.13 ERA 1.04 WHIP 1.19 HR/9 10.3 FB pitchVAL 12.7 CH pitchVAL

Estrada enjoyed his best season in his first year in Toronto. His changeup became a devastating weapon.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano was getting rocked in Pittsburgh before he was traded to Toronto in 2016. Look what happened when he met Mr. Walker.

PIT (2016) 108.2 IP 5.46 ERA 1.62 WHIP 22.2 K% 13.2 BB% 10.8 SwStr%
TOR (2016) 49.1 IP 2.92 ERA 1.18 WHIP 25.0 K% 7.7 BB% 12.7 SwStr%

Liriano gave the team a nice lift down the stretch before being dealt in the following season for Teoscar Hernandez.

Matt Shoemaker

Shoemaker was mostly ineffective and had trouble staying healthy as an Angel. In Toronto, he has still struggled with injuries, but look how he improved in his first year.

LAA (2018) 31.0 IP 4.94 ERA 1.26 WHIP 43.5 GB% 13.0 SwStr%
TOR (2019) 28.2 IP 1.57 ERA 0.87 WHIP 51.4 GB% 13.4 SwStr%

Shoemaker was able to induce groundballs at an even higher rate and he dominated before tearing his ACL early in the season.

Other veteran pitchers like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chase Anderson have also had success this year under Walker's tutelage. Walker has also helped develop a bullpen that has been surprisingly effective, including young arms like Jordan Romano and Thomas Hatch that have seemingly come out of nowhere. Walker is quite possibly the best-kept secret in baseball right now, as a pitching coach that can yield more value out of struggling veterans. This bodes well for Ray.

 

Pitch Mix

Four-Seamer (2019) Four-Seamer (2020)
92.7 Avg Velocity 93.9 Avg Velocity
42.7% Usage 48.0% Usage
89.2 Exit Velocity 92.4 Exit Velocity
8.0 SwStr% 5.5% SwStr

As we can see here, Ray's four-seamer is getting absolutely pounded despite the 1.2 MPH increase in velocity. Ray's F-Strike% has decreased from 59.4% to 46.1%, so he's falling behind and hitters are finding themselves in favorable counts, ready to pound the fastball. The good news is that his slider (18.5 SwStr%) and curveball (20.3 SwStr%) are still missing bats, so it looks like Ray needs to start relying on his breaking pitches more often.

 

Outlook

Obviously fixing Ray's control problems is a tall task, but his current 20.1 BB% is a result of a small sample, as it's nearly twice as high as his 2019 rate of 11.2 BB%. Ray's walk rate has nowhere to go but down in Toronto. Pete Walker has demonstrated the ability to get the best out of his pitchers, particularly veteran newcomers, so I'm betting on Ray providing fantasy value for the stretch run. Perhaps Walker will influence Ray to rely on his breaking pitches more. Maybe he can tap into the success Ray was having in summer camp with the change in arm angle. Either way, this is a low-risk, high-reward move for both the Blue Jays and your fantasy team.

Is this the start of the Ray Reclamation in Toronto, or will he continue his struggles? I'm betting on the former. Buy Ray the Blue Jay and thank me later.



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Lineup Picks for Tuesday 9/1

The MLB season is filled with ups and downs, but the key to success is to find some gems to stream! Today we're going to target a pair of Rays at Yankee Stadium!

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Tuesday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/1 - Infielders

Austin Riley (3B/OF, RHB) 22% Rostered

Matchup: vs. BOS LHP Kyle Hart

We're going with Riley for the second straight day here because he continues to rake, turning in another multi-hit game with three RBI on Monday. Riley takes on LHP Kyle Hart, who has been awful this year with a 13.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in three starts spanning nine innings. Expect the Braves' sophomore to continue to enjoy the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

Evan Longoria (3B, RHB) 16% Rostered

Matchup: vs. RHP Jon Gray

Longo has been on fire of late, going 18-for-46 (.391) with 12 runs, two home runs, and 11 RBI in his last 12 games. He goes up against Jon Gray at Coors in a terrific matchup. We have to ride with the veteran third baseman here given how well he's been swinging the bat.

Yoshimoto Tsutsugo (3B/OF, LHB) - 9% Rostered

Matchup: vs. NYY RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Tsutsugo is starting to find his groove, going 4-for-13 (.308) with two home runs, four RBI, and seven walks to only three strikeouts in his last five games. He gets a chance at exploiting that short porch in right-field at Yankee Stadium against Tanaka, who allowed five earned runs in four innings in the last time these two teams met on August 18th.

Erik Gonzalez (3B/SS/OF, PIT, RHB) - 2% Rostered

Matchup: vs. CHC LHP Jon Lester

Gonzalez is another low-rostered hitter who's swinging a hot bat, going 4-for-11 (.364) with four runs, one home run, and three RBI in his last three games. Gonzalez has punished lefties this season, slashing .391/.417/.739 against them. He gets a good matchup against Lester, who has been hit hard after a strong start, allowing 26 hits in his last 14.2 innings.

 

Hitter Streamers for 9/1 - Outfielders

Hunter Renfroe (OF, TB, RHB) 35% Rostered

Matchup: @ NYY RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Renfroe is always a threat to explode with his power, so it's a good idea to stream him at Yankee Stadium against Tanaka, who has allowed three home runs in his last three starts. Let's roll the dice on this power hitter and hope that we run into one of his patented multi-home run games.

Jason Heyward (OF, CHC, LHB) 9% Rostered

Matchup: at PIT RHP Chad Kuhl

Heyward has been on fire lately, hitting three home runs in his last four games. He's also walked four times with only two strikeouts during that span. Kuhl has only allowed two runs in his last two starts (11 innings), but he's walked seven while striking out only two. This is an exploitable matchup, so we'll ride with Heyward again.

Tyler Naquin (OF, CLE, LHB) 2% Rostered

Matchup: @ KC RHP Matt Harvey

It's always a good idea to stream against Harvey, who is a shell of his former self. Harvey has failed to pitch past the third inning, allowing three runs or more in each of his two starts. Naquin is raking, homering twice in his last four games, so he's another solid stream here.

 

Pitcher Streamers for 9/1

Spencer Turnbull (RHP, DET) at MIL 37% Rostered

Turnbull is the only viable streamer that meets our criteria as a sub-40% rostered player, so we'll fire him up against a Brewers' team that has posted a 27.4 K% (28th) and .275 wOBA (T-29th) against righties. Turnbull got back on track last week, pitching 5.2 shutout innings against the Cubs after getting rocked in his previous two turns. Ride the young righty in this nice matchup.



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Daily Fantasy Baseball Streamers - MLB Hitter, Pitcher Lineup Picks for Monday 8/31

It's another manic Monday, so you know what time it is - it's time to dig deep and find some streamers. Today is a tough day for pitcher streamers, so we'll roll the dice on a groundball machine. We'll also take a look at a Cardinals and Mariners stack!

When choosing my daily hitter streamers, I examine their platoon splits, lineup position, and pitching matchup. With pitchers, I account for the opposing lineup, team ballpark, and recent performance to help make my decision.

Each of my streamers will be rostered in between 0-40% of Yahoo leagues, with a mixed focus on both shallow and deeper formats. Today, I will be providing a streamer for each position, including two starting pitchers. Let’s take a look at the Monday slate and dig out some streamer gems to help you start off the week with a bang!

 

Hitter Streamers for 8/31 - Infielders

Austin Riley (3B/OF, ATL, RHP) 15% Rostered

Matchup: vs. BOS RHP Colten Brewer

Riley gets a good matchup at Fenway Park against the Red Sox atrocious pitching staff. Colten Brewer is a mediocre pitcher who does not pitch deep in games, failing to pitch past the fourth inning this year. Riley is starting to get hot, going 6-for-14 (.429) with three runs, two home runs, and four RBI in his past four games. The former top prospect is a great choice to stream in this exploitable matchup.

J.P. Crawford (SS, SEA, LHB) 14% Rostered

Matchup: vs. LAA RHP Jaime Barria

Crawford continues to be a fixture in the leadoff position in the Mariners' lineup. He has three multi-hit games in the past five, including six runs, one home run, three RBI, and one stolen base. Jaime Barria has pitched well this season, allowing only a combined three earned runs in his two turns, spanning 9.1 innings, but this is a pitcher who allowed 2.61 HR/9 last year, so he's not someone to fear.

Sam Haggerty (2B/OF, SEA, SHB) 5% Rostered

Matchup: vs. LAA RHP Jaime Barria

Haggerty has been rock solid lately, going 12-for-43 (.279) with six runs, one home run, six RBI, and three stolen bases in his last 11 games. He's hit in the two-hole for nine consecutive games, so he makes for a nice pairing with Crawford. Haggerty provides a nice source of cheap speed, which is valuable given the current climate of speed scarcity in MLB.

Travis Shaw (3B, TOR, LHB) 3% Rostered

Matchup: vs. BAL LHP Keegan Akin

Shaw faces a lefty, but this is a bullpen day for the Orioles, which could mean a lot of runs in the bandbox that is Sahlen Field. Shaw has mostly rotated between the three-hole and sixth spot in the Blue Jays' lineup. He's hit safely in three consecutive games, so perhaps this is the start of a hot streak. Fire up Shaw in a favorable matchup in a hitter's park.

 

Hitter Streamers for 8/31 - Outfielders

Brad Miller (2B/3B/OF, STL, LHB) 19% Rostered

Matchup: @ CIN RHP Anthony DeSclafani

Miller is always in play against a righty because he's become a fixture in the cleanup spot in the Cardinals' lineup. He's gone hitless in consecutive games, but before that he was on a nice stretch, going 8-for-21 (.381) in his previous five. He goes up against DeSclafani, who has gotten rocked in his last two starts, allowing 11 runs in 6.1 innings while walking six and striking out three. Miller is a prime streamer for Monday.

Sam Hilliard (OF, COL, LHB) - 14% Rostered

Matchup: vs. SD RHP Garrett Richards

Hilliard finds himself on this list for the second straight week because of his power-speed profile and his favorable matchup against a struggling Richards at Coors. Richards is coming off a start where he allowed six runs in 0.2 innings and it's tough to see him bounce back in the unfriendly confines of Coors. Hilliard has three home runs and two stolen bases in his last six games, so we can't ignore that kind of production in a prime matchup.

Dexter Fowler (OF, STL, SHB) 2% Rostered

Matchup: @ CIN RHP Anthony DeSclafani

Fowler is starting to swing a hot bat, going 4-12 (.300) with four runs, two home runs, five RBI, and one stolen base in his last four games. During that span, he's rotated between the sixth and eighth spots in the lineup, but we need to ride this hot streak against DeSclafani. Fowler makes for a nice pairing with Miller - let's hope that Miller gets on-base and Fowler brings him home.

Pitcher Streamer for 8/31

Dakota Hudson (RHP, STL) @ CIN - 36% Rostered

Hudson has pitched well in his last three starts, going 14.2 innings and allowing only six hits for three earned runs while walking six and striking out 12. While he has limited strikeout upside, he does induce groundballs at a high rate of 51%. On paper, this looks like a tough matchup in Cincinnati, but the Reds have only scored 31 runs in their last 14 games (2.21 runs per game). Fire up Hudson and let's hope he keeps up the good work.

 



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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (8/30/20) - MLB DFS Lineups

There's nothing like spending your Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch and watching your DFS stack of hitters mash. Today we're going to help that become a reality for you. Today on DraftKings, we have ten games on the main slate, but unfortunately there's no Padres/Rockies, so we won't be able to create a Coors stack.

I'll take a look at each position and build a lineup using my favorite plays on the slate. Our goal here is to take down a GPP and secure a nice return on our investment. Today's a tough pitching slate, so we're paying up at starting pitcher and stacking some value hitters. Always remember to stack your hitters to optimize your lineups!

In this article, I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the DraftKings main slate on 8/30/2020. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel and other sports as well.

 

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Kenta Maeda - P, MIN @ DET ($9,600)

Maeda has been terrific this season, posting a 24.3 K-BB% and 15.7 SwStr%. In his last three starts, he's pitched 19.2 innings, allowing 11 hits for four earned runs, while walking four and striking out 24. He gets a terrific matchup against a Tigers' offense that came into Saturday's action with a .294 wOBA (27th) and 29.3 K% (30th) against righties. Maeda will be a popular choice, but it's the right move in such a great matchup.

Brandon Woodruff - P, MIL vs. PIT ($8,200)

Woodruff has performed up to expectations this year, posting a 21.3 K-BB% and 12.9 SwStr%. After two mediocre starts against the Reds and Cubs, he's bounced back in his last two turns, allowing four earned runs in 11 innings, walking two and striking out 11. Like Maeda, Woodruff has a prime matchup here against a Pirates team that posted a .247 wOBA (30th) and 25.6 K% (25th) against righties coming into Saturday.

 

DraftKings DFS Infielders

Curt Casali - C, CIN vs. CHC ($3,400)

Since we spent up on pitchers, we need to save some money here, so we'll go with Casali, who has gone 5-for-16 (.313) with four runs, three home runs, four RBI, and four walks in his last seven games. Casali has a good matchup against struggling righty Tyler Chatwood.

Jose Abreu - 1B, CHW vs. KC ($5,400)

Abreu is a great play against lefties, especially at home, where he's slashed .333/.368/.611. While he's failed to homer in two consecutive games after his torrid stretch, he has still kept up his 12-game hitting streak. Fire him up against rookie lefty Kris Bubic, who has allowed 11 runs in his last 12.2 innings.

Luis Urias - 2B, MIL vs. PIT ($3,000)

Urias is a great cash-saver here to help us fit in some Red Sox and Nationals elsewhere in our lineup. He has hit lefties well this season, slashing .400/.471/.600. Urias takes on LHP Steven Brault, who is coming off a poor start where he allowed four runs in three innings, walking four and failing to record a strikeout.

Rafael Devers - 3B, BOS vs. WAS ($4,700)

After a nice hot streak in mid-August, Devers has fallen into a 3-for-25 (.120) slump over his last six games. Luckily, he takes on righty Austin Voth, who has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts, spanning 11.2 innings. Devers might be under-rostered due to the recent slump.

Xander Bogaerts - SS, BOS vs. WAS ($4,900)

We'll pair Bogaerts with Devers as a mini-stack against Voth. Bogaerts is swinging a hot bat, going 12-for-32 (.375) with six runs, three home runs, seven RBI, and two walks over his last eight games. He's a cheaper alternative to other strong options like Tim Anderson and Trea Turner.

 

DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Juan Soto - OF, WAS @ BOS ($5,700)

We have to play Soto at Fenway here against righty Zack Godley, who has really struggled this season and doesn't pitch deep into games. Soto is slashing a ridiculous .358/.447/.765, so against a mediocre pitcher, he's almost an auto-play. We'll go with Soto as our core Nationals' play.

Victor Robles - OF, WAS @ BOS ($2,500)

Robles has been a major disappointment this season with only two home runs and one stolen base, but his price is so cheap, making him a nice pairing with Soto against Godley at Fenway. Robles had a three-hit game in the series opener, so perhaps he can start getting his bat going in a plus matchup.

Manuel Margot - OF, TB @ MIA ($2,500)

For the second straight week, Margot finds himself in this article because of his status as a hot bat at a cheap price. Margot has kept up his hot streak, hitting one home run and stealing two bases in his last four games. He goes up against righty Sandy Alcantara, who looked good in his season debut, but Margot's price is too good to pass up.



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FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (8/29/20): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice

Get ready for another Saturday of MLB action, with six games on the main slate. It's a good day to go cheap on pitching to try to fit in a Coors stack. If you're not comfortable taking this risk, then you should pay up for Dylan Bundy.

In this article, we'll identify players who will help you win a cash game and build your bankroll or take down a GPP for a big pay-day. Every player on this list is on one of my own FanDuel teams.

I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel main slate on 8/29/2020. Be sure to also check out all the MLB player news including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like DraftKings, and other sports too.

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Dylan Bundy - LAA vs SEA ($9,100)

Bundy has slowed down a bit after a phenomenal start, allowing four runs in consecutive outings, while failing to pitch more than 5.2 innings. He gets the perfect matchup to bounce back here against the Mariners, a team that he threw a complete-game gem against earlier in the season.

Trevor Cahill - SF @ ARZ ($7,000)

Cahill is coming off a dominant start where he went 5.1 innings, allowing one hit for one run, while walking two and striking out eight. He takes on a Diamondbacks team that came into Friday night with only 19 runs in their last eight games. Don't expect Cahill to pitch deep into this game, but some strikeout upside here. His cheap price allows you to include some big bats in prime matchups, so we'll take the risk here.

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Trevor Story - SS, COL vs. SD ($4,500)

Story is worthy of his lofty price tag against LHP Adrian Morejon and the Padres' bullpen. Story has been a lefty masher this season, slashing .343/.465/.743 coming into Friday's game. Going cheap at pitcher allows us to fit in a pricey bat like Story.

Rafael Devers - 3B, BOS vs. WAS ($3,400)

Devers has been one of my favorite plays of late due to his slow start and low price. He's starting to come around of late, going 12-for-39 (.308) with five runs, two home runs, and 11 RBI. Devers gets a good matchup against RHP Anibal Sanchez, who has allowed six home runs in only 25 innings this season.

Jake Cronenworth - 2B, SD @ COL ($3,300)

Cronenworth continues to surprise the baseball world, coming into Friday's game hitting safely in 11 consecutive games. He takes on RHP Antonio Senzatela, who just got rocked by the Dodgers to the tune of six runs in only 5.1 innings in a game where he allowed four home runs.

Brandon Belt - 1B, SF @ ARZ ($3,300)

Belt has been terrific this season, coming into Friday's game slashing .315/.390/.589 with five home runs and 14 RBI. He takes on RHP Luke Weaver, who has allowed eight home runs in only 24.1 innings this season. Belt is seeing the ball well right now, so he's a solid option whenever he faces a mediocre righty.

 

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Matt Kemp - OF, COL vs. SD ($3,200)

Kemp at Coors against a lefty is always a solid option, as the veteran has slashed .400/.471/.467 with a -5.9 K-BB% against southpaws at home. He makes for a more affordable Rockies' option to pair with Story in a great matchup against Morejon.

Raimel Tapia - OF, COL vs. SD ($3,100)

Tapia is another affordable Rockies hitter. He's become a fixture at the leadoff spot and has gone 9-28 (.321) over his last eight games. Ride with the leadoff hitter for the Rockies in a likely slugfest. This gives us a nice trio of Tapia + Kemp + Story to stack.

Victor Robles - OF, WAS @ BOS ($2,400)

Robles is starting to come alive at the plate, coming off a 3-4 game where he put up two runs and one double. He's at a cheap enough price to hope this is the start of a hot streak in a great matchup against the disastrous Red Sox pitching staff.



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