There are plenty of matchups to exploit this weekend, as Vegas is expecting high-scoring affairs in the late-afternoon games between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. The Sunday Night Football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers should also feature very little defense and plenty of big-time Fantasy stat lines.
Last week, we had our first snow game of the NFL season, but the weather does not appear to be much of a factor this weekend. Even Sunday’s game between the Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills will be played in sunshine at a balmy 51 degrees. Enjoy the worry-free week as far as the weather is concerned.
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Brandon Marshall, WR, N.Y. Jets ($7,100 at NYG): The Giants are horrendous against the pass, allowing an NFL-high 309.2 yards per game. Marshall posted 131 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins last week, and he has at least one score in each of his past four games. Outside of an in-game injury, it’s hard to imagine Marshall not finding the end zone against the G-Men.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina ($7,400 at NO): The dual-threat Newton looks to keep the Panthers on track and unbeaten, and he will post a big stat line against the NFL’s second-worst pass defense. The Saints have allowed 284.2 yards per game, and they have yielded an NFL-high 30 touchdown passes. They’re also tied for the NFL lead allowing 47 pass plays of 20 or more yards, and 13 pass plays of 40 or more yards. The Saints struggle against the rush, too, so look for Newton to pass for 300 yards, run for another 40, and account for at least three total touchdowns.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina ($6,400 at NO): If ever there was a reason to use a second tight end as a ‘flex’ Fantasy option, this weekend is it. There are plenty of juicy matchups. Olsen faces the most favorable matchup, as the Saints have given up 10 touchdowns to opposing tight ends, second-most in the NFL. They have also given up 860 yards and 64 receptions to opposing TEs through 11 games, so you can expect at least 80 yards and a touchdown from Olsen.
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore ($5,400 at MIA): The Dolphins rank last in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing 138.5 yards per game. Buck ran for 55 yards (averaging 4.6 yards per carry) in his first start last week in Cleveland Monday night, and he also hauled in four receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown. Over the past two weeks he is averaging 17.45 Fantasy points per game to make him a strong mid-tier DFS play.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis ($5,700 at PIT): The secondary of the Steelers has been punched around for 283.6 yards per game with nine pass plays of 40 or more yards. Hilton had his second multi-touchdown game of the season last week against Tampa Bay, and his 95 yards were his second-highest of the season. Hilton and QB Matt Hasselbeck ($5,300) have developed a nice rapport together, and the solid play will continue Sunday.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City ($4,700 at OAK): The Raiders have allowed an NFL-high 11 touchdowns to opposing tight ends. That bodes well for Kelce, who is coming off one of his finest performances in a while with four grabs, 69 yards and a touchdown against Buffalo last Sunday. Kelce has at least four catches in each of his past six games, and 10 of 11 outings. He is a great mid-tier DFS option.
Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago ($5,300 vs. SF): Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase said he would like to split reps evenly between Langford and RB Matt Forte ($6,900). If that’s the case, Langford is a much better DFS play at a lower price tag. The Bears face a San Francisco 49ers rush defense that is tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns allowed, so Langford is the Chicago tailback to own since he’ll likely see the totes inside the 5-yard line.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City ($5,200 at OAK): Maclin posted a season-high 160 receiving yards with a touchdown last week against Buffalo, and he should be able to produce triple-digit yardage again this week. The Raiders have yielded 282.7 yards per game with 46 pass plays of 20 or more yards. At a mid-tier price you can’t go wrong with Maclin.
BARGAIN BIN VALUES AND CONTRARIAN PLAYS
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver ($3,500 at SD): The Chargers are poor against the rush, allowing 123.7 yards per game and an AFC-worst 12 rushing touchdowns. The Bolts have been dinged for an NFL-high 14 rushes of 20 or more yards, too. Look for Anderson to build on his solid momentum after rolling for a season-high 113 yards, two touchdowns and 34.3 Fantasy points last week against New England.
Scott Chandler, TE, New England ($2,500 vs. PHI): The Patriots have ruled TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) OUT, so Chandler is likely to see eight to 10 targets this week in Gronk’s stead. With the Patriots banged up at receiver, Chandler has a chance to be one of the top two or three yardage options in the New England pass game.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense/Special Teams ($3,400 at CLE): The Browns turn to QB Austin Davis ($5,000) under center this week, and while he was somewhat effective in the final quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens Monday night, the Bengals will have film to study all week to get ready to face the third-stringer. Expect the Bengals to mix and match their coverages, confusing the former Rams’ signal caller and forcing him into several turnovers.
Cam Newton Featured Photo Credit: Keith Allison