The loss of Aaron Rodgers (collarbone), the quarterback landscape is drastically different this week. It also doesn’t help that the Falcons-Patriots game is available on the Fan Duel (but not the Draft Kings) main slate. As a result, quarterback strategy on the two sites will likely differ. In this weird week, there are two (or four) quarterbacks at the top of the salary scale.
• Tom Brady ($8,000 Draft Kings, $9,200 Fan Duel) good matchup
• Matt Ryan ($7,500 Draft Kings, $8,700 Fan Duel)
• Drew Brees ($7,600 Draft Kings, $8,300 Fan Duel)
• Dak Prescott ($7,300 Draft Kings, $8,400 Fan Duel)
• Marcus Mariota ($6,900 Draft Kings, $8,200 Fan Duel): Mariota (hamstring) didn’t seem fully mobile in Week 6, but he did pass for 306 yards and complete 71.9 percent of his 32 passes against the Colts — and now he faces the Browns, who are dead last against the pass in FO’s Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). We’re projecting him for single-digit ownership.
• Ben Roethlisberger ($6,200 Draft Kings, $7,200 Fan Duel): He has been a disaster this year with -4.68 Draft Kings and -4.94 Fan Duel Plus/Minus values. He’s yet to hit his salary-based expectations in any game this year, and he has a tough matchup against a Bengals defense that is third in DVOA, but the Steelers are -5.0 favorites at Heinz Field, where Roethlisberger has been the league’s best home quarterback with 26.18 Draft Kings and 23.72 Fan Duel PPG since 2014.
• Russell Wilson ($6,400 Draft Kings, $8,100 Fan Duel): Wilson is in play as a -5.5 road favorite against the Giants — but the Seahawks’ Vegas data is concerning. Since the spread opened, it has moved against them by 2.5 points even though 54 percent of the spread bets are on the Seahawks. As evidenced by the negative reverse line movement, some sharp money is against Seattle.
• Blake Bortles ($4,700 Draft Kings, $7,200 Fan Duel): Bortles leads the slate with a 100 percent Bargain Rating on Draft Kings. The Jags are -3.0 favorites against the Colts, who have allowed top-four fantasy marks of 22.8 Draft Kings and 20.8 Fan Duel PPG. This is what desperation looks like.
• Deshone Kizer ($4,900 Draft Kings, $6,400 Fan Duel) or Kevin Hogan ($5,000 Draft Kings, $6,100 Fan Duel): The Browns will likely have a pass-leaning game script as +5.5 home dogs, and the Titans have allowed top-eight marks of 20.7 Draft Kings and 20.0 Fan Duel PPG to quarterbacks. One of these guys is going to start against them.
• Philip Rivers ($5,300 Draft Kings, $6,900 Fan Duel): The Broncos are surprisingly 18th in pass DVOA this year, and in Week 1 Rivers passed for three touchdowns against them. The Chargers are -1.5 home favorites, and Rivers will have almost nonexistent ownership rates.
• Josh McCown ($5,200 Draft Kings, $7,700 Fan Duel): McCown is a potential pivot play with his 15.34 Draft Kings and 14.34 Fan Duel PPG since the return from suspension of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in Week 3. The Jets are +3.0 road dogs and will likely have a pass-skewed game script against the Dolphins, who have a funnel defense that is second against the rush and 28th against the pass in DVOA. In his Week 3 matchup against the Dolphins, McCown had his most efficient game of the year (11.7 AY/A) and hit salary-based expectations.
• Cam Newton ($7,000 Draft Kings, $8,100 Fan Duel): Although Newton started the season slowly, only Watson has more than his 29.97 Draft Kings and 27.97 Fan Duel PPG over the last few weeks. The Bears have held quarterbacks to the eighth-fewest fantasy points this season with 15.0 Draft Kings and 14.2 Fan Duel PPG — but at single-digit projected ownership Newton warrants exposure in guaranteed prize pools.
• Brett Hundley ($5,100 Draft Kings, $6,500 Fan Duel): Hundley was a good dual-threat three-year starter at California-Los Angeles and has spent two-plus years learning Green Bay’s system as the backup. Given that he’s at home, likely to have a pass-leaning game script against the Saints, and throwing to the best wide receiver trio in the league in Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb, Hundley has upside.
What to do with Watson and Hopkins This Week?
In cash games, just lock them in. They are still underpriced and draw a great matchup against the Cleveland Browns at home.
In GPPs though, this pair likely will be over-owned coming off of two giant weeks. I have no reason to think they won’t deliver the third week in a row, but the Browns will try and scheme out Hopkins the best they can.
Running Backs: GPPS
Melvin Gordon: CASH
Wide Receivers: Cash
Adam Thielen: GPP
Tight Ends: GPP & CASH
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