For those following over the majority of this NFL season I stand by every play I made (except the Raiders thanks for nothing Gruden). But we’re not here for a .500 record. For that reason, and the fact that praying for a last minute reception is too fickle to judge success on a performance level, we cooked up a new way to look at these Monday and Thursday night football games.
Welcome to Volume 1 of the new props, locks, and drops: The Midweek DFS.
Our favorite daily fantasy hubs offer contests that only include the weekly Monday and Thursday tilts. Here I will offer up who I am looking at (staying under the salary cap of course) with a more comprehensive look at player performance and hopefully bring home some cheddar in DFS.
QB: Drew Brees (Cost $6400)
While facing off against the surprisingly stout Dallas defense it is hard for me not to go with the best and most consistent QB of the four starters. Brees has averaged 28.6 points per game as the Saints continue to roll. On Thanksgiving Brees underutilized the highly explosive Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara and still slung 4 TD passes. Compare his consistency and available weapons to the other question mark QBs: Deshaun Watson (11 FFP coming off a bye in week 11), Marcus Mariota (4 FFP against the Colts), and Dak Prescott (who may have toasted the Redskins, but averaged just 16 points the 3 weeks prior) all of whom face stout defenses. The other option I would look at would be Watson facing the Titans boom or bust defense, but Vegas is predicting an ugly game with only a 43.5 point total compared to 54 on Monday night.
RB: Mark Ingram and Dion Lewis ($5700 and $4900 respectively)
What jumped off the page to me about these two games is the strengths of each defense on the defensive lines. None of the available running backs look primed to explode with all four teams boasting top 6 rushing defenses. Instead I will look be looking at the value plays with strong touch numbers. Ingram has performed admirably behind Alvin Kamara averaging 80 yards per game on the ground and 3 scores over the last 3 weeks. He will be involved and stacking the ground and pound game with Brees in the air is a way to lock in some production from the high scoring saints. Lewis and his counterpart Derrick Henry were limited by the nature of their last game, but prior to that Dion had seen touch counts of 19, 23, and 22. Even against a very tough Texans defense he should be able to be a volume play with more to offer than the one dimensional Henry.
WR: Michael Thomas, Deandre Hopkins, and Corey Davis ($8600/$8500/$5000)
When you save considerably on one position you can splurge on another and here I’m running with three target monsters for their respective teams. Thomas will not have the easiest task against the Dallas secondary, but he has been a monster and near match-up proof on the season averaging 23 FFP/GM. Hopkins has to be the best fantasy play in tonight’s game and faces a Titans defense that has not fared well against outside receivers (most recently allowing 5/56/1 to Amari Cooper who had just joined the Cowboys). Davis, while not my favorite receiver, dusted Stephon Gilmore for 7/125/1 before the entire Titans team was derailed in a blowout. Regardless, he is the most viable receiver for Marcus Mariota who tends to lock on one guy when facing pressure.
TE: Jonnu Smith ($3300)
Admittedly, the tight end position across these four teams is SHALLOW. The Texans have three tight ends who are infrequently targeted, the Cowboys just lost the closest thing that they had to one when Geoff Swain broke his wrist, and I strongly debated using Ben Watson of the Saints. Smith won over a lot of DFS players last week who has come on over the last 3 weeks. Scoring in back to back weeks before grabbing 6 balls on 8 targets last week. This is a dart throw, but with so little available and a minimal investment Jonnu is my guy.
Flex Options: Lamar Miller, Keke Coutee/Demaryius Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith ($4800 or below)
This week’s flex is up for grabs. The question fantasy owners will face is volume or boom/bust plays. I will be rolling Lamar Miller with minimal confidence. Miller will be facing a difficult draw against a tough run defense, but he has received 17 or more touches per game in 4 of the last 5 games. Coutee and Thomas likely more value if you pick the right one, but therein lies the problem. Coutee turned Thomas into an afterthought last week while Josh Norman chased Hopkins around all afternoon. Thomas is the new toy that you know Watson and Co. want to get back involved. Neither have a great matchup and offer too much risk for me. Tre’Quan Smith is a possible week winner if he can draw Brees’ eye as he did two weeks ago. However, he sat last week with a foot injury. This week he is likely to return, but has proven to be one of the most boom or bust fantasy options. All of these options have upside, but daily fantasy takes some luck and with all four of the options game script will most likely have to go your way.
Defense: New Orleans Saints ($2800)
For the second highest salary for a defense I am happy to have the Saints in this spot. Dallas looks likely to need to play from behind in this one and even with Dak, Zeke and Amari Cooper playing solid football I think this is a spot where they will make some mistakes. New Orleans’ defense has been much improved over the last 3 games with 10, 14, and 16 points (depending on scoring). They boast the top rushing defense in the league and have made some high passing offenses (Cincy, Philly, and Atlanta) look fairly ineffective. For a valuable $1000 dollars less than the Texans I am buying into Cam Jordan and friends.
Best of luck!