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Drew Brees ($34) is priced at QB5 on Yahoo! this week despite having the juiciest matchup on the slate and a sterling performance in his return from injury against Arizona in week eight. The Falcons are surrendering an average line of 289/3 to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks and haven’t intercepted a pass over that stretch either.
Brees has owned the Falcons hard in recent seasons, averaging over five fantasy points more per game against the Falcons (27.41) than against the rest of the NFL (22.04).
Matt Ryan ($31) is a few bucks cheaper in the same game and has had fantasy success against the Saints of late, too. His average line over his past four matchups with New Orleans is 315/2.25 for over 25 fantasy points per game. Though the Falcons have struggled this season it hasn’t shown up in Ryan’s fantasy production. He’s posted two games with over 30 points and five over 20 points, finishing as a QB1 in five of seven active games. The Saints have been stingy against opposing quarterbacks, only allowing four passing touchdowns over the past five games. It’s worth the money to pay up for Brees versus Ryan here, but if you can’t make the dollars work or if you’re playing volume, then Ryan deserves consideration.
Kyler Murray ($28) is priced as QB12 but faces a Buccaneers defense that’s giving up 3.2 passing touchdowns per game over the past five weeks. He’s a cash play that can give you access to higher-priced flex players, and given how he spreads his market share there are worse ideas than naked tournament exposure.
Patrick Mahomes ($39) averages six more fantasy points per game on the road since the start of 2018, the primary driver being his 3.25 touchdowns per game away from Arrowhead.
The Chiefs travel to Tennessee this week. People may be scared to play him in his first game back from injury, but he’s always a possible overall top-scorer in any week he plays.
Christian McCaffrey ($41) auto-post – I could say about anything here but every metric imaginable supports playing him not only this week, but any week. He’s got a great matchup, too, as TJ Calkins notes.
Marlon Mack ($26) should be among the league leaders in carries this week against the Dolphins, regardless of whether Jacoby Brissett plays. He also averages 70% more fantasy points over his past 20 games when the Colts are favored and go on to win. Multiple touchdowns are possible here, and the lack of receiving upside hurts a little less on the Yahoo! platform (half-PPR) than some other platforms.
David Montgomery ($20) is an auto-play at this price with an incredible matchup against the Lions and fresh off consecutive 20-points games on Yahoo! thanks to three touchdowns and seven receptions over the past two weeks. The Lions are giving up 1.6 touchdowns per game to opposing team RB1s over the past five weeks, including four instances of 100-plus yards from scrimmage over the same span.
With the Bears passing attack reeling, expect another game of heavy usage for the rookie who’s enjoying a much anticipated mid-season surge.
Devin Singletary ($19) emerged as the clear lead back for the Bills last week and has supplemented his rushing production with 75 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown over the past two weeks as well. He faces a Cleveland defense that’s worst in the league against the run since week four (134.6 yards per game).
David Johnson ($19) would also be an auto-play if it wasn’t for the ridiculous output by Kenyan Drake ($17) last week. Johnson isn’t listed on the injury report though and posted at least 17 touches in each of his past four injury-free games. The Buccaneers are a brutal matchup for running backs, but Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey (read: other elite backs) salvaged their fantasy production against the Bucs via the receiving game. Johnson can do it the same way.
Michael Thomas ($37) is priced as the WR1 and is $5 more expensive than the WR2 this week. Luckily (as noted above) there are some cheaper running back plays that still make Thomas-Brees stacks possible. The Falcons have allowed three wide receivers to post two or more touchdowns in a single game over the past three weeks. Thomas will need that kind of output to justify his price this week.
Tyreek Hill ($32) broke out in a big way last week with 140/1 against the Vikings, and that was sans-Mahomes. The Titans are a relatively neutral matchup but have been third and 11th in expected fantasy points for opposing wide receivers over the past two weeks, respectively. Mahomes-Hill stacks when neither is priced as the positional top salary is a rare opportunity.
Davante Adams ($28) is finally back from his turf toe injury and will face off against a cornerback with a touchy groin (James Bradberry). The Panthers have been susceptible to elite wide receivers this season and in recent weeks they gave up over 150 receiving yards to Chris Godwin and D.J. Chark. The only other two times this season when Adams had a sub-$30 salary he posted at least seven receptions and 100 receiving yards.
Calvin Ridley ($21) is cheap and has huge upside in the Saints-Falcons track meet. Ridley destroyed the Saints in 2018, posting lines of 7/146/3 and 8/93/1 in their two matchups. He may be my top tournament wide receiver exposure of the week at this price.
D.J. Moore ($16) saw his salary drop $3 this week despite posting 7/101 against the Titans last week. He’s drawn at least eight targets in each of the past four games. There’s not a better value-per-dollar play based on opportunity for a team WR1 on Yahoo! this week.
DeVante Parker ($13) has scored four touchdowns in his past five games. I had to triple-check this because I didn’t believe it at first glance. The Colts are a tough matchup, but at this price he’s a punt play that actually has upside given his knack for crossing the stripe.
Since there are a number of value plays at running back and wide receiver this week, paying up at tight end is a possibility. Austin Hooper ($25) is priced as the TE1 but plays in the game of the week for fantasy purposes. He scored a touchdown in three straight games and has only failed to post 10 fantasy points one time this year in this scoring format. If you’re going to pay up, it’s nice to have floor and ceiling, and Hooper is as safe as they come in 2019.
Travis Kelce ($24) has at least eight targets in eight of nine contests this season. I think he’s due for some positive touchdown regression with only two scores on 49 receptions so far this season. Kelce has nine touchdowns in 12 road games during the Mahomes era, compared to just three touchdowns in 13 home games. The Chiefs are on the road against the Titans this week. He’s my preferred tight end if you can fit the salary.
If you want to punt the position, Mike Gesicki ($11) has an actual role now. He’s fresh off the best game of his career 6/95/0 and the Colts are slightly better than neutral play for opposing tight ends of late. Over the past five games, Indianapolis ranks 12th in fantasy points surrendered to the position and eighth in expected fantasy points.
Baltimore ($13) is grossly mispriced this week facing rookie Ryan Finley in his first start ever. Lock them in.