“Big Rigg” Quarterback and Tight End Plays for DFS/Season-Long Week #8
As always, if you have Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz in season long, you need to roll them out there. If you don’t have one of those top options, however, there are some solid streaming options out there this week. With Evan Engram, Martellus Bennett, Delanie Walker on bye, there aren’t as many options as you would like, but the position isn’t killed. The reality is that Walker was hurt anyways, Bennett isn’t the same without Rodgers, and the Cardinals, Jaguars and Rams don’t really have viable fantasy options at the position anyways. We did see Jordan Reed break out and show signs of life against the Eagles on Monday night football and he needs to be played in season long, but not DFS as Cowboys Safety Byron Jones has been very good covering opposing tight ends so far this year so he may not return value on his price.
Hunter Henry – LA Chargers @ NE Patriots – $5,500 Fanduel – $4,800 DK – The Patriots have given up the 4th most points to the tight end position this year, even after they only surrendered 1 catch for 6 yards to Austin Hooper this past week. Patrick Chung simply can’t get it done anymore and is a liability on the back end. The Patriots have given up 5 touchdowns to tight ends on the year and Henry is a legit redzone threat, making him extremely viable in a game where the Chargers will more than likely need to throw in order to keep up with the Patriots high scoring offense.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings @ Cleveland Browns – $5,800 Fanduel – $4,500 DK – Although Kyle Rudolph is the #10 scoring tight end on the season, he has been a little quiet lately as he hasn’t scored in 3 weeks. After being quiet the last two weeks, he gets a golden matchup against the Cleveland Browns who have surrendered 5 touchdowns to opposing tight ends on the year and with Diggs out, Rudolph should see an increased target share especially given the matchup. Since Diggs has been banged up over the last 3 weeks, Rudolph has seen 9, 9 and 7 targets respectively. Rudolph has averaged about 45 yards receiving over the last 3 games and is touchdown dependent as always, but as I eluded to before, this week is a good bet for him to score.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – NY Jets vs Atlanta Falcons – $6,300 Fanduel – $4,900 DK – The Falcons have given up the 7th fewest fantasy points to the tight end position, but that stat line is a little deceiving as the Falcons have faced the likes of Zach Miller (with Mike Glennon at QB), Martellus Bennett, Eric Ebron, Charles Clay, Julius Thomas and Gronk. Gronk wasn’t heavily involved this past week against the Falcons and Charles Clay is the only tight end that really got it done against the Falcons with 5 catches for 112 yards as the focal point of the Bills offense, at least he was at the time. That being said, ASJ seems to be the focal point of the Jets passing game, especially in the redzone. ASJ’s price is starting to climb a little in DFS but I am going to keep rolling him out there until he lets me down, especially while Josh McCown keeps rolling.
Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins – $5,400 Fanduel – $4,200 DK – DJ Swearinger is a body rocker but he’s been getting abused in the passing game. I know the 2017 narrative is to start tight ends against the Browns and Giants, but the Redskins have been consistently burned by the position as well. In a PPR, the Redskins have surrendered less than 10 points to an opposing tight end only once this year, and that was George Kittle in week 6, who had 4 grabs for 46 yards. If Josh Norman returns this week, the Cowboys should lean less on Dez Bryant and more on Witten, making him an intriguing play.
This week, the only potentially viable starters we are missing due to bye weeks are Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff and Eli Manning. Normally, I would advocate rolling Case Keenum out there against the Browns who have been solid against the run but putrid against the pass, especially at his low price in DFS. However, the Vikings are not truly at the Browns this week, they are playing in London. I don’t fully trust these London games, it seems like these games are huge letdowns at times, and I don’t want to roll Keenum out there on the chance that this game is a stinker. I am willing to take a chance on Rudolph in London because Rudolph isn’t a deep threat anyways, so even if the game is slower than normal, Rudolph should still be a factor. You can survive in DFS with a poor performance from your tight end, but it’s a lot harder to recover from a dud quarterback play.
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals vs Indianapolis Colts – $7,600 Fanduel – $5,700 DK – Andy Dalton didn’t come through last week but that’s because the Steelers pass rush smothered him and he didn’t have any time to throw. The Colts simply cannot pressure the quarterback the same way the Steelers can and are giving up the 3rd most points to the position. DeShone Kizer scored 25.08 points against the Colts and even Brian Hoyer was able to hang 22.12 points on them. It doesn’t stop there, even the great Blake Bortles, who throws the ball about 11 times a game threw for 330 yards against them. Roll out Dalton with confidence this week.
Kurt Cousins – Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys – $7,800 Fanduel – $6,400 DK – Cousins has been a solid distributor of the football to this point in the season with a solid cast of play makers around him. The Redskins offensive line has, however, been taking a hit lately due to injury, so it’s possible that their running game will take even more of a hit causing them to rely even more on the forward pass. Dallas has given up the 8th most fantasy points to QB’s this year and at least 220 yards passing in each game. The Cowboys have given up at least 2 passing touchdowns in 4 of 6 games this year, and gave up 0 TD’s to CJ Beathard in his first career start and Eli Manning who played poorly in the Giants opener. Cousins already had his bye and is still the #8 scoring QB in fantasy football this year, get him in your lineup because he’s getting it done.
Philip Rivers – LA Chargers @ NE Patriots – $7,500 Fanduel – $6,300 DK – The Patriots pass defense looked ok last week against Matt Ryan, but they are unlikely to repeat that performance because the Chargers will be prepared for the fog machines in Foxboro (just joking). Rivers is the #9 scoring QB so far this year and the Patriots have been giving up the most fantasy points to QB’s to date. The Patriots corners don’t match up well to the Chargers receivers and Patrick Chung is a liability in pass coverage, creating a matchup advantage for the Chargers tight ends. The Patriots always try to take the opposition’s top weapon out of the game, and that is Melvin Gordon for the Chargers. Look for the Patriots to make Rivers beat them through the air and for him to have a big day against a pass defense that has struggled mightly for most of the year. Even though Matt Ryan struggled against the Patriots last week, he still put up 233 yards and a touchdown, which was good for 17.02 points, a total that Rivers is likely to beat.
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills vs Oakland Raiders – $7,600 Fanduel – $5,900 DK – The Raiders have given up the 16th most fantasy points to opposing QB’s on the year and that statistic would be a lot worse if they didn’t play Joe Flacco in week 5 who barely needed to throw the ball and Trevor Siemian in week 4 who didn’t do much at all against them. Taylor doesn’t have many play makers around him other than LeSean McCoy, but that shouldn’t matter, he will put up around 200 yards through the air and will come through with 40-60 yards on the ground like he always does, making him viable. The Raiders are traveling across the country for the 1pm game in Buffalo, NY which has shown to be a factor for some teams due to the fatigue from travel which plays in Taylor’s favor.
“Big Rigg” Quarterback and Tight End Stack of the Week
I am going with the Philip Rivers and Hunter Henry stack this week. The Patriots are either the worst or towards the bottom of the league surrendering fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and tight ends so it just makes sense. Logic says that the Patriots should look to shut down Melvin Gordon, the Chargers top offensive weapon, and Patrick Chung has proven incapable of covering athletic tight ends with any consistency. Play Rivers and Henry with confidence in your DFS lineups this week, lock it in.