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“Big Rigg” Quarterback/Tight End Plays for Season-Long/DFS Week #4

This week, some of the higher end quarterback options have some tougher matchups that may make their higher cost in DFS a bit prohibitive.  For example, Tom Brady plays against the Panthers this week and they aren’t bad on defense and play a lot of zone to keep things in front of them.  At $9,500 on Fanduel, Brady may not be the explosive option that he’s been over the last 2 weeks which would make that high price tag worth while.  Drew Brees plays in London this week and as we saw from the Ravens in week 3, sometimes teams don’t acclimate well to playing overseas because of the long travel and time change.  At $8,500 on Fanduel, I don’t think Drew Brees is a good option this week because you simply don’t know if he will show up playing across the pond, outdoors.  Matt Ryan costs $8,000 on Fanduel but the Bills defense has been alright so far in 2017, and I am not feeling great about Derek Carr against the Broncos this week at $7,900.

In season long formats, you are obviously going to start some of the aforementioned quarterbacks.  However, this may be a week to stream away from Derek Carr.  The Broncos pass defense is solid, and Carr won’t throw up a complete dud, but it’s not likely that he goes off in this matchup with the likes of Talib, Roby and Harris at corner.  If Carr excels against the Broncos, he will only be able to do so with any consistency by feeding the ball to his backs and tight ends.  Don’t automatically sit Carr in season long, but if you have a solid backup, like one of the quarterbacks discussed below, you should consider playing them over Carr.

Trevor Siemian vs Oakland $7,500 Fanduel – $5,200 DK – Siemian is coming off a rough week in Buffalo but he gets a nice rebound opponent this week in the Oakland Raiders who have surrendered at least 15 fantasy points to quarterbacks in each game this year.  Kurt Cousins was able to sling the ball for 365 yards against the Raiders on Sunday night as their secondary struggled.  Even Josh McCown was able to toss 2 touchdowns against the Raiders.  If McCown can do it, Siemian, with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders certainly can.

Philip Rivers vs Philadelphia $7,400 Fanduel – $6,300 DK – Philip Rivers has been a little shaky as of late and his price reflects that.  However, this week, the Chargers play the Eagles who will showcase a secondary that has been decimated by injury.  Here are the likely wide receiver corner back and receiver matchups for this game: Keenan Allen vs Patrick Robinson, Tyrell Williams vs Rasul Douglas, Travis Benjamin vs Jalen Mills.  I like those matchups for the Chargers wide outs, therefore, I trust Phil this week.

Andy Dalton @ Cleveland $7,100 Fanduel – $5,800 DK – AJ Green has a huge mismatch with Jason McCourty this week who has been surrendering 0.26 fantasy points per route run.  McCourty has only been targeted on 18% of quarterback attempts and that number is sure to increase this week with AJ Green coming to town who is targeted on 28% of the routes he runs.  McCourty is going to get picked on a lot this week and Green should be able to exploit it, meaning Dalton should pay dividends as well.

Dak Prescott vs LA Rams $7,600 Fanduel – $6,200 DK – Cole Beasley will be matched up on Troy Hill this week who surrenders .48 fantasy points per route run, so he is a sneaky guy to stack with Dak this week.  The Rams are fresh off allowing 332 pass yards and 2 touchdowns to Brian Hoyer (27 fantasy points), so Dak is primed for a big game, especially with Dez Bryant at this disposal to dictate coverage from the Cowboys other play makers.

Jay Cutler vs New Orleans (London) $7,300 Fanduel – $5,800 DK – Cutler was supposed to shred the Jets last week but he came up very small.  Before we jump off the Jay Cutler train, maybe we need to pump the brakes and give the Jets a little more credit here.  After all, they do have Morris Claiborne in their secondary who isn’t bad.  Quietly, the Jets have given up only 224, 230 and 220 passing yards per game and 6 total passing touchdowns on the year.  The Saints, on the other hand, made Sam Bradford look like Fran Tarkenton week 1.  Give Jay Cutler one more chance this week at his low cost.  People will be off of him in daily because he didn’t shred the Jets last week as anticipated.  Cutler is a solid streaming option in season long leagues if you need him.

Three weeks into the season we are finally starting to figure out who the teams are who have tight end friendly offenses and those who simply take advantage of matchups on a week to week basis.  Zach Ertz is really emerging as one of the top passing targets in the league while Travis Kelce has come up small 2 out of 3 weeks.  Moreover, we are starting to figure out who cannot defend tight ends well.  One name that is starting to get some buzz in the fantasy football community is Ryan Griffin from the Houston Texans.  Griffin did emerge last week, and is worth an add in season long leagues if you need help at the position, but I want to see how Watson uses the tight end for one more week before I start rolling him out there in daily.  Hopefully with 3 weeks worth of data we can make some educated decisions.

Travis Kelce vs Washington $7,400 Fanduel – $6,000 DK – The Raiders were absolutely terrible on Sunday night, but the Redskins still gave up 4 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown to Jared Cook.  The Redskins also gave up 93 yards to Zach Ertz in week 1 and 95 yards to Gerald Everett in week 2.  The Redskins look like they might be a defense to target at the tight end position in 2017.  With Kelce being a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses, especially with the emergence of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill.  This looks like a Kelce week as the Redskins give up the 7th fewest fantasy points to the running back position and Hill may see some Josh Norman.  Don’t be scared off from his poor week 3 performance.

Zach Ertz @ LA Chargers $6,900 Fanduel – $6,300 DK – Zach Ertz is tied with Alshon Jeffery for the team lead in pass targets with 28 of them.  Ertz is currently on pace for 112 grabs and over 1,300 yards, and it’s unlikely he sustains that pace, but until somebody shows they are capable of slowing him down, you need to put him out there.  In week 3, the Chargers shut down Travis Kelce.  I am not worried about that, because throughout the years, Kelce has been used to exploit certain matchups where Ertz is more of a focal points.  Last week, Kansas City clearly wasn’t looking to push the ball down field on the Chargers, only throwing 13 total passes to wide receivers and tight ends, rushing the ball 25 times.  Keep in mind the Chiefs only ran 46 offensive plays last week, which is a very low number and contributed to the low production.

Jared Cook @ Denver $5,500 Fanduel – $3,400 DK – Denver has allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends 2 straight weeks.  The Broncos corners are so good that opposing quarterbacks are looking inside to avoid throwing at the likes of Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby and Chris Harris.  Look for that trend to continue this week as Derek Carr’s chemistry with Jared Cook has been heating up.

Cameron Brate vs NY Giants $5,300 Fanduel – $3,800 DK – Similar to the analysis of the Broncos, the Giants have been somewhat vulnerable to the tight end because teams are avoiding their corners on the outside.  The Giants have surrendered a touchdown to opposing tight ends in each of their first 3 games and at least 5 catches and 40 yards.  Look for Brate to keep that trend going.  At Brate’s cost, he is a low risk option, and even if he doesn’t come through you will be able to stack other positions in your lineup.

Julius Thomas vs New Orleans $4,700 Fanduel – $2,900 DK – Julius Thomas is playing the Saints who surrendered a touchdown to Kyle Rudolph in week 1, got scorched by Gronk in week 2, and held Ed Dickson in check week 3, but Dickson was only targeted once in the game(he is not Greg Olsen).  Given the matchup, Julius Thomas is absolutely in play as a high upside, low cost option.

Quarterback – Tight End Stack of the Week

Based on their prices in daily and their matchup against the Saints, a Jay Cutler and Julius Thomas stack could pay huge dividends for you in week 3 based on the skill position players you can plug into your lineup around them.  Assuming you use a low end kicker and defense, you could build lineups that are loaded with high upside skill players like the ones listed below.

QB – Jay Cutler, RB – CJ Anderson, RB – Kareem Hunt, WR – DeVante Parker, WR – Odell Beckham Jr., Keenan Allen, TE- Julius Thomas

OR

QB – Jay Cutler, RB – Kareem Hunt, RB – Todd Gurley III, WR – Michael Thomas, WR – AJ Green, WR – Tyrell Williams, TE – Julius Thomas

Julius Thomas is not a great option, but because the Dolphins are playing the Saints, he is viable.  This game figures to be a fairly high scoring affair with the over under set at 49.5 points, so points should be put on the board.  Although we aren’t sure what Jay Cutler will give us on a week to week basis, the table is set for him to have a decent fantasy day.  Even if Cutler and Thomas give you modest outputs, the studs you can pack into your lineup around them should be able to put you over the top.

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I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years including a 4th place finish in the Kentucky Fantasy Football State Championship in 2016. I started drafting running backs late before it was cool.

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