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“Big Rigg” Quarterback and Tight Ends Plays for Season-Long/DFS Week #11

Over the last few weeks, it seemed like there weren’t a lot of low end quarterbacks with really juicy matchups.  This week, however, there are several low end guys who have really tempting matchups.  There are a few guys on this list who you would never consider starting unless the matchup is ideal, and this week, the matchups happen to be ideal.  I understand Alex Smith isn’t necessarily a “low end” guy, but the fact is that he hasn’t really been fantasy relevant over the years, and this season is kind of an outlier for him, making him hard to trust for some people.  Hopefully a few of these calls come through this week.

Alex Smith @ NY Giants – $7,900 Fanduel – $6,700 DK – The Giants pass defense has been absolutely horrible lately and there’s no reason to think they will be able to slow down Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson and Travis Kelce this week.  If it wasn’t so obvious, Alex Smith and Travis Kelce would be my QB and TE stack of the week.  The Giants have given up over 300 yards passing to 3 of the last 4 quarterbacks they’ve faced.  The lone quarterback who has not thrown for over 300 against the Giants over the last 4 weeks is CJ Beathard who threw for 288 yards and 2 TD’s against them last week.  If CJ Beathard can drop 26 fantasy points against the Giants, anybody can on any given week.

Blake Bortles @ Cleveland Browns – $7,500 Fanduel – $5,200 DK – Bortles is the #18 scoring QB in fantasy football on the year and faces the Browns this week who have given up the 7th most fantasy points to the position.  The Browns give up an NFL best 3.1 yards per rush and Leonard Fournette is a little banged up.  The Browns aren’t great against the pass and have been especially horrible against the tight end position this year so even if the Jaguars receivers can’t get it done, Mercedes Lewis should come through enough and is a good bet to score.  The Browns have yet to give up a 300 yard passing day on the season, but they do give up 2.1 passing TD’s a game.  As long as the Jaguars defense doesn’t score too many touchdowns, Bortles should have a decent fantasy day.

Jay Cutler vs Tampa Bay Bucs – $6,600 Fanduel – $5,400 DK – I didn’t really see this coming, but the Bucs defense is absolutely horrendous this year and pretty much everybody is getting it done against them lately.  The Bucs have been a little susceptible to the big play so Cutler is a good bet to get a big one this week, especially with DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills at his disposal.  The Bucs have given up 29 passing plays of 20+ yards and 5 passing plays of 40+ yards on the season and opposing QB’s have a rating of 98.8 against them, which is 6th worst in the NFL.  Cutler is inconsistent but the matchup lends itself to a good day for Cutler, who has 524 yards and 5 TD’s over his last 2 games.

Eli Manning vs Kansas City Chiefs – $6,500 Fanduel – $5,700 DK – The Giants vs Chiefs game might be a shootout this week, but lets call it like it is, the Chiefs are going to emerge on top in this one.  Marcus Peters is the only Chiefs defensive back who can slow anybody down, everybody else in that secondary gets smoked easier than a pack of Winstons within Jay Cutler’s reach.  Although the vibes aren’t great in New York right now, the matchup sets up well for Manning who will be playing from behind for a majority of the game.  As I’ve said in past weeks, the Giants cannot run the ball, so they need to pass, it’s the only way they can move the ball.  The Chiefs have allowed more than 250 yards passing and at least 2 passing TD’s in 5 of 9 games this season.  Stack Eli and Sterling Shepard this week.

Digging Deep – Blaine Gabbert @ Houston Texans – $6,000 Fanduel – $4,900 DK – The Houston Texans are truly awful against the pass giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to the position on the year.  The Texans have given up over 355, 308 and 452 yards in their last 3 games respectively and a total of 9 passing TD’s over that same span.  Blaine Gabbert hasn’t played since the middle of the 2016 season but he is a threat to run which raises his ceiling.  The Cardinals have a decent supporting cast for Gabbert to distribute the ball to, much better than what he had to work with in San Francisco last year.  When you combine the Cardinals solid supporting cast with the plus matchup, it makes Gabbert an intriguing play.  Although it is tempting to roll Gabbert out there at his low price in DFS, the fact remains that he hasn’t played a real live professional football game that counts for real in about a calendar year, and that is a little scary to me.  It is a little disconcerting that Gabbert lost the Cardinals QB challenge last week and had to dress up as the tooth fairy, but hey, at least he followed through with a commitment!!!

Jared Cook vs NE Patriots – $5,600 Fanduel – $4,800 DK – Patrick Chung has been doing alright in pass coverage for the Patriots lately but Jared Cook has seam-stretching ability that can really stress almost any safety.  In addition, Cook has a 6 inch height advantage on Chung which may come into play if the Raiders look Cook’s way in the redzone.  The Patriots mix a lot of zone and man coverages into their game plans, so it is unknown whether the Raiders receivers will have success, which may create a great opportunity for Cook to come through huge if Gilmore and Butler are able to slow down Crabtree and Cooper.  There will be points scored in this one, and Jared Cook is a good bet to come through.

Mercedes Lewis @ Cleveland Browns – $4,900 Fanduel – $2,700 DK – On the year Mercedes Lewis only has 12 catches for 183 yards and 4 touchdowns.  In 9 games, the Browns have surrendered 7 touchdowns to opposing tight ends on the season.  Even Eric Ebron was able to salvage his fantasy day last week with a touchdown against them.  Mercedes Lewis isn’t the safest option in the world, but the matchup just can’t be ignored, especially at his price in DFS.

Tyler Kroft @ Denver Broncos – $5,300 Fanduel – $2,900 DK – The Broncos have given up the 2nd most points to the tight end position on the year including 7 touchdowns to the position through 9 games.  Kroft is one of Dalton’s favorite redzone targets, so it only makes sense that he scores in this one.  In addition, Kroft has been able to rip off a few big ones, and the Broncos have given up a few big yardage days on the year, including 74 yards to Gronk, 133 yards to Travis Kelce, 82 yards to Evan Engram and 97 yards to Jason Witten, although that was back in week 2.  The Bengals receivers may struggle against the Broncos corners and if they do, Kroft will have a huge day.

CJ Fiedorowicz vs Arizona Cardinals – $4,600 Fanduel – $3,100 DK – Tyvon Branch is done for the year so it looks like a Safety by the name of Budda Baker will be guarding CJ Fiedorowicz this weekend.  Baker is an undersized rookie safety who should have trouble matching up against tight ends.  Baker is more of a ball hawking safety, not somebody who can “body up” with large men with any success.  Fiedorowicz did come up small, very small, last week, but he did have 6 targets.  Even though he didn’t come through in his return, to be fair, it was his first game action since the concussion he suffered back in week 1.  He may bust out this week and give this rookie a rough welcome to the NFL.

Quarterback – Tight End Stack of the Week

In DFS this week, it might not be a bad idea to stack Blake Bortles and Mercedes Lewis in your lineups.  In season-long leagues, you can start these guys with confidence because of the matchup.  The only thing that scares me about rolling these players out in any of my lineups this week is that the Jaguars defense could outscore the Jaguars offense with the way the Browns offense is playing.  The matchup is there, this one makes sense by the numbers, it’s staring you in the face and the fact that Fournette is banged up and the Browns are solid against the run on a per play basis only adds to the intrigue.  Bortles and Lewis are viable and at their extremely low costs in DFS, you can stack your lineups up really well around them.  Lewis has been targeted by Bortles 11 times over the last 2 weeks, so he is looking for him.

Follow me on Twitter @Coachriggall


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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.

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