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Saturday Update: DFS Upside Plays for Week 8 include Golden Tate and Jerick McKinnon

Jason Singh

Saturday Update:

Top News:

Lamar Miller (RB - MIA) - Miami is coming off a big win against Chicago last week on the road and now faces a mediocre Jacksonville team that admittedly is coming off its first win of the year over Cleveland.  Since the season ending injury to Knowshon Moreno, Miller has been playing really well as he has scored rushing TDs in three straight games.  QB Ryan Tannehill is also playing as well as ever - which has enabled Miami's offense to truly be balanced - great news for Miller who now sees less run heavy defensive fronts.  Although Jacksonville's run defense is ranked a middle of the road 14th (yielding 110.3 yards per game), the overall unit has given up a lot of points and outside of Cleveland last week, has not stopped anyone.  Miller is in line for a strong game at an affordable daily price.

Rob Gronkowski (TE - NE) - For the first time in a long time, it was apparent from watching New England's last game against the NY Jets, that Gronk looked as healthy as ever.  Tom Brady has looked Gronk's way so much the last few weeks it's been comical - targeting him 29 times over three games.  He now faces a pass heavy Chicago team Sunday in a game that could turn into a shootout.  There is no one on Chicago's D that can handle Gronk so he is in store for big things which justifies his daily price.

Stock Up:

Mark Ingram (RB - NO) - Ingram started the season on a tear and looked like he was on the verge of fantasy relevance for the first time in his career but suffered an injury that knocked him out for several weeks.  He returned last week to disappointing results but now the game has changed with Pierre Thomas out due to injury.  Ingram will be the featured back against Green Bay Sunday night and will see a nice sum of carries because NO will do its best to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.  Ingram will defer at times to Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet (on passing downs) but Ingram should find a lot of room against a GB defense which will key on stopping Drew Brees' arm first and foremost.

Shane Vereen (RB - NE) - Vereen took the next step up in fantasy relevance when Stevan Ridley went down with a season ending injury a few weeks back against Buffalo.  While Vereen did not put up impressive rushing numbers against the NY Jets in NE's last game, he caught two TDs and reminded us how dangerous he can be coming out of the backfield.  Vereen should catch a lot of passes in a game against Chicago that has a strong chance to be a high scoring affair.

Anthony Dixon (RB - BUF) - With the season ending injury to CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson out for at least a month, Dixon will be Buffalo's lead back against the NY Jets Sunday.  He will likely split time with Bryce Brown who impressed a few years ago with Philly but also showed fumbling issues.  Dixon is built like a fullback but with nifty feet who can surprise defenses.  The Jets do have a good run defense (yielding 88 yards per game) but have been uncharacteristically run on several times this year.  I don't expect a huge game from Dixon, but he has a great shot at 50-60 yards and a goal-line plunge which represents a strong return given his low daily price.

Stock Down:

AJ Green (WR - CIN) - After some early in the week optimism that Green would be able to return this Sunday and play against divisional rival Baltimore, his toe injury took a turn for the worse, causing the Bengals to list him as doubtful on the injury report.  Green had a phenomenal TD grab against Baltimore in the season opener so his presence will be missed.  Mohamed Sanu's daily value however will take a big positive step up so consider him for a card or two given his reasonable daily price on most sites.

Owen Daniels (TE - BAL) - The athletic but injury prone Daniels has been an underrated play in the daily world with his consistent reception numbers and three TDs this year.  Unfortunately, as has been the case with him many times in his career, the injury bug has come back to bite him.  He had his knee scoped this week which means he will be out indefinitely.  Backup Crockett Gilmore will start in his place but is too much of an unknown at this point to be considered for your daily card(s).

Trent Richardson (RB - IND) - Although still a big disappointment given how high he was drafted by Cleveland a few years ago, Richardson was productive the last two weeks.  He rushed for 41 yards and a TD against Houston in Week 6 and rushed for 77 yards and caught four passes for 41 yards against Cincinnati last week.  He was pulled however against Cincinnati for a hamstring injury which may cost him Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.  He will be a game-time decision but even so, Ahmad Bradshaw has been the more dynamic back this year with seven total TDs.

Quarterbacks - Featured site is FanDuel

Fantistics Top 5 QBs:
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Russell Wilson
3. Peyton Manning
4. Tony Romo
5. Carson Palmer

Top Play:

Aaron Rodgers (GB) - Rodgers has been one of, if not the hottest fantasy quarterback in the game the last few weeks and now gets to face New Orleans this Sunday night in what could turn out to be mega-shootout.  Over his last six games, he has thrown an eye-popping 17 TDs and NO INTs!  He would have easily thrown for more than 20 if he wasn't pulled early in two separate blowouts against Minnesota and Carolina respectively.  It is usually Drew Brees who is considered the hot daily pick when a Superdome matchup is around the corner but not this time as Rodgers has been unstoppable and will face a 25th rank pass defense that has been yielding 277.5 yards per game.  For the season, Rodgers has a strong completion rate of 66.8% and has already thrown 43 red zone passes which is surprising given the presence of Eddie Lacy.  Lacy has had a disappointing year because the GB passing game has been on such a tear and doesn't look to be cooling off.  A healthy Rodgers and a fully stocked receiver core including impressive rookie Devante Adams makes Rodgers a high priced must in all fantasy dailies.


Russell Wilson (SEA) - Wilson re-wrote the history books with a stellar performance against St. Louis as he threw for 313 yards, two TDs and ran for 106 yards!  St. Louis led for most of the game so Wilson was put in a position of having to throw and run on almost every down.  With Seattle's defense not playing nearly as well as it did last year, the offense has had to pick up the pace in almost every game this year which is a favorable trend for those owners who like a non-Rodgers type priced QB in the daily market.  Wilson will face a Carolina team this Sunday that was just boat-raced by Green Bay last Sunday.  Aaron Rodgers blitzed the Panthers with an aerial assault that decided the game quickly and allowed him to leave the game early.  Wilson may not be able to leave the game early this Sunday, but the onus will be on him to produce yardage, especially if Marshawn Lynch struggles again and because of the absence of Percy Harvin. Over his last three games, Wilson has rushed for 240 yards and three TDs and thrown for an average of 213 yards and four total TDs.  Carolina's 26th ranked run defense and 22nd ranked pass defense will not be able to stop the upward trending Wilson.

Carson Palmer (AZ) - Palmer has looked good since his return from a nagging nerve issue and will now set his sights on Philadelphia this Sunday, a game that could very well be a high scoring affair just because Philly is involved.  The Eagles have a 26th ranked pass defense which isn't helped by Philly head coach Chip Kelly getting offensive plays off in such a rapid fashion because when a first down is not achieved, the defense has to go back onto the field with hardly any time to catch their collective breaths.  Be that as it may, Palmer will get plenty of chances to chuck it down field as Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is one hell of an aggressive offensive coach who loves double moves and deep passing.  Over the last two weeks, Palmer has thrown for at least 250 yards and two TDs against Washington and Oakland respectively.  Before an INT he threw against Oakland in the second half last Sunday, Palmer had gone 195 pass attempts without throwing a pick.

Kyle Orton (BUF) - Orton appears to be that steady veteran hand that the young Buffalo offense needed to be more competitive on a consistent basis.  EJ Manuel was too inconsistent and always seemed to come up short in big games.  Since Orton took over as starter the Bills have gone 2-1 and been competitive in every matchup with him, throwing for 308, 299 and 283 yards respectively and TDs in every game.  Now with running backs CJ Spiller (out for the year) and Fred Jackson (out for a month) both injured and out of commission, Orton will assume even more of the offensive load and really have to crank out the production via the passing game.  This Sunday he faces the hapless NY Jets who never met an opposing QB they didn't let run over them.  The strength of the Jets D is the front seven and as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have showed the last two weeks, the way to obliterate the Jets is by throwing the ball.  Now, Orton does not have the big arm or weapons that the other two have, but what he does have is a streaking rookie WR in Sammy Watkins and other teammates that have to sustain the offensive momentum the Bills have mustered the last few weeks.

On the Fence:                                                    

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) - Tannehill quietly has put together three consecutive games of multiple TD passes and solid yardage, and now gets to face the 31st ranked pass defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  His last outing against Chicago on the road may have been the most impressive game of his career as he threw a ridiculous 25 of 32 for 277 yards, two TDs and no INTs while also rushing six times for 48 yards.  Over the last three weeks, he has rushed for 132 yards (Miami has made the read option a bigger part of the offense which has really suited the athletic Tannehill). As good as he has played, he has made some mistakes as well, including three INTs over his last three games and being sacked five times in his last two games.  He is also notoriously inconsistent which is why we are on the fence with him this week.  His last three games have been strong but his first three games of the year were spotty as Miami went 1-2 and he threw for more than 205 yards only once and also accumulated two INTs.  Depending on how seriously Miami takes Jacksonville, Tannehill could have a stellar day but he could just as easily underwhelm based on his inconsistent history.  Remember Miami head coach Joe Philbin mentioning he was unsure of Tannehill staying on as starter earlier this year?

Other Values:

Mike Glennon (TB), Alex Smith (KC) and Brian Hoyer (CLE).  Glennon faces a reeling Minnesota team this Sunday that has lost three straight games and five of seven overall.  With the Vikings offense struggling so much because of the Adrian Peterson suspension and Matt Cassel season ending injury, opposing offenses are having plenty of time with the ball.  Glennon should start over incumbent Josh McNown who still isn't ready to return from his thumb injury, which means Glennon has a chance to throw at least two TDs in his fourth consecutive game.  Smith had a solid game last Sunday, particularly playing well on the game winning drive which resulted in a field goal to kill San Diego.  He is averaging two TD passes over the last four weeks and next faces a St. Louis pass defense which just got torched by Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson in consecutive weeks.  If KC is able to dominate the ball like it did last week (39 minutes!), Smith will have plenty of chances to put up the stable kind of production he always does.  Hoyer has a lot to be mad about following his horrendous performance against Jacksonville of all teams last Sunday.  It was the first time all year that he failed to throw at least one TD pass and the second time he threw an INT.  Cleveland has no excuse for playing like it did last week because even though we all know how bad Jacksonville is, the Browns are in no position to start sandbagging it because they are playing well this year.  Look for Cleveland to wake up this Sunday as it faces a reeling Oakland defense that can't stop anyone this year.

Running Back - Featured site is DraftKings

Fantistics Top 5 RBs:
1. Jamaal Charles
2. LeSean McCoy
3. DeMarco Murray
4. Marshawn Lynch
5. Arian Foster

Top Plays:

Jamaal Charles (KC): Charles has been putting up strong game after strong game since returning in Week 4 against New England following an injury.  He has rushed for 92, 80 and 95 yards over the last three weeks respectively as well as two TDs against three good defenses in New England, San Francisco and San Diego.  Charles was knocked for a loop against San Diego when he scored a TD but stayed in the game even though he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms.  The team has since stated that Charles was tested for a concussion after the goal-line collision and passed so he will not be limited in any way this Sunday against St. Louis - the 28th ranked rushing defense in the league (giving up 145 yards per game).  KC head coach Andy Reid actually stated after the SD game that Charles should have been given the ball more which the team is being careful about.  They have inserted backup Knile Davis freely to give Charles a breather and Charles' receiving numbers are way down this year.  These are negative factors but Charles won't need many touches to put a hurting on a St. Louis defense that is ripe for the picking.

LeSean McCoy (PHI): McCoy does face the top ranked run defense of Arizona this Sunday but his game a week from last Sunday (Philly had a bye last week) against the NY Giants showed he broke out of his slump in a big way.  He rushed 22 times for 149 yards!  Even though McCoy has taken his lumps this year, the team has never stopped feeding him the ball, and with Darren Sproles possibly out due to injury, McCoy will be leaned on even more on third down and in the passing game.  His receiving numbers have been down this year compared to years past because of the presence of Sproles so keep that in mind when considering McCoy for your daily card as he had nine games of at least four catches last year (pre-Sproles).  McCoy will be fresh coming off the bye and will be in for a heavy rushing workload on the road as the Arizona crowd will be buzzing and the team would like Nick Foles to be settled in before unleashing some big passes.

Value Plays:

Joique Bell (DET):  With Reggie Bush not being 100% the last few weeks, Bell has stepped up in a nice way the last two games.  In Week 6 against Minnesota he rushed 18 times for 74 yards and one TD while also catching two passes for 23 yards.  In Week 7 against New Orleans he rushed for 48 yards, one TD and caught two passes for 19 yards.  It should be noted that Bush did not play in Week 6 and only partially in Week 7.  Bush's status for Week 8 against Atlanta is also up in the air which just further solidifies Bell as a daily play this Sunday.  Atlanta is playing some horrendous defense this year as it is ranked 27th against the run at 137.7 yards per game.  Atlanta hasn't been able to stop anyone this year and with Matthew Stafford still struggling to grasp Detroit's new offense, the Lions love running more than even while Stafford continues to try and get it right.  Bell will get plenty of work this Sunday whether Bush is back or not, so he is a nicely priced player on any daily site.  He has a great chance to extend his two game scoring streak and a fair chance to hit 100 yards.

Ahmad Bradshaw (IND):  Bradshaw has been one of the bigger fantasy surprises of the year because even though he is getting limited touches, he still continues to find the end zone.  After racking up 5 TD receptions and no TD rushes leading into Week 7, Bradshaw finally broke through against the Bengals with 10 rushes for 52 yards, one TD and adding three receptions for 36 yards and his sixth TD reception.  I don't know of too many people who thought Bradshaw would have seven TDs through the first seven weeks of the season.  Now with Trent Richardson fighting a hamstring injury, Bradshaw may be in line for even more touches this Sunday against a vulnerable Pittsburgh defense.  Andrew Luck is one of the hottest QBs in the game, if not the hottest, so the Colts offense will continue to put up points no matter the opponent.  Pittsburgh has allowed a lot of points this year and will have its hands full with an offense that is hitting on all cylinders right now.

Upside Plays:  Denard Robinson (JAX) - For a lot of owners, Robinson's big game against Cleveland was probably the first time he became fantasy viable since he was at Michigan (in the NCAA dailies of the day).  Be that as it may, Robinson exploded against the Browns for 127 rushing yards and one TD, and is in line to start again this Sunday against Miami.  Even if incumbent starter Toby Gerhart manages to return from injury, Robinson provided a spark that had been missing from the Jacksonville offense all year and should be featured again.  Opposing defenses haven't figured out his running tendencies yet so he could break a lot of big runs if the Jacksonville offensive scheme is as strong as it was last week.  Jerick McKinnon (MIN) - With Matt Asiata being deemphasized in the Vikings offense the last two weeks, McKinnon has been the horse and looks strong.  He is coming off his second 100 yard rushing performance and is primed for another busy day against embattled Tampa Bay which sports a 25th ranked run defense.  Teddy Bridgewater has shown some flashes this year but being that he is a rookie, the team will continue to lean on the run while he gets his feet wet.  McKinnon has that game breaking ability that Asiata seems to be missing, not to say Asiata isn't valuable in his own way, it's just that McKinnon can hit a homerun from anywhere on the field - something that Tampa Bay has allowed regularly this year.  Tre Mason (STL) - St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher frustrated the fantasy world this week with his statements following the Rams upset victory over Seattle last Sunday.  When everyone wanted him to name Mason as his undisputed starter following his strong 85 yard, one TD performance, he went the opposite way and said he was endorsing a running back by committee system with Zac Stacy and Ben Cunningham.  He went on to say that Stacy has been banged up (although not clearly saying that was why he didn't play against Seattle despite being active) and wouldn't be surprised if Stacy gets 20 carries against Kansas City this Sunday.  He could be simply placating his star RB from last year as Mason showed more than any St. Louis back has all year when facing the Seahawks.  Mason would be a low level gamble given Fisher's words, but his results speak for themselves and St. Louis would be foolish to turn away from something that worked so well.

Wide Receivers - Featured site is DraftDay

Fantistics Top 5 WRs:
1. Dez Bryant
2. Jordy Nelson
3. DeMaryius Thomas
4. Randall Cobb
5. Brandon Marshall

Top Play:            

Dez Bryant (DAL):  Bryant continues to be one of the strongest fantasy WRs out there and despite not scoring the last two weeks, he is always a great bet to break through at any time.  Over the last three weeks, he has been targeted 14, 10 and 13 times respectively which shows how big a part of the offense he continues to be.  He also scored four consecutive TDs right before his last two games.  He will face woeful Washington this coming Monday which is great news since his division rival has allowed 15 receiving TDs this year - the NY Jets being the only team that has allowed more!  With DeMarco Murray running wild and setting records, opposing defenses try their best to contain both him and Bryant, but it is apparent that it is impossible to effectively cover both all the time.  Additionally, he has drawn so much coverage, backup TE Gavin Escobar has scored three TDs over the last two weeks so this is another guy that defenses will have to account for.  Bryant would like nothing better than to shine on the national stage this Monday night and there is nothing Washington has shown to indicate it will be able to stop him.

Value Plays:

Sammy Watkins (BUF): The best thing that could have happened to Watkins' fantasy production was Kyle Orton being installed as starting quarterback.  The steady veteran has made an instant impact when he was deemed starter against Detroit on October 5.  Since then, Watkins has been targeted 10+ times in two out of three games, scored two TDs and garnered 236 receiving yards.  His game winning TD against Minnesota last Sunday may be that moment that pushes Watkins to the next level of fantasy production.  It was a simple out pattern but Watkins calmly grabbed the ball and tapped his two feet in so smoothly that I believe everyone watching was thinking this kid has something special.  Watkins has the privilege this Sunday of playing the NY Jets - the same defense which has given up a league-high 18 receiving TDs.  We must also factor in Buffalo's RB situation which is in dire straits as CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson are out which means Buffalo will have to throw more whether it wants to or not.

TY Hilton (IND):  Hilton has emerged as Indianapolis' top receiving threat which many thought was impossible given Reggie Wayne's track record and the notion that Hilton is just a straight line speed receiver.  With Wayne out for 1-2 weeks with an elbow injury, Hilton will be focused on even more by one of the hottest QBs in the game - Andrew Luck.  Over his last four games, Hilton has caught an obscene 31 passes for 525 yards and one TD.  There is the possibility that opposing defenses like Pittsburgh will keep a safety over Hilton to bottle him up but no type of defense has worked yet.  Plus it is almost impossible to force Luck into making bad passes because he is in such a zone and is so mobile.  Hilton does struggle in the red zone due to his smallish size (5'9") but his game breaking ability allows him to be a scoring threat from anywhere on the field.  He has caught at least five passes in every game this year so he is about as consistent a producer as there is out there.

Upside Plays:

Golden Tate (DET) - In lieu of Megatron's ankle injury which has rendered him to Bumble Bee status, Tate has taken the opportunity to take a big step up in the fantasy world.  In his last four games, he has caught 32 passes (on a ridiculous 45 targets) for 448 yards and two TDs!  Tate actually had a relatively poor game two weeks against Minnesota as he dropped a lot of passes and only accumulated 44 yards on seven catches, and was also quiet through three quarters against New Orleans this past Sunday but exploded for a big 73 yard TD to show off his explosive factor.  Despite going through minor cold stretches, he rebounds in big ways and has given Johnson his first legit counterpart in years.  He will face a reeling Atlanta defense this Sunday and should have another busy day.  Brandon LaFell (NE) - LaFell is the designated big play threat in NE's offense and has really stepped up his game with future HOF'er Tom Brady at QB.  He next faces a middle of the road Chicago pass defense which just got mauled by Ryan Tannehill.  LaFell has scored three TDs in his last four games along with two games of 90+ yards receiving.  LaFell never found his niche during his time in Carolina but the team was always high on him even though it didn't translate to the field consistently.  NE was aggressive in signing him during the offseason and now we know why.  LaFell is a low priced daily option that has the potential of striking it big in a game that could very well turn into a shootout.  Doug Baldwin (SEA) - With the stunning departure of Percy Harvin to NY, fantasy players everywhere quickly wondered who would benefit in the Seattle offense?  Baldwin had the best chance and he is the one who hit it big last Sunday against St. Louis with seven catches (on 11 targets) for 123 yards and one TD.  Baldwin stands at less than 6'0" but is savvy and has nice awareness and speed.  Seattle has an intriguing matchup against Carolina on the road, but with Russell Wilson playing like he has been, Baldwin has a very good chance to put up strong numbers.  Against Carolina (a much better defense than this year) last year he caught seven passes for 91  yards.

Could Surprise Plays:

Percy Harvin (NYJ) - The bottom line is the NY Jets traded for Harvin to spice up an offense that has sucked all year.  Geno Smith is not the best QB out there, but it is not hard to throw the ball to a receiver as talented as Harvin.  Harvin can rack up a ton of catches and yards quickly which is why he was so mad in Seattle - he didn't like feeling limited.  NY is so bad, Harvin's selfishness will be lauded and exploited in the coming weeks.  Jordan Matthews (PHI) - Since scoring two TDs against Washington in Week 3, Matthews has been quiet even though he has caught at least four passes in every game since.  He faces an Arizona pass defense this Sunday that is ranked 30th in the league (giving up 294.3 yards per game) so there is no better time to have another signature game.  Rookie WRs are usually up and down so if Matthews fits the profile, this Sunday should be that up game.

Tight Ends - Featured site is FantasyAces

Fantistics Top 5 TEs:
1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Jimmy Graham
3. Julius Thomas
4. Greg Olsen
5. Martellus Bennett

Top Play:

Rob Gronkowski (NE) - Gronk hasn't scored a TD over the last two weeks but if you have watched him closely, he looks as healthy as he has in a very long time.  With his health becoming less and less of a concern, his lofty price tag in all fantasy dailies looks to be worth the gamble again.  Over the last two weeks he has caught 12 passes for 162 yards while being targeted 19 times.  He next plays a Chicago defense that just got lit up by Miami TE Charles Clay for a touchdown.  With Tom Brady still fuming about the media made controversy of him losing a step, look for this game to be a high scoring affair with Gronk being the target for a lot of passes.  Chicago simply does not have the defensive personnel to deal with a threat like Gronk.

Value Plays: 

Zach Ertz (PHI) - As written earlier in this piece, Philly faces a porous Arizona pass defense this Sunday that is ranked 30th in the league and is yielding 12 yards per pass.  Ertz has the type of big play ability that can hurt a defense which has been giving up big plays all year.  In his last game before the Philly bye, Ertz broke his scoring slump by catching a TD against the NY Giants along with 47 receiving yards.  Ertz has great speed and toughness to catch opposing defenses by surprise but has been somewhat quiet this year as the triggerman Nick Foles works through his own kinks.  Philly's offense is not where Chip Kelly wants it to be but a week off and a poor pass defense could instigate an offensive firestorm this Sunday.

Antonio Gates (SD) - The venerable veteran has been red hot the last three weeks - catching four TDs along with 148 yards receiving.  Philip Rivers is playing the best ball of his career and accordingly, Gates is catches a lot of balls from Rivers.  Keenan Allen has been struggling mightily this season which actually has worked out for the long time TE who remains Rivers most trusted target.  The 12-year former All Pro has surprisingly stayed healthy so far this year and is gearing up for a big battle against division rival Denver this Thursday.  It should be noted that Gates had two poor games against Denver last year - six catches for 85 yards and no TDs, but this team has a rookie RB starting which has forced Rivers to throw the ball more than he has in a long time.  San Diego will try to dominate time of possession like it did when it upset Denver on the road last year, which if they are able to do again, means big things for Gates.

Jordan Reed (WAS) - Slowly but surely, Reed has started the process of redeeming himself in the fantasy world after an extended period of injuries including concussion and hamstring issues.  Since making his season debut in Week 6 - Reed has caught 13 passes for 146 yards.  What's impressive is he is racking up these numbers with a very unsettled QB situation that has changed yet again.  When Reed faces Dallas this coming Monday night, Colt McCoy will be the starting QB in a development that no one saw coming before the season started.  Be that as it may, Reed is a big time player no matter who the QB and his daily price is low enough that he can be a steal and will be as long as he avoids the injury bug.  Understandably, he has lost a lot of trust with many people due to his track record, but it wasn't too long ago he was a guaranteed play with huge upside every week.

Upside Plays:

Gavin Escobar (DAL) - Who?  The former San Diego State product has emerged from obscurity the last two weeks with three TDs!  Jason Witten's backup was drafted a couple of years ago on the premise of replacing Witten when it was the veteran's time to retire, but he just never saw the field enough to warrant fantasy attention.  It was thought by many that he was a high round bust and was no better than a standard blocker.  Now, I don't want to get ahead of myself too much but it is obvious something has changed to give Dallas the feeling that Escobar can finally contribute.  He was thrown the ball in big situations the last two weeks against two good teams and looked great.  Escobar's price is dirt cheap in all dailies and maybe it should be, but he is someone who can continue to produce with so much attention paid to DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant.  Scott Chandler (BUF) - With Buffalo being ravaged by injuries to the backfield (CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson) and Mike Williams demanding a trade, new QB Kyle Orton needs weapons to throw to and who better than the underrated Chandler who caught a big 4th down and 20 pass from Orton to extend the eventual game winning drive against Minnesota last Sunday?  Since Orton has taken over, Chandler has caught 13 passes for 162 yards (three games) and next plays a soft NY Jets pass defense.  It should be noted that Chandler's numbers have really dipped ever since EJ Manuel became QB.  When Ryan Fitzpatrick was QB, Chandler scored 12 TDs in two years compared to two total TDs during the Manuel Era.

Defenses - Featured site is DraftStreet

Fantistics Top 5 Defenses:
1. Miami
2. Buffalo
3. Cleveland
4. Minnesota
5. Detroit

Top Play:

Miami Dolphins - There is nothing a defense likes more than facing a rookie QB and that is what the Fins get to do this Sunday against Blake Bortles.  Miami is playing very stout defense as it is ranked 10th against the run and 5th against the pass.  Miami is also ranked 2nd in forced fumbles and 5th in passes defensed.  Needless to say, Jacksonville will need a lot more than Denard Robinson to overcome such an aggressive defense.  Bortles plays his best in a hurry up offense which is fine but lends itself to being predictable and Miami's D is savvy enough to pick its spots and wreak havoc at the most opportune time.  Expect DEs Cameron Wake (4.5 sacks) and Olivier Vernon (3.5 sacks) to hassle Bortles all game long and force him into bad situations.  Miami's D destroyed Chicago's high octane offense last week as it sacked Jay Cutler three times, intercepted him once and forced two fumbles.  Jacksonville's offense is ranked 31st in total offense which is not exactly intimidating, and has scored more than 20 points just once this year. 

Value Play:  Detroit Lions - Atlanta's offense has been so inconsistent and sloppy this year, you cannot help but imagine Detroit terrorizing Matt Ryan and a patchwork offensive line all game long this Sunday.  Detroit's D is an elite unit that is ranked near or at the top of many categories, including sacks (3rd), forced fumbles (7th), points allowed (2nd), rushing yards per game (2nd) and receiving yards per game (10th).  Atlanta's offense is ranked 4th in most interceptions and 5th in most fumbles which are rankings you don't want to be ranked highly in.  It is near impossible to run on Detroit with a good running game so if you have one as poor as Atlanta's, you can forget about it.  Detroit will force Atlanta to become one dimensional and many mistakes will follow.

Other Value:  Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens have allowed the least amount of points this season which speaks to how well they have recovered from the post-Super Bowl purge that rid them of many established veterans.  They will be facing a Bengals offense that has been completely out of sync to the point of being shut out last Sunday against Indianapolis.  With AJ Green possibly missing the game due to his lingering foot issues and Andy Dalton looking really choppy, the Ravens may come into Cincy, cause a whole bunch of chaos, including some turnovers and prove that maybe their defense is for real again.  Cincy plays its best when Gio Bernard and the running game get going, so if the 7th ranked run defense of Baltimore gets going early and often, it could be another sloppy Cincy afternoon like last week.

Kickers - Featured site is StarStreet

Fantistics Top 5 Kickers:
1. Steven Hauschka
2. Stephen Gostkowski
3. Justin Tucker
4. Ryan Succop
5. Adam Vinatieri

Top Value:

Steven Hauschka (SEA) - Seattle may not be winning lately but it still is putting up a lot of points as the defense hasn't been up to snuff which has forced Russell Wilson and Seattle to play a lot of catchup.  The Hawks travel to Carolina this Sunday in a game that should see Seattle score a lot of points.  Carolina is ranked 22nd against the pass and 30th against the run which tells me it doesn't have a prayer in stopping Seattle.  As such, Hauschka will have plenty of opportunities to score which is the way it has been this year since Seattle is ranked 8th in total scoring.

Other Values:  Matt Prater (DET), Caleb Sturgis (MIA) and Dan Carpenter (BUF).

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