In this weekly article, we explore the top O/U totals and determine which teams we are eyeing up for stacking purposes on DraftKings and Fanduel. This week we'll feature games on Sunday-Monday, as the Thursday night contest between Houston and Cincinnati has a very low game total at 38 so unless you're in a Thursday-Monday tournament, we'll be avoiding this game entirely. IF you do decide to involve tonight's contest, a couple of names for tournament purposes that I'm ok with plugging in include Joe Mixon, Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins, but I'm not really excited about any of those plays. Probably like Mixon the most if I had to pick since he caught three passes last week vs Baltimore and the Texans run D looked pretty sorry against Leonard Fournette and the Jags.
Ok...onto the Top 3 games in terms of Vegas spreads this weekend and who you should target:
New England Patriots -7 @ New Orleans Saints O/U 56.5
With a 56.5 point game total, that means the Patriots are projected to score over 30 points...so this is a team that we'll attack despite the fact that guys like Brady, Gronk, Burkhead and Hogan let owners down.
However, this game is in the Superdome and the Saints defense still looks very suspect. Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards and 3 TDs last week against this Saints Defense, so I don't need to sell you on Tom Brady. He's the highest priced QB on both sites and he deserves to be. Get the GOAT into your cash lineups.
Brandin Cooks is the 3rd highest priced WR on DraftKings and only the 7th highest priced on Fanduel. Whether you believe in the revenge narrative or not, pairing Brady and Cooks together is a solid foundation for cash games. I'm not expecting Danny Amendola to play this week as he suffered a concussion last Thursday against the Chiefs and he's got a knee injury. Which leads me to my next target in the passing game: James White
White caught three balls for 30 yards last week on 5 targets, and also ran 10 times for 38 yards. Mike Gillislee got all of the goal line love, but he's $1700 and $1000 on DK and Fanduel, respectively. If you're pairing Brady-Cooks, you'll need to find some value elsewhere, and a guy I'm looking at on the other side of the ball is TE Coby Fleener.
Fleener looked pretty terrible in his first season in New Orleans, but he's essentially sprung into the second target for Drew Brees in this passing attack behind Michael Thomas as Willie Snead is still suspended. At $3100 on DK and $5300 on Fanduel, he's a guy that I want to get into my cash lineups after an encouraging first game from a fantasy standpoint (5 rec, 54 yards, 1 TD)
Jumping back to the Patriots offense, I'm good with playing Chris Hogan in all formats as well. Gronk and Gillislee are tournament options for me given their price tags. Same applies to the other side of the ball with WR Michael Thomas.
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders -14 O/U 43.5
So with one of the biggest point spreads and only an average O/U point total, from a DFS standpoint this game screams START YA RAIDAHS!!!!!
If you choose to go with the combination of Derek Carr-Amari Cooper, you'll save $2400 in DraftKings and still have a stellar pair to build around in cash games. Cooper received 13 targets against the Titans in Week 1, and found the end zone which was the biggest complaint about Amari last season. If you need a bit of the salary relief I don't have a problem playing Crabtree instead of Cooper, as he's $600 less on Fanduel and $1000 less on DraftKings. Crabtree received 7 targets in Week 1 catching six of them for 83 yards.
Marshawn Lynch got the workload against the Titans and while he didn't exactly break any big runs, the key word here is workload. 18 carries is what we like to see after taking a year off, and we must also pay attention to what Vegas tells us about the game script. If the Raiders go up big against the putrid Jets then expect Lynch to continue to get a strong workload and find paydirt.
Let's not target any Jets in DFS. In a tournament if you really want to be contrarian I guess you could roll out Bilal Powell, but Matt Forte had 35 offensive snaps compared to Powell's 30. That's not exactly what fantasy owners were envisioning when they grabbed Powell in season long drafts, and I'm not envisioning him breaking out against the Raiders this week.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons -3 O/U 54
We can target both sides of the football in this Sunday night contest in Week 2. And you know what's awesome about having Sunday night exposure? You can have a nice gauge of what kind of performances you need based on your other guys did during the 1pm & 4pm games (if you're not on the East coast reading this....you know what I mean).
Ty Montgomery is essentially a free square on DraftKings at $5800. Montgomery didn't wow anyone with his 54 yards on the ground, but the important stat is the amount of carries he had: 19. There were plenty of concerns about how the former WR turned RB could handle additional workload, but the added muscle he put on the offseason surely helped him grind it out against one of the better run defenses in the league in Seattle. Montgomery found paydirt in Week 1 and I feel good he'll do that once again either running the ball or catching it out of the backfield as he caught all four of his targets for 39 yards.
The WR position for the Packers is sort of site specific. On DraftKings, I really like Davante Adams value at $5600, which is cheaper than Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. On Fanduel, Adams is $400 more than Cobb. In terms of targets in Week 1, Cobb led the way with 13, hauling in 9 catches for 85 yards. I'd rather try and fit in either of these guys instead of Jordy who is the 4th highest priced WR on Fanduel and 5th on DK. Atlanta's secondary is pretty solid (ranked 5th coming into this year on PFF (http://bit.ly/2vMUcCP)
On the Falcons side of the football I like the idea of playing Tevin Coleman this week on DK. At $5300 he's less than guys like Derek Henry and Christian McCaffery (Head Coach Ron Rivera doesn't want to wear his batteries out apparently, that's not welcome news in fantasy) and he got 8 carries as well as 6 targets in the passing game.
Julio Jones could have low ownership after a disappointing Week 1 where he saw just 5 targets. He's the 2nd highest priced WR on both sites so if you want to roll him out in a tournament I'll never tell you Julio is a bad idea.
Austin Hooper was the leading receiver in terms of yards with 128, but that was only on 2 catches as one of those was a long bomb from Matt Ryan. Hooper offers some salary relief and I believe he'll continue to be utilized in this passing game more and more as the season moves along. Like Ryan and Devonta Freeman, I prefer Hooper in tournaments.