BY SKEETER ROBINSON
Special to PressBox Sports
Flexibility and staying up to date are necessary in fantasy sports, but especially this year. As I write this on Friday night, no games have been postponed from the main slate on DraftKings. That can change and if it does, be ready to adjust your lineups. I was listening to a fantasy football podcast and they brought up the point that some of these games that people think may be delayed (Broncos-Patriots, Vikings-Falcons, and Colts-Bengals) could be less popular than it should be. Most people tend to be risk-averse in setting lineups and may not change after setting them on Thursday or Friday night. My advice is to listen to the news flow and make the proper adjustments. Do not get settled on a lineup mid-week, as a lot can change.
Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers (7,500) has 13 TD and no interceptions this year. He gets his favorite receiver back in Davante Adams. People will avoid him because they see Tampa Bay has given up the fewest fantasy points to QBs. I am not worried, as the TB secondary can be had, and this is the highest over/under at 55. Another high scoring game is Atlanta-Minnesota. Matt Ryan (6,600) gets a full offense back this week as Ridley is healthy and Julio is not on the injury report. He is risky but does carry 25+ fantasy point upside at this price. Maybe a better cash game play, Matthew Stafford (6,300) has not got to 300 passing yards yet. But he gets a great matchup against Jacksonville’s bottom 10 pass defense. Ryan Tannehill (5,900) has put up 26 and 30 fantasy points at home so far this year. Houston has not been the good defense this year that they have been in past years. The only concern is the short week for the Titans. Finally, picking on the Jets defense is always a good idea. Ryan Fitzpatrick (5,900) has thrown for multiple touchdowns in three of his last four games, and will rush for 20+ yards, giving him a decent floor in a great matchup.
Running Backs: In the past, DraftKings has posted their salaries so early that a major injury in the Sunday or Monday Night games would result in a backup being priced so low, they would be 50%+ owned. This is not the case as Alexander Mattison (7,200) was priced up with Dalvin Cook out. Mattison gets the Falcons who have been the most generous team over the past season-plus in giving up receptions to the running back. Even at this price, Mattison is worth paying up for. Mike Davis (7,000) continues to produce at a similar level to McCaffrey does in this offense. His 5-reception floor and main rushing threat is worth paying for, even in a tougher matchup against the Bears. Only one team (coming up later) has given up more fantasy points to the running back than the Detroit Lions, so James Robinson (6,800) is in play. Ronald Jones (6,000) has back to back 100-yard games, and the Packers have not stopped the run in a year plus. I am a Bears fan and a believer long-term in David Montgomery (5,800). But the Bears do not use him enough to justify taking him in a great matchup against the 32nd ranked run defense in Carolina, at what is looking to be significant ownership. He is a fine play in cash games, but I do not know if he has the tournament upside you want to win a GPP with. Finally, Melvin Gordon is dealing with a DUI and an illness. He may not play due to one or both reasons. If he is out, Phillip Lindsay (4,300) becomes a volume play at a cheap price, though I wish he were not facing the Patriots.
Wide Receivers: Davante Adams (8,000) is back for the Packers and has a nice floor in a high scoring game against Tampa Bay. Julio Jones is back but may be limited. Calvin Ridley (7,800) has seen double-digit targets in all but one game (he was hurt against GB) and draws a bottom 5 pass defense in Minnesota. A lot of people will try to chase (pun intended) the output of Chase Claypool (5,200) from last week. He is in a good spot as Diontae Johnson is out and the Browns secondary continues to be injured. Claypool is fine, but in tournaments, I think Juju Smith-Schuster (6,600) is the way you want to go, as he is expensive, and most will just default to Claypool. Devante Parker (6,300) feels a little expensive as he typically has boom/bust games. A matchup against the Jets feels like a “boom” spot and he is the #1 WR for Miami (Preston Williams at 4,700 is a cheaper option with some upside). I do not think Justin Jefferson (6,000) is as safe as people think he is. He is still a rookie and the Vikings want to run the ball as much as possible. However, he is a good value and does have an upside to easily return value at his price. I have no issue picking on Detroit’s pass defense either, so D.J. Chark (6,300) is going to be the place most people go to. But I think I prefer a healthier Laviska Shenault (5,200) who has seen 6+ targets in each of his past three games. Finally, if you need value, the Eagles receivers are all under 4,500 in a tough matchup against the Ravens. I would prefer Greg Ward (4,100) as the Eagles receiver of choice, as he is in the slot and the Ravens “weakness” against the pass is in the middle of the field.
Tight Ends: The position is ugly this week. Mark Andrews (6,500) is the pay-up option against an Eagles team that continues to give up big production to the tight end. If not paying up for Andrews, then save some money and look at some cheaper options. Zach Ertz (5,000) has been the most affected by the injuries to the Eagles receivers. He does draw the best matchup, as the Ravens do struggle against tight ends. However, he is hard to trust right now. Evan Engram (4,900) get a Washington team that has given up the most points to the position so far in 2020. Eric Ebron (4,100) is averaging 6 targets a game in his last three games and the Browns are bottom 5 against the TE. Trey Burton (3,100) has seen 11 targets total in his last two games and the Bengals are another team to pick on with tight ends. Finally, it is hard to trust a Vikings Tight End. But Irv Smith Jr. (2,500) did see 5 targets last week and the Falcons have consistently been giving up tight end touchdowns all season. Just realize if you play him, Kyle Rudolph will inevitably score the touchdowns.
Sunday Night Showdown: Robert Woods (8,400) is the bigger touchdown threat than Cooper Kupp (9,000) and is someone I will look at to captain, as the 49ers pass defense has not been good. Partly because teams just throw all day against them since they allow the fewest points to the running back. For the 49ers, Jerick McKinnon (2,400) is really intriguing at this price. He did nothing last week when Raheem Mostert returned, but Jeff Wilson is questionable with a mid-week injury. If he is out, McKinnon may see more snaps, and is always a threat to be the 49ers RB of choice in each week. This is way too cheap on him and if I feel risky, I may captain him (better to do if playing multiple lineups).