It’s another week with a bunch of unappealing, low total games, but we do have a few spots that are worth targeting. As usual, we’ll look to target the faster-paced, high-scoring games as much as we can. Sometimes, however, we can easily project a huge workload for a particular receiver, so we’ll want to make sure we get exposure to them as much as we can.
Let’s dive into my top FanDuel and DraftKings picks for this weekend. Keep up with the latest news via the RotoGrinders DFS Alerts app - we’ll push injury news directly to your phone for free with a DFS spin.
Cash Game Targets
Mike Evans at Dolphins
Evans is my top play this week despite how pitiful Ryan Fitzpatrick looked last week. Things should improve with Evans back in the fold, and it’s worth mentioning that Fitzpatrick is likely to lock onto Evans much like he did when he had Brandon Marshall in New York. Facing a Miami defense that ranks 31st in pass defense DVOA, Evans has ridiculous upside this weekend. Given he’s likely to see 10+ targets, even with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing him the ball, you must love his floor.
Sterling Shepard vs Chiefs
The Giants love to throw the ball, and given we can almost guarantee the Chiefs are going to put up points against this woeful defense, we should expect another heavy dose of Shepard this week. Kansas City ranks 22nd in pass defense DVOA, and if last week is any indication, the Giants are more than happy to get the ball in Shepard’s hands as much as possible. Shepard is underpriced on both FanDuel and DraftKings, making him a fantastic value option in cash games on both sites.
DeVante Parker vs Buccaneers
Parker is a better play on FanDuel where his price is much lower, but I like him quite a bit either way. It’s difficult to recommend Dolphins pass catchers in cash games because the offense is so dreadful, but it’s also hard to overlook a guy likely to get eight to ten targets facing a Tampa defense that’s ranked 28th in pass defense DVOA. Furthermore, Miami’s run game is about as bad as it gets. They’re ranked 31st in run offense DVOA, and while the passing game stinks too, at least it’s a better bet to move the chains.
Brandin Cooks at Raiders (Mexico City)
I mention later in this article that Cooks sees almost no red zone targets, and while that’s true, he must be considered in tournaments anyway. He has plenty of yards after the catch upside, his quarterback is Tom Brady, and he’s facing the worst pass defense in the league. The Patriots are going to score a lot of points, and even if Cooks doesn’t find the end zone, he could post a monster yardage number. Of course, we can’t use him in cash games because the Patriots could score 35 points and he could post a 3-45 line in the process. That’s just the way New England works. Get exposure to him in your tournament lineups, but don’t go out of your way to roster him in cash games.
Cash Game Targets
Travis Kelce at Giants
The first thing I do when analyzing tight end plays for the week is looking to see who is facing the Giants. When I see a guy as talented and as involved in his team’s offense as Kelce, he immediately becomes the top play. The Giants are downright horrifying against the tight end, ranking 26th in DVOA and allowing a touchdown to a tight end in every game so far this season. They’ve allowed the most touchdowns this season to the position, and the third-most yards. Kelce is simply a fantastic play this weekend, and he should be a cornerstone of your cash game lineups.
Rob Gronkowski at Raiders (Mexico City)
The Patriots are always interesting because we know they’re going to score points, but they have so many ways to do it, it often becomes difficult to roster anyone outside of Tom Brady. However, against an absolutely putrid Raiders defense that ranks dead last in pass defense DVOA and 30th against the tight end, I simply cannot pass on Gronkowksi this week. In fact, on DraftKings, I’m very much in favor of using both him and Travis Kelce. Red-zone favorite Chris Hogan is out this week, and while Brandin Cooks certainly has plenty of upside, he gets almost no red zone looks, and I’m certainly not worried about Philip Dorsett and Danny Amendola cutting into Gronk’s usage. Simply put, the Patriots are likely going to score four touchdowns (or more), and I think Gronk is a lock to catch at least one of them. Roster him with confidence this week as his upside is as high as any other player on the slate.
Evan Engram vs Chiefs
I see no reason to deviate from the top two guys at the tight end position in cash games, but in tournaments, almost anything goes. Kansas City ranks a middling 15th against the tight end position, and while his matchup isn’t nearly as juicy as Gronk’s or Kelce’s, his talent and his role in the Giants offense make him a viable tournament play against nearly anyone. He should continue to see a healthy amount of looks as the Giants have one of the highest passing play percentages in the league, and are likely going to have to play catch up against a Chiefs team that will probably score at will against their awful defense. Fading Kelce and Gronk for Engram in cash games is a bad idea, but there is a chance he outscores them, which puts him in the conversation in GPPs.
Marcedes Lewis at Browns
This one is a stretch, but the Browns have been dreadful against opposing tight ends, so we should at least be willing to give Lewis a look. I don’t expect a pass-heavy approach in what should be a comfortable win for the Jags, but the fact that Jason McCourty will almost certainly erase Marqise Lee this week will leave quarterback Blake Bortles without his number one target. There’s no guarantee Lewis steps up, but if we’re taking shots on cheap tight ends, there’s almost no better team in the league to target than the Browns and their 31st ranked defense against opposing tight ends. Please do not consider Lewis in cash games, but consider him as a cheap punt option in tournaments.