Philip Rivers (at BAL, $6,600) – Rivers has been throwing the ball at a ridiculous rate this season, as he’s averaging over 44 attempts per game. He has turned those throws into 2,452 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his last 3 starts, Rivers has combined for 171 attempts, which is the most in the NFL. He gets a great matchup against the Ravens this week, who have the 32nd worst defense in the NFL against opposing quarterbacks. Rivers is one of the safest options on the slate, but he also comes with great upside. He should have no problem picking apart the Ravens weak secondary, and he can be used in all leagues.
Andy Dalton (at PIT, $6,000) – This is the first time Andy Dalton is priced at $6,000, and that’s still entirely too low for the season he’s having. He’s scoring the most fantasy points per game (25.0) of any quarterback on the Sunday slate, but he’s the 12th most expensive, behind players including Peyton and Eli Manning. Dalton gets a plus matchup against the Steelers, who are allowing 276.9 passing yards per game. That currently ranks 27th in the NFL this season, and Dalton should have no problem picking them apart. He’s another low risk, high reward player, and he can be used in all leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at OAK, $5,200) – Fitzpatrick has been playing well recently, as he has combined for 47.92 fantasy points over his last two games. He has really been playing well this season, but he has been much more of a game manager than a fantasy option. The Jets have somewhat opened up their quarterback over the last couple of weeks, though, and he gets his easiest matchup of the season against the Raiders this week. Oakland is allowing 303.8 passing yards per game, which ranks dead last in the NFL. The Raiders have also been sticking in games this season, which will give Fitzpatrick more upside, but he is best suited for cash games this week.
Todd Gurley (vs SF, $6,300) – Gurley’s price jumped up this week, but it still isn’t high enough. Last week, he was owned at 83% in my tournaments, which seems like a wasted play, but he scored 35.3 fantasy points at only $5,000, and you were immediately behind the pack if you avoided him. That will likely be the case against this week, as he faces a poor San Francisco defense. Over the last three weeks, Gurley has run for 433 yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding 50 yards through the air. He’s nearly a lock to touch the ball 20+ times this week, and he should be used in all lineups this week.
Doug Martin (at ATL, $5,500) – After a slow start to the season, Martin has been playing extremely well over the last three games. Over that span, he has 64 total touches for 472 yards and 4 touchdowns. His upside is somewhat capped by Charles Sims, who is also seeing double digit touches each week. He does get a great matchup against the Falcons, who are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Martin is averaging over 30 fantasy points per game over his last three starts, and Martin can be used in all leagues for his price tag.
Darren McFadden (vs SEA, $3,800) – There was tons of hype surrounding Christine Michael last week, but Run DMC quickly put that to rest. After Joseph Randle was injured, McFadden ran for 152 yards and 1 touchdown on 29 attempts. He certainly earned a larger role this upcoming week, and while he gets a tough matchup against the Seahawks this week, his price tag is extremely easy to afford. McFadden is also large part in the passing game, and he had a receiving touchdown called back last week, as well. In his last two games, Run DMC has recorded 44 fantasy points, and this will likely be the last time his price tag is this cheap. He’s best suited for GPPs, though.
Keenan Allen (at BAL, $7,600) – Allen is the type of player that I like to refer to as a “stud or dud.” He has the ability to score 40 fantasy points, but he also has the ability to score less than 5 fantasy points. Allen has 62 receptions for 690 yards and 3 touchdowns in the season, but in three of those games, he recorded 41 catches for 456 yards and 2 touchdowns. In each of those games, Allen scored over 30 fantasy points, but he has scored under 20 fantasy points in each of his other four games. He gets a great matchup against a weak Baltimore secondary this week, and Allen is a great GPP option.
Stefon Diggs (at CHI, $4,800) – Diggs’ price is continuing to climb, but it’s still too cheap for his recent production. In the three games he has played this season, Diggs has recorded 19 receptions for 324 yards and 1 touchdown. Last week was extremely encouraging for his fantasy outlook, as Charles Johnson returned from injury, but Diggs was still clearly running with the first team. He’s an explosive receiver, who has the ability to score from anywhere on the field with the ball in his hands. He gets a great matchup against a struggling Bears defense, and he can be used in all leagues for his price.
Cecil Shorts III (vs TEN, $3,000) – Shorts’ price has dropped significantly because of a combination of lack of production and injuries. He’s currently questionable for this week, but if he plays, he’s a great option at the minimum price on DraftKings. Shorts is averaging over 5 targets per game on the season, even though he has been in and out of the offense due to injuries. The Texans will likely be throwing the ball as much as they were in the first couple of weeks, as Arian Foster tore his Achilles last week, and they lack other playmakers at running back. Shorts makes a low risk, high upside player for his current price tag, and if he isn’t able to suit up, Nate Washington also makes a good option.
Jason Witten (vs SEA, $5,200) – Witten’s price has climbed a bit, which is concerning, but he’s a much better option now that Matt Cassel is starting for the Cowboys. Last week, Witten led the Cowboys in receptions, targets, and receiving yards. As are many tight ends, Witten is Cassel’s safety blanket. He gets a good matchup against the Seahawks, who rank 31st in the NFL against opposing tight ends. Witten has been able to produce decent numbers throughout the season with backup caliber quarterbacks. That includes Cassel, but he’s certainly the better of the two options. Witten is also a red zone threat, which gives him a bit more upside.
Jeff Cumberland (at OAK, $2,500) – Cumberland isn’t the safest option on the slate, as he only has 3 receptions for 26 yards on the season. He does, however, get a great matchup against the Raiders, who have been historically bad against the tight end this season. Cumberland has also proven that he is a decent receiver when given the opportunity, as he has recorded over 20 catches for three straight seasons. I do not expect Cumberland to be a large part of this offense, but the Jets will likely game plan around getting the tight end the ball, as many other teams do against the Raiders. Still, Cumberland is only a deep GPP play if you’re in need of salary relief.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST (at CHI, $3,100) – The Vikings defense and special teams have quietly put together a safe season, as they have scored 6 or more fantasy points in every game. They get a great matchup against the Bears, who have been one of the worst offenses in the NFL this season. Minnesota likely won’t blow you away like Denver’s defense, but they are a safe option and can be used in all leagues.