1. Meet Austin Ekeler- Austin Ekeler had a huge day on Sunday against the Jaguars, rushing 10 times for 42 yards and hauling in 5 of 5 targets for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns. Melvin Gordon has never been a huge YPC guy, and he always been buoyed by his insane volume as a top fantasy play. Over the last 3 weeks however, MG3 has played on under 70% of the snaps in each game, and Ekeler has clearly carved himself out a role in this Chargers offense.
2. Rex Burkhead is healthy- Sexy Rexy! My MFL10 shares of Mr. Burkhead couldn't be happier right now. Rex is back healthy for the Patriots, and we say on Sunday night that Bill intends to use him. Mike Gillislee was a healthy inactive, and Burkhead played a season-high 52% of the snaps. It's still going to be hard with Dion Lewis and James White around, but Bill clearly likes Rexy and it's worth monitoring moving forward.
3. Is Rashaan Melvin legit?- All year I've heard people talk about Vontae Davis, who know is not even with the Colts, like it is 2014. Davis hadn't been good in years, and it's been clear all season that Rashaan Melvin has been the Colts best defensive back (especially with Malik Hooker out). The Colts secondary is a dumpster fire overall, but Melvin has been a diamond in the rough and legitimately shut down Antonio Brown on Sunday afternoon. Melvin shadowed AB on on 85% of his routes, and held him to 2 catches for 42 yards. There aren't many guys who can hold back AB, and Melvin a guy to keep your eye on going forward.
4. Forgetting Kelvin Benjamin- Just when I thought Christian McCaffrey was falling off the radar, the Kelvin Benjamin trade has resurrected him as a very appealing fantasy play. His snaps have come back up in both games, and he is finally seeing red zone usage. He was targeted under 20% of the time in the red zone when Benjamin was on the team, and in the last two weeks without KB is has ballooned to almost 40%!
5. Hundley's favorite target- Hundley finally looked decent on Sunday against a sneaky tough defense on the road. He has been peppering Davante Adams with targets in his first career starts, leading Adams to just south of a 28% marketshare of the teams targets in those games. That is usage we cannot ignore both in DFS and season-long and Adams will be back on my radar in good matchups in the coming weeks.
6. Don't forget about Danny- This is not really a Takeaway but it's more of a forward thinking note. Danny Woodhead is expected back this week for the Ravens after exiting on the first drive of the season. He had already racked up 3 catches for 30 yards on that drive and Woodhead was dropped in most of my season-long fantasy leagues. He's definitely worth a speculative waiver add.
7. Cowboys backfield- As expected we really didn't get any clarity on a usable fantasy asset in the Cowboys backfield in their first game without Ezekiel Elliot. I will say that the absence of Tyron Smith did heavily affect these guys performance, but we aren't going to see below usage out of any of them. Rod Smith saw all of the passing game work while Alfred Morris saw around 70% of the carries.
8. It's almost Corey Davis time- Corey Davis is a guy I've been high on since the preseason and you know this if you played preseason NFL DFS with us. He saw 10 targets in week one this season and then went down with an injury. He's played over 80% of the snaps his first two games back fully from injury and he had a touchdown called back last Sunday. The most important thing to me is he is running routes on 100% of Mariota's drop backs and the sites have not moved his price up yet. Mariota is banged up, which is a drag, but he clearly has a rapport with Davis and I want to be ahead of the curve on this one.
9. Don't mess with JuJu- The return of Martavis Bryant really didn't have an impact on the role of dynamic rookie playmaker JuJu Smith-Schuster, as we expected. JuJu still out-snapped MB by 16 and out-targeted him. We saw JuJu get the touchdown, and at this point it's clear that JuJu might just be a better receiver than Marty.
10. Just roster Tight Ends against the Giants- I will end on an obvious note this week, just play the Tight Ends facing the Giants. The GMen have allowed a touchdown to an opposing Tight Ends in EVERY game this season, including the likes of Tyler Higbee, Jeff Heuerman, and Garrett Celek (GOAT). Travis Kelce up next...
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)