Every Sunday morning our team of Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto bring you their Bold Predictions of the week. Maybe they are out of their minds or maybe they have the player that can win it all for you this week.
Sterling Shepard Will Post 150 yards and 2 touchdowns
The Giants slot man WR Sterling Shepard has struggled this season, as have all pass-catchers relying on QB Eli Manning to get them the ball. This week though, he enters the game with an ideal spot for a huge game. A pair of injuries should open up the game for Shepard to be a pivotal part of the Giants game plan. First, TE Evan Engram will miss the game with a leg injury. He’s seen almost 10% of the team’s targets on the season. On the other side of the ball, the Saints lost slot CB Patrick Robinson a week ago, meaning Shepard should eat against the Saints disappointing defense. Factor in the Saints expected lead and Eli and the Giants will have to throw a ton to stick with the New Orleans offense. – Ryan Mcdowell
Joe Flacco will have 300 yards passing, Alex Collins will have 100 yards rushing, John Brown will have 100 yards receiving vs Steelers
The rivalry between these two clubs brings to mind hard fought battles that were a grind and often won by a defensive stand or turnover. Joe Flacco has played 22 games against the Steelers and has passed for 300+ yards only twice and neither time had a 100 yard receiver. The Ravens have had one 100 yard receiver over the last six meetings with Steelers and one 100 yard rusher over the last five. But this version of the Steelers defense is not stout, they have given up a 400 and a 300 yard passer this year, three 100+ yard receivers but no 100 yard rushing games. Today the Ravens will post the trifecta as they look to take control of the division back from Pittsburgh. – Sal Leto
Sony Michel Posts 100 Rushing Yards and Two Touchdowns
A preseason injury submarined the value of Sony Michel. A slow start has depressed his value even further. Despite all the negatives, Michel has somehow gained value given Rex Burkhead’s placement on IR and the loss of Jeremy Hill to an ACL tear. Michel received 14 carries in Week 3 and his role should continue to grow given the dearth of talent in the New England backfield and the spark the team desperatly needs on offense. A home favorite, the Patriots figure to feature their best playmakers and Michel is one of them. New England is always written off early in the year before brearking out, which could start this week. – Rob Willette
Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.
If your new to DFS (daily fantasy sports) don’t worry! Fanball has contests for beginners so you can test the waters along with other new players. In this article player’s are categorized by position, price, and then reason for being listed. Here’s a few different words you’ll be seeing often what they mean for fantasy purposes. Value is when a player reaches three times their salary or higher. A fade is a player to avoid using and typically will have a high ownership percentage. A contrarian-play is a player that won’t be used by most. A stack is the use multiple players from the same game.
Higher-Priced QB – Tom Brady – NE vs MIA – $7,600
What seems more likely to happen, the Pats’ lose a third straight game or the ‘Fins win their fourth in a row? I’ll bet on TB12 at home, you can have the fish on the road. In Foxboro he’s averaged 298 passing yards and 2.3 touchdowns since 2016. What’s even better is that he’s playing against Miami at home. Over the last three seasons, Brady put up 291 yards and 3.5 touchdowns a game when facing against the ‘Fins in Foxboro. They call that a New England fish fry and Brady’s the head chef. Miami can be beaten through the air, don’t let their ranking fool you. They let up 345 yards to Derek Carr, 334 yards to Sam Darnold, and are now dealing with a banged-up secondary
Lower-Priced QB – DeShaun Watson – $7,300 – HOU @ IND
On paper, Indianapolis looks like a much better pass defense than they were last year. They’ve allowed the seventh-fewest Fanball points to opposing quarterbacks. I don’t buy it. Consider this, over the last two weeks they’ve faced Philadelphia’s injury-plagued wide receivers and Washington’s below-average receiving talent. Hopkins and Fuller are a different story, totalling 44 Fanball points per game combined, so expect the Colts to have their hands full with Watson on Sunday. He needs just under 22 Fanball points for three times value. That’s seven fewer than what Watson put up last week, and it’s nearly four fewer than his total the week prior.
Fade – Ryan Fitzpatrick – $6,700 – TB @ CHI
This will be Fitzpatrick’s toughest test yet and it’s not even close. The Bears are sacking opposing quarterbacks on 12 percent of dropbacks which leads the the NFL. They’re also leading in total sacks with 14. That’s the same amount the Eagles and Saints have combined, Fitzpatrick’s two opponents to start the year. According to Football Outsiders, Chicago is the best defense overall and ranks third in defending the pass. With Jameis Winston back from suspension there’s a chance Fitzpatrick doesn’t finish the game if he’s struggling. That’s a risk not worth taking on the road against the Bears. Chicago has the second-most interceptions and just picked off the Cardinals three times a week ago, so the end may be near for Fitzpatrick.
Higher-Priced RB – Ezekiel Elliott – DAL vs DET – $8,800
It’s clear the Cowboys want to run, run, and run some more and this week they face the perfect opponent to do that against. Zeke’s 91 rushing yards a game leads the league and he’s facing the Lions who give up more rushing yards to opposing backs than any other defense. Even though the Lions have given up the most rushing yards, they’re sitting back in seventh in rushing attempts against. The Lions allow a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry, putting them behind the eight-ball against Zeke’s 5.7 yards per carry which ranks fifth-highest among running backs with at least 20 carries. Elliott’s involvement in the passing game adds to his potential upside. In their last two game’s Dak Prescott targeted Zeke 14 times, completing eight of those attempts.
Lower-Priced RB – Sony Michel – $5,200 – NE vs MIA
The Patriots haven’t been able to get their ground attack going on offense, but with his discounted price-tag Sony Michel is still worthy of consideration. He’s was a first-rounder for a reason and the doors are wide open for him to seize control of the running back job in New England now that Rex Burkhead is out for the season. He needs over 15 Fanball points to pay off his salary, but his volume should be enough to give him a realistic shot. He carried the ball 14 times last week which was ten more than James White’s four carries. Sony gets a tough matchup with Miami so there’s definitely risk involved, but he’s cheap enough that i don’t mind rolling the dice and betting on the talent.
Fade – Aaron Jones – $5,400 – GB vs BUF
Aaron Jones has the hype-train chugging along at full speed, but let’s just slow down a second and use some common sense. He missed the first couple game’s due to a suspension and then stepped in as the No .3 running back for Green Bay. That resulted in seven touches for Jones, seven touches for Jamaal Williams, and nine touches for Ty Montgomery. He’s now in a three-way committee, so his upside is severely capped-off and his floor is super low as well. Jones seems likely to get single-digit touches again but would somehow need 16 Fanball points to justify his salary. The Bills have been decent against opposing running backs, giving up the fourth-fewest yards rushing yards but allowing six total scores by the position.
Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
Higher-Priced WR – A.J. Green – $8,500 – CIN @ ATL
A.J. Green is primed to pour on the Fanball points in a great matchup with Atlanta. They surrendered the second-most passing yards to quarterback’s and the second-most touchdowns to wide receivers during the past two weeks, making them one of the worst units in the league. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon with injuries to both starting safeties for Atlanta. The Falcons have the third-lowest sack rate as well, so Andy Dalton should have time to pick apart the defense. This game has a projected total of 51 points, making it the largest over/under this weekend. Both teams are top-nine in points forced, so don’t be afraid to stack players on from each side and hope for a shootout.
Higher-Priced WR/TE – Will Fuller – $7,400 – HOU @ IND
Will Fuller missed week one and it’s no coincidence Deshaun Watson struggled. Over the last two weeks with Fuller back in the lineup Watson is averaging 347 yards, two touchdowns, and over 27 Fanball points. Watson has thrown nine touchdown passes to Fuller in the six games they’ve played together, an astonishing rate of 1.5 per game. With no competition besides DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller should continue to be one of the highest scoring players in fantasy. He has the perfect combination of targets and touchdowns, giving him a high-floor with huge-upside.
Lower-Priced WR – Tyler Boyd – $4,700 – CIN @ ARL
Atlanta’s defense has struggled all year and they keep slipping further down the rankings. That’s because they’re now missing pro-bowlers at safety and middle linebacker, and they just lost their other starting safety on Sunday. A.J. Green is going to get his, but there should be more than enough left over for Tyler Boyd. He’s increased his receiving yards in each game this season, he’s scored in consecutive games, and he has a healthy role in the offense averaging seven targets and five receptions. Until Boyd proves me wrong I’ll continue plugging him into lineups.
Lower-Priced WR/TE – O.J. Howard – $4,600 – TB @ CHI
I’m fading Ryan Fitzpatrick as I stated earlier, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the Buccaneers entirely. Chicago should be able to consistently put pressure on Fitzpatrick so I wouldn’t be shocked if he targeted the tight ends early and often. Last week Pittsburgh generated pressure on Fitzpatrick and he targeted his tight ends on 12 dropbacks, eight of which went to Howard. Without much help from the running game, the tight ends will be called on again to help in the flats and up the seams. Howard’s seen an increase in targets and receptions every week this season, while posting at least 54 yards in all three games. He’s still pretty cheap with 13 tight ends priced higher than him, so i’ll gladly take a chance on Howard.
Fade WR – Tyler Lockett – $6,900 – SEA @ ARI
Lockett will have to compete with Doug Baldwin for targets once again as it appears they’ll both be playing on Sunday. Baldwin should slide back into his slot receiving role, which would bump Lockett outside into a much-much tougher matchup. Lockett would have to deal with cornerback Patrick Peterson while playing the outside, making him an extremely risky player this weekend. This game is expected to be a low-scoring contest with an over/under total of 37, lowest across the league for week four. An overpriced wide receiver, a tough cornerback matchup, and a low expected total make this one wide out to avoid.
Fade TE – Zach Ertz – $7,300 – PHI @ TEN
Ertz has the highest salary among tight ends at 7.3k, meaning he would need a monster outing of 22 Fanball points to be valuable. He faces a stout pass defense vs tight ends on the road in Tennessee. The Titans give up two catches and 23 yards a game against opposing tight ends, plus they’ve yet to allow a touchdown to the position through three games. Ertz will also have more competition for targets going forward. Alshon Jeffery is returning from a shoulder injury and Dallas Goedert will continue building chemistry with Carson Wentz.
Defense and Special Teams
Value – Arizona Cardinals DST – $3,100 – ARI vs SEA
The Cardinals at home against the Seahawks are a fine choice at DST. Their price-tag makes them one of the cheapest options on the slate. Seattle allows opposing DST’s the second-most Fanball points per game and Arizona is at home where typically defenses perform better. Russell Wilson has been sacked 14 times so far, most of any quarterback in the league. The Cardinals defense has eight sacks, despite their offense putting them in negative game scripts in all three games. According to Football Outsiders Arizona is the sixth-best defense in adjusted sack rate and Las Vegas has this game as the lowest projected total. That gives Arizona a good mix of upside and safety for an affordable price.
Evan Bletz (@evanbletz1) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.