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Spreads and Over/Under's as of Thursday night.
Minnesota @ Pittsburgh (O/U 45.5, PIT -5.5)
Arizona @ Indianapolis (O/U 44, ARI -7.5)
Cleveland @ Baltimore (O/U 39, BAL -8)
Philadelphia @ Kansas City (O/U 47.5, KC -5.5)
Chicago @ Tampa Bay (O/U 44, TB -7)
Tennessee @ Jacksonville (O/U 43, TEN -2)
Buffalo @ Carolina (O/U 43, CAR -7)
New England @ New Orleans (O/U 56, NE -6.5)
Miami @ LA Chargers (O/U 45, LAC -4.5)
NY Jets @ Oakland (O/U 43.5, OAK -13.5)
Dallas @ Denver (O/U 42, DAL -1.5)
Washington @ LA Rams (O/U 46, LAR -3)
San Francisco @ Seattle (O/U 42, SEA -14)
Green Bay @ Atlanta (O/U 53.5, ATL -3)
There are essentially 4 guys worth considering for this section. Although Derek Carr has a nice matchup against the Jets, his price is just too high, and he doesn't have enough upside in high-scoring games for him to be a consideration unless you simply can't afford one of the top guys but can afford Carr. Tom Brady (pink), Drew Brees (green), Matt Ryan (blue), and Aaron Rodgers (red) are the guys I'm considering if I'm going to spend top dollar at QB.
Tom Brady ($7,900, 31.25 IP, NE -6.5) - With a huge implied point total, there is a lot to like about Brady, even though he is the highest priced QB. If the Pats reach their implied point total, Brady stands a great chance to approach 30 DKP.
Brady is also highly and consistently productive if the Patriots can cover the spread in a huge way and win by multiple touchdowns.
If there is one chink in Brady's armor this week, it is that he does lack the huge (40+ DKP) upside that the other 3 options flash.
But I think he has the best matchup of these four top QBs, and thus I'm targeting him if I can afford him.
Aaron Rodgers ($7,400, 25.25 IP, GB +3) - But if I can't afford Brady and still want to seek out an elite quarterback, I'm going with Aaron Rodgers. I think Rodgers is the most reasonably priced of these four QBs, and offers perhaps the most upside if his team tops 30 points (granted he has the lowest implied point total of these four QBs).
Phillip Rivers ($5,800, 24.75 IP, LAC -4.5) - Rivers finds himself priced in this tier that is filled with big performers from last week (Wentz, Alex Smith, and Bradford). I think there is a natural price surge in some of these other quarterbacks following a big week 1 performance, and thus I'm more inclined to take a guy like Rivers who is less susceptible to such a price surge.
I think Rivers offers the best value from a per salary standpoint, and also might be the best positioned to succeed given his team's implied point total and spread. I say might be the best positioned to succeed because I think the next guy probably draws a little better matchup.
Alex Smith ($5,700, 27.5 IP, KC -7.5) - Smith is the most reasonably priced among the three aforementioned quarterbacks who had huge week 1s. His price is a little higher than you typically see, but $5.7K is well within the realm of expectations for Smith's price (unlike Carson Wentz for $5.9K). And with the Chiefs sitting at nearly a touchdown favorite, at home, and with an implied point total of 27.5, Smith does have some intriguing upside.
Jared Goff ($5,100, 24.5 IP, LAR -3) - I'm interested to see what Jared Goff does in Week 2. He didn't experience a price surge the way other Week 1 standouts did, and he draws a nice home matchup against a Redskins team that gave up a big game to Carson Wentz last week.
Le'Veon Bell ($9,800, 25.5 IP, PIT -5.5) - If you're planning to spend big on RB this weekend, I think Bell (yellow) is worth his lofty price tag. Although $9.8K is high for Bell, all of the other top RBs have flaws that have me concerned for them. Elliott's (red) productivity is lackluster in low-scoring and close games. McCoy (green) is a big risk with Buffalo as such huge underdogs. And Gurley (pink) has limited upside given his comparatively favorable matchup.
Melvin Gordon ($7,000, 24.75 IP, LAC -4.5) - If you are shying away from Bell due to his huge price tag, give Melvin Gordon (blue) some consideration. He is more reasonably priced, has a track record of being a good value on a per salary basis, and has a favorable matchup which typically bodes well for his production. Gordon is a nice stud/value crossover back this weekend in my opinion.
Jacquizz Rodgers ($4,400, 25.5 IP, TB -7) - Given that Rodgers will be the feature back in Tampa Bay's season opener and that they draw such a favorable matchup (from an implied point and spread standpoint), I expected Rodgers price to spike a bit from his norm. It hasn't: $4.4K is a pretty reasonable price for Rodgers even in his backup role, and I think is a great value for him as a starter. In 2016 Rodgers showed good fantasy production per salary upside, at times being worth as much as 6 DKP/$1K.
Alvin Kamara ($3,500, 24.75 IP, NO +6.5) - Since he's a rookie, we don't have any data supporting Kamara, but he was a featured part of New Orleans offense against Minnesota in Week 1 (more so than Adrian Peterson). His pass-catching ability led to modest productivity for Kamara, and if the game holds true to is expectancy, Week 2 could be another matchup that sees New Orleans turn to the pass early and often.
Antonio Brown ($9,400, 25.5 IP, PIT -5.5) - I like Brown (red) over Julio Jones (blue) this week. Their very comparable in terms of consistency and upside, but I think Brown's upside is reached at much more reasonable point total (30-40 Steelers' points), while Jones' production is rather spotty when the Falcons score fewer than 40 points.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,500, 25.75 IP, ARI -7.5) - With David Johnson out, someone will likely step up to take advantage of a juicy matchup against a Colts team that got torched by the Rams in Week 1. Running back Kerwynn Williams is a candidate, but I am actually targeting the Cardinals' receiving corp. Arizona receivers have strong negative correlations with Arizona's RB1, and with Johnson sidelined, it's reasonable to expect a weak showing for the Arizona RB1 slot. At $6.5K, Fitz is a bargain considering the great matchup, that the team's top offensive weapon is out.
J.J. Nelson ($3,800, 25.75 IP, ARI -7.5) - See Larry Fitzgerald above. Nelson's value could climb if John Brown (questionable) doesn't play, making Nelson the de facto second option at wide out.
Rob Gronkowski ($6,900, 31.25 IP, NE -6.5) - Although he's the top-priced tight end, I absolutely love Gronk this weekend. He's got huge upside with rising point totals and if the Patriots can cover the spread and win by close to two touchdowns.
If you're playing Brady, Gronk is a must-stack in my opinion (and vice-versa) as there is a lot of correlation between New England's quarterback and lead tight end.
Coby Fleener ($3,100, 25.75 IP, NO +6.5) - Fleener hauled in 6 catches including a touchdown on Monday, and I like him to continue to be a targeted receiver in the Willie Snead-less New Orleans offense. New Orleans' top tight end does have some slight negative correlation with its receiving corp, which could be a good sign for Fleener with Snead out and if Michael Thomas turns in another underwhelming performance.
Cameron Brate ($3,000, 25.5 IP, TB -7) - Brate had a pretty productive 2016, and I feel that at $3K he could end up being a steal as a cheap tight end. The huge spread does little to help Brate, as he actually does better in Bucs' losses. But he has good upside amidst rising point totals, so if this game blows up, look for Brate to benefit. He also put up a 7 reception/84 yard/1 touchdown performance against the Bears last year.