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Spreads and Over/Unders as of Thursday night
Minnesota @ Cleveland (O/U 37.5, MIN -9.5)
Atlanta @ NY Jets (O/U 45.5, ATL -4.5)
Carolina @ Tampa Bay (O/U 46, TB -2)
Chicago @ New Orleans (O/U 47.5, NO -9)
Indianapolis @ Cincinnati (O/U 41, CIN -10.5)
LA Chargers @ New England (O/U 48, NE -7.5)
Oakland @ Buffalo (O/U 45, BUF -2.5)
San Francisco @ Philadelphia (O/U 46, PHI -13)
Houston @ Seattle (O/U 46, SEA -5.5)
Dallas @ Washington (O/U 49, DAL -1.5)
Carson Wentz ($7,200, 29.5 IP, PHI -13) - All aboard the Wentz Wagon! Wentz has been one of the better quarterbacks all year and has a great matchup against the lowly 49ers. He has incredible rising production in the Eagles 25+ point and 5+ margin of victory range, both of which seem very likely this weekend.
Kirk Cousins ($6,400, 23.75 IP, WAS +1.5) - Cousins is at a pretty good price point this week and I think has a better matchup than conventional implied point total/spread analysis would suggest.
Cousins is actually at his best in either blowout victories (seems unlikely) or really close games. If the Redskins can keep it close, look for Cousins to benefit.
He also benefits from a rather porous Dallas defense. And as you can see, all Redskins' positional units show a tendency to take advantage of weak defenses at a pretty steep rate.M
Josh McCown ($5,600, 20.5 IP, NYJ +4.5) - McCown has actually been pretty good (from a fantasy perspective) as of late, posting back-to-back 25-DKP weeks. I like his chances to keep it rolling this week, especially if the Jets can manage to keep pace with Atlanta's offense.
Mark Ingram ($7,400, 28.25 IP, NO -9) - This is like the third week in a row the Saints have a high-score, high-spread matchup. I've been praising Michael Thomas and Drew Brees stacks, but they haven't really worked out. That is in large part due to the increased role of Mark Ingram. With Thomas questionable to play Sunday, I like Ingram's chances of carrying the Saints offense yet again. And as the Saints' point total and margin of victory rises, you can expect Ingram's production to follow suit.
Chris Thompson ($5,800, 23.75 IP, WAS +1.5) - Chris Thompson has quietly been one of the most productive backs in the league this year, but his $5.8K price tag doesn't seem to reflect that. His pass-catching ability should allow him to succeed in just about any game scenario barring an injury. Like Cousins, Thompson figures to have increased production going up against a Dallas defense that has given up the fifth-most points to opposing running backs. Also, a Cousins-Thompson stack isn't out of the equation, as Washington actually has positive correlation between QB and RBs.
Jalen Richard ($4,300, 21.25 IP, OAK +2.5) - With Marshawn Lynch out due to suspension, it sounds like we're going to see a workload split between Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Washington scored a TD last week, but I think if you're going to ride with one of the Lynch replacements it's got to be Richard on account of his big-play ability and threat as a receiver. Although Oakland doesn't have a big implied point total, if they are able to overachieve Richard has pretty good upside as he tends to have rising production with the Oakland point total.
Julio Jones ($8,400, 25 IP, ATL -4.5) - He has been a dud all year, but I just feel like Julio is on the cusp of turning things around. He had a big 9-catch/99-yard/1-TD performance last week and draws a reasonably good matchup against the Jets this week. His price is really low, and won't stay this low for long if he's able to continue to trend upwards.
Amari Cooper ($6,600, 21.25 IP, OAK +2.5) - This is purely "last week wasn't a fluke" speculation. We obviously don't expect Cooper to put up another 200+ yard, 2 TD performance, but if he continues to see passes thrown his way and continues to catch said passes, his production could be well worth his $6.6K price tag.
Brandin Cooks ($6,800, 27.75 IP, NE -7.5) - Cooks has been a boom or bust receiver in the past but has actually been pretty consistent lately. I think that boom potential is still there for Cooks, and although this matchup doesn't scream "huge Pats offense game," Cooks is actually pretty well suited for a modest 1-score victory.
Deonte Thompson ($3,700, 23.75 IP, BUF -2.5) - We don't have much in the way of data to back a Deonte Thompson sleeper bid. But after signing with the Bills last week, Thompson caught 4-of-4 targets for over 100 yards. If Thompson does ultimately settle in as a consistent target for Tyrod Taylor, this could be the last week we seem him at sub-$4K prices.
Zach Ertz ($7,000, 29.5 IP, PHI -13) - I like Ertz this week, as I think his arrow has been trending up, while Gronk's has been trending down, in recent weeks. Ertz also has great increasing production with rising point totals in the 25-30 point range.
He also displays pretty solid correlation with QB1, so makes for a pretty strong stack with Wentz. TE1 doesn't positively correlate with any other positions, but Ertz should be relatively uncorrelated with Philly's deeper receivers (who have strong correlation with QB1), so perhaps a Wentz-Ertz-Agholor stack could be an effective one.
Jason Witten ($4,200, 25.25 IP, DAL -1.5) - Witten hasn't put up any flashy stat lines since Week 2, but he is a consistent option at TE who is at a very reasonable price this week.
The Redskins have also allowed the 3rd most points to tight ends this year.
O.J Howard ($2,900, 24 IP, TB -2) - Similar to Amari Cooper, file this pick away in the "last week wasn't a fluke speculation" category. Although I think Howard's 2-TD performance last week is probably way more flukey than Cooper's, his $2.9K price tag reflects that, and for a near-minimum price guy it could be worth the risk to find out if last week was a fluke or not.
New Orleans Saints ($3,400, CHI 19.25 IP, NO -9) - The Saints are a bit of a feast or famine defense. But against the low-power Bears offense that features a rookie quarterback, I like their chances to feast this weekend.
Buffalo Bills ($2,900, OAK 21.25 IP, BUF -2.5) - Aside from Oakland's thrilling comeback win last week, their offense has been pretty lackluster in the last month or so. Buffalo's defense hasn't flashed huge 20+ DKP upside this year, but they have been consistently living around 10 DKP, which would be a pretty strong showing.
None - When I'm looking for sleeper defenses, I'm usually looking for the combination of a bad, but opportunistic defense, who is matched up against a bad offense but still at a low price. Such a matchup doesn't really exist in the main slate this Sunday, as the lower third of D/STs are simply bad and/or non-opportunistic defenses matched up against good teams. Spend high on D/ST this weekend.