This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
The injury bug has hit many players and productive players such as Matthew Stafford, Devonta Freeman, Adam Thielen and T.Y. Hilton have already been ruled out for this week. While their absences impact making a fantasy lineup, a host of new players will get an opportunity to contribute.
It's gotten to the point that Lamar Jackson ($8,800) at the minimum should be in one GPP lineup every week regardless of the opponent. The Houston Texans had an extra week to heal up and prepare for this game, but it will be in Baltimore. Jackson is averaging 26.95 fantasy points per game, the highest mark at the position. Drew Brees ($8,300) will look to bounce back from a disappointing performance at home last Sunday (11.48 fantasy points), and the Buccaneers are the one of the better matchups for a quarterback. Tampa is giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and it wouldn't be surprising to see either Ted Ginn ($5,200) or Tre'Quan Smith ($4,900) step up for a long touchdown with so much attention to head Michael Thomas' ($9,000) way. Speaking of allowing fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, the Cardinals allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, putting Jimmy Garoppolo ($8,000) firmly on the fantasy radar. He was able to put up 28.88 fantasy points against these same Cardinals Week 9 in Arizona. Finally, the Bills' Josh Allen ($7,800) has scored at least 17 fantasy points in each of his last five games and has a prime matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Allen had 21.28 fantasy points the first time these two teams met and has done a lot of his fantasy damage with his legs. It doesn't hurt that Xavien Howard is on IR and Minkah Fitzpatrick plays for the Steelers.
Christian McCaffrey ($10,500) comes in at almost $2,000 higher than the next highest-priced running back, Dalvin Cook ($8,600). While he's expensive there's ways to work him into a lineup by going cheap at one of the wide receiver and tight end spots. This is a great week to use Ezekiel Elliott ($8,400) in tournaments. He's coming off two poor performances (7.3 and 13.9 fantasy points) yet he's the third-highest priced running back this week. Those factors should keep his ownership low, and he has a great matchup against the Lions, a team that allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Miles Sanders ($5,900) could be very popular in cash games if the shoulder injury sidelines Jordan Howard this week. While it's not the greatest matchup against the Patriots, the Eagles are home, and Sanders likely would absorb most of the 20-plus touches Howard has been getting the last couple of games. Brian Hill ($5,900) will likely be another popular play this weekend due to his increased role with Devonta Freeman out. Hill had 13.6 fantasy points last week in relief of Freeman, a respectable return for a player in his price range. The Carolina Panthers allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. The intriguing long shot of the week has to be the Redskins' Derrius Guice ($4,700). He's a dirt cheap punt who could be a great value if he finds his way to double-digit fantasy points. Incredibly, Washington is favored by two points, indicating they've got a better than 50/50 chance to win this game. Bill Callahan has used a run-heavy approach since taking over as head coach, and there's much more upside with Guice as opposed to Adrian Peterson.
Michael Thomas ($9,000) has to be the first wide receiver mentioned on a weekly basis given how consistent he's been. He gets a prime matchup against the Bucs, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. That being said, for his price it makes a ton of sense to fade him in GPPs. While it didn't work last week, a stack of Brees, Thomas and either Ginn or Smith makes a lot of sense. After three weeks of being ineffective, Terry McLaurin ($5,500) is back in play facing a terrible pass defense in the Jets. New York allows the second most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and while Dwayne Haskins ($6,500) doesn't instill a lot of confidence, there is that Ohio St. connection between the two. The Jacksonville Jaguars aren't the same defense without Jalen Ramsey, and without T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal ($6,200) will be the top Colts target especially with Jacoby Brissett under center. It seems every week there should be a stack of Jameis Winston ($7,600), Mike Evans ($8,200) and Chris Godwin ($8,000). This week is no different, as they take on the Saints at home who will be without top corner Marshon Lattimore.
This was definitely going to be a week to pay up and use some salary on the 49ers' George Kittle ($7,500). However, he's doubtful and unlikely to play again this week, putting Ross Dwelley ($4,900) into consideration. Dwelley had seven targets last week in Kittle's absence, is super cheap and has a prime matchup against the Cardinals. Next on the list of teams who are bad against the tight end is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This means it's a good time to take a look at the Saints' Jared Cook ($6,000) who has had three straight games of double-digit fantasy points. While the Bengals have been good guarding against this position, Darren Waller ($6,700) should be back in play this week at home.
The obvious pick of the week for cash games has to be the Oakland Raiders D/ST ($5,000). They'll welcome Ryan Finley ($6,300) and his potential turnovers into the Black Hole, a place that hasn't been kind to opposing teams recently. The other team to pay up for is the Minnesota Vikings D/ST ($4,700). Brandon Allen is bound to make a few mistakes on the road and the Vikings are heavily favored as a home team in this game. Looking at the lower-priced options, the Washington Redskins D/ST ($4,000) are at home and facing a Jets offense that can turn the ball over. Again, Washington is the favorite in this one and this should be one of the more unpredictable games of the weekend.