This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
It looks like Covid-19 might wreak havoc on the slate of weekend games given the positive test result out of the Falcons' camp. There's another $1 million contest this week that can be entered for $4.44, but there are many other types of contests to check out if you think you might not win the million. The $1 NFL Dive contest is multi-entry, and the pay distribution is more evened out from first to 10th place, much more than the NFL Million contest. Let's try and navigate around the Covid potential but also act as if it doesn't have any impact.
Lamar Jackson ($9,000) has been something of a disappointment so far this season in DFS. He's scored less than 20 fantasy points in three of his five games, and the other two were 26.02 and 27.5 fantasy points. None of those scores matches up to the salary here, which is why he might be an unpopular play this week. I don't see him being chalky in cash but he still has 40-point upside, so use him in at least one tournament lineup.
I think there are a few midpriced options this week that are viable for cash. Let's start with Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,400) who is averaging 21.67 fantasy points, the fourth-highest at the position on the main slate. He gets the lowly Jets at home and has at least 23 fantasy points in each of his last four games. Next comes Tom Brady ($7,500). The Buccaneers opened as a slight favorite, and this game has an over/under of 55, the highest on the main slate. That means this could turn into a shootout, and stacking the game (using players from both teams) makes a lot of sense. Every week now we all should take a look at who the Falcons are playing, and this week that honor falls on the Vikings. Right now, the game is scheduled to be played despite some Covid-19 scare, but we should know for sure before kickoff Sunday. The Falcons have been hit heavily by injuries on the defensive side of the ball and are last defensively in multiple categories against the pass. Kirk Cousins ($7,100) should have no issue returning a nice value to the owners who choose to roster him.
Looking at the few players with a salary hit of below $7,000, Daniel Jones (gulp) is the only one on whom to take a chance. He'll be home as a field goal favorite against the Washington Football Team and has a very good matchup. While he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1, he had one called back due to a questionable penalty last week. Last week also marked the first game this season that he didn't rush for at least 21 yards, and maybe he scrambles for a score near the goal line in this one. Use Jones with minimal expectations but also knowing he'll have minimal usage in lineups this week.
Derrick Henry ($9,000) is coming off his worst rushing performance of the season with only 57 yards (19 carries) against the Bills Tuesday night. He still found the end zone twice and scored a healthy 18.8 fantasy points. This week should be easier sledding for Henry who faces the Texans at home. Houston has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs on this slate of games, and overall their run defense is 31st in the NFL. Given the salary hit, I don't think he's a "must play" for any particular lineup, but he has a very high ceiling as always.
I think taking a couple of players in this upcoming, midtier level makes more sense this week than using Henry and a very cheap option. It's hard to ignore what Mike Davis ($7,500) has done since taking over as the starting running back. He has at least 19 fantasy points in his last three games, and the key for him has been his high usage in the passing game. He's scored 14.5, 5.3 and 16.5 fantasy points through just receiving in those last three games. The Bears rank 28th against the run this year, putting Davis in a nice spot. Davis' last opponent, Atlanta, allowed him 26.5 fantasy points, so Alexander Mattison ($7,000) has that prime matchup this week, should they play the game. It would make sense if the Vikings rested starter Dalvin Cook this week, given they have a Bye Week 7, so he'd get some solid time off to recover. Without Cook, Mattison would be in line for 20-plus touches and only come off the field when he needs a breather. There's a double-digit floor here from him as the starter with a ceiling in the 20s. James Robinson ($6,500) has been trending in the wrong direction the last few weeks, finishing last week's contest with only 7.5 fantasy points. He should have a much easier time this week at home against the Lions, who have been terrible on defense this season. Robinson should find his way back above 10 fantasy points this week and it's not unreasonable to pencil him in for 15 to 25.
Finally, I could almost cut and paste my blurb last week about Damien Harris ($5,600). Despite not playing a game last week, the salary here jumped $1,100, although he will line up behind Cam Newton this week, which is a huge upgrade at quarterback. Running backs typically do better with running quarterbacks, and it'll be interesting to see what Harris can do if given a full workload.
Despite having a multiweek absence, Davante Adams ($9,000) is under consideration in all formats this weekend. Aaron Jones and the running game should keep the Tampa defense honest, and Adams should easily surpass 10 targets in this game. Adams, Derrick Henry and Lamar Jackson used together would be an interesting lineup this week given that there are viable options to fill in the rest of the lineup. Sticking with that game, both Mike Evans ($7,600) and Chris Godwin ($7,700) are banged up but expected to play. If one of them were to sit this one out, the other would be an auto-play. Should they both play, I slightly prefer Evans who has already caught six touchdowns from Tom Brady.
Provided the game plays, Adam Thielen ($7,400) stands out as one of the safer plays with that nice matchup against the Falcons. Justin Jefferson ($5,900) is a solid value here and should be strongly considered for GPPs after a quiet week in Seattle. Chase Claypool ($5,500) should be a popular play this week after last week's explosion, but I think we shouldn't forget about JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,100). The Browns have an exploitable secondary, and a stack of those two with Ben Roethlisberger ($7,600) is in play for tournaments this week. Without Corey Davis, A.J. Brown ($6,500) should be a heavily targeted man once again this week. Derrick Henry and Jonnu Smith should help put Brown in one-on-one situations.
Mark Andrews ($7,600) carries the biggest hit against the salary cap this week, and with good reason. The Eagles give up the second-most fantasy points to the position of the teams playing on the slate, making this a great matchup for Andrews. On the other side of the field is Zach Ertz ($6,000), my favorite tournament play at the position this week. Ertz is coming off a season-low 1.1 fantasy points and won't be considered by most owners this week given the matchup. He could easily end this game as the most targeted player on the Eagles this week. Robert Tonyan ($6,200) should be a popular play in cash given his production so far. Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers ($8,400) and Tonyan make for a good stack in GPPs.
The last tight end to bring up is the Giants' Evan Engram ($5,600). He should be considered the second receiving option to Darius Slayton, and the Washington Football Team gives up the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends on this main slate.
I actually think it's worth paying up for a defense this week and there are two teams to target. The first is the New England Patriots ($4,800) who have the Broncos at home. This is the lowest over/under of the week (45), and the Patriots are a comfortable nine-point favorite. Drew Lock is returning from a multiweek absence, and Denver might be without Melvin Gordon. The other team I would consider is the Miami Dolphins ($4,400). The Jet will not have Le'Veon Bell, and Joe Flacco is leading the passing attack. The Dolphins are better against the pass than the run, which plays nicely for them against the Jets.