Brock Osweiler, HOU at IND ($6,500) – This pick doesn’t make a lot of sense for a few different reasons. To start, Osweiler hasn’t thrown for 300 yards or more than two touchdowns this season. Without any rushing ability to supplement his passing, he’s never surpassed 20 fantasy points in game this year, either. However, there are some factors working in his favor. This should be a higher scoring game than the Texans are used to playing in, as the Colts should be able to put up points at home that could have Osweiler throwing a lot if the game flows that way. The Indianapolis defense is giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, while — on the Texans side of the ball — Will Fuller should be close to 100 percent, DeAndre Hopkins appears to be developing some chemistry with Osweiler, and the combo of Ryan Griffin and C.J. Fiedorowicz are dependable, short-ranged targets. Don’t think about using him in cash games, but Osweiler is a good, under-the-radar tournament play this weekend.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR vs SD ($6,500) – Stewart has been on a career-best touchdown pace this season (seven in nine games) and will look to continue that trend this Sunday. He has multi-touchdown games in three of his last seven games. This weekend he has a solid matchup against the Chargers, who are giving up the eighth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks — including 13 rushing touchdowns (third worst in the league). The Panthers have gotten away from running Cam Newton at the goal line so much, too, further helping Stewart’s fantasy stats.
Ryan Mathews, PHI vs WAS ($4,600) - Mathews is expected to make his way back into the starter's role this week for the Eagles. After missing two games, his price has been depressed to only $100 over the minimum, making him a huge bargain. While it's always tough to predict who will get the most touches, the running game has struggled without Mathews, who is bigger than Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood. This should translate into Mathews getting the goal-line work and most of the touches as the early-down back. This is a gamble but will allow you to spend up on the rest of your roster.
Dontrelle Inman, SD at CAR ($5,500) – Inman has vaulted into the 1B receiving role for the Chargers with Travis Benjamin fading into obscurity. He’s registered double-digit fantasy points in each of the last two weeks while becoming a favorite target of Philip Rivers. It’s likely helping Inman’s cause that Tyrell Williams has been limited or sitting out of practices completed during the week, allowing for Inman to have more time to work with Rivers. The matchup this week is decent as the Panthers are giving up the seventh most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Brandon LaFell, CIN at CLE ($5,800) – The Browns have been really bad on defense, giving up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and the second most to opposing running backs. LaFell has taken over as the top wide receiver for the Bengals (25 targets over the last three games) since A.J. Green went down with a hamstring injury. His price is still depressed given some duds earlier this season, so he’s still considered a value at this price. Look for Andy Dalton, who historically has done well against the Browns, to get LaFell to over 3X his value again this week.
Cameron Brate, TB vs NO ($5,600) – Brate has really come on over the second half of the season, scoring 17.6, 17.9 and 12.8 fantasy points in three of his last five games. One of the two games not mentioned there was against the Seahawks, where an offensive penalty brought nullified a touchdown that would have put him over 14 fantasy points for that contest. This game carries the highest over/under of the week at 52 and the Bucs are favored by a field goal giving them an expected team total of around 27.5 points. That’s enough of a number to consider a stack of Brate, Mike Evans ($8,900) and Jameis Winston ($8,200).
Graham Gano, CAR vs SD ($4,800) – Coming off two tough roads games on the west coast, Gano should be happy to return home to the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium. This game has the second highest over/under of the week at 49 and weather is rarely a concern there. It’s also worth noting Gano’s three biggest fantasy games this season (18, 15 and 13) have come at home.
Detroit vs Chicago, ($4,600) – Not surprisingly, as the Lions’ defense has gotten healthier, their defensive fantasy production has increased. They’ve scored 11, 6 and 19 fantasy points over their last three games and get the Bears at home this week. The Bears’ Matt Barkley has thrown four interceptions in less than three games of work this season and has a fumble in each of his last two games.