From a general and fantasy perspective, this isnít my favorite week. Outside of the night games, there arenít any matchups that catch the eye. For fantasy purposes, only one game (ATL at NE) opened with an over/under above 49 points. That being the case, it may be best to focus on guys with high floors instead of the boom-or-bust type. That means players that you know are going to get touches no matter what happens in the game. There isnít a better place to start than with a running quarterback.
Dak Prescott, DAL at SF ($13,700): I have a feeling this will be one of the higher scoring games of the weekend (I prefer the over 47) because both of these defenses rank in the bottom half of most categories. Prescott has reached at least 17 fantasy points in all five games this season and at least 22 in his last three. The worst defenses heís faced in that period were Green Bay and Arizona. Against the 49ers, expect a couple more touchdowns at a minimum to go with 20-30 rushing yards. If youíre looking to save money, Carson Wentz is slightly cheaper at $12,600.
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL at SF ($17,000): Some frown upon using a QB-RB duo from the same team, but Prescott and Elliott have both had plenty of success the last two seasons. Elliott has reached at least 17 fantasy points in four of five games and faces a defense thatís been gashed by Chris Thompson and Marlon Mack the last two weeks. With a suspension pending, the Cowboys will continue feeding Elliott a ton and that should equal another big performance.
Devonta Freeman, ATL at NE ($13,700): Iím not willing to spend on some of the other high-priced running backs, so Iím testing my luck somewhat with Freeman. After only getting 11 touches in last weekís loss, despite leading 17-0, I like the Falcons to go to the ground early against the Pats. Also, thatís usually a good strategy when Tom Brady is on the other side of the field. In Atlantaís last two wins (Detroit, Green Bay), Freeman surpassed 20 touches. If thatís the case again, at least one touchdown should be in Freemanís future to go with a couple receptions.
Brandin Cooks, NE vs. ATL ($14,000) : Receiver was the toughest spot to pick this week because most of the top guys either have difficult matchups (Mike Evans, A.J. Green) or just havenít been easy to trust (Julio Jones, Dez Bryant). Hence, I went with a slightly cheaper Cooks, who has upside and a decent floor. Cooks caught a season-high six balls last week and has the ability to go off at any moment with Brady, especially in what is expected to be the highest scoring game of the week.
Eric Decker, TEN at CLE ($8,500): This isnít a play anyone will be crazy about, but Marcus Mariota looked Deckerís way a lot last week en route to seven receptions for 88 yards. While Mariota may still have a bum hamstring, Decker may slowly take over the top receiving role for the Titans. With the Browns still having one of the better rush defenses in the league, a lot of people will be surprised by how much Mariota is asked to pass in this game.
George Kittle, SF vs. WAS ($7,000): I went with Kittle last week and he fell short of a touchdown by one yard. More importantly, seven of his eight targets came with C.J. Beathard at quarterback, including two red zone looks. Thatís a good enough reason to go with Kittle again versus the 29th-ranked defense against tight ends, according to Football Outsidersí DVOA.
Mark Ingram, NO at GB ($12,600): The Packers have a mediocre rush defense and just let Jerick McKinnon go for a couple touchdowns. Without Aaron Rodgers, the look of the Packers changes completely, which means Drew Brees wonít be forced to throw more than he wants on the road. In what could be a lower scoring game, Ingram will see a ton of touches, not dissimilar to last week when he had 25 carries and five receptions. Maybe he wonít reach those levels, but itíll be worth it to use him in fantasy.
Bennie Fowler, DEN at LAC ($6,400): Marlon Mack ($8,100) is the boom-or-bust play here, while Fowler is severely underpriced given the situation. Fowler moves into the No. 2 WR slot with Emmanuel Sanders out, meaning the eight targets per game Sanders was getting have to go somewhere. Iím not saying Fowler will explode, but five receptions for 50 yards is a decent prediction and thatís enough for my cheapest player of the week.
Los Angeles Rams vs. ARI ($5,000): The Cardinals went off last week with the help of Adrian Peterson, but Iím not buying that performance. First, that game was in Arizona and second, it was against the Bucs. The Cardinals still donít have a good offensive line and thatís going to show up on the road against a Rams defense that has 14 sacks in the last four games. The Rams may be allowing points, but they know how to get to the quarterback and create turnovers.