QB: Josh Johnson: (4,300)
In only roughly a quarter and a half of work, Johnson produced 25.3 DK points vs The Giants last Sunday. He came in for the washed up Marc Sanchez and was instantly effective, completing 11/16 passes for 195 yards, a TD, and a pick, while also chipping in with seven carries, for 45 yards, and a rushing TD. Johnson brings a type of athleticism that this Redskins’ offense has lacked all season long and he is expected to start this Sunday vs The Jaguars. Obviously I am going off an extremely small sample size here, but Johnson is only $4,300 on DraftKings. That’s a crazy price for a starting QB, let alone a player that could easily retain value just with his legs. The Jags’ defense ranks 7th in overall DVOA this season, but their season is essentially over (4-9), and they looked horrible on TNF in Week 14, allowing 30 points to The Titans, who are the 6th worst scoring offense in the entire NFL.
This Jags’ defense could easily play up to it’s ranking, but Johnson’s insanely cheap price tag makes him a risk worth taking in GPPs, no matter the matchup. This week’s Sunday main slate doesn’t have many stand out options at the QB position. There is a group of “good” plays that will probably do their job and get you 20-25 DK points, but that isn’t something that is out of the question for Johnson in a full game. I wouldn’t go overboard, but I think having a few Jonson teams is very viable route for large field tournaments, that will help you squeeze in multiple high end skill players. He isn’t going to be highly owned at all (0-1% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) and going naked Johnson seems like the most viable choice, but I also don’t mind stacking the QB with the veteran TE, Vernon Davis. Davis should immediately jump into a bigger role with Jordan Reed (toe) out and The Jags have allowed the 6th most FPPG to TEs since Week 10.
WR: Sterling Shepard: (4,400)
Last week, Shepard was one of the chalkiest WRs of the slate (14.1% in The Millionaire Maker), with Odell Beckham Jr. out. (quad) Now, just because he had a quiet game in the huge blowout win over The Redskins (9.7 DK points), it seems like nobody wants anything to do with Shepard. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) But, the fact of the matter is, he remains one of the best cheap WR values available, with OBJ already ruled out. In the 40-16 win last week, Eli Manning only attempted 22 passes, but still targeted Shepard a team high 6 times.
That is a 27% target share and this week, Manning should be forced to throw much more, with The Giants being home underdogs against The Titans. (TEN -1) This secondary has struggled all season long, ranking 22nd in pass DVOA, and Malcom Butler has been a CB to exploit, with them ranking 30th in DVOA vs #1 WRs. (7th most FPPG to WRs since Week 9) Shepard should see close to double digit targets in this game and in the three previous that he has seen eight targets or more, the WR is scoring 19.3 DK PPG. Things could change come game-day, but the idea that Kenny Stills and Robert Foster, are going to carry almost double the amount of ownership of Shepard, is rather puzzling to me.
RB: Dalvin Cook: (6,500)
Cook most likely won’t come with a single digit ownership, but I think he may get somewhat overlooked, with three main backs garnering all the attention. (Ezekiel Elliot, Saquon Barkely, and Joe Mixon) Cook has finally seen his snap share increase in these last two games (81%) and there is optimism that he will regain a workhorse 20+ touch role going forward, under new OC Kevin Stefanski. This Sunday’s matchup vs The Dolphins is an excellent opportunity for Cook, with The Vikings having the 4th highest implied team total of the main slate (26 points), and being a heavy home favorite. (MIN -7.5)
In three games Cook was a home favorite this season, he scored 15.3 DK PPG. Furthermore, if we including last season, Cook is averaging 18 DK PPG in the seven total career games he has been favorited at home. This Miami defense has been bad this year (27th in DVOA) and in their last two games, they are giving up 25.5 carries to opposing backfields. Cook has multiple TD potential in this rebound spot for The Vikings and I think he is the perfect pivot play off Joe Mixon.
QB: Kirk Cousins (hopefully he also played better with a new OC. Since Week 10, The Dolphins have allowed the most FPPG to QBs), Mitchell Trubisky (always better at home, with 26.4 DK PPG in Chicago this season, and The Packers are 22nd in DVOA), and Josh Allen. (mostly due to his rushing, at 112 YPG, and two TDs, Allen is scoring a 28.1 DK PPG in his last three. He should continue to scramble all over this Lions’ defense, that has dropped to 29th in overall DVOA)
RB: Tarik Cohen, James White, and Gus Edwards. (Edwards should receive around 20 carries, with The Ravens as 7.5 point home favorites over The Bucs. They have improved defensively, but they still rank 30th in rush DVOA, and are giving up the 7th most FPPG to RBs since Week 10)
WR: Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Dante Pettis (21.4 DK PPG in his last three, including at least one TD in each game. He is questionable with a foot injury, but if he is able to suit up, he will be a fine value once again, going against CB Tre Flowers, who has a low PFF grade of 54.7), and Chester Rogers. (if T.Y. Hilton is out. In the two previous games Hilton missed this season, Rogers scored 15.1 DK PPG)
TE: Jared Cook (24 DK PPG in his last two and The Bengals have been god awful on defense, ranking 30th in overall DVOA, and allowing 33.4 PPG since Week 6) and Vernon Davis. (above)
D: Vikings and Falcons (The Cardinals have the second lowest implied team total at 17 points)