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Fantasy Football: Jerick McKinnon makes his mark; Plus some DFS value plays

By Bo Mitchell

Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell will be here all season delivering the edge you need to dominate your fantasy football league. Visit 1500espn.com each Wednesday for a new column and each Thursday for a new episode of the Fantasy Football Party podcast.

The big fantasy headline of the week is the devastation to the Giants’ wide receiving corps – including season-ending injuries for Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. Assuming Sterling Shepard is on a team in your league – he was owned in 64 percent of ESPN leagues as of Tuesday night – there isn’t much fantasy help left on the Giants’ roster. Roger Lewis has been elevated to the starting lineup and caught a touchdown pass against the Chargers, so he might be worth a flier. Talented rookie tight end Evan Engram should be on rosters in all leagues, though, because he might be their new No. 2 receiver by default. Pick him up, if available.

As for Eli Manning, plan to stash him on the bench until November at the earliest. The Giants’ next three weeks: at Denver, at home vs. Seattle and then their bye. Awful.

Before getting to the Daily Fantasy values of the week, some thoughts about the Vikings’ running back situation and a certain former Vikings running back.

Jerick McKinnon upstaged starter Latavius Murray on Monday Night Football in Chicago, flashing his big-play potential in front of a nationwide audience. Murray was one of the hot fantasy waiver claims last week, but this week it will justifiably be McKinnon. Jet was owned in less than 30 percent of ESPN leagues at the start of fantasy waivers this week and figures to be a better fantasy back than Murray the rest of the season. He has flex appeal during the bye weeks and looks like an especially good play in Weeks 8 and 11, against the Browns and Rams respectively.

Finally, as you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, Adrian Peterson was dealt by the Saints to the Cardinals on Tuesday, leading many in the industry to proclaim him a legit fantasy option moving forward – granted, as more of a RB3 or flex play. I’m not buying it. Yes, he is a starter now and will not be sharing carries to the extent that he was in New Orleans. However, the Arizona offensive line is crumbling and Andre Ellington will be in the game on third downs. Go ahead and pick him up; just don’t let your expectations get out of hand.

The biggest winners from this deal: The Saints – specifically Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

Okay, after all that, let’s talk DFS.

DFS Week 6 Values

For DFS players, we provide the best values at QB/RB/WR/TE on a weekly basis, including pricing from Fanball, DraftKings and FanDuel. Good luck!

QB: Kirk Cousins vs. San Francisco

Fanball: $6,600

DraftKings: $6,800

FanDuel: $7,800

Fresh off his best two games of the season and a bye week, Cousins is set to face a pedestrian 49ers defense. San Francisco allowed Jacoby Brissett to throw for 314 yards last week and was lit up for 357 yards by Carson Palmer the week before that. Three weeks ago, they coughed up 292 yards and three touchdowns to Jared Goff. You get the picture. Cousins is a QB1 this week and a very good value for DFS purposes.

QB: Deshaun Watson vs. Cleveland

Fanball: $6,800

DraftKings: $6,700

FanDuel: $7,900

Watson’s price tag is skyrocketing following three consecutive weeks of pinball fantasy stats. He has 12 touchdowns in the last three games (11 passing, one rushing) and has climbed into the top-10 in terms of quarterback prices in DFS. However, he’s still a value because there are still several quarterbacks priced higher. The hottest quarterback in the league, piloting an offense that has scored 124 points the last three games, gets to face the Browns at home this Sunday. Read: Irresistible force vs. movable object. I’m not sure there’s another quarterback I’d rather have in my lineup – DFS or regular fantasy – this weekend.

RB: Alvin Kamara vs. Detroit

Fanball: $5,800

DraftKings: $4,500

FanDuel: $5,800

As I mentioned above, Kamara and Ingram will be the biggest winners from the Peterson trade… starting this week. It’s going to be a two-man show and both are equally capable of running and receiving. I’m listing Kamara here because the Saints like him better by all accounts (as do I). But at $4,400 on DK, $5,900 on FD and $5,200 on FB, Ingram is even cheaper. Enjoy the bargain prices; they are bound to go up soon.

RB: Elijah McGuire vs. New England

Fanball: $4,800

DraftKings: $4,600

FanDuel: $5,700

With Matt Forte nursing a turf toe injury and Bilal Powell sidelined by a strained calf, there’s a good chance McGuire starts this week. At the very least, he should be in line for an enhanced workload. The likely uptick in use could not come at a better time, as the Jets take on a Patriots defense that has been torn up by running backs this season, allowing 5.0 yards per attempt. And look at those prices! McGuire is this week’s running back free spot in DFS.

RB: Tevin Coleman vs. Miami

Fanball: $5,700

DraftKings: $5,000

FanDuel: $5,900

Coleman is getting a fair amount done in limited opportunities this season, averaging 8.0 yards per touch on just over 10 touches per contest. There are three reasons to like his value this week, starting of course with his low price point. Secondly, injuries to the Falcons’ receiving corps might result in more throws to running backs and the Dolphins have allowed big pass-catching days to the aforementioned Kamara (10 receptions, 71 yards and a touchdown) and Melvin Gordon (seven receptions, 65 yards) already this season. Lastly, the Miami offense with smoking Jay Cutler at the helm is looking pathetically disinterested and inept, meaning game flow should entail Atlanta running the ball a lot in the second half with a double-digit lead.

WR: Pierre Garcon vs. Washington

Fanball: $6,900

DraftKings: $6,300

FanDuel: $6,800

Revenge game? A homecoming of sorts? Whatever cliché you might be tempted to use, Garcon is facing his former team this week and he does so as the 49ers’ clear top wide receiver. Normally a tough matchup for No. 1 wideouts, the Redskins will be without shut-down corner Josh Norman for a while, meaning Garcon should be in line for a productive PPR day. The Fanball DFS value algorithm has an extra cup of Garcon Kool-Aid in the mix, but he’s a good value on Draft Kings and FanDuel.

WR: Devin Funchess vs. Philadelphia

DraftKings: $6,100

FanDuel: $6,700

The Funchess bandwagon is slowly gaining passengers so his price tag has yet to be spiked too much by inflation, thus making him a prime target for DFS investors in Week 6. The Panthers play in the Thursday night game so you won’t find him on Fanball, but he’s a great value for those in Thursday-Monday contests on DK and FD. Over the past three games, Funchess has been targeted 27 times, has 18 receptions and three touchdowns. The matchup is a good one, as the Eagles defense he faces on Thursday has allowed the most receptions and yards to wide receivers this season.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Tampa Bay

Fanball: $6,300

DraftKings: $6,800

FanDuel: $6,600

I used Fitz here but could have just as easily listed John Brown or Jaron Brown. All Cardinals wide receivers appear to be great values this week. None have a high price and all of them have a juicy matchup against the Buccaneers. The banged-up Tampa Bay defense is permitting the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers through four games. Six wideouts have reached 70 or more receiving yards in the four games and they have ceded five touchdowns to the position.

WR: T.Y. Hilton at Tennessee

DraftKings: $6,700

FanDuel: $7,800

Ranking third in the NFL in receiving yards, Hilton has been on fire, but having Jacoby Brissett under center has slowed the roll of his price in DFS leagues… which is nice. Take advantage against the Titans. This is among the worst pass defenses in the league, folks. The only reason they don’t rank lower is because they faced Jay Cutler last week, and he was a dumpster fire. Indy’s pass D has been just about as bad as Tennessee’s so if Marcus Mariota suits up this week, this game flow could turn into a bit of a shootout and secure high volume for Hilton.

TE: Martellus Bennett at Minnesota

Fanball: $4,700

DraftKings: $3,600

FanDuel: $5,500

At these prices, Bennett will be in most of my DFS lineups this week. He’s had a big game or two against the Vikings in the past but his quarterback will be thanking the Vikes in his speech when he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. Aaron Rodgers pummels the Minnesota defense. Yeah, he pummels a lot of defenses, but he gets the Vikings twice a year and has had some of his most ridiculous performances against them. Any Packers receiver not covered by Xavier Rhodes is in line for a nice Sunday, and Rhodes clearly won’t be on Bennett. The Vikings have allowed touchdowns to three of the five starting tight ends they have faced this season: Zach Miller, Cameron Brate and Coby Fleener. Bennett is better than all three.

Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell co-host the 1500ESPN Fantasy Football Party podcast. Bookmark the podcast page for upcoming episodes and subscribe to the podcast now! Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Maggio hosted Fantasy Football Sunday on 1500ESPN from 2012-2013 and is the Fantasy Football Editor at Zoneblitz.com. Mitchell is Vice President of Content for Sportradar. And Tuvey is Senior NFL Analyst and Director of Content for Fanball, a SportsHub Technologies company. All three men are kind of big deals, enjoy leather-bound books and have homes that smell of rich mahogany.

Follow Maggio @MPLSMaggio
Follow Bo @Bo_Mitchell
Follow John @jtuvey

Follow The Fantasy Football Party @TheFFParty

The post Fantasy Football: Jerick McKinnon makes his mark; Plus some DFS value plays appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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