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This week, we are incorporating a new piece into the process: the average anytime touchdown odds available from sportsbooks. We need touchdown(s) to hit a ceiling outcome, so we’ll use it to help identify over- and under-valued players.
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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings
The game total here is a touchdown more than any other game for a reason. Both offenses look great, and both defenses look rough.
Kirk Cousins (highest passing yards prop at 290.5) and Justin Herbert (second highest at 282.5) should be stacked and drafted in every room. Neither quarterback provides a rushing ceiling, but the sheer pass volume is enough for these two and their teammates.
Mike Williams stands out to me as a priority play. Last week, he had a higher expected fantasy points output than Keenan Allen despite scoring fewer points. I expect positive regression against the zone-heavy Vikings defense.
Austin Ekeler is on track to miss this one, making Joshua Kelley a great play. According to sportsbooks, Kelley has a 58 percent chance to score one or more touchdowns, the highest of any player on the slate. He’s being drafted as the RB10. Alexander Mattison has a 50 percent chance to score, good for the fourth-best RB, but is being drafted as RB14. They also both provide excellent leverage on multiple always-drafted players.
Favorite Plays: Everyone, with an emphasis on Kelley, Mattison; the QBs with stacks
It was a bit of a down game last week from a box score standpoint, but the Jacksonville Jaguars missed four touchdowns (on three different drives) by a few inches in the back of the endzone. Things would look a lot differently if two or three of those connected.
Sportsbooks have Jaguars WRs as quite likely to score touchdowns: Calvin Ridley as WR7, Christian Kirk as WR11 and Zay Jones as WR13. These three are being drafted as WR6, WR20, and WR50, respectively.
Please note Jones’ injury status as the week progresses. A bump to all Jaguars pass catchers if he misses the game.
Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos
This is my favorite game with sneaky shootout potential. Both defenses have been susceptible, and I believe the Denver Broncos‘ offensive uncertainty will keep people away.
Jaylen Waddle is expected to miss this game, leaving the Dolphins’ offense extremely concentrated between Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert. Tua Tagovailoa is not being drafted and provides an excellent ceiling correlation with Hill.
Durham Smythe is about as unexciting as it can get, but he is leading all tight ends in route participation at over 90 percent. Quarterback and tight end stacks continue to be underutilized, making Smythe a viable play here.
The Broncos don’t have many viable pieces, but Javonte Williams and Jerry Jeudy are the preferred bring back options. The Dolphins’ defense was gashed on the ground in Week 1 by the Chargers, and Williams is capable of doing the same.
Favorite Plays: Tagovailoa with Hill; Smythe with double stack; Williams or Jeudy
Uniqueness, ADP 35+
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
I will keep playing Justin Fields as long as he is mostly being undrafted. Like last year, they have inexcusably refused to unleash Fields in the run game early in the season. Let’s hope a philosophical change happens earlier. With all the chaos in Chicago right now, it could happen now.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones seems on track to play and looked incredibly explosive in Week 1, while A.J. Dillon simply did not. This is not the best matchup, but he is too good of a player and it is too good of a role to pass up with low ownership.
Keep an eye on the injury report, but he did practice on Thursday.
There aren’t a lot of great scroll-down wide receivers this week (besides Kirk, highlighted above), but the following players are viable in a game stack:
If we don’t get one of the top 3 tight ends, I prefer to correlate lower-owned players. The volume generally will not get there, but we can make up for it in correlated touchdown spikes. According to sportsbooks, the following tight ends are more likely to score than their ADP indicates:
Durham Smythe – TE6 in touchdown likelihood vs. TE17 in ADP
Jake Ferguson – TE7 vs TE10
Luke Musgrave – TE11 vs TE15
Chig Okonkwo – TE15 vs TE26
Hunter Henry, David Njoku, Zach Ertz and Cole Kmet appear to be overvalued by the same process.