Editor’s note: There’s been plenty of talking surrounding the Vikings’ QB position since Sam Bradford is struggling with a knee injury — from a fantasy football perspective: What about Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater?
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.
Since the radio station that runs this fine site is based in the Twin Cities, I like to – whenever possible – touch on Vikings-related fantasy football topics before diving straight into the weekly DFS values. For instance, last week I stepped out on a huge limb and said Jerick McKinnon would be the Vikings’ running back to own in fantasy leagues going forward; that one looks good so far. I also commented that I had little faith in Adrian Peterson in the wake of his trade to Arizona. Okay, that bit of fantasy forecasting looks off following his out-of-nowhere performance last week. But I stand by my initial analysis. Sell high!
A new week brings a new topic.
Sam Bradford looks as though that knee of his might not be ready for football again for a long time, if ever. That’s a shame because the talent has always been there. Next man up this season has been Case Keenum, and now Teddy Bridgewater is returning to the practice field. The plot thickens in terms of what the Vikes might do the rest of this season and beyond… but what should fantasy owners do, if anything, with regards to the Minnesota quarterbacks?
First of all, if Bridgewater is available in a dynasty league (he was in one of mine), it’s reasonable to pick him up and stash him on the bench if rosters in your league are roomy. If Teddy gives you anything down the stretch this season, it’s gravy. Just don’t plan on it. Picking him up in re-draft leagues looks like a waste of a roster spot for now.
On the other hand, Keenum is the starter for now and is unowned in the vast majority of fantasy leagues. With quarterbacks dropping each week (see: Rodgers, Aaron) and the heart of the bye weeks right around the corner, Keenum is worthy of consideration as a waiver pick-up in re-draft leagues. The production could be all over the map, but Keenum has attempted at least 30 passes in four of his five starts this season, has touchdowns in three of his last four and 200-plus yards in three of his last four.
Look around the league. You could do worse – especially in Week 8 when the Vikings play the Browns in London while six teams are on bye. The Browns defense is allowing a 111.0 quarterback rating this season, which is easily the worst in the league.
Now let’s pivot our attention to daily fantasy.
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: Marcus Mariota at Cleveland
My memory is getting worse by the year. If you’re like me, though, you can probably still recall all the way back to Sunday when Deshaun Watson posted tasty fantasy stats against the Browns – as if Watson having a good day is anything new. Even if you don’t remember that, look above on this page in the last sentence about Keenum… go ahead, glance up two inches. The Browns are in the running for worst pass defense of 2017. This week, it’s Mariota’s turn to slice them up. Five of the six quarterbacks the Browns have faced this season have thrown for multiple touchdown passes. The only one who didn’t was Jacoby Brissett and he had two rushing scores against them. Mariota might do both.
QB: Carson Wentz vs. Washington
I’m done doubting Wentz. At least for now. Like any fantasy owner, I reserve the right to change my mind later. But for now, I am starting Wentz where I can, including several DFS lineups this week. He has four multi-touchdown games and a trio of 300-yard games to his credit this season and he has a neutral quarterback opponent in Week 7. Let Wentz be your Monday night hammer against Washington at a lower price than at least a half-dozen other quarterbacks.
RB: James White vs. Atlanta
White and Dion Lewis each saw 29 snaps last week because Mike Gillislee fumbled and rode the Patriots’ pine. Might that usage differential carry over to Week 7? At these prices, who really cares? You might remember a little something about the last time White faced the Falcons. It was the Super Bowl and he finished with 139 yards from scrimmage, 14 receptions and three touchdowns. Cut those stats in half and this is still a great deal.
RB: Alvin Kamara at Green Bay
With 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Mark Ingram was the big beneficiary last week to the void left behind in the Saints’ backfield by Adrian Peterson. Kamara had 75 yards on 10 carries and caught four passes, though. It’s just the two of them now, and if last week is any indication the Packers’ injury-plagued defense has trouble stopping small-ish, pass-catching running backs (McKinnon). Ingram is a good DFS value this week as well, but Kamara will cost you less.
RB: Carlos Hyde vs. Dallas
Matt Breida was supposedly going to get more run in the Niners’ backfield and Hyde has been rumored to be on the trading block. Whatever. Hyde was the main man again last week, easily out-snapping the rookie while catching five passes and scoring twice on the ground. The uncertainty plus a change under center to C.J. Breathard has Hyde’s price in a holding pattern. This is a good week to take advantage against a Dallas defense that has already allowed three 100-yard rushers in five games.
WR: Michael Crabtree vs. Kansas City
The Raiders play their rivals in the Thursday Night Football game so it won’t be listed on Fanball and you have to be sure to choose the right settings on DraftKings and FanDuel to find Crabtree. It will be worth it. The stars seem fairly aligned for Michael. He’s tied for second in the NFL with five touchdown receptions and has his quarterback Derek Carr back from injury… oh, and the Chiefs have given up an NFL-worst 10 touchdowns to wideouts, including seven (!) in the last three games. Three wide receivers have caught double-digit passes and three have topped 100 yards against Kansas City this season. Heck, you might even consider using Amari Cooper this Thursday.
WR: Rishard Matthews at Cleveland
You’ve seen Matthews in this space earlier this season, but sometimes things just bear repeating. I led this week’s DFS section off by advocating for Mariota in large part due to the matchup with Cleveland. Well, Matthews is Mariota’s favorite target – he has been for a while now — and is the obvious DFS stack. At clearance prices like this, Rishard is nearly a must-play, especially on FanDuel.
WR: Pierre Garcon vs. Dallas
Garcon still hasn’t scored a touchdown this season and now he has a rookie at quarterback. It might not seem like a good idea to start him, but remember half the battle in DFS is finding value. That’s what this section is all about. Garcon’s price is sliding (even at Fanball, which as I have mentioned before, seems to be the universal hub of Garcon’s fan club). It should be pointed out that Pierre ranks sixth among wide receivers in targets (56) and eighth at the position in receptions (33). Where there’s volume, points almost always follow; and all three DFS scoring systems contain an element of PPR.
TE: Kyle Rudolph vs. Ravens
Rudy found the end zone seven times a season ago as one of the top end zone targets in the league. His start to 2017 has been a little slower with only two touchdowns in six games; as such, his price in DFS has taken a hit. It should be pointed out, however, that he has six red-zone targets this season, which ranks third among tight ends this season according to Sportradar. He also ranks among the leaders at his position in routes run. The touchdowns will come – maybe even this Sunday at home against a Ravens defense that has permitted six scores to tight ends (second-most in the league).
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