FanDuel: $11,000 / DraftKings: $10,500 / Yahoo: $42 / F-Draft: $19,700
Once again, here is my rule when it comes to McCaffrey — play him every week if you can fill out a decent lineup around him. I wasn’t quite able to squeeze him into lineup last week and it certainly backfired, as he scored 32 fantasy points. You can argue that we can’t expect three touchdowns every week, but I’ll raise you one by saying he scored 33 fantasy points the week before without scoring a touchdown. He’s essentially an every-down player that is all but guaranteed to get 25 opportunities (carries + targets) each week. His ability to rack up yards and touchdowns is great for all scoring systems and his involvement in the passing game is great for full-PPR sites like DraftKings.
He draws one of his best matchups to date, as the Panthers are 10-point favorites at home against the Redskins. Washington is equally bad against the pass and the run, ranking 21st in both categories when it comes to DVOA. They have also allowed the 10th most receiving yards to enemy backs and are ranked 29th in defensive adjusted line yards. The only argument you can make against C-Mac is that the Panthers could potentially build a lead and then turn the backfield over to Reggie Bonnafon. While this is certainly possible given how bad the Redskins have been this season, the Panthers will have to score points to build a lead. If the Panthers put up 30 points in the first three quarters, we have to expect McCaffrey to be heavily involved.
FanDuel: $7,600 / DraftKings: $7,400 / Yahoo: $30 / F-Draft: $14,000
Barkley will be pretty popular on FanDuel given the cheap price point, but I don’t expect him to garner much ownership on DraftKings, Yahoo, or FantasyDraft. Regardless of site, I love Barkley for both cash games and tournaments. Look, he hasn’t been great since returning from injury, but we’ve seen some explosive plays and he’s no longer listed on the injury report. When a reporter asked him about being shut down for the season, he quickly wrote off the comment by saying, “the mindset of sitting me out and resting me for the rest of the season is beyond me.” I love this type of attitude and I love the fact that he played on 97% of the snaps last week.
Everyone seems to be concerned about Barkley’s injury slowing him down, but nobody is talking about his string of difficult matchups. He’s faced the Cowboys, Jets, and Bears in his last three games, all of which are below-average matchups for running backs. He finally gets a matchup in his favor, as the Packers are one of the worst teams in the NFL at stopping running backs. On the season, they are ranked 28th in DVOA against the run, 32nd in defensive adjusted line yards, and 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the position. The Giants are playing at home and are only 6.5-point underdogs, so we can expect a full complement of snaps and touches for Barkley.
FanDuel: $8,000 / DraftKings: $7,000 / Yahoo: $31 / F-Draft: $13,300
In this week’s expert survey, I had the Giants/Packers game as my sneaky shootout. I also had Adams and Barkley as my favorite correlation play. It’s not your traditional correlation, but I like the chances that this game turns into a high-scoring affair and I want the main playmakers on both sides of the ball. Adams has been a lock for double-digit targets every week that he’s been in the lineup. In fact, he’s had at least seven receptions and at least 10 targets in each of the last three games since returning from injury. Despite a string of difficult cornerback matchups, he has averaged 17 fantasy points during that stretch.
This might be his best matchup of the entire season. The Giants secondary gets burned on a weekly basis. On the season, they are ranked 27th in DVOA against the pass and 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs. The fact that they have a decent run defense and that the game is being played in New York bodes even better for Adams, as the Packers will likely be aggressive through the air all game. We are missing a lot of the premier wideouts in the main slate this week and I would rather save a little cap space with Adams instead of targeting Tyreek Hill, who has a high ceiling but a low floor.
FanDuel: $6,100 / DraftKings: $5,700 / Yahoo: $21 / F-Draft: $11,500
Much like the rest of the Cardinals offense, Captain Kirk has struggled with consistency on a week-to-week basis. This passing attack isn’t quite what we were hoping for when they brought in Kliff Kingsbury. While they have played at a fast pace, the focus has been on more of the shorter throws. However, as we saw two games ago against Tampa Bay, they are finally starting to take more shots downfield. The Rams might have a good secondary on paper, but the entire team is in shambles right now. They essentially went all in after trading for Jalen Ramsey, yet they are looking unlikely to make the playoffs.
The Cardinals not only get to face a struggling team that was just blown out by the Ravens, but they get to play at home after a bye week. I want exposure to this offense and the safest ways to do that are to target Kirk or Kyler Murray. We still don’t know what to expect with the running backs and the rest of the receivers have limited upside. The downside here is that Kirk has been lining up primarily on the outside over the last two weeks, which means he’s a good bet to draw shadow coverage from Ramsey. It’s not ideal, but this is still a matchup that he can win. The combination of price and upside is too good to pass up.