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We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.
Can #1) Where Have All My Friends Gone?
They’ve all disappeared. That’s what newly appointed Texans starting quarterback Ryan Mallett must be thinking now that it appears Arian Foster is going to miss this week’s game against the Browns with a groin injury. Andre Johnson’s decline appears to be in full swing as he is just the PPR WR31 through ten weeks and while DeAndre Hopkins has ascended, he is still just the PPR WR17, about a mid-level WR2. With Foster out, the Texans will likely turn to Alfred Blue, who’s sporting a 3.44 yards per carry average on 68 carries. However, he did manage 78 yards on 13 carries when Foster missed week three’s game against the Giants. The Browns rushing defense has been up-and-down this year. It’s ranked 28th overall in the league, giving up an average of 134.2 yards per game, but was able to hold Jeremy Hill and the Bengals to just 86 rushing yards last week. If Mallett has a Andy Dalton-esque debut, owners who start him may end up Blueing themselves.
Can #2) Red Ryder
You’ll shoot your eye out. Not if you can’t hit it. Speaking of the aforementioned Dalton, he will try to rebound from an abysmal 10/33 for 86 yards, three INT performance last week against the Browns that managed to drag down Hill, Adriel Jeremiah Green (three receptions on ten targets for for 23 yards) and Mohamed Sanu (two receptions on seven targets for 20 yards). This week, he gets a Saints defense that is ranked 24th in the league against the pass and might be without cornerback Keenan Lewis, who suffered a knee injury last week. That coupled with the fact Dalton gets to play indoors this week and away from the elements raises his outlook. That’s not enough to start him, but enough to feel more confident about Hill, Green and Sanu this week. It certainly can’t get any worse.
Can #3) Do You Feel Lucky, Tom?
Well do you? The Tom Brady quarterback matchup parade keeps chugging along. After another victory over Peyton Manning in week nine, Brady got the bye to rest up and plan for Peyton’s Colts replacement, potential-new consensus dynasty QB1 Andrew Luck. The Colts are averaged the most yards per game in the league this year with 451.2, while the Patriots defense is in the middle of the pack, ranked sixteenth and giving up an average of 355.1 yards per game. The Colts also get the benefit of playing at home, avoiding the Foxboro mystique and the elements. The list of Colts that are startable in this game: Luck, Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardson, T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen and possibly even Coby Fleener runs long (side note, Darrelle Revis will likely NOT shadow Hilton). On the other side of the ball, the Colts are giving up the eighth most average fantasy points to opposing TEs so far this season. Hello, Rob Gronkowski.
Can #4) Kelce Unleashed
Where my dogs at? Much to the chagrin of Travis Kelce owners, Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano has received 29 targets this year and limited Kelce’s on field presence to just 52.3% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps this year. Now Fasano has yet to practice this week, Andy Reid has given Kelce vote of confidence and the Chiefs are playing the Seattle Seahawks who have given up the seventh most average fantasy points per game to opposing TEs at 15.6. Although he’s been inconsistent due to his low useage, Kelce is still in TE1 territory as the PPR TE10 through ten weeks. If Fasano is indeed inactive, this could be the week that Kelce puts up a Gronk-like performance and ascends to his rightful throne. He’d make a pretty good DFS option too.
Can #5) Stanton And Deliver
We’re gonna need a lot of Kleenexes – there’s gonna be a lot of bloodshed. New Cardinals starting quarterback Drew Stanton had the ultimate game manager game against the Giants in week three (12/20 167 yards, no TDs and no INTs), a good game against the 49ers in week five(18/33 for 244 yards, two TDs and no INTs), then a bad game in the beatdown the Cardinals took at the hands of the Broncos in week six (11/26 for 118 yards, no TDs and no INTs). He looked fine in relief of Carson Palmer last week against the Rams (3/5 for 85 yards, one TDs and no INTs), but this week gets a tough assignment against the Lions, who are ranked first in the league in total defense and and third in passing defense (giving up just 212.1 yards per game through the air). Larry Fitzgerald, who has been the PPR WR10 from weeks six through nine with Palmer, saw an average of eight targets per game with Stanton under center, but averaged just four receptions for 47.3 yards and no scores in those games. It’s definitely going to be a downgrade for Fitz and his resurgence and the rest of the Cardinals’ receivers. Andre Ellington’s workload should get a boost if you’re looking for a silver lining.
Can #6) Go Eat a Cat!
ALF!!! For all the hemming and hawing about Alfred Morris, he’s actually the PPR RB15 going into week eleven. I’m pretty sure everyone who took Alfred Morris on their team in a PPR league can’t complain about high end RB2 status (he’s even caught eight of his eleven targets!). Not surprisingly, Morris had his best game of the season last week against the Vikings with Robert Griffin III back at the helm, churning for 92 yards on 19 carries and finding the end zone twice. Just the threat of RG3 running opens up opportunities for Morris. Against the Buccaneers and their 18th ranked rushing defense that’s giving up an average of 114.1 yards per game, Morris is locked and loaded as an RB1 and a great DFS play this week.