Welcome to another edition of NFL Super Sunday building blocks! This week’s slate is a super interesting one, as we have solid options among the lower and mid-tier of players that can realistically compete with the high-end choices. This could finally be a night where a balanced approach trumps a lineup that builds on star players paired with cheap punt options. Don’t forget to lock in your team on time, as games start one hour earlier than usual! If you have any feedback regarding this post or the series, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@wiseguychrome) with comments and suggestions!
QBs & Stacks
High-end: Russel Wilson (21.7M)
Russel Wilson is leading all QBs in the league with a 169.6 total score. The future MVP is coming off a weaker game, but his floor this year was 14.3 points, which is still decent. Obviously, for his price, we would expect more, but this week’s matchup in Atlanta is pretty amazing. Seattle is a 5.5-point favorite in a game with a 53.5 total, the highest on the board. Atlanta’s defense ranks 28th in the league, and they are 32nd against the pass. Wilson’s primary receiver Lockett isn’t too expensive either, but Metcalf at WR2 is a genuine bargain.
Pair with: Tyler Lockett WR (17.2M) & D.K. Metcalf WR (12.5M)
Mid-tier: Matthew Stafford (18.5M)
We are going back to Detroit! Last week’s recommendation in the budget tier put up 28.6 points against an elite Minnesota defense. We get a slight price bump, but the matchup gets way better with Stafford going against a helpless Giants squad. New York is bottom three in the league in every defensive metric, and Detroit is a seven-point road favorite. The added bonus is Stafford’s main targets once again having modest pricing.
Pair with: Kenny Golladay WR (16.7M) & Marvin Jones WR (13.3M).
Budget: Ryan Tannehill (15.5M)
Coming off a 312-yard game, Marcus Mariota’s replacement is seriously in consideration, especially that he is the 4th cheapest QB on the board. The Titans are favored against a Tampa Bay team that excels against the run but is 24th defending the pass. Tannehill’s top two targets are both under 12M, making the Titans the best cheap stack on the board.
Pair with: A.J. Brown (11.5M) & Corey Davis (10.9M)
Fade: Josh Allen (18.8M)
Josh Allen isn’t an elite QB. Yes, the matchup is decent, but you shouldn’t pay the fourth-highest price even against this weak Philly secondary. Allen is an excellent option on paper, but he is boom or bust, and this Eagles defense is due for some serious regression.
High-end: Chris Carson (18.3M)
Chris Carson is by far your best RB play on the board if Matt Ryan isn’t starting for Atlanta. Seattle should be up early in this game, and the Seahawks tend to run the ball even if they are not blowing the opposition out. Backup RB Rashaad Penny is getting less carrier week by week, further increasing the ceiling of Carson in this spot. Carson should be priced in the top 3, and he isn’t. At 18.3M, he is a must-own!
Mid-tier: Todd Gurley (15.9M)
Todd Gurley returned with a bang last week, yet the Rams stud is still only the 8th most expensive running back on the slate, despite coming off a decent game against Atlanta. Backup Malcolm Brown is still out, and rookie RB Darrell Henderson isn’t getting too many opportunities from the coaching staff. The Rams are 13-point home favorites against a Cincinnati team that ranks 25th against a run. At 15.9M, it isn’t too difficult to fit Gurley into most of your lineups.
Budget: Austin Ekeler (12.6M)
Melvin Gordon has been back for three weeks, yet he hasn’t gone over 8.9 fantasy points in either of them. It seems like Austin Ekeler is still by far the #1 RB option for the Chargers, and he is coming off a monster 25.5-point game as well. The Bears are a decent defense, but at 12.6M you are getting a matchup-proof RB1, who has a slate-breaking ceiling.
Also consider: Leonard Fournete (18.3M), Le’Veon Bell (16.9M)
Fade: Alvin Kamara (19.2M)
Alvin Kamara is still not healthy, and even if he plays, you shouldn’t roster him, despite the name value. Kamara’s backup, Latavius Murray, is coming off a 32-point game, and he is only priced 7.2M. You are way better off pivoting to him in this spot!
High-end: DeAndre Hopkins (20.1M)
We’ve been off Hopkins for a few weeks now, but with WR2 Will Fuller being out, it is time to get back on the Houston product. Hopkins is coming off his second-best week of the year, and his target share should be up by around 30% with Fuller out. There are weeks where you shouldn’t overthink where you spend the bulk of your budget. This is one of those weeks.
Mid-tier: Cooper Kupp (16.8M)
Despite the decent volume, Kupp has been held below 100 yards for two weeks in a row. It is time to buy low, as his price is still laughable considering the upside. LA’s clear WR1 now gets to face a Bengals defense that is missing both of their starting corners and has been allowing at least 21 points in every game this season. This could get ugly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kupp gets to hang with Hopkins on the top of the leaderboard.
Budget: Courtland Sutton (14.3M)
It wasn’t clear who is the clear WR1 in Denver, as Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders have been neck by neck for the whole season. With Sanders traded to San Francisco, Sutton basically has no competition among the Broncos receivers. Sutton caught 6 of 8 targets for 87 yards last week, I’m expecting 20-30% more volume, as Denver’s WR2 and WR3 options and nowhere near Sutton’s level.
Also consider: Mike Evans (15.8M), John Brown (14.5M)
Fade: Julio Jones (18.8M)
Jones should be missing his QB, and his price at 18.8M isn’t too low to take a flyer. I’d much rather pivot to Atlanta’s starting tight end. Read on!
High-end: Austin Hooper (13.3M)
Austin Hooper is the piece I love the most from the Atlanta offense. If Ryan isn’t healthy, he is much more likely to stick to handing the ball off to Hooper than throwing hail marys to his WR’s in the end zone. Hooper is by far the #1 tight end through the season with 124.6 total points and he also hasn’t been scoring less than 13.6 points for five straight weeks. I wouldn’t pay up to more expensive TEs than Hooper this week.
Mid-tier: Hunter Henry (11.9M)
Hunter Henry is still underpriced, especially considering the matchup. Chicago funnels passes to the tight end, and Henry had a decent volume, to begin with. Since returning from injury two weeks ago, the youngster has put up 45.7 total points, and his price has still not moved. I’ll most certainly have some shares, paired with Keenan Allen, as these two should be a pretty effective 1-2 punch against this Bears defense that allowed 36 points last week.
Budget: Darren Fells (5.4M)
We are once again targeting Houston in the TE position. Darren Fells is starting to seem like the clear-cut #1 option for the Texans in the tight end position. What makes me love this play besides the ridiculously low price is the fact that Fells should also benefit from the Fuller injury. A higher target count this week is all but guaranteed, and at 5.4M, you don’t need too much to pay off his price tag.
Also consider: T.J Hockenson (8.3M)
Hockenson is an often overlooked piece of the Detroit offense. While I’ve advocated for drafting the Lions WR duo with Matt Stafford, I can’t fault you for pivoting to Hockenson in your team. Just make sure to have some exposure to this Detroit squad on all your teams!
High-end: New England (12.M)
When the New England football team is on the slate, you should play their defense. The Patriots DST has twice has almost twice as many points to date as the second-best defense on the slate, yet you barely have to pay 700K more to have them in your lineup. Needless to say, it is a very low risk option against a Cleveland team that has a terrible coach and a QB that has been regressing heavily this season.
Low ownership: New Orleans (11.6M)
I’m going back to New Orleans as my low ownership pick this weekend. The Saints DST is coming off back to back 11-point games, and the Arizona offense is due for some serious regression. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints DST is 5% owned despite the incredible upside.
Budget: New York Jets (10.1M)
New York has the 9th cheapest defense on the slate, despite owning a top 10 defense according to the defensive DVOA metric of Football Outsiders. The Jacksonville offense is ranked 19th in the league, and despite the Jets being 6-point underdogs this Sunday, I see them as a sneaky option that could hold their opponents to 13 points or less, earning you those precious four extra points.