Bob’s Burgers fans may be too distracted by football to watch Sunday’s season premiere, but many will feel Tina Belcher’s anxiety while watching the day’s NFL slate unfold. Why didn’t Tom Brady throw a touchdown in the first quarter? Keenan Allen doesn’t have any catches through two series. Where’s Keenan Allen?
Avoid some pain by respectively using or ignoring these highlighted players on DraftKings.
Nick Foles, QB, St. Louis Rams ($5,200)
No team has relented more DraftKings points to quarterbacks than the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that’s not all because of Tom Brady. After getting gutted by the New England Patriots, they gave up huge gains to a less dangerous San Francisco 49ers offense.
Nick Foles followed a sharp showing against the Seattle Seahawks with a dud versus Washington, the reverse of what most onlookers would have anticipated. The new St. Louis Rams quarterback lives and dies by deep throws, making him a volatile choice.
With Le’Veon Bell returning alongside Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, the Steelers will light up the scoreboard, forcing St. Louis to throw often. Foles will spend most of the day chucking bombs to keep up; he just needs a few hits against a vulnerable secondary.
For $5,200, take the chance on an affordable, high-upside tournament play.
Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers ($5,000)
When Melvin Gordon followed a tepid preseason with 3.6 yards per run and a fumble, people prematurely panicked. The San Diego Chargers rookie quickly quelled those fears with 88 rushing yards on 16 carries against the Cincinnati Bengals.
He flashed big-play potential with a trio of huge runs, compiled by Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The first-round pick earned a fan in Adrian Peterson, whose Minnesota Vikings will host Gordon’s Chargers in Week 3.
“He’s got real nice feet,” Peterson told ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams. “He runs physical, and he’s quick in between the tackles. I think maybe that’s why I like him so much, because he reminds me of how I would run the ball with the talent that I’ve been presented with.”
Minnesota has relinquished 4.9 yards per carry, mostly all Carlos Hyde’s doing. San Diego doesn’t want to throw 53 times on a strong secondary like Matthew Stafford did, so look for a heavy dose of running on both sides.
Seattle Seahawks, D/ST ($3,400)
Defense is usually a place to save a few bucks with a cheap matchup pick. This weekend, however, the Seahawks will offer the best return on investment despite costing the most of any unit.
Earlier in the week, the Chicago Bears confirmed that quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will both miss Sunday’s game at Seattle:
Jimmy Clausen will step into the starting spotlight at the worst possible time. After an 0-2 start, the Seahawks will welcome back star safety Kam Chancellor, who will play after ending his holdout, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora:
A second-string quarterback facing a traditionally stout defense on the road without the team’s top target sounds like a recipe for success and a reason to pay up for Seattle’s defense.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions ($6,300)
Stafford’s 286 passing yards against Minnesota look worse when accrued through 53 attempts, and he hasn’t reached the 300-yard plateau in his last five starts. As noted by Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, the Detroit Lions quarterback rates No. 31 in the site’s grading system at minus-5.9. He attributed the poor production to meltdowns under pressure:
When kept clean this season he has had a passer rating of 102.5, completing 78.8 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and one pick. His yards per attempt figure on those passes is a healthy 7.4, but the problem has been when the heat has been applied.
Stafford’s passer rating has tumbled to 43.1 on plays where he felt pressure, completing just 32.3 percent of his passes and throwing as many interceptions (two) as touchdowns. That near 60-point drop in passer rating is nearly double the NFL average of 33 points, and represents a figure that will cause major problems to an offense, especially one hemorrhaging pressure as much as the Lions are right now.
Bad news: His Week 3 opponent, the Denver Broncos, rate as Pro Football Focus‘ top pass-rushing unit. Along with their seven sacks, the Broncos are the only team yet to allow a passing touchdown. Only the Carolina Panthers have relinquished fewer yards per attempt (4.4) than Denver’s 5.4.
Stafford—who has shredded an old injury-prone label—doesn’t not appear in danger of missing his first game since 2010 with injured ribs. But he wouldn’t make an appealing choice at full health, so stay far away in spite of his price dipping from $6,800 to $6,300.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints ($7,100)
According to ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett, Brandin Cooks doesn’t expect an ankle injury to sideline him this weekend:
Great, but Drew Brees won’t join him. The New Orleans Saints confirmed the dreary news on Friday:
Projected to pursue a 100-catch campaign as Brees’ top target, Cooks has instead delivered an underwhelming nine catches for 111 yards. Now the 22-year-old loses Brees, the main reason everyone pegged him as a breakout candidate in the first place.
With Luke McCown throwing him the ball, Cooks at best is a tame No. 3 receiver benefiting from a high-volume workload. New Orleans, however, is likely to lean much more on Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson in Brees’ absence.
Even with a healthy Brees, Cooks is drastically overpriced at $7,100. Julian Edelman ($7,000), Jarvis Landry ($6,400) and Brandon Marshall ($6,200) are vastly superior choices at cheaper costs.
Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos ($2,900)
Owen Daniels is the latest to prove that sleepers don’t always wake up. A popular preseason choice, Denver’s starting tight end has registered 24 receiving yards this season.
Peyton Manning has targeted Daniels seven times despite the veteran playing 136 of Denver’s 150 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Virgil Green has played far less frequently, but he snatched a touchdown during Week 2’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Daniels hasn’t generated more than nine yards on a play this season. Perhaps expectations were too high for someone who averaged 3.2 catches and 35.1 yards per game with the Baltimore Ravens last year.
Opponents (the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings) have completed an NFL-high 81.4 completion percentage against the Lions, but take that as a reason to consider Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders rather than the struggling tight end. His $2,900 salary is tempting, but Jared Cook ($2,800) is a better play at that price point.
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