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How to score big by flying under the fantasy football radar – New York Post

Every summer, there seems to be a litany of big-action blockbusters. They muscle into the theater one after the other, promising thrilling visuals, stunning stunts, great balls of fire but little in the way of story or character.

They are simple. They are easy. And they often make a lot of coin at the box office. The Patriots-Saints and Packers-Falcons games Sunday are blockbusters. Their trailers are filled with big bangs and star power.

One is a big Marvel superhero movie, the other is its DC counterpart. But what if Patriots-Saints turns out to be more “Thor” than “Avengers”? What if Packers-Falcons is more “Suicide Squad” than “Wonder Woman”? What if neither lives up to its potential?

That is why you should look for this week’s football version of “Girls Trip” — the surprising comedy that rakes in cash because it is different, because it has substance and because sometimes it pays to be contrarian.

The Madman isn’t saying either of these games is going to go bust. In fact, chances are neither will. But a roster full of chalk means big performances by those popular players allow you to gain significantly less ground on the DFS field than does having a lower-owned player who has a big day. We want to make sure we hedge, so we are in position for a big score in the unlikely event both games are fantasy busts.

We start with QB Philip Rivers ($5,800 DraftKings). We do this not just because the Dolphins ranked in the bottom eight in TD passes allowed last year, or the bottom half for sacks, but because they have had their routine disrupted by Hurricane Irma. We saw a Texans team dealing with similar issues struggle in their opener. It could happen again here.

We like to stack at least one or two targets with our DFS QB, and we expect the Chargers to try to get Antonio Gates ($3,000) the TD that he needs to set the record for most ever by a tight end. The Broncos kept Keenan Allen ($5,800) at bay last week, but the Dolphins ain’t the Broncos.


Chargers wide receiver Keenan AllenAP

Now we stray to other bargains we foresee having at least less usage than they might in a given week. Ezekiel Elliott ($7,800) gets a Denver defense that isn’t nearly as strong against the run as it is against the pass. The Raiders ($3,500) are the cheapest of the defense/special teams who are facing terrible offenses, so we take them against the Jets.

From there, we fill in with affordable options, trying to stay away from our taboo games. We land on Mike Evans ($7,700), because he is really good in a great matchup — and despite similar hurricane woes as others, his connection with QB Jameis Winston is established. And we snag Martavis Bryant, aiming to get a piece of home Steelers action by staying away from the expensive Antonio Brown, who will face one of the game’s best corners in Xavier Rhodes.

That leaves us with an RB spot and a Flex to fill. Hey, the Madman tried to avoid the two chalky games, but James White ($4,400) is just too cheap to pass up. That leaves us with $6,900 left to spend. But we don’t like options like Kareem Hunt (chasing points), Doug Baldwin (game flow), Dez Bryant (bad matchup), Todd Gurley (he’s Todd Gurley), etc.

As we keep scrolling down, we realize we are going to leave a chunk of cap space on the table simply to appease our fade fascination. That is just irresponsible. So we break our one rule again and tab Rob Gronkowski ($6,900) as our Flex.

So our roster fails to deliver a complete fade, and maybe we can bring ourselves to be more loyal to our mission with a few cheap throwaway entries. But if you’re playing with limited rosters, we think this one is just contrarian enough to give you separation should this week turn into a fantasy “Girls Trip.”

The Decision

Post fantasy Madman Drew Loftis and Roto Rage Jarad Wilk debate whom you should start this week:


Tarik Cohen and Theo RiddickAP (2)

Theo Riddick vs. Tarik Cohen

Drew: Riddick —The Giants’ defense is a stout unit. It is tough to run against them, and their cornerbacks make life hard for wide receivers. For opposing offenses, that means leaning on the tight end (Eric Ebron here) or a pass-catching running back. And of the pass-catching RB variety, Riddick is among the best. Hey, maybe Cohen is the next big thing in that regard, but so far we have exactly one week of data. We have three seasons worth on Riddick that show he can deliver.

Jarad: Cohen — Cohen was this week’s hottest waiver grab, after a debut that saw him gain 113 total yards (66 rushing, 47 receiving) and score a TD. The Bears are not very good at football and likely will trail the Buccaneers, which will, of course, lead to lots of passes. Considering Cohen was targeted 12 times in Week 1 (eight receptions), in a game where they were competitive, there is no reason to believe this trend will not continue. Oh, and Tampa Bay’s defense last season was lousy against the pass (11th most yards allowed), especially to RBs (702 yards, sixth most).

Last week: Drew 4.0 (Devin Funchess — two receptions, 20 yards), Jarad 3.1 (Zay Jones — one reception, 21 yards)

Season: Drew leads, 1-0

Big Weeks


Cardinals quarterback Carson PalmerGetty Images

Carson Palmer QB, Cardinals, at Colts (FanDuel $7,500/DraftKings $6,000)
The Colts’ defense made Jared Goff look like a Pro Bowler. Either the Colts are really bad, or Jared Goff is … gasp! … good. We’re putting our money on bad Colts, which helps Palmer.

Thomas Rawls RB, Seahawks, vs. 49ers (FD $5,800/DK $4,600)
He is expected to return this week from an ankle injury. Considering the underwhelming performance of the Seahawks’ RB committee last week, we will anticipate a healthy workload against a porous 49ers run defense.

Ted Ginn WR, Saints, vs. Patriots (FD $6,100/DK $4,800)
In daily leagues or standard formats, in a game that is forecast to be a scorefest, against a Patriots team that showed little in the way of defense, playing in the dome where the Saints score plenty … yes, please.

Zach Ertz TE, Eagles, at Chiefs (FD $6,100/DK $5,300)
Don’t think of this as chasing points, after his big Week 1. Think of it as chasing an injury to Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who helped lock down Rob Gronkowski last week.

Small Weaks

Kirk Cousins QB, Redskins, at Rams (FD $7,700/DK $6,100)
The preseason struggles carried over into the opener. Cousins has not looked good. Traveling across the country to face a solid D, even if it isn’t as good as it looked against the woeful Colts, ummm … no thanks.

Dez Bryant WR, Cowboys, at Broncos (FD $7,600/DK $6,600)
The Broncos’ defensive weakness is stopping the run. The Broncos’ strength is defending the pass, particularly top WRs. So why would the Cowboys make this a Dez game rather than leaning on RB Ezekiel Elliott?

Jarvis Landry WR, Dolphins, at Chargers (FD $6,500/DK $5,500)
Leery of relying on Landry with Jay Cutler at QB. Historically he is reliant on heavy target volume, and Cutler’s tendencies likely favor DeVante Parker more than Landry. If you have a decent alternative, use it.

Jack Doyle TE, Colts, vs. Cardinals (FD $5,200/DK $2,900)
Arizona was the toughest in the league on opposing tight ends last season. Gave up two catches for 9 yards to Eric Ebron last week, so no reason to believe anything has changed.

Tweet of the Week

“I get excited for every #Week1 like I do for every new Batman movie. This year’s Week 1 was equivalent of Batman v Superman.”

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