This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.
Sunday's 11-game slate includes three games with totals of 49.0 or higher, and we have the unusual situation of the team with the second-highest implied team total playing in the game with the second lowest game total. Interestingly, we have two double-digit favorites, but both may be comfortably faded, and some fantasy players will have their resolve tested by players who seem to be in good matchups but include signs of struggles.
Josh Allen, BUF v. MIA ($6,500): The Dolphins vs. Bills game total of 40.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook is the second-lowest on the slate, but because of the 16.5-point spread, the Bills actually have the second-highest implied team total, trailing only the Rams' 29.0. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, allowing multiple touchdowns in each game, which came against Baltimore, New England, Dallas, the Chargers and Washington. If there's a nit to pick in the matchup it's that they have only allowed 35 total rushing yards to quarterbacks, but when they're throwing 14 touchdowns while also rushing for two more, who cares? Allen has gotten a decent amount of his fantasy points from rushing the ball, including three touchdowns, but given the matchup he should still be able to perform well. Rostering Allen is almost as much about his opponent as his own ability, and rostering him means you're passing on Matt Ryan ($6,300), who has thrown for more than 300 yards in every game this season and is coming off a 356-yard, four-touchdown game against the Cardinals last week. His matchup against the Rams isn't as good as Allen's, but he certainly looks better than his opponent, Jared Goff ($6,200), despite his opportunity against a Falcons defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to QBs this year.
Gardner Minshew, JAX at CIN ($5,400): Minshew was a disaster last weekend in a promising matchup against the Saints, but we need to erase that from our memories because of his week's game against the Bengals, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Cincinnati has been absolutely burned the past two weeks, though it's important to note that Minshew is not Kyler Murray nor Lamar Jackson, the quarterbacks who destroyed them for 25.42 and 33.64 fantasy points, respectively. However, Minshew is able to contribute with his legs, and his lower price at least helps with respect to his inconsistent floor. Additionally, if you're paying down, are you really going to rely on Case Keenum ($4,600) at San Francisco, Ryan Tannehill ($4,800) at home against the Chargers or Ryan Fitzpatrick ($4,500) at Buffalo?
Saquon Barkley, NYG v. ARI ($8,900): Barkley is expected to return from a high-ankle sprain that has kept him sidelined since Week 3, and he even said Thursday there is "no doubt" that he'd be able to handle a full workload Sunday. That would certainly be ideal against the Cardinals, even if their numbers against running backs look solid. Yes, they held the Lions', Ravens' and Falcons' running backs to under 100 rushing yards, but they got burned by Christian McCaffrey in Week 2, Chris Carson in Week 4 and even the Bengals had over 100 rushing yards against them in Week 5. Barkley hasn't had many reps with Daniel Jones under center, but he's still the Giants most dynamic offensive player, and he's in the game with the second-highest total on the slate.
Dalvin Cook, MIN at DET ($8,000): Cook could join Barkley on Team Jam-Em-In (the strategy in cash games when you pay up for three running backs), as he has a great matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season. It's certainly not just the matchup, as Cook has run for more than 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown in every game this season, helping him to the fourth-most rushing yards and touchdowns while his 5.4 yards per carry is the third-highest among players with at least 50 carries. Given the superior matchup and lack of injury concerns, it wouldn't be surprising to see people fade Barkley for Cook, especially when they can also rely on Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette ($7,000) against the Bengals, who have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Fournette comes in with one more rushing yard than Cook this season, though his total fantasy points trail significantly because he's only scored one touchdown on his 115 carries, the third-most in the NFL. Making matters better, Fournette continues to be used in the passing game, catching 10 of 13 targets in the past two games, and only two running backs on Sunday's main slate have been targeted more this season (and only four teams have allowed more running back receptions).
Josh Jacobs, OAK at GB ($5,000): Jacobs seems considerably underpriced given he faces a Packers defense that's allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, and he's coming off his best game of the season, rushing 26 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns while also catching all three targets for 20 receiving yards against the Bears in London before their Week 6 bye. Well rested and facing a Packers team that could be without their top three receivers, the Raiders are likely to rely heavily on Jacobs to keep them close, and his price is simply too low for the potential workload. Given the situation with Jacobs, he could be a viable pivot for those who were considering three high-priced running backs, providing additional salary for the other positions.
T.Y. Hilton, IND v. HOU ($5,900): Hilton is going to be very popular Sunday because of his low price and history against the Texans, the latter of which is kind of silly since it has basically no bearing on the game this weekend. Either way, he's the top wideout on a team with a decent implied total and comes in healthy after previously dealing with a quad injury. Additionally, the Texans have allowed some good numbers to wide receivers this season, including multiple receiving touchdowns in three of their last four games. Admittedly, the Colts' receivers don't exactly match those of the Chargers, Falcons and Chiefs (the three with multiple touchdowns), but Hilton is still a strong receiver with at least nine targets in two of four games. There are actually a few receivers in the price range who should garner some attention, including the Rams' Robert Woods ($5,900), the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald ($6,100) and the Jaguars' D.J. Chark ($6,000), though Hilton is likely to be the most popular of the group, at least in cash games.
Allen Lazard, GB vs. OAK ($3,000): The Packers are dealing with a plethora of wide receiver injuries, which could allow us to get exposure to their passing game at minimum price. Lazard was solid in last week's win over Detroit, catching four of five targets for 65 yards and a touchdown, and he could play an even bigger role this week with Davante Adams ($7,600), Geronimo Allison ($4,900) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,200) all questionable or ruled out. Joining Lazard as a cheap Packers option is Jake Kumerow ($3,600), who played a team-high (among receivers) 65 snaps last week, though quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked more comfortable throwing to Lazard, as Kumerow finished with two catches on three targets for 17 yards. Even though the expectations have to be limited, Lazard's price will make him very popular in cash games and some GPPs.
Cooper Kupp, LAR at ATL ($7,400): Prior to last week's disastrous game against the 49ers, Kupp had been targeted at least 12 times in three straight games, racking up more than 100 yards and at least one touchdown in each. He now faces a Falcons defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, and his regular target volume puts him ahead of Woods and Brandin Cooks ($5,400) for cash games. This game actually has the highest total on the slate, so it won't be surprising when there are plenty of game stacks, which obviously puts Julio Jones ($8,000) and Calvin Ridley ($5,300) in play. Among the top-priced receivers, Kupp could be the safest of the group, especially with Michael Thomas having a tough game at Chicago, while fantasy players continue to wait on the weekly predicted breakout from DeAndre Hopkins ($7,800).
Evan Engram, NYG vs. ARI ($6,500): Tight ends against the Cardinals have posted some dominant fantasy scores this season, and we now get one of the best receiving tight ends against them. The only difference is that we're forced to pay up for Engram, as the previous guys like T.J. Hockenson ($3,600), Mark Andrews ($4,900), Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Austin Hooper ($5,300) were all relatively cheap, or at least much cheaper than Engram this week. Nevertheless, the Giants' tight end should still garner plenty of targets because Sterling Shepard (concussion) is out again, and while the return of Saquon Barkley could take a few looks away, Engram remains a dominant player at the position. Rostering Engram means you're likely passing on the 49ers' George Kittle ($6,700), who has been one of the best tight ends in the league this season and facing a weak Washington defense.
Hunter Henry, LAC at TEN ($4,000): Henry is the obvious pay-down option at tight end, with his price a bit surprising after he returned from a knee injury last week to catch eight of nine targets for 100 yards and two touchdowns. That explosive performance will be tough to replicate, but you don't need nearly that much production to make a $4,000 salary work, especially because it allows you to pay up elsewhere if you're fading Engram or Kittle. Given the interest in Engram, Kittle and Henry, we could see much lower ownership for Hooper, Andrews and Darren Waller ($4,700), each of whom could be the highest scoring tight end on any given week.
Saints at CHI ($2,900): The Saints vs. Bears game has the lowest total on the slate, and while the Bears defense ($3,000) is a known commodity for fantasy players, the Saints have a solid matchup in their own right, even (or maybe even more so) with Mitchell Trubisky back under center. The Saints have scored double-digit fantasy points in three of their last four games, a span that included three games without touchdowns, which could be a solid return for less than $3,000. The Bills ($4,300) are the most expensive defense this week because they are playing the Dolphins, and their prospects look up with Ryan Fitzpatrick facing one of his old teams.