*Editor's Note: Each Thursday leading into the NFL games, contributing writer Jonathan Auping will break down a few things to consider as fantasy owners set their weekly lineups, including players to start or sit, along with trends to remember. Whether your game is the traditional fantasy league or the daily games from DraftKings, this weekly feature should help you get prepared for the fantasy weekend. *
Evan Engram, Tight End, Giants (DraftKings Salary $6,000)
Eli Manning has his job back, but he doesn't exactly have a lot of great options to throw the ball to. If there's any hint that Manning will be auditioning for his right to remain the starting quarterback of the Giants in 2018 then he'll want to find chemistry with their rookie tight end.
Engram is coming off the best game of his career, having recorded 99 yards and a touchdown against Oakland last Sunday. Only the Jets and Broncos have given up more passing touchdowns than the Cowboys and Giants, who have each given up 23. Of all the pass catchers in this game, I see Engram as the most likely to record multiple touchdowns.
Make the Smart Play:
Jarvis Landry, Wide Receiver, Dolphins (DraftKings Salary $6,000)
The New England Patriots once again have had a dynamic offense this year. But rarely noted is the fact that that's been a result of having to keep up with all the points they've given up through the air this year. Of every potential playoff contender, New England has given up the most passing yards.
Landry gets a high volume of targets, which adds up quickly in point-per-reception formats like Draft Kings. Coming into Sunday he's a threat for 10-plus receptions, 80-plus yards, and a touchdown. If he delivers on all of those, he'll be one of DraftKings' best values of the week.
Theo Riddick, Running Back, Lions (DraftKings Salary $4,500)
Last week, I predicted Riddick would have his breakout game and he went on to produce his best fantasy performance of the season. His salary went up as a result, but I'm still bullish on Riddick.
Tampa Bay has a bottom-10 rush defense and Riddick is perfect for DraftKings' point-per-reception format. If he produces 45 yards rushing and five catches, he's already met the value of his salary. Riddick is trending upwards and it's worth riding him again this week.
Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver, Steelers (DraftKings Salary $9,000)
The DraftKings salary of the best player in football went down $800 in one week. I hate to have two repeat picks, but that's the kind of value grab you have to take advantage of.
In his last three games, Brown has recorded 414 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Those are legendarily impressive fantasy numbers. You can afford Brown at his salary. Look at it this way: the winning team in most big tournaments will probably have Brown. You can't get around it.
But Don't Outsmart Yourself:
T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Colts (DraftKings Salary $5,700)
If you take away a fourth-and-two 40-yard touchdown last week, then Hilton would have combined for 49 yards in his last three games. Jacoby Brissett can't move the ball down field effectively, making Hilton a non-threat.
The Bills, meanwhile, haven't given up more than 41 yards to a wide receiver in the past two weeks.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
Green Bay Packers over the Cleveland Browns
I gave you the Bears last week and they lost by one to the 49ers. There's a hard and fast rule if you're trying to bounce back after a bad pick: Fade the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns have lost 12 of 12 games this year and I don't see that changing against a Packer that's run the ball effectively the past two weeks. It takes a special kind of incompetence to lose to these Browns, and I don't see the Packers stooping to that level.