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.
Alfred Morris, Defense (DraftKings Salary $5,500)
There are obvious fantasy implications to Ezekiel Elliot's suspension. It's no coincidence that Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden have the same DraftKings salary. No one knows for sure what the Cowboys are going to do at running back. But my gut says that Morris is going to get a heavy workload Sunday.
It's possible that the Cowboys see Morris as a backup running back, and if this were the first game of the season, I might buy McFadden as the primary back. But this far into the season, Morris has been a part of the offense. His 13 carries might not seem like much, but it's certainly more than McFadden's zero. After finding some momentum on the ground and facing a good team, I see the Cowboys giving it to Morris and trying to get as close to their recent results as he can take them.
Make the Smart Play:
Chris Thompson, Running Back, Redskins (DraftKings Salary $6,100)
Thompson is a dynamic weapon for the Redskins. Against the Cowboys he had his lowest carry total all season, but his highest number of targets and receptions. I only see the latter becoming a trend.
Kirk Cousins has the weapons at receivers to make plays down field, but he doesn't have the time in the pocket for them to get open. That's a bad combination against the Seattle secondary. In order to generate any offense the Redskins will have to get rid of the ball quickly and Thompson will be the first option out of the backfield.
Ted Ginn. Jr., Wide Receiver, Saints (DraftKings Salary $5,000)
Ginn is a deep-ball receiver playing with one of the most efficient and willing deep-ball quarterbacks in NFL history.
Tampa Bay has given up an embarrassing 7.4 passing yards per attempt this season. That's nearly two more yards per attempt than the Cowboys' secondary, which has been criticized at times this season. Ginn is capable of a big week at a reasonable salary.
Cam Newton, Quarterback, Panthers (DraftKings Salary $6,300)
Newton's DraftKings salary is the lowest it's been since he played the New England Patriots in Week 4. He rewarded everyone who took advantage of that low salary with over 350 total offensive yards and four touchdowns. This week he's playing a Falcons' defense that has given up at least 20 points in six of their seven games. Last Sunday they let Josh McCown throw for 257 yards and two touchdowns, which just about satisfies Newton's salary this week.
I'm selling on Newton in the long run this year, but this week might be his last big fantasy game.
But Don't Outsmart Yourself:
Samaje Perine, Running Back, Redskins, (DraftKings Salary $3,600)
It may seem relatively obvious to avoid Perine, but he had a promising stretch in Weeks 2-5, and the midpoint of the season is when rookie running backs tend to come into their own and produce big games. But the Redskins have moved on from Perine as far as this season is concerned. He was given zero carries in each of the last two weeks. Washington knows what they want from their running back position, and that's power running from Rob Kelly and a receiving threat from Chris Thompson. There's no room for Perine.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
Patriots, Raiders, Ravens Cowboys Bills, Texans., Seahawks, Vikings
Los Angeles Rams over the New York Giants
Last season, the Giants had one of the more dangerous defenses in the league. This year they have yet to have a single impressive defensive game for four quarters. Their game against the Cowboys was probably their best defensive performance, and that was a 16-point loss.
Jared Goff is averaging an impressive 7.7 yards per pass attempt. The Giants are giving up 6.5 yards per pass attempt, which is exactly great either. The Rams are going to have no trouble moving the ball, and it's going to be a long day for New York.