Welcome to the 2019 version of The Ambush, as I will walk you through a weekly article covering the NFL DFS Landscape for the Main slate each week. This article is not only intended to help YOU the reader out with your NFL DFS enjoyment for the week, but it’s also my Bible that I will rely upon each week to do my lineups, contest selection, bets, GIFs, angry twitter rants or whatever else I need for that given weekend of NFL action. You can expect this article to come out on Saturday’s as Friday nights are my grind time (… no, not that kind of grinding, cmon people …) to get this article done and ready for the weekend. I’m a big CFB player so Saturday’s are reserved for watching college football (or doing actual life stuff), but I will then come back to my article on Saturday night and make sure all my lineups and entries are set before eventually going to bed for the evening. You can expect me to not want to change a single thing on Sunday’s and I’ll likely not even want to answer any questions you have on Sunday’s.
If you want the best time to get your lineups done, it should be Saturday night’s when you are reading this article.
Here’s a recap of what this article covers
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my MAIN lineup & what that is being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my SECOND tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my THIRD tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover my favorite weekly BETS for the weekend games.
- This article will cover who I feel is chalk and how it should be addressed.
- This article will cover all my NFL thoughts in one spot.
What are The Ambush plays? These are my plays that I feel warrant the most attention for a given week. It’s a mix of three types of players/teams each week. We’ll cover the stud you gotta have no matter what. We’ll cover the contrarian pivots. We’ll cover my favorite games/stacks of the week.
The first thing we must do each Week is understand the landscape of the slate and any injury or weather or miscellaneous information that we need to monitor from the time this article comes out (Saturday’s) until lock on Sunday at 1PM EST.
Injuries and Playing Time Concerns
I usually will factor in the major injuries into my recommendations and try to list only the injuries that could impact the recommendations within this article.
- Melvin Gordon – Not an injury but we gotta monitor the noise around if he is active, will he play. Obviously if he does then he is a FD free square. This isnt a donkey play.
- The world is supposedly ending due to global warming for the 50th year in a row.
Projected Ownership (Mixed Between Sites)
|HIGHEST OWNED||Russell Wilson||Austin Ekeler
|SECOND TIER OWNERSHIP||Philip Rivers
|Kerryon Johnson||Cooper Kupp
All ownership projections are based upon single entry and 5 entry max tournaments.
- There is a lack of spend at RB this week which means it’s easier to justify spending on QB and WR for most lineups and thus that’s how you see ownership build up in those areas.
- The same is true for Travis Kelce
MESSAGE OF THE WEEK
Find your balance. The slate breaks down as one that doesn’t necessarily have just one position above all others (although WR to me is the best one) but it also doesn’t have the traditional high priced stud RB out there eating up your salary cap and giving you the best floors out there. In fact, most of the good RB this week are on the road or facing teams who are perceived good against the run. What I find this week is that we need balance. No life lessons here other than you really do need quality balance on your weekend dietary functions and by balance I mean absolutely under no circumstances do you drink shit like White bleeping Claw. No friends. We need proper balance. I am talking about the kind of balance that Alvin Kamara displayed last weekend or the balance that Taysom Hill will display this Sunday night, or maybe the balance that I’ll display on Twitter when Taysom scores his 2nd TD of the game after I had about 8 Andygators.
Once again, went on a little rant there. BALANCE to your lineups this week everyone. BALANCE. I also really think this week emphasizes that if you are doing any sort of game stack correlation you should be doing more than 1 lineup but no more than 5 lineups. I see people talk about underweight this and exposures and shares and all that fucking bullshit that comes with doing MME and 150 lineups and $0.05 shit. Cash vs GPP is the dumbest analysis that anyone gives you anywhere. All my plays below can be used in any contest format, the difference between cash and tournament is correlation with the way you build your lineup.
Everyone listed below is a recommendation to do well, not darts. If you want someone to give you darts and not be held accountable for their picks then go subscribe to every other content provider out there who has no accountability because they hedge everything by saying GPP only. Here’s the better way to translate this.
My Favorite VALUE WR on this slate are listed below, if you play Deon Cain on your MAIN lineup then okay, cool. Tip of hat. Enough of this GPP only vs CASH shit. Its bad analysis.
And while you’re up… Can you grab me another?
Theres a ton of contests out there for you to be focusing on rather than just playing what the sites are forcing you to play. A couple things you should be looking for each week are as follows
- Tournaments with less than 1k users in them … I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH THIS WEEK. FACTOR OWNERSHIP IN HERE!
- Tournaments with less than 300 users in them
- Tournaments that pay 10x to first not 50x to first
- Higher paylines (% of people who get paid)
- How much does 10th place get? 20th place?
Focus on not first place but below that. Make sure you are playing a tournament that is one you can win in and will not have a ton of tilt by entering a lineup and having to worry about every single person who scores on the slate. You’ll find that in the long run any tournament that only pays 10x to first is one you will profit in.
THE AMBUSH PLAYS
Don’t @ me if you play only ONE of these recommendations and not ALL this week. They’re all EQUAL recommendations this week.
BAYOU THEME BOWL?
Nope. I’m not talking about the Saints game.
I am talking about the Browns and the Ravens.
I really liked this game at the beginning of the week with the Browns coming off that low scoring SNF game at home vs the Rams that honestly they easily could have won. The Browns have played below expectations in two home games this season and beat up on a bad Jets team on the road in between. But this is going to go far beyond me just thinking that they’re gonna play better away from back to back National Spotlight games which is very common for a young team like the Browns. It hit me about late week that the key in this game going to the moon is not the Browns and Baker-OBJ-Landry which I will ultimately be stacking. Nope. The key to this game is the Ravens. You see. This game has an obvious LSU flare to it with Beckham and Landry and if we wanna stretch the Louisiana thing to the fact that *sobs* Mark *sobs* Ingram *sobs* isn’t *sobs* with *sobs* the *sobs* Saints anymore *sobs*, no, I’m not *sobs* crying then sure we can do that too. But nah. That’s not the big deal here. No sir.
Have you been paying attention to College Football this year?
No? What the fuck is wrong with you. You could be sweating a Penn State vs Maryland blowout on a Friday night.
Anyways. Who is the talk of College Football offensively this year?
No, besides Alabama….
No, besides Jaylen Hurts…
Fucks sake, Josh Fields sucks… Not him either.
IM TALKING ABOUT LSU DAMNIT. KEEP UP. LSU a perennial defense and running game team has transformed into an air it out score 50-60 points a week team. Hey. Does that SOUND LIKE ANYONE YOU KNOW??? Damn straight. Wake up and smell the roses on the Ravens. They aren’t a defensive lock down team anymore, they transformed into an offensive high scoring team and the sooner we start stacking THEIR GAMES (like you do the Chiefs) the RICHER we all will be. The Ravens are going fast, they are going high scoring and the Browns are ready to get involved in a fucking AFC North shootout to save their slow start.
AMBUSH PLAY #1: Baker Mayfield, OBJ, Jarvis Landry and Hollywoooood Brown
REMEMBER THE TITANS
The last time you saw Tennessee they were looking like garbage in Jacksonville on Thursday Night Flag Football. The best remedy for an ugly AFC South road game on a Thursday is 10 days off and then a trip to face the soft Atlanta Falcons in their home high scoring stadium.
I love everything about this game. From Atlanta having an obvious positive passing match-up for Ryan, Julio, Ridley and Sanu to the Titans being able to do almost anything they want against the Falcons defense + not to mention the inevitable Falcons home choke turnover which leads to a Titans D/ST to put the game away late.
Stack the Titans this week from Mariota to Henry to Walker to their Defense. They are all scoring in what is a nice sneaky shootout down in ATL, but the side not to overlook I must sadly admit is the Ryan-Julio and Calvin Mother F’n Ridley Week stack.
AMBUSH PLAY #2: STACK the Titans and Falcons but dont fade Delanie Walker / Calvin Ridley in the stack
STUD RUNNING BACKS TAKING THE WEEK OFF
In week one I told you to play three Running Backs. In week two I told you to play two Tight Ends. In week four now I am telling you that you do not need to pay up at Running Back. Understanding what the landscape gives us for a week is critical and that is what we have this week not just because guys like Barkley, Kamara and Zeke aren’t on the main DK/FD slates but even in the case of AK and Zeke on FantasyDraft and Yahoo! I don’t think they’re the right plays this week. Nope. Nor is Christian McCaffrey or Austin Ekeler who are both going to be heavily owned because everyone always pays up at Running Back — and rightfully so. It’s the best position for a consistent floor and it’s almost always game script proof if you are talking about most stud RB’s these days because they’re all in the passing game. But this is one of the two or three weeks this season where we won’t be forcing the high end RB’s in just because they are there. So who are the guys we want? See below for the full list of RB’s I like but it starts this week with taking some road running backs who are all gonna score and if we get a TD for the prices on these guys and no STUD RB is going off then we’re in the Gold ….
- Chris Carson, Derrick Henry, James White, Kerryon Johnson
AMBUSH PLAY #3: Mid Tier Running Backs not the STUDS
ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR… GET YOUR 2ND RECEIVER ANOTHER SCORE
Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham, Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins, Tyler Lockett … What do they all have in common? They’re all hyped up #1 Wide Receivers this week and they’re all gonna get trumped by their teammate for multiple scores. Okay, so OBJ might not be the chalk option of the mix but it fits for dramatic effect so just go along with it. The point here is that I am love with Calvin Ridley, Will Fuller, Jarvis Landry, Dontrelle Inman, Mecole Hardman and D.K. Metcalf.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, Stephen. Why is there a GIF of Coolio riding a tri-cycle on my screen? Well, oh, wait, no. That’s not what you are thinking? You are thinking — if I am not spending at RB and I am not spending at WR then where am I actually spending this week? The answer is simple. EVERYWHERE. Follow along and outside of making some random FanDuel decision on Melvin Gordon if he is listed as active, we’re not gonna consider a ton of dirt cheap plays and we’re definitely gonna be locking in a top TE and DEF this week folks.
So yeah, we’re gonna get balance and we’re gonna see not one, not two but three of those guys I just listed above score TWICE this week…. So just slide slide but that’s the past, I gotta sumpin’ brand new for yo ass… 1-2-3-4 Get your receiver another score. Gotta gotta get us a touch down. Gotta gotta get us a touch down.
AMBUSH PLAY #4 Playing guys like Julio is nice but the Coolio play is the 2nd WR for every team.
KYLER vs RUSS
We head west, to Arizona for a match-up between two former Baseball prospects, now turned Pro Quarterbacks who have rushing upside and all the stupid narratives around two short Quarterbacks facing off against each other. I am NOT a Kyler Murray guy in the NFL and still anticipate he will be on a MLB Diamond in 5 years rather than a long term successful QB in the NFL, however if there is gonna be one spot he shines in fantasy land this year it is against a Seahawks defense that has historically given up good games to opposing rushing Quarterbacks over the years under Pete Carroll. Murray finally went running last week and also saw another rise in his completion percentage as he gets more and more comfortable in Kliff’s mirage offense and the Seattle D is just average at best in my mind. This game screams shootout and while the logic says just take Russ Wilson at $200 more, it’s also a heavy leverage pivot over to Murray in the same game where I envision him running it more and all points to his RB (D.Johnson) will come via the pass where as Russ Wilson should be able to hand off to Carson for 125+ yards easily.
AMBUSH PLAY #5: Kyler Murray over Russell Wilson
I will almost always (i.e. 99.9% of the time) do a stack that features a player on the other side who is a WR/TE or sometimes a good pass catching RB. I want that game flow to work in the favor of back and forth shootouts and while that might end up being the dagger some weeks, more often then not it’s critical when your stack is going off in the shootout games. So for people to simply give you a list of a team to stack they are doing you wrong. This isn’t Baseball folks. Correlation Matters!
The first thing we identify with the STACKS are the games that have the best shootout potential and that is driven heavily by two teams that play at a good pace or might be enticed to playing at a good pace. The other spot to target in STACKS which I hear nobody ever mentioning is the 2-minute drill offense and defense. There’s nothing better than a team who scores in the final 2 minutes of a half and then gets the ball to start the 2nd half and marches down the field to score again. If we have an offense who has a known success rate in the 2-minute offense or a defense who has a known liability slowing down teams in the 2-minute drill then that’s a good extra reason to like the game as a stack option.
When considering where to put each game into a tournament we should factor in the volume of chalk associated with the game and the chances that the public perception on how to play it is wrong.
PLAYERS IN BOLD ARE MUST PLAYS IN THE STACKS
1) CLEVELAND BROWNS vs BALTIMORE RAVENS
STACK: Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Marquise Brown
The low owned stack that I am riding this week is in Baltimore as I see this being a sneaky shootout. Don’t mind going Lamar Jackson but the lower owned QB is obviously Baker.
2) TENNESSEE TITANS vs ATLANTA FALCONS
Stack: Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker
3) ARIZONA CARDINALS vs SEATTLE SEAHAKWS
STACK: Kyler Murray, Christian Kirk, DK Metcalf
FULL AMBUSH RANKINGS
Everyone is really equal for me among this group this week but I love the game flow and rushing upside that Murray in my mind DEFINITELY has this week vs Seattle. Matty Lice is the early slate QB hands down in my mind.
- Kyler Murray … Has to do it on the ground with his legs, but all signs point to that happening this week.
- Matt Ryan … Will throw for over 300 yards and 3 TD. Kyler edges him due to rushing one in and rushing for 100 yards.
- Russell Wilson … Obvious top play this week. Gimme the ground game instead.
What a dumpster fire position this week. No Barkley, no Zeke, no Kamara and bad spots for Cook and really for CMC to be frank with you. Its deeper in the sense that we have plenty of choices here but it’s also one where I don’t think anyone breaks the slate. You’ll also notice two chalky names NOT LISTED below. Yup. I’m not playing Ekeler or Gallman.
- Christian McCaffrey … His volume keeps him viable but no to the point that he is going to be as heavily owned as he will be this week. Problem with a fade is there aren’t enough guys to really beat out his likely floor, so he remains #1, but the gap isn’t as wide as it appears.
- Chris Carson … Not just a pivot off RW lineups but the fact that he is going from facing a top 5 rush defense to a bottom 5 rush defense and will go from 20-30% ownership down to about 2-3% ownership is a HUGE reason why I am going after the guy with the fumble issues. He went for 130 against the Cards last year and he is still their best RB and should be involved in a game that will feature a fast pace but one where Seattle should try to really do damage on the ground. Carson was a stupid play by everyone else last week and a stupid fade by those same people this week.
- Dalvin Cook … DK Only play, he should catch 5 passes from captain Kirkdown and you’ll need that full PPR.
- Marlon Mack … Assuming he is a full go he is in my mind more likely to get a TD than Kerryon Johnson, but they are very very close.
- Derrick Henry … Love Henry and Walker on the Titans to get in the box along with their D. Titans score 30+ this week collectively as a team and D-Henry is a part of that.
- Kerryon Johnson … Gotta get the heavy workload this week.
- Josh Jacobs … Raiders only hope is the ground game.
I have more strong feelings about the confidence in some of these Wide Receivers this week than any other week so far this season which really tells me that this is a good 4-WR play this week and also a great spot to not go dumpster diving and get those good B level type wide receivers. Guys like Ridley, Fuller, Metcalf are all FANTASTIC plays tin my mind this week and I bet that all three score touchdowns.
MY ELITE TIER
Remember last week when I had Keenan Allen / Mike Williams and Mike Evans / Chris Godwin? Same song and dance here, expect some big games this week from this core of players and get exposure to all four of them.
- Calvin Ridley / Julio Jones / Mohammed Sanu … Like the ATL passing attack, Ridley the big play thread for a TD, or two, or three….
- DeAndre Hopkins / Will Fuller …Ever since Kenny Stills went over to Houston it appears he has become the new 2nd favorite target for DeShaun Watson, but that needs to change with Will Fuller still having the big play ability and that being the spot I like to attack the Panthers secondary with. Common sense on this game says that Nuk Hopkins should be in line for a big volume game against the Panthers zone, but if you are Carolina you will undoubtedly look to take Hopkins away as a primary target for the Texans and take your chances at getting a pass rush on Watson, which at times has been the best way to slow down the Texans offense.Fuller has seen 7 targets in each of the last two games and he is just a ticking bomb waiting to get into the box to pay off finally. Will Fuller going for 6 catches, 85 yards and a Touchdown
- Odell Beckham Jr / Jarvis Landry — Landry beats out Keenan Allen
VERY NICE VOLUME TIER
- Hollywood Brown … In his sense he isn’t a PPR machine to the naked eye, but make no mistake he will catch 6+ and with his big play ability we definitely see him in the endzone twice this week.
- Keenan Allen … MG3 isn’t ready yet and Mike Williams/Juice Jackson are banged up. This is a spot where Allen gets so much good easy volume that he puts a good score on the board.
- Larry Fittzgerald … Fitz vs Lockett is tough but I’m going with Fitz with exposure to Carson for SEA.
TOUCHDOWN VALUE TIER
- D.K. Metcalf
- Christian Kirk
- Dontrelle Inman … Everyone was on Mike Williams but now we’re not gonna take Inman vs the garbage Dolphins?
- Deon Cain … With Hilton out Cain should see more ops for a big bomb from J.B.
Kelce is probably the safest stud on this entire slate. Get him in if you are going one of the other TE as well to be a little unique with a 2 TE set, but Delanie Walker is the key to the Titans offense this weekend against Atlanta who is banged up down the middle.
- Travis Kelce
- Delanie Walker
- Will Dissly
- L.A. Rams – Jameis Winston off a decent game going up against Aaron Donald and company. Uhhh, okay. Godwin is questionable and Talib will hold Evans to 0 catches. This should be fun for Winston and the Bucs.
- Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts
STRAIGHT UP UPSET PICKS:
- Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns
AGAINST THE SPREAD PICKS:
- Detroit +6.5
- New Orleans +2.5
- Titans +4.5
- Saints / Cowboys OVER
- Redskins / Giants UNDER
- Titans / Falcons OVER