Chances are, your fantasy team doesn’t have huge bye-week issues at quarterback. Maybe you’ve been stuck with Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan, or just lost Russell Wilson. There are other QB problems that can exist outside of just byes.
For this week, one solution is Taylor Heinicke. This isn’t a player we want to keep on our roster, but if in a pinch for a week, or when building a DFS lineup that is unlikely to be similar to many others, he is a worthy candidate.
Of course there are no guarantees. He did turn in a single-digit dud last week against the Saints (just 9.92 fantasy points). Yes, he was almost as bad in Week 1 against the Chargers (10.58 points).
But, in the three games in between (vs. Giants, at Bills, at Falcons), he averaged 23.1 and scored at least 20 each game. Of those three, the Giants and Falcons are pretty generous to opposing QBs (plus-3 and plus-3.36 above average per week, respectively). The Bills, on the other hand, are the stingiest, allowing 7.7 below the league average.
This week, Heinicke and his Football Team get the Chiefs. This bodes well for a couple of reasons. First, the Chiefs’ offense has not been nearly as effective this season as the recent past. Those symptoms could linger for the season, but there is going to be a get-well game every now and then, and this feels like one.
So if the Chiefs are clicking, that means they are scoring, which means Washington will have to score to keep up, which means plenty of passing opportunities for Heinicke.
Plus, the Chiefs’ defense is the league worst at defending against opposing fantasy QBs, allowing 9.6 more than the league average each week. The only defense even close to that level of incompetence is … wait for it … Washington (9.4), which sets the game up even better for a K.C. get-well effort. See, everything is coming together.
The Madman doesn’t recommend rash roster moves to add him, but if you have an expendable player, he is worth acquiring to start ahead of Tannehill, Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Ben Roethlisberger or any of the rookies.
Stacking in DFS offers several options. You can pair him with up to two other WFTers among Terry McLaurin, Ricky Seals-Jones and J.D. McKissic. You can counter on the Chiefs side with Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill and one cheaper dart play from that side. With Hill dealing with a quad injury, we like Mecole Hardman or Josh Gordon (willing to hedge against our long-term projection on him for one week considering Hill might be limited).
Going with McLaurin, Gordon, Seals-Jones and Kelce at Flex leaves enough salary cap space at FanDuel to also use Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler at running back.
Top it off with Odell Beckham Jr. and the Dallas defense, and you’ve got yourself a Heinicke-based DFS roster. Now crack open a Heineken and enjoy your Sunday.
Devontae Booker RB, Giants, vs. Rams (FanDuel $5,900/DraftKings $5,400)
The efficiency wasn’t what you wanted to see last week, after Saquon Barkley went down. But the volume was — 16 carries and 19 touches. Should continue to get a healthy workload until Barkley returns.
Odell Beckham Jr. WR, Browns, vs. Chargers (FD $6,000/DK $5,100)
Was practically ghosted by QB Baker Mayfield during a shootout last week. This week, he complained a bit about not getting the ball. Expect some squeaky-wheel juice come Sunday.
Jakobi Meyers WR, Patriots, vs. Cowboys (FD $5,800/DK $5,500)
Has 31 receptions and zero TDs. The average numbers of catches per TD for WRs is around 12. He is due. Plus, the Pats likely will have to throw to keep up with the Cowboys.
Ricky Seals-Jones TE, Washington, vs. Chiefs (FD $5,000/DK $3,000)
Was on the field for 99 percent of offensive snaps last week, with five catches on nine targets for 41 yards. He is a plug-and-play for those who had Logan Thomas.
Joe Burrow QB, Bengals, at Lions (FD $7,400/DK $6,300)
Has a 5-4 TD-INT rate on the road, compared to 6-2 at home. And the Lions have proved to be a much feistier opponent than thought before the season.
Geno Smith QB, Seahawks, at Steelers (FD $6,500/DK $5,100)
The journeyman takes over for injured Russell Wilson. The Steelers aren’t the defensive powerhouse they have been in the past, but they ain’t bad. No RB Chris Carson won’t help.
Damien Harris RB, Patriots, vs. Cowboys (FD $6,200/DK $5,200)
Dealing with a rib injury. Some fumble problems. In two games in which the Pats feel behind, he had a combined 10 rushes for 10 yards.
Allen Robinson WR, Bears, vs. Packers (FD $5,900/DK $5,300)
Has been held to fewer than 40 yards in every game but one this season. Now dealing with an ankle issue.
Fantasy Insanity Daily Duel
Slate: Sun. main (10 games)
Type: $3 tourney
Top prize: $100K
QB: Lamar Jackson (Bal, vs. LAC) $7,400
RB: Austin Ekeler (LAC, at Bal) $7,900
RB: J.D. McKissic (Was, vs. KC) $4,800
WR: Keenan Allen (LAC, at Bal) $6.400
WR: Marquise Brown (Bal, vs. LAC) $5,900
WR: Jakobi Meyers (NE, vs. Dal) $5,500
TE: Ricky Seals-Jones (Was, vs. KC) $3,000
Flex: Travis Kelce (KC, at Was) $7,000
DST: Lions (Det, vs. Cin) $2,100
QB: Taylor Heinicke (Was vs. KC) $5,800
RB: Darrell Henderson (LAR, at NYG) $6,000
RB: Jonathan Taylor (Ind, vs. Hou) $6,600
WR: Ja’Marr Chase (Cin, at Det) $6,700
WR: Brandin Cooks (Hou, at Ind) $5,800
WR: Terry McLaurin (Was, vs. KC) $7,100
TE: Mark Andrews (Bal, vs. LAC $5,200
Flex: Mecole Hardman (KC, at Was) $4,200
DST: Browns (Cle, vs. Ari) $2,900
Season risked: $42
Season winnings: Jarad $10, Drew $5