“Best” is one of the best words. It can mean many things. You can best an opponent. You might be the best man. Could be, you’re just second-best.
If you’re not on a “bests” list, then maybe you’re just in company with the best of the rest.
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Such is the case with the available crop of Chargers wide receivers in Week 9. This week, Mike Williams will miss the first of an expected multi-game absence because of an ankle injury. And Keenan Allen reportedly suffered a setback during the week in his recovery from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him much of the season.
That’s the top two WR options for quarterback Justin Herbert. Plus, one of the backup options, Jalen Guyton, is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Yet we know Herbert is a prolific passer. We know he can put up big numbers. We know the Falcons’ defense he will face Sunday is soft against the pass and is league-worst defending opposing fantasy wide receivers.
So someone is going to have a big day in the receiving corp, right? Well, best of luck with this gang. But, we do have some optimism because of the factors we just mentioned.
Joshua Palmer has cleared concussion protocol and should be available to play. Palmer is second to Williams in targets among Chargers WRs, with 40, and is averaging 9.4 per week in PPR already. He has gotten extra usage thanks to Allen’s expected absences, and that use should expand this week. Plus, Palmer is still available in a shrinking percentage of leagues, so make your best effort quickly.
The Madman likes Palmer as a solid WR option in PPR leagues, and definitely an outstanding Flex play. We expect the best possible version of Palmer. He even has limited “pop” potential to be among the top scorers at the position this week. We’ll take that for seasonal lineups and as an affordable DFS option.
DeAndre Carter, who is widely available, likely will move into the role of the secondary receiver. Obviously, we’re more hesitant here in seasonal formats because his floor and ceiling are both lower than Palmer’s. But for DFS purposes, at bare-bones prices, as a sharp contrarian answer to what will certainly be a deluge of Palmer usage? That’s one of our best ideas.
And a memo from the “Duh” Department: Tight end Gerald Everett, scarcely available, should be expected to see an increase in targets. Use confidently in seasonal, but with some reservation for usage avoidance in DFS. More: Keep an eye on Austin Ekeler’s abdomen issue, but if he plays, duh, use him.
So best wishes navigating what is unlikely to be the Chargers’ best week.
Aaron Rodgers QB, Packers, at Lions (FanDuel $7,000/DraftKings $5,900)
He has been terrible by his standards (QB18 in fantasy). But everyone rakes against the Lions, even with a bum thumb. Since Week 2, just Bailey Zappe and just-returned Dak Prescott have failed to throw for multiple TDs.
Deon Jackson RB, Colts, Patriots (FD $5,000/DK $5,200)
With Jonathan Taylor out, we don’t expect Zack Moss to take over the backup job yet, so even against a stiff Pats run defense, we like Jackson’s volume potential.
Kalif Raymond WR, Lions, vs. Packers (FD $5,400/DK $4,000)
With Josh Reynolds iffy with a back problem, Raymond becomes the Lions’ next-best option behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit tends to play high-scoring games, particularly at home.
Juwan Johnson TE, Saints, vs. Ravens (FD $4,900/DK $3,000)
He trails just Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara in Saints targets and receptions this season. We like Johnson’s red-zone chances better than those of Marquez Callaway or Tre’Quan Smith.
Tom Brady QB, Buccaneers, vs. Rams (FD $6,900/DK $6,000)
Like his chance to come around better than Rodgers’, but not this week. He just one multi-TD game this season, and just three TD passes total in his past four games — the Rams have given up just three in their past five.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts, at Patriots (FD $6,400/DK $6,800)
With no Jonathan Taylor to worry about, wouldn’t you put the defensive focus on Pittman if you were Bill Belichick?
D.J. Moore WR, Panthers, at Bengals (FD $7,000/DK $5,800)
Outside of the explosive outlier performance last week, Moore has two TDs total on the season and has averaged fewer than 10 PPR points per game. Bengals’ pass defense is no pushover.
T.J. Hockenson TE, Vikings, at Commanders (FD $6,200/DK $4,800)
We think T.J. Is going to fine in time, but he will need time to adjust to a new offense. Plus, Washington is the toughest in the league vs. opposing fantasy TEs.
Insanity’s Daily Duel
Drew Loftis and Jarad Wilk submit dueling rosters into a DFS contrast:
Slate: Sun. main (10 games)
Type: $12 tourney
Top prize: $20K
Total pot: $200K
QB — Geno Smith (Sea, at Ari) $5,800
RB — Travis Etienne Jr. (Jac, vs. LV) $6,300
RB — Raheem Mostert (Mia, at Chi) $6,100
WR — Tyler Lockett (Sea, at Ari) $6,100
WR — Darnell Mooney (Chi, vs. Mia) $4,700
WR — Joshua Palmer (LAC, at Atl) 5,100
TE — Tyler Higbee (LAR, at TB) $3,700
Flex — Austin Ekeler (LAC, at Atl) $8,800
DST — Buccaneers (TB, vs. LAR) $3,000
QB — Justin Herbert (LAC, at Atl) $7,200
RB — Travis Etienne Jr. (Jax, vs. LV) $6,300
RB — Devin Singletary (Buf, at NYJ) $5,700
WR — Romeo Doubs (GB, at Det) $5,300
WR — Terry McLaurin (Was, vs. Min) $5,900
WR — Joshua Palmer (LAC, at Atl) $5,100
TE — Evan Engram (Jax, vs. LV) $3,300
Flex — Justin Jefferson (Min, at Was) $8,600
DEF — Seahawks (Sea, at Ari) $2,500
Season risked: $73
Season winnings: Drew $0, Jarad $0