By Joe Ostrowski–
(CBS) The laundry list of injuries has given us numerous value plays that will allow us to roster some of the NFL’s elite in daily fantasy. Chicago’s Jeremy Langford, Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams and San Diego’s Stevie Johnson are a few of punt plays who should pay off their price. One-fourth of the league is out of play between byes and Thursday night football.
Let’s take a look at the weeks’ top play.
QB in cash games: Patriots’ Tom Brady vs. Washington
New England is passing 67 percent of the time, and Vegas projects the Patriots to score 33 points. That’s six more points than any other team this weekend. Brady is averaging 344 yards per game and is on pace for 46 touchdowns.
Another option: Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger vs. Raiders
QB in tournaments: Titans’ Marcus Mariota at Saints
I don’t make a habit out of using Tennessee players. Mariota’s returning from a sprained MCL, and it’s a guess to predict how a team will respond to its head coach getting fired. Yet every metric says New Orleans is dead last against quarterbacks. They allow 2.75 touchdowns per game to opposing signal callers. Mariota’s ownership percentage was 0.3 in Thursday contests.
Another option: Packers’ Aaron Rodgers at Panthers
RB in cash games: Saints’ Mark Ingram vs. Titans
Ingram quietly has the second-most fantasy points of all running backs. He also has the fourth-most red-zone rushing attempts. Those attempts could increase because Khiry Robinson and his four touchdowns are out for the season with a broken right tibia.
Another option: Falcons’ Devonta Freeman at 49ers
RB in tournaments: Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount vs. Washington
New England is favored by 14 points against Washington. In the Patriots’ three double-digit wins, Blount has averaged 17 touches, including a three-touchdown performance against the Jaguars. Use at your own risk. Only consider Blount if you think New England rolls from start to finish.
Another option: Eagles’ DeMarco Murray at Cowboys
WR in cash games: Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr at Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has the worst defense against No. 1 receivers, according to Football Outsiders. Beckham facing the Bucs’ secondary is the biggest Week 9 mismatch, according to Pro Football Focus. Giants tight end Larry Donnell is out with a neck injury, and No. 2 receiver Rueben Randle was hampered by a hamstring injury last week and has been limited in practice this week. Beckham is coming off a three-touchdown game.
Another option: Steelers’ Antonio Brown vs. Raiders
WR in tournaments: Jaguars’ Allen Hurns at Jets
Top receiver Allen Robinson is expected to take a trip to Revis island for the Jaguars, which would open opportunity up for Hurns. Blake Bortles has thrown a touchdown to Hurns in five straight games. Players coming off a bye are usually forgotten about. His ownership was just over 2 percent in the Thursday games.
Another option: Cowboys’ Dez Bryant vs. Eagles
TE in cash games: Chargers’ Antonio Gates vs Bears
Where do Keenan Allen’s targets go? Before being declared out for the year, Allen was averaging 11.1 targets per game. Gates returned from injury last week and only played 49 percent of offensive snaps. Fellow San Diego tight end Ladarius Green is doubtful for Monday with an ankle injury. When Gates played 75 percent of the snaps against the Packers, he was targeted by Rivers 16 times.
Another option: Rob Gronkowski vs. Washington
TE in tournaments: Washington’s Jordan Reed at Patriots
Kirk Cousins should be forced to pass on New England, because Washington will most likely be trailing. Reed has been targeted 9.4 times per game, second-most of all tight ends. That’s more opportunities per game than Rob Gronkowski or Greg Olsen. Those who want to go save some salary at the position are going to Ben Watson.
Another option: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins vs. Giants
Joe Ostrowski is an executive producer at 670 The Score and co-hosts “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today” on Sundays from 8-9 a.m. CT. He also discusses fantasy football on The Laurence Holmes Show on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. CT on WSCR-670 and670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @JoeO670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.