NFL DFS Bargain Plays Video - Week 1
Brandon Marianne Lee brings us her top bargain plays for Week 1 of the NFL DFS season
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J. Winston - QB
Winston (suspension) is eligible to return to the Buccaneers' 53-man roster Tuesday, but it remains uncertain if he'll start over Ryan Fitzpatrick in Sunday's game at Chicago, Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com reports. "Let's see what the injury report [says when it] comes back," head coach Dirk Koetter said after Monday's 30-27 loss to the Steelers, regarding his thoughts on the quarterback situation. "Any time we have these games, it's not always obvious how the guys are going to come in the next day and come in on Wednesday. Let's see what happens. I'd love to get a chance to talk to Jameis face-to-face before I tell the rest of the world."
After Winston was handed a three-game suspension in June for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, it was widely assumed at the time that he would immediately recapture the starting role once eligible to return. However, that no longer looks to be a certainty, with Fitzpatrick's impressive play in Winston's stead proving vital to the Bucs' 2-1 start to the season against a tough slate of opponents. Though Fitzpatrick took a step back Monday by throwing three first-half interceptions, he mounted an impressive comeback bid in the second half that fell just short. Fitzpatrick still finished with at least three touchdowns and 400-plus passing yards for the third time in as many games, boosting him to an NFL-best 11.1 yards per attempt on the season. Koetter will likely provide more insight into his plans at quarterback when the Buccaneers reconvene for practice Wednesday, but Fitzpatrick's hot play along with an incoming bye in Week 5 may give the team enough reason to use Winston -- who hasn't practiced with the team in 28 days -- as an understudy in his first game back from suspension.
Added 11:21 am (EST)
P. Dorsett - WR
Dorsett sustained a knee injury late in Sunday's loss to the Lions and required a series of tests Monday that included an MRI, but he's expected to be available for the Patriots' Week 4 matchup with the Dolphins, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports.
The injury resulted in Dorsett briefly departing in the fourth quarter, but he returned to the field before the contest ended, finishing the night with no catches on five targets. The Patriots were still concerned enough about Dorsett's health to send him in for precautionary tests, but it doesn't sound like the knee issue is anything that will significant hinder him during Week 4 preparations. More concerning for Dorsett's outlook than the knee concern is the Patriots' recent acquisition of Josh Gordon, who could be cleared to return from a hamstring injury to make his team debut against Miami. Once Gordon gets comfortable with the new playbook and forges a rapport with quarterback Tom Brady, it's not hard to envision Dorsett's snap count taking a considerable hit.
Added 10:41 am (EST)
S. Lee - LB
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Tuesday that he anticipates Lee will "miss some play time" after aggravating a hamstring injury in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.
Lee characterized the hamstring injury he originally sustained in the Week 2 win over the Giants as a "cramp," but it became apparent he was dealing with something more significant when he was only able to practice on a limited basis last week and labeled a game-time decision heading into Sunday's contest. The linebacker ultimately suited up and amassed 11 tackles and a half sack in just 39 snaps before departing with the setback. It seems the Cowboys aren't eager to have the oft-injured Lee play at less-than-optimal health, so it's expected he'll miss at least the Week 4 matchup with the Lions while he receives some much-needed recovery time. Leighton Vander Esch, Joe Thomas and Damien Wilson should be the main beneficiaries of increased snaps while Lee is sidelined.
Added 10:25 am (EST)
G. Olsen - TE
Olsen remains without a definitive timetable to return from a fractured right foot, but believes he'll be back on the field sooner than last season, when he missed nine games with the same injury, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. "I'm way ahead of the curve," Olsen said Monday. "Last year at two weeks I was laying in my bed in a cast. I couldn't do anything. It's just a matter of seeing each week how your foot responds and just try to add a little more, a little more. What that time frame is, we're optimistic."
The Panthers' decision not to place Olsen on injured reserve after he sustained the injury in Week 1 seemingly supports the notion that the tight end's setback isn't as severe as the one he endured a season ago. Aiding Olsen's case for a return by midseason is the fact that he avoided surgery on the foot, which should help accelerate his return to the field. The Panthers probably won't offer a target date for Olsen's return to action until he's back on the practice field in some capacity, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Sept. 16 that the 33-year-old was hopeful to miss only 4-to-5 weeks. If the short end of that timetable proves realistic, Olsen could be ready to play as soon as the Panthers' Week 6 matchup with the Redskins on Oct. 14.
Added 9:41 am (EST)
C. Beathard - QB
Head coach Kyle Shanahan affirmed that "C.J.'s our guy" following the announcement that Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) will undergo season-ending surgery, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Beathard was already expected to start next week against the Chargers, and he will now take over for the rest of the year after Garoppolo was diagnosed with a torn ACL. The 23-year-old will have big shoes to fill, but it is worth noting that he was hand-picked by San Francisco's current regime in the 2017 draft as the quarterback of the future before the team acquired Garoppolo midseason. Beathard posted 1,430 passing yards (55 completion percentage) with four touchdowns and six interceptions while starting six games during his rookie campaign. The signal caller also displayed above-average athleticism with 136 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 26 attempts over that span. It wouldn't be surprising to see the sophomore build on last season's totals with an improved offensive line and an extra year in Shanahan's system under his belt, but he is certainly a downgrade in comparison to Garoppolo.
Added 9:38 am (EST)
N. Mullens - QB
Mullens will be signed from the 49ers' practice squad to serve as C.J. Beathard's backup following Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending knee injury, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
The 49ers are also planning on bringing in a group of veteran free-agent quarterbacks to compete for the backup job Tuesday, so Mullens' stay on the 53-man roster may not be long-lived. The 23-year-old completed 72.1 percent of his passes for 396 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions this preseason.
Added 9:26 am (EST)
J. Thomas - TE
Coach Bill O'Brien said Thomas "probably needs to be in there more," during a session with reporters Monday.
Thomas caught two passes for 53 yards in Sunday's loss to the Giants and is averaging 26.7 yards per catch this season. "Yeah, big guy that can run. He used to be a wide receiver, got really good hands, getting better as a blocker, so we have to continue to work with him," said the coach. Thomas has played just 25 percent of the snaps on offense while sharing the position with Ryan Griffin and fellow rookie Jordan Akins.
Added 9:16 am (EST)
C. Catanzaro - K
Catanzaro hit both of his field-goal attempts (21 and 28 yards) and all three extra-point tries in the Buccaneers' 30-27 loss to the Steelers on Monday night.
The field-goal attempts were from highly makeable distances, but it's nevertheless encouraging to see Catanzaro bring stability to the placekicking position in Tampa thus far. The veteran is 4-for-5 on field goals and has drilled 12 of 13 extra points as well, although he misfired on his only kick of over 40 yards through the first three games. Catanzaro could be in for another busy day in Week 4 against a solid Bears defense that has the ability to potentially cause the Buccaneers offense to bog down in the red zone.
Added 8:26 am (EST)