Well now that was quite the Week 1, wasn't it? The Watch List and the Playbook, brought you an array of top scorers from the week, including the top scorers at QB, RB and WR. We didn't have Dallas Goedert in there, but we did bring you Mark Andrews , the second-highest scoring TE on the slate. As strong as the first week was, we intend to get stronger as we are now able to collect 2020 data and isolate offensive touches and defensive weaknesses. For those who may be new to the NFL Playbook PRo here at Fantasy Alarm, allow me to introduce you to the Watch List and what this column brings to the table.

If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.

We take this to heart when it comes to playing NFL DFS. The Fantasy Alarm Playbook isn’t just about handing you a list of players and a lineup to use each week. It is designed to help you learn to be a better DFS player. It’s about teaching you the process used in selecting which players to scout and, eventually, which ones to use.

Therefore, we will begin each week with the Weekly NFL DFS Watch List which is designed to keep tabs on marquee names, chalk plays and, of course, the weekly bargains who may not see the same coverage and exposure. This piece will be continuously updated throughout the week, based on the most recent news and injuries which means you may see a name or two removed as we get closer to kick-off. You may also see a few late-week additions who pique our interest for some reason too, and by the end of the week, this Watch List will eventually become your Playbook. Again, it’s about teaching you the process.

The first week of the season is always the most difficult. While you can look back at last season’s numbers and see which teams struggled the most against the pass or the run, that data may be outdated and, in some cases, irrelevant as coaches, player personnel and schemes change so often from year-to-year. A team that struggled mightily against the run last year, for example, may have added some help on the defensive line, thus fortifying their weakness. The same can be said about a weak secondary from 2019 which changed from zone to man-to-man coverage. We’ll still be able to use some of the data, but as we’ve seen before, it takes a few weeks before we spot some of the more noticeable trends.

PLAYERS ADDED (9/16):

Matt Ryan , QB ATL, Jonathan Taylor, RB IND, Derrick Henry , RB TEN, Ronald Jones , RB TB, Demarcus Robinson , WR KC, Hayden Hurst , TE ATL

PLAYERS ADDED (9/18):

Mitchell Trubisky , QB CHI, Adam Humphries , WR TEN, Scotty Miller, WR TB, Mo Alie-Cox

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW:

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

As a reminder, check out the Game Preview of tonight’s game from Ryan Hallam.

Notable Injuries:

Cincinnati:

none

Cleveland:

David Njoku , TE – knee (out – IR)

Spread: Browns -6

O/U: 44

Weather:

Low 60s and partly cloudy with a 5% chance of precipitation; winds NNE 15 mph

Last 5 Meetings:

Browns lead 3-2

Average margin of victory of all games: 11

Last Match-Up: Bengals beat the Browns 33-23 on 12/29/2019

Baker Mayfield threw three touchdowns but also three interceptions

Joe Mixon rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries

Odell Beckham , Jarvis Landry and Damion Ratley each caught a touchdown

If you are playing the Showdown Slate, here are players who I am considering:

Baker Mayfield , QB CLE -- All eyes will be on Mayfield and he is under a lot of pressure to produce. He needs to calm down in the pocket, trust his offensive line protection and stop with the happy feet. Hopefully, new OC and QB Coach Alex Van Pelt has calmed his quarterback down from the Week 1 debacle against the Ravens and has him slowing things down a bit in order to see the whole field. The Bengals don't have the defense or pass-rush nearly as threatening as Baltimore's so a bounceback is expected.

Joe Burrow, QB CIN -- The rookie showed some rel promise in Week 1 and the Bengals are hoping he builds off it tonight. The Browns secondary has been decimated by injuries, so Burrow should focus on the match-ups on the other side of the field from cover-corner Denzel Ward . If his offensive line can improve in their pass-protection, he should be able to find success in this match-up and continue his ascension.

Nick Chubb , RB CLE -- After what we saw in Week 1, we fully expect head coach Kevin Stefanski to wise-up and get back to what he learned from Gary Kubiak in Minnesota which is to run the ball down the opposition's throat early and often. Chubb lost touches last week because th Browns fell behind and abandoned the ground game. They won't make that mistake tonight so look for a heavy workload early in this game to help open up the play-action downfield. I like him as an option in the Captain/MVP spot if you can afford it.

Kareem Hunt , RB CLE -- We might see some pull-back from last week's workload, only because we expect the Browns to lean on Chubb a little more. Still, Hunt is very much a factor in the passing game and was the thrid-most targeted player last week for the Browns. We expect to see him spell Chubb at times and in doing so, could be the beneficiary of some short passes in space if they DBs stay in tight coverage on the receivers downfield. That could really open things up in this offense.

Joe Mixon , RB CIN -- Last time Mixon faced the Browns, he ws in the midst of his big late-season breakout last year and torched them for 162 yards and a score.. The Browns only allowed 107 rushing yards to the Ravens last week, but they did give up two rushing touchdowns in short-yardage situations. Mixon is looking to make a big splash after a quiet debut last week and there is no reason to think the Bengals won't try to lean on him early as both team jockey for field position. He can be considered for the Captain/MVP spot in your lineups.

Odell Beckham , WR CLE -- He will be 100% dependent on Mayfield tonight. If Baker can fix his footwork and stay calm under poressure, he'll be able to find Beckham downfield. There were a lot of misfires and missed opportunities last week, so look for Stefanski to right the wrongs and show the world the Browns aren't always going to Brown.

Jarvis Landry , WR CLE -- Though he's listed on the injury report, it doesn't appear as if the hip issue is going to have a negative impact on Landry's night. He played in more than 80% of snaps last week and should be able to handle a similar workload tonight. He'll match up against Mackensie Alexander in coverage most of the time and shouldn't have to move through much traffic as the linebackers may be more preoccupied with helping support the defensive line which is without Geno Atkins again.

A.J. Green , WR CIN -- Expect the Bengals to move Green around as much as possible to keep him away from Denzel Ward . When he's on the opposite side, he'll square off against Terrance Mitchell which offers a strong size advantage for Green. While he wasn't on the field for more snaps than Boyd or Ross, he was targeted more than both of them last week. Burrow wants to lean on the elder statesman, so expect a strong target share once again.

Tyler Boyd , WR CIN -- If he is matched up against Tavierre Thomas in the slot all night, this could be a big game for Boyd. He's a relaible option to move the chains, but he can also be explosive if he gets free from coverage. He's a favorite to use tonight and even could warrant Captain's consideration.

John Ross , WR CIN -- He's a deep threat and was on the field for more than 80% of the snaps last week. The speed is outstanding and he's got the potential to break away from coverage for a long touchdown. It's a boom or bust play, for sure, but if you think the Bengals fall behind by two scores or more, he should be worth the look.

Austin Hooper , TE CLE -- With David Njoku landing on IR, Hooper should take most, if not all, snaps at the position. The improvements on the offensive line should mean Hooper won't be asked to stay back and block (that will land with Harrison Bryant), giving Mayfield another strong option, particularly on third downs when he needs a big body to help move the chains. Tight ends saw seven targets last week and Mayfield's lone TD was to Njoku. Last week the Chargers leaned on Hunter Henry against these Bengals and he was targeted nine times.

C.J. Uzomah , TE CIN -- He saw just as many targets last week as Tyler Boyd and John Ross and we know how young quarterbacks like to lean on their tight end. Uzomah isn't a sexy pick, but if you want some positive vibes, think about what Mark Andrews did to the Browns last week from the tight end position.

Dart Throws to Differentiate:

Giovani Bernard , RB CIN -- He gets onto the field every so often and saw almost 30% of the snaps last week againsst the Chargers. With everyone thinking Mixon has a big game, Bernard becomes a contrarian dart-throw.

Khadarel Hodge , WR CLE -- He actually saw twice the snaps as Higgins did in the No. 3 receiver role and has the size and physicality to out-muscle Darius Phillips in coverage.

Rashard Higgins , WR CLE -- Maybe a contrarian pick to those using Hodge as their dart-throw. We've seen Higgins stretch the field and get into the end zone before.

Auden Tate , WR CIN -- He saw the same snaps as Tee Higgins, but we also saw Burrow connect with tate for those big shots downfield during the preseason. If the Bengals fall behind, this ould be the bomb your Showdown lineups are looking for.

KEY:
     
  Inactive
(Max 3)