Before we get to this week’s Must-Haves, if you ever have any questions you’d like to ask our analysts about your season-long or DFS lineups, head over to DFIUniversity.com and check out the NFL War Rooms. Your first week is free, so you’ll never pay for something you’re not enjoying! Now let’s get to the picks…
Jamison Crowder (FDraft: $7,800, DK: $4,000, FDuel: $5,400): Too often when we select Must-Haves, the unintended consequence of identifying the absolute best picks of a slate becomes inevitably high ownership. This pick provides you with the exact opposite–big upside with very low ownership. In previous weeks, Jamison Crowder has looked lost in the overhauled Redskins’ passing game. However, coming into Week 6, his situation is deceptively exciting. After Wednesday’s practice, head coach Jay Gruden spoke extensively on Crowder’s role and admitted they want to get him much more involved in the quick game, in open space, or in bubble screens early and often. Now to be fair, even the best coach’s talk is not alone a reason to pick a player for your DFS lineup.
Fortunately, the excitement only multiplies when you look at his matchup against SF slot CB K’Waun Williams. Williams has allowed the most slot receptions in the entire league this year at 27. You might say, “but wait, all SF’s corners are bad!” and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, there is clearly a lack of chemistry between QB Kirk Cousins and his other top option, Terrelle Pryor, who has hardly registered 3 catches per game. His other best option, TE Jordan Reed, is back in the lineup and off the injury report for the first time this season. The only problem here is that he’s matching up against a SF defense that has been very stingy to TEs this season (they’ve only allowed 14 total catches and 107 total yards). Crowder has the most exploitable matchup with the best overall situation here.
But wait, there’s more! One of the main reasons Crowder has been uninvolved in the offense is that he’s been hampered by injuries in recent weeks, especially last game when he posted his worst stat line of the year. Now he has had extra time to rest coming off a bye week, which puts him in a perfect spot to bounce back in an ideal matchup with support from his coaching staff.
Given his price and his projected sub-5% ownership, he doesn’t need to be the highest scoring WR on the week to destroy value. If he puts up even an average career game, he is more than worth having in your lineups in this situation. It’s worth noting that his ownership projections around the industry currently average to about 3%, but it’s possible that will go up after this article is posted. He still won’t become high-owned by any means, and we suggest locking him in for huge upside that affords plenty of flexibility for the rest of your lineup.
Jerick McKinnon (FDraft: $8,100, DK: $4,100, FDuel: $5,600): This second Must-Have pairs with Crowder to make potentially the best value Must-Haves in DFI history. The secret of Jerick McKinnon is now well out of the bag, but his price and situation insists that we play him again anyway. This is a player who was slated to back up the “lead back” Latavius Murray, but instead ended up completely dominating the offense with nearly 150 total yards last game. This total is skewed by some long plays, but what are not skewed are the 22 total touches and the 67 snaps he played to Murray’s 31. He was the only juice keeping Minnesota alive on Monday and they looked to him in a variety of different plays to bail them out in every situation.
Even after a costly fumble, the coaching staff continued to trust him to bail out backup QB Case Keenum. With starting QB Sam Bradford unlikely to suit up again this week (some estimates consider him out for several more weeks), the Vikings should be in an even more pressed situation to generate offense to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (this matchup is projected quite a bit more high-scoring than last week’s). Again, like Crowder, this is a situation where we’re not trying to predict that McKinnon is going to be the highest-scoring running back on the slate. McKinnon simply has an excellent chance to crush value with his expected workload and cheap price tags across all the major DFS sites. We plan to lock him into our lineups and we recommend that you do the same.