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NFL Fantasy Week 10: Cousins, Jackson, Starks surprise stars


The state of New York is the latest to make daily fantasy betting illegal, and California is among those with similar decisions in the works.

For that reason, those active on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings may be heading into the final week of action. At least until an appeal is heard, that is. For those playing, however, there are several dangers to be aware of on the field this week.

Tom Brady leads his high-scoring undefeated New England Patriots into New York as the top scoring fantasy quarterback. The Giants, though, are the kryptonite to his Superman. With only four touchdowns in three regular season matchups with the Giants, Brady carries a career 87.3 QBR into Sunday’s game – among his worst versus any opponent.

Looking to rebound from back-to-back losses, the Green Bay Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers should move the ball freely against a middle-of-the-road Detroit Lions passing defense.

At a considerably lower salary, though, Washington’s Kirk Cousins — $6,500 – will face a New Orleans Saints defense that has been torched to the tune of a league-high 23.7 fantasy points per game to quarterbackss. Though inconsistent, Cousins has shown signs of brilliance. Couple that with a healing DeSean Jackson, and an opponent that seems to be willing to allow every game to be a shootout, and you’ve got a great value play.

After a horrid start, Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray has steadily improved over the past month. Now facing a Miami Dolphins D third-worst in fantasy points allowed to running backs per game, Murray is primed for a fantasy outburst.

Recently named the starting tailback, and heading into a match up with another of the worst run-stopping fantasy Ds, Packers’ James Starks is an excellent value start. A weapon as both a runner and receiver, Starks will be a key to a Packer explosion.

Giants’ QB Eli Manning has made a career out of scorching Patriots defenses, and this week will be no different. His favorite target and fellow Louisiana native, Odell Beckham Jr., is the favorite to be on the receiving end of most of Manning’s offense.

Like Manning, Cousins’ scoring will come on hook ups with his most explosive target. And at a salary of $6,000, Jackson will not just be a smart value play, but among the top scoring receivers, period.

Every week I try to come up with reasons to pick a tight end not named Rob Gronkowski – if for no other reason, just to not tie all other players at that position. I’m done trying to find reasons. After his worst fantasy output of the season – 6.7 points – last week, Gronk is destined to go off this week under the bright lights of New York. Pay the $8,000 in salary. The 30 points will be well worth it.

If you can’t afford that salary, however, this may be the week that new Denver Bronco Vernon Davis becomes Peyton Manning’s go-to guy. A full week in the system and world-class explosiveness will make Davis Manning’s Julius Thomas 2.0.

With a new week, the kicker position presents a similar problem – which kicker will miss the new, longer extra point attempt. Playing at home – indoors – one of the league’s biggest legs, Greg Zuerlein is a more than safe play.

The precipitous downfall of the Detroit Lions starts with QB Matthew Stafford and a non-existent running game. The Packers defense has been a sneaky smart pick all season (save for the debacle in Carolina). Facing a one-dimensional offense, this week is no different.

This may be the last week (for a while) of weekly fantasy football in California so bet big, bet smart and make your money.

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