It’s getting to be late in the season, and one thing we have to look out for at this point is the weather. I write this while freezing my big ass off in snowy Montreal, Canada – and there will be football played in places that will be cold and snowy like Montreal this weekend. There is very heavy snow in the forecast in Buffalo where the Bills host Pittsburgh and in Green Bay where the Packers face the Seahawks. There is also moderate snow in the forecast for Cleveland where the Browns host the Bengals.
Those of you who read my baseball column know that I sometimes recommend that you follow DFS weatherman Kevin Roth on Twitter. This is one of those weeks where Kevin is a must follow. On to this week’s picks.
For you FanDuel players, don’t forget to check out my buddy Eric’s Plays and Stay Aways – which come out on Fridays!
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Jameis Winston vs. Saints ($6,700) – Just like the Bucs as a team, Winston has been coming into his own recently. He has multiple TDs in each of his last 4 home games. This week he faces the Saints who rank an awful 26th in Football Outsiders passing defensive efficiency metric. I like Winston for a nice game.
Bang for Your Buck
Dak Prescott vs. Giants ($5,900) – Despite having a very solid rookie campaign, I have not had too much Dak in my lineups this season. That will change this week, as Dak is priced way too cheaply against the Giants defense ranked 25th in defensive efficiency against the pass. Prescott has 20+ DraftKings points in 6 of his last 7 games. I like him to make it 7 of 8 this week.
Robert Griffin III vs. Bengals ($5,000) – I don’t usually do this, but this is as much of a hunch as anything. Griffin will likely be under 3% owned and is facing the 20th ranked pass defense per defensive efficiency. The Browns desperately want a win and Griffin is playing for his career. Something tells me he turns back time this week and puts up some numbers.
David Johnson vs. Dolphins ($9,800) – DraftKings can’t price Johnson highly enough to scare me away (and I am sure I am not alone). I am running out of superlatives, but Johnson has touchdowns in his last 4 games, including multiple touchdowns in 3 of 4. He has 100+ total yards in every game this season and double-digit targets in his last 3 games. On top of that, Johnson has 33+ DraftKings points in his last 3 games. He is a must start in any format against any defense.
DeMarco Murray vs. Broncos ($7,000) – I was hoping to sneak Murray into some of my lineups at moderate ownership, but I see many people talking up Murray this week – and with good reason. Murray faces Denver who is 26th in defensive efficiency against the run and 28th in rushing yards per game allowed. He has 100+ yards in his last 3 home games and is a good bet to make it 4 in a row this week.
Bang for your Buck
Jordan Howard vs. Lions ($6,400) – Howard is a really impressive rookie running back and has not slowed down as the season has gone on. He has 99+ total yards in his last 5 games, including last weeks 100+ yard 3 TD performance. Howard had the first great game of his career against these Lions when he ran for 111 yards on 23 carries in week 4. I like him to do even better this time around.
Lamar Miller vs. Colts ($5,100) – Miller faces off against the Colts who are ranked 31st in defensive efficiency against the run and is in for a nice week in production. He has 15+ touches in his last 5 games, and with this being a near must win for the Texans, I think he will have 20-25 touches again this week. Miller had his best game of the season against the Colts in week 6, rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown and added another 29 yards receiving. I like him for another good game.
Frank Gore vs. Texans ($4,800) – I like Miller’s counterpart in this game as well as Gore is too cheap. The veteran has 15+ touches every game but one this year, so you know he is going to get the rock. And Miller was not the only one to have his best rushing game in week 6 in the Texans/Colts match. Gore also had his best rushing game of the year that week going for 106 yards. I am not sure that he will top 100 yards again, but I like him for 70+ and a score this week.
Rob Kelley vs. Eagles ($4,200) – I don’t love any real El Cheapos this week, but I do like Kelley to provide some solid value at a rock bottom price. Kelley has 14+ touches in his last 4 games, and Jay Gruden keeps talking about giving him even more work. If he does get more work, he should succeed against the Eagles who allow the 16th most rushing yards per game.
Mike Evans vs. Saints ($8,900) – With Cecil Shorts and Adam Humphries hurt, Evans should see even more target shares, which is barely possible as he leads the NFL in targets by a fair margin. Evans has 100+ yards in 2 of his last 3 games and faces the 26th ranked pass defense of the Saints. This could be a huge week for the Bucs #1 target.
Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Cowboys ($8,000) – OBJ is a very consistent source of fantasy goodness as he has 9+ targets in 10 of 11 games and double-digit targets in 4 of his last 5. That coincides with some nice production from the Giants’ mega-star as he has 20+ DraftKings points in 4 of 5 games, 5 touchdowns in his last 5 games and 95+ receiving yards in 3 of 4 games. As good as the Cowboys are, they are 27th in passing defensive efficiency. OBJ should take advantage on Sunday night.
Dez Bryant vs. Giants ($6,900) – I will definitely be playing a lineup that is reliant on some good Sunday night performances as I like Dez Bryant for a good game as well. He has 18+ DraftKings points in 5 of his 7 games since coming back from injury. And he has found his really good form of late with 70+ receiving yards in each of his last 4 games and 4 touchdowns over that 4 game span.
Bang for your Buck
Tyrell Williams vs. Panthers ($6,100) – Williams has quietly become the #1 pass catcher in a pretty solid Chargers offense. He has touchdowns in his last 4 games and 65+ receiving yards in 3 of those 4 games. This is no fluke, and Williams is getting plenty of targets, topping double-digit targets in 2 of his last 3 games. The Panthers allow the 3rd most passing yards per game. Look for Williams to excel.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Colts ($5,800) – The guy is just so talented and is facing a very mediocre Colts defense. Despite the lack of production, Hopkins is getting his looks with 8+ targets in 3 of his last 4 games. And he is heating up a bit with 58+ receiving yards in 3 of his last 4 games. Hopkins had 9 catches for 71 yards against the Colts in week 6. If he can go for 75+ yards and a touchdown this week, he is way exceeding value.
Willie Snead vs. Bucs ($5,200) – This is a risky play, so I would use it in GPP only. But Snead has had 5+ targets every week since week 6, and Michael Thomas has been gimpy this week meaning he might miss the game or be limited. Snead went for 7 catches and 122 yards in TB last year. With his good history against this team, I could see another huge game.
Allen Robinson vs. Vikings ($5,000) – Yes, the Vikings are awesome. And yes, Robinson has been struggling a bit, but this is way too cheap. Robinson was never priced below $6,900 until last week against Denver when he dropped to $5,800. Now he is sinking even more. For this price, you will not find anyone else with double-digit targets in 4 of his last 6 games. And while the Vikings have a strong defense, Robinson caught 7 balls, including 2 touchdowns against the equally stingy Ravens defense. I think he will easily exceed value at this low price.
Taylor Gabriel vs. Rams ($4,300) – Gabriel has been rock solid recently with 5+ targets in his last 4 games and 4 touchdowns over that span. But what makes Gabriel even more valuable this week is that Julio Jones is expected to miss this game and Mohamed Sanu has already been ruled out. Gabriel may be the Falcons’ #1 target and is priced like a #3 receiver. Take advantage.
Robby Anderson vs. 49ers ($3,000) – Bryce Petty certainly was not overly impressive in relief against the Colts on Monday night. But he did throw many, many, many deep balls to Robby Anderson. Anderson was targeted a whopping 12 times and finally caught one of those deep balls for a 40 yard touchdown. At minimum price, it is certainly worth it to see if Petty keeps chucking it to Anderson. Oh – and the 49ers are ranked dead last against the deep ball, so if Petty does keep throwing to Anderson deep, it might turn into a huge game.
Greg Olsen vs. Chargers ($5,000) – Olsen has been very pedestrian recently, but he is still getting his fair share of targets with 5+ in his last 5 games. I would think his ownership will be very low, which is attractive since tight end is not strong this week. The Chargers struggle with the short middle of the field, ranking 31.2% worse than average on throws in that range. I like Olsen to patrol that area and catch a bunch of balls.
Bang for your Buck
Cameron Brate vs. Saints ($4,100) – Brate is quietly one of the top tight ends in the league these days. He has 5+ targets in 5 of his last 6 games and touchdowns in 4 of those 6 games. I think this will be a high scoring game, and I think that Brate will see plenty of red zone looks. He is an attractive target for me.
Ladarius Green vs. Bills ($3,900) – As you may have noticed, I am mostly staying away from players in the snow games that I mentioned at the top of the column. Green is an exception as he went off for 6 catches on 11 targets for 110 yards and a touchdown last week. The Bills rank 26th versus the tight end and Green could be in for another nice week in the snow.
Bang for your buck
49ers vs. Jets ($2,600) – The 49ers defense is not great, but Bryce Petty and the Jets will do everything in their power to give the ball away. This is a great value play.
Falcons vs. Rams ($3,100) – As a Patriots fan, I watched the Rams offense play a full game last week. They are even worse than I thought. I think the Falcons will neutralize them easily.
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